If you're going to be visiting Chicago and want to stay in the River North area then you already know that it is fairly pricey for mostly small rooms and additional charges of about $50/day just to park in the same place that you're staying.
This is where Best Western River North provides great value; free on site parking and mostly covered parking. This however is also where our visit went sour, they do not have enough parking spaces for each guest room so they valet (for free) and double park. This makes retrieving your car a longer experience than it should be. That would have been okay though since the parking is free, but there was one particular valet that was beyond rude, he begrudgingly did his job, barely acknowledged any of the guests when they approached him and looked at us, as well other guests as though we were pieces of dog excrement stuck to the bottom of his shoe. And I'm supposed to feel comfortable giving this guy the keys to my car?
There is also an issue with handicap parking, as in there is none. They advertise handicap parking on their website, but what they actually do is park your car one of the two guest check in spaces closest to the building entrance and then park it somewhere else later. Then if you need something from your car later, you have to wait until the rude (nightshift) valet/attendant is available, ask for your keys, find your vehicle (with your disability issue) and then wait for the valet to reappear again and give him your keys back!
The day shift attendant was absolutely the polar opposite from Mr Bad Attitude, I'll call him Mr. Awesome Customer Service as he was extremely helpful and courteous and smiled. This valet saved us a space close enough to the entrance not to be an inconvenience and let me keep the keys. This was great! I was very appreciative, but Mr Bad Attitude did not like this arrangement one bit and I had to complain to the night manager to get this resolved, and then suffer the dagger like looks from Mr B A from then on. I tipped Mr. Awesome Customer Service generously at the end of our stay.
Best Western sent me a survey shortly after our stay, I completed it and communicated the complaints noted in this review. It has been a month and half and not one word in reply to address my experience as their guest, but they do manage to keep spamming me constantly with their advertising.
Okay, so on to the actual room...we chose the 2 bedroom with living room unit (apparently their largest and only room like that). Upon arrival we checked in early in the hopes that the room might be ready early, this was at about 9am. The desk person said that he needed to have the manager speak with me (this didn't sound good) so she proceeds to tell me that they've double booked the room and would I take 2 separate rooms instead? I refused and informed her that I had made this reservation more than 2 months earlier and that we absolutely were not having our 6 yr old in a room by herself. Couldn't believe that she had the nerve to ask! She then said that I could have the room since I checked in first, so had I shown up at the normal check-in time I would have been out of luck on the room that I had already been charged for and reserved over two months ago!
They tried to get the room ready early, but the previous night's guests checked out late (I'm guessing that they were not double booked but that those guests wanted to extend their stay)
The room itself was quite large, top floor just under the rooftop indoor pool and conveniently located right next to the very old and slow elevator. It was dated for sure, but clean with great views and large windows all the way around the outside wall (corner unit). The curtains were more than adequate for privacy or the inside curtain only for semi-privacy and letting light in. The noise from the traffic was not noticeable in any room of the unit with the curtains fully drawn closed.
The heaters worked very well (one in master bedroom, one in living room) the entire unit stayed toasty warm on some frigid days at the end of March. I much preferred this room to the more upscale counterparts at less than half the size and near double the cost in this area of Chicago.
The pool was heated, but not nearly enough and there were too many screaming obnoxious kids with oblivious parents using it, so we skipped that after the first try,
The attached restaurant and bar are forgettable to put it nicely...skip them.
Location is great, if you aren't going outside of the downtown area, just walk out the hotel main lobby, lift your arm and take a cab in no time at all, rates are very reasonable, they all take credit cards and you won't find parking at the restaurants and shopping, unless you are lucky...and you pay the business their average rate of around $12 -$17 a half hour. Or you could walk, anything you might need is right there in walking distance.
So overall, this Best Western is a great value if you get the one and only large room (I wouldn't want to stay in a regular sized room here, it is an old building). and if they fire Mr, Bad Attitude.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the Windy City from the only downtown Chicago hotel that offers free parking and convenient location just minutes from Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier!The award-winning BEST WESTERN River North Hotel is an affordable and convenient choice for business and leisure travelers alike. Offering great rates, this downtown Chicago hotel makes it easy to explore the city's most famous attractions, from Navy Pier to Sears Tower. World-class shopping along Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile is just six blocks away. Some of Chicago's most famous museums are less than two miles away, and visitors of all ages delight in exploring Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. And what visit to Chicago is complete without a ball game? Whether its baseball, basketball or football, this Chicago BEST WESTERN is within five miles of Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, The United Center and US Cellular Field. In addition to free parking in downtown Chicago, business travelers appreciate that this Chicago hotel is conveniently located near educational, medial and machinery businesses, the Chicago Financial District, and the Chicago Loop Business District. Chicago O'Hare International Airport is just 12 miles away from this Chicago hotel.The BEST WESTERN River North Hotel is known for its great service, friendly staff, cleanliness and amenities that make guests feel at home. Our newly renovated, contemporary rooms and suites offer cable TV with HBO®, high-speed Wi-Fi, room service, a coffee maker and much more. After a busy day in the bustling city, guests at this Chicago hotel can enjoy a deep-dish pizza at our onsite restaurant, take a dip in our indoor pool, or relax on the sun deck and take in the marvelous city views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Chicago
- Chicago Best Western