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“Very Disappointed”

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InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Ranked #66 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I've stayed in many InterContinental hotels around the globe and have always been thrilled with them, but the Chicago Mag Mile was a disappointment. Although we had a so-called King Suite in the non-historic side, it had a tiny bathroom, poor-quality towels (not the super luxe that we've been used to with this brand hotel), noisy air conditioner in both rooms in the suite, no bottled water, and the list goes on. I've actually stayed in 3-star hotels that had nicer appointments, so I really question why this property received a AAA 4 Diamond rating. On the positive side, however, the bed comfort and pillows were excellent, the staff exceedingly courteous and the location top notch.

Room Tip: Apparently, the historical side is the place to be.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lswago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kyiana, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2014

Dear Iswago,

We apologize for the experience you had during your recent stay. Your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate department(s) for further review. Please rest assured your response is appreciated. If your schedule permits, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you again!

Malcolm Moore
Guest Services Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,425 - 2,431 of 4,840 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2014

The hotel is on the Mag Mile. It was well priced for the location. Would stay again. The staff was very helpful and nice to deal with. It's located in the same building as Michael Jordan's Steakhouse. That makes a late night snack an easy task and a Starbucks as well.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank LarryWilder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

I was pleasantly surprised by the Intercontinental Chicago, as it is quite a nice property in the middle of the Magnificent Mile. Its excellent location alone makes it one of the best options for anyone who wants to have immediate access to Michigan Ave.

But location alone can't earn a great review for a hotel. Thankfully, the Intercontinental Chicago seems fairly aware that they need to work at being the top choice for tourists coming to the city, and they certainly do their best.

The check-in was fairly painless, with my only complaint being with the snafu in securing a room with a king-sized bed. The perils of booking through Priceline always carry the possibility of being booked in a room with two double beds if that’s what the hotel decides to give you, which is what happened here. I understand the risk, but they asked me to pay an additional $35 for a room with a king-sized bed. Since I had already stayed in a different hotel the previous four nights with my girlfriend in a room with two double beds (as a result of the same Priceline problem), I hesitantly agreed to pay it, since it was only for one night here and we wanted to finally sleep in the same bed.

As much as I want to complain about $35 seeming steep to get a change of bed preference, it appeared they upgraded us to a deluxe room, which was quite nice. The room was in the historic tower, and had windows in three different directions, making for a spectacular view.

While a lot of modern hotels are heading in a more minimalist direction with their decor, this hotel isn't afraid to show some elegance and class. It has certainly retained the look of an older historic hotel, yet glossed over with certain modernizations to really pop out. Whether it's the lobby, the rooms, the pool or wherever, it does all have a luxurious look and feel to it.

The room was quite nice and clean. My only complaint in the way of cleanliness was when I laid back on the bed and felt a tangled clump of hair behind one of the decorative pillows. It probably came out of a woman's hairbrush, but it's not exactly the most sanitary thing to find in your room. Otherwise, everything else appeared to be in good order in the room.

The pool is really a highlight in this hotel, given the grandiose nature of the room it's located in. The spectator seats seem out of place, but I assume there's a story behind that. My main problem with the pool is that the hotel seems to be more focused on keeping the pool for exercising purposes, when really most people that visit the pool are not there to swim laps. It's simply not realistic to believe that guests won't have kids that will want to play and splash around in the pool. For some kids, that's almost the highlight of the trip!

Despite them dividing the lanes with barriers, my girlfriend and I still got in one of the lanes and just floated around for a bit to relax after a long day of walking. We weren't preventing anyone from working out, so it didn't harm anything. I also saw a woman bringing her kids in as we were leaving, so I don't think it's a huge deal if you hang out there with no intention of tapping into your inner Michael Phelps. Just keep in mind that the pool doesn't have anything exciting in the way of slides, diving boards or any other kid-friendly additions.

