First of all, let me mention that I travel often for business and this is the first time I've ever felt strongly enough about a hotel to actually take the time to review it. This place is not what they advertise it to be. They call themselves a "boutique hotel." It's not. The rooms and service are the equivalent of any crappy two-star hotel. But that is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the location. In short, it is not safe. The hotel is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Chinatown L stop. The area around Chinatown is bustling and colorful and definitely worth exploring. BUT, the hotel is not in Chinatown. As soon as you walk one block from the L towards the hotel, you are in a run-down, ghetto. And it doesn't just look unsafe. It IS unsafe. A man followed me as I walked from the L to the hotel around the corner of State and 23rd St. When I let him pass in front of me, he waited at a bus stop until I passed and then continued to follow me. When I turned to face him to acknowledge that he was following me, he insisted on "walking with me." I got on my cell phone with my boyfriend but that did not deter him. I started to get nervous as we were getting further away from any other people. That's when I hailed a cab to the hotel. There are a lot of people just "hanging out" on that corner (which is a bunch of boarded up store fronts and an empty lot) and once you turn on to State, you have a 10 minute walk down a pretty empty street until you get to the hotel. It's a perfect situation for someone to get raped or mugged.
That's the worst of it, but that's only the beginning...I'll try to sum up the rest. Service is not exactly rude...more like sedated...It took the guy at the counter over 10 minutes to check me in while a line formed behind me b/c he couldn't find my reservation and although there were other people hanging out behind the counter, they were not helping him...or anyone else. There is no restaurant at (or near) the hotel and also no refrigerators in the room, so dining in is challenging. I brought some food back from Chinatown but had to fill a bucket with ice to keep it cold. The vending machines on several floors had no water left in them...to get drinking water I had to go to the water cooler in their "state-of-the-art" fitness room (it's not state-of-the-art).
In short, this place is ghetto trying to sell itself as chic. From the disgruntled looks I noticed on the faces of other guests, I assume I'm not the only one that was deceived by the website and expected something completely different for the price.
The one positive thing I can say is that the bathtub in my room was huge, which was a nice way to decompress after an unpleasant evening spent here at Chicago South Loop Hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience all of the vibrant energy and excitement of Chicago, when you stay at the Chicago South Loop Hotel. Ideally located near McCormick Place and just minutes away from attractions like the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Chinatown, and Magnificent Mile shopping, our sophisticated boutique hotel offers the perfect combination of classic style, impeccable guests services and a prime location in the heart of Chicago's historic Bronzeville District. Whether you're visiting the Windy City for business or pleasure, you'll enjoy modernized and spacious guestrooms, central location and fabulous service from our welcoming hotel staff. ... more less
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