Arrival isn't great - you come through a strange underground path from the airport, picking your way past the buskers and panhandlers. Eventually, you'll find an uphill slope to struggle up, and an entrance way.
The entrance way seems incredibly insecure - no sign of any hotel staff there, which given it opens onto the warren of tunnels connecting ORD with outside isn't great; what makes it worse is the horrible signage. There's a bank of lifts, with a sign 'Check-in on Lobby Level" and another sign saying "LL". So this is Lobby Level, right?
Um, no - it turns out after you've walked the length of the floor that "LL" actually means Lower Level, Lobby Level is identified by an L. The sign inside the lift tells you this - but couldn't the sign outside the lift be a little clearer?
Once you're out the lift, you have to continue plodding past some sort of sub-souk area flogging geegaws and trinkets before you get to the check-in desk.
To the hotel's credit, check-in was fast (once we'd made it there) and friendly enough.
Inside, the hotel is in desperate need of a refit - there's parts of the floor where the carpet is lying over what feels like chipboard put down over a hole; the common area decoration is stuck in the brown and gold era of the 1970s. It's clean enough, but just tired.
The room itself was fine, comfy, and two complementary waters were welcome.
Trouble was, it was roasting hot. We fiddled with the thermostat (also appeared to be 1970s vintage) but couldn't get the room any cooler, so rang the desk. The desk were quite snitty, snapping that it was below 50F outside and so the hotel only had heat on - the system is so out-of-date apparently all rooms either get heat, or cooling, but can't have both. He suggested we'd be better off switching off the fan and then that we open the window. (Oddly, the hotel had decided it was so cold outside it needed to have the heat on, but wasn't thinking it was too cold to have the window open).
The window only opened full or not at all, and was knee-to-floor height, but anything was better than the cookie-bake heat otherwise. It did mean we only got fitful sleep as the sounds of the airport and roaring wind hammered in through the window all night, though.
Seriously: a 700 room hotel that expects *all* its guests to either want heat or cooling?
The location, though, is excellent - up early for the flight, but not as early as we'd have to have been if we'd been on another 'airport' hotel. Quick tip, though: don't go outdoors to get to the terminal, as the surfaces on the roads and pavements are dreadful; you'll find your trolley keeps getting wedged and tipping over.
In addition, they ding you for the cost of USA Today - you can say no at check in, but they don't tell you until you get your check-out summary. We paid 75cents for a paper on a day they weren't even publishing. A mean little trick.
Also mean: if you order in-room breakfast, you have to pay 18% as a "gratuity" (shouldn't the size of a gratuity - if any - be down to the customer? Otherwise it's a service charge); then there's a 4% admin fee, and then on top of that another $5 in-room dining fee. It's not clear what the in-room dining fee covers that the gratuity doesn't, or what the admin fee is and how that differs from an in-room dining fee. I don't mind the idea that you have to pay to have yo ur food brought to your room, but the idea of paying three times to have the food brought up seems a bit extreme. Have your breakfast once you're at the airport.
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Chicago o`Hare Airport Hotel Chicago
- Hilton Hotel Chicago
- Hilton Chicago Ohare Airport Hotel
- Chicago Hilton