My biggest annoyance with this hotel is its lack of free wi-fi. Since I refuse to pay for internet at a hotel in addition to my nightly rate, I was unable to access my online map of Chicago on my laptop where I had bookmarked various places we wanted to visit. This was a fairly large inconvenience for me, so this is probably the biggest gripe I have that keeps me from giving this hotel a 5-star review.

As for the staff, they are extremely friendly and accommodating. I will single out the bellhop as being particularly friendly, despite being extremely busy. We stowed our bags there after checking out and came back to pick them up when we were ready to go to the airport. The main bellhop answered my questions about the best way to get to the airport, and then the rest of the bellhop staff helped load us up in the cab when our bags were brought to us. It was a great last impression of the hotel as we parted ways with them and the city of Chicago.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank LemonyLlama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

So, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Chicago for the 4th of July and booked through Hotwire for this hotel. Because you cannot choose your hotel with Hotwire, it can be a bit of a crap shoot. When I discovered we were staying at the Intercontinental, I immediately went to Tripadvisor to check out the reviews. Needless to say, I was a little worried. I read the reviews about the hotel and listened to people complain about the staff being rude, the rooms being dated and the list went on. I was a little hesitant, but the room was book and I thought, "Eh, we're really only going to be there to sleep and the location is fantastic."

The reality could not have been further from what I expected. First, yes, the lobby is small. It isn't a massive lobby like some of the hotels, but did that really affect my stay.....not in the least. At check in, the staff was fantastic. Remember, we booked through Hotwire. We were upgraded to the Historic tower. Being an IHG member, we got free wifi, so that was nice. The staff at the front desk was incredible. It was quick, even though there were a lot of people and they were beyond helpful.

When we got to the room it was very large, even by Chicago standards. The bellman when he brought the bags up reminded us that the honor bar would bill if we moved something for more than 30 seconds. We weren't planning on it but I truly appreciate him telling us. Our bags came up quickly and with no problem.

Because I am frugal (lol) I wouldn't pay the $65.00 a day parking. I used a new online service called SPOTHERO. I found parking at a garage 8 blocks away for two night that cost me $20.00 out of pocket. Can't beat it and it was easy. If you are going to Chicago, check it out. No in and out service, but it's Chicago.....I didn't need a car. That being said, the hotel had no problem with me leaving the car in front while we got settled.

The rest of the trip exceeded my expectations with the hotel. Saturday night my girlfriend and I went on a special date to my favorite restaurant and I asked the concierge for some suggestions after dinner. He was incredibly helpful and nice.

When we were getting ready to leave, I had asked the front desk if we could have a late checkout. They gave us a 2:00 check out with no problem. The next morning, we wanted to take the flowers I had given my girlfriend. They were in a vase and transporting them was going to be a challenge. Again, the concierge was beyond helpful. Finding a box and packing them. They made it back to Lincoln in our car perfectly.

Finally, when we returned home, we realized we had left some pictures from our night on a cruise of Lake Michigan. I called the hotel and they did have them. They said they would send them out. Two days later, via Fedex, at no charge to me, they were on my front door. Talk about service.

My ONLY complaint about the hotel and I told them as such, was the lack of a dresser in the room. Our room we more than large enough to accommodate one. It was frustrating not to be able to put things away. We made due with the space but that is the only thing I could complain about that the hotel had control over.

One thing to watch....In the historic tower, the elevators are divided by floor. Make sure you get on the right one. Yep, made that mistake once. LOL The other thing and again the hotel cannot control this. The Starbucks located near the lobby is beyond slow and always packed so be warned.

Sooooo.....for those that have said the elevators are slow, the lobby is small, the rooms are small, the staff is rude.....I'm sorry you didn't have the same experience we did. Yes, the elevators are a bit slower, but the building is older. Yes, the lobby is small, but we weren't there for a lobby. The staff was incredible and the rooms were perfect. And the location........Well, you walk outside and you're on Michigan Ave. Doesn't get much better than that.

Given the chance, I have found a new "home" when in Chicago!

Room Tip: Ask for a remodeled Historic tower room.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Front the front desk staff to the housekeeping staff we were treated like royalty. Nothing was too much trouble. We got an e mail from the concierge a few days before we left to see if we needed anything from her - what incredible customer service! Even though it was the July 4th weekend we got upgraded to a two room suite with views on three sides and on the 33rd floor. The history of the hotel and its location on the Magnificent Mile makes it an ideal spot to walk from and to. The Hancock tower is a short walk one way, Millennium Park a short walk the other way, and Navy Pier about a10 minute walk behind the hotel.
Arriving by metro is easy: from Midway take the orange line, change at Roosevelt to red and get off at Grand. 2 blocks east on grand is the hotel. As Canadians with no American change we had an issue using our credit card in the metro ticket machine as it needed a zip code. We put in 00000 and it worked.
We got the breakfast included package and the buffet was amazing. So much choice and different Eggs Benedict everyday - I was in heaven! A good breakfast like this saves on needing lunch and the doors open at 6:30 if you are an early riser.
Make sure you walk through the old, original section and visit the pool which should be on the Chicago tours it's so lovely.
If you become a member of the IHG club prior to departing, in- room WiFi is free. It costs nothing to join and is well worth it.

Room Tip: We had a suite in the old tower and it was wonderful.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SuePT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We recently stayed 3 nights at this hotel for an all too brief holiday in Chicago. Let me start by saying that our booking was made through Hotwire, so we didn't expect exceptional service from the staff, knowing that Hotwire had probably paid a miniscule amount some months ago for the room and the hotel was not going to be getting anything more from us. Were we wrong. The absolute best part of our stay was our contacts with the staff, all of whom were friendly and accommodating. Aaron, the doorman, greeted us with a handshake at the cab as we pulled up, and then never forgot our names. The front desk staff were most efficient and accommodating while working through a problem created by Hotwire. When I requested a room in the Historic Tower and on the higher floors (as recommended by many reviewers) I expected a hassle, but, without a hesitation, we were located on the 32nd floor in the South Tower overlooking Michigan Avenue. Everyone that we dealt with at the concierge desk (especially Bob) went out of their way to accommodate our questions and needs. Despite what other reviewers have said, we found our room to be most spacious, although it was oddly arranged. This may have been a factor of our location on the 32nd floor, after all, there were only 3 guestrooms on that floor and both of the other 2 were unoccupied. Needless to say it was always quiet, both in the hall and from street noise.
Best of all, of course, is the location. From the hotel, you can walk to the Loop (the river is just 2 blocks away), the number 9 stop on the Chicago Trolley Hop On Hop Off, The Navy Pier and all of the Magnificent Mile.
The only disappointment is the lack of a restaurant serving a reasonably priced breakfast, but, you can find all of the breakfast staples in the newly relocated Walgreen's in the Wrigley Building. Just remember, when you remove everything out of the mini bar to refrigerate your yogurt, juice and vodka, the sensors in the fridge will trigger a whopping big charge on your bill. But just explain it and they'll tear up the bill, with a smile.
In everyway, it was a most memorable stay and it has set a new standard for us.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the historic South Tower, the higher the better. Facing East gives you a view of t...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Ted H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Awesome hotel on the Magnificent Mile walking ditance from everything. Hotel is clean and luxurious. Was very happy about our stay and will stay their again everytime in the Chicagoloand area. Worth the price.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank tanmanjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Address: 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-3827
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Magnificent Mile , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#29 Green Hotel in Chicago
#40 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#53 Family Hotel in Chicago
#58 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#64 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £89 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile 4.5*
Number of rooms: 872
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Chicago is a lot like the city itself: historic but hip, refined but relaxed, cultured but comfortable. A member of Michigan Avenue s architectural elite since 1929, our hotel is within easy reach of Chicago s incomparable museums, stores, theatres and restaurants. Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium and Oak Street Beach are minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Chicago Hotel Chicago
Chicago Intercontinental

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