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“Excellent Stay! My New First Choice for my next trip to Chicago” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago

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The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   521 North Rush Street, at Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 (Formerly Conrad Chicago) (Magnificent Mile)   |  
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Breakfast for 2 Included
Ranked #34 of 182 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Texas
Level Contributor
327 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Excellent Stay! My New First Choice for my next trip to Chicago”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

What a delightful hotel. The staff were so gracious and welcoming and the rooms were very well appointed with lots of amenities you don't find in a hotel room any more. Great location walking distance to great shopping (Nordstrom) and many good restaurants. A bit of a hike from the train from O'Hare. Probably best to train and then cab unless your luggage is really light and you can stand a decent walk with it (15- 20 minutes). Coffee service in the lobby at 5:30 AM was a great thing before an early flight home. And a nice fitness center as well. I am staying here again ASAP!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SLKspingirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,807 reviews from our community

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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Booked for 3 nights to kick off the Holidays.Perfect location with quiet entrance on Rush and most views facing Michigan; plus a Nordstrom connected right to it, what could be better. The staff is gracious and sincere and the hotel has a cozy feel to it even in the middle of the MagMile madness around it. Nice touch is tea or hot cocoa by the elevator hall; although we requested a coffeemaker/Keurig in our room and it was kept full with a nice assortment of coffees/teas at no charge. Room service can be pricey ($26 for an omelette including all fees) but very very good even at 3.30am when I was starving! We stay here several times a year and are never disappointed. Our room had a view all the way to the lake so we were able to enjoy the holiday lighting all the way down Michigan. AND THE BED! big, cushy, mushy pillows and a nice down comforter for a great sleep. Decent shower and good bath products including an upon request Shanghai Tang bath amenity, yum! Cosi is across the street for a quick bite or bringback to the room snack and a good variety of restaurants are everywhere. The Concierge staff is terrific; nice girls who know the City and gave us great suggestions. GO TO THE CONRAD CHICAGO NOW!

Room Tip: Ask for a NORTH facing room to get a great view of Michigan Ave
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MDW-BOUND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach, California
Level Contributor
69 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

After reading plenty of reviews, we originally booked this hotel for a little over a week, but canceled flights due to Hurricane Sandy extended our stay to two weeks. From the bellmen to the front desk, the housekeeping staff to the restaurant employees, the comfortable bed to the spacious room, we received exemplary service from every employee we encountered and could not have been more pleased with our overall experience at this property.

ROOM FEATURES:
Bose speakers (plus a subwoofer!) with an iPhone/iPod connector, plug-ins on nightstand lamps (it’s such a pain to move nightstands around just to find a plug-in for your phone or laptop), full length mirror in the entryway, amazingly comfortable beds and linens, plenty of pillows to choose from, great office desk with a comfortable chair, and complimentary (very reliable) wi-fi. Though there is not a fridge, coffee maker, or microwave in the room, if you ask for any of these items prior to your stay they arrange to have them in your room upon arrival. We requested all three and had no issues with any of them. The coffee maker actually turned out to be a convenient Keurig system with plenty of regular, decaf (Caribou Coffee brand), tea, and single-serve liquid Coffemate, sugar, etc. Bottled water was provided and replenished each time our room was serviced.

BATHROOM FEATURES:
The bathroom was huge (see pictures). White cotton slippers, two bathrobes, single basin vanity with ample counter space to spread out, wonderful smelling bath products, personal scale, cotton swabs, mouthwash, large separate bathtub that filled lightning fast (not very fun to have a huge soaking tub that takes an hour to fill), large tiled shower, separate toilet room with self-closing door and ample ventilation.

HOUSEKEEPING:
Since we stayed for two weeks, we really experienced the full extent of the stellar housekeeping service.
--They placed a ‘let us know if you need anything’ note under our door each day our ‘Do not disturb’ sign was out. ‘We don’t want to bother you, but we’re here if you need us’… Nice touch.
--Each time we called housekeeping (no matter what time of day) to request service because we were leaving for the day or evening, our room was thoroughly cleaned by the time we returned.
--We asked for extra washcloths one of the first few days we arrived, and instead of giving us one or two extra and then failing to replenish them, we were given 3-4 extra washcloths every time our room was serviced. Nice touch.
--One of the housekeeping staff found two very small pieces of jewelry on the bathroom floor while cleaning our room and carefully placed them on a washcloth on the bathroom counter for us to find. Very classy and professional. They happened to be sentimental pieces, so we were very appreciative.
--Every time we walked by them in the hallway, we were always greeted with a smile and a pleasant hello.

MISCELLANEOUS:
--Our room and the hotel in general were refreshingly quiet. Not once did we hear any noise from the rooms next to us (and we did see people coming and going).
--We did not visit the lobby bar, the restaurant, or the terrace (closed for the season) but all three looked very nice. The lobby bar was always buzzing with guests enjoying cocktails.
--The fitness center was spotless and inviting (see pictures). Regular and cold towels on-hand, apples for a quick snack when you leave, refrigerator stocked with bottled water, packaged earphones in case you forgot yours, sanitizing wipes, and a nice selection of machines (treadmills all had a personal TV). The only downside was no windows to the outside, but not a huge deal.
--The location of this hotel was great – just a short walk to restaurants and shops on The Magnificent Mile.
--From the hotel, there was direct indoor access to the mall next door via a short walkway and an elevator ride down. Very convenient for shopping.
--They offered complimentary coffee and hot tea in the morning right when you step off the elevators, and fruit-infused water or seasonal hot tea in the afternoon.

We had an incredible stay at the Conrad. I feel relaxed and happy just writing this review and remembering how wonderful this hotel was. It’s unlikely we’ll stay anywhere else during our future visits to Chicago.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank napa_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Normally, we like to book the Sofitel as our hotel of choice. On the weekend of November 17th and 18th, Chicago was packed because of the holiday festivities happening downtown. We wound up staying at the Conrad because of availability and the price was very attractive. I read the Trip Advisor reviews before hand and decided to book the room.

Like other guests, I was very impressed with the property. The rooms were updated and clean and the hotel staff was very polite.

The shower in our room was non-functional and so it was a sink wash up for us on Sunday morning. As we checked out, I told the staff that there was an issue just as an FYI. He apologized and asked us to wait for a moment. He reappeared a few minutes later and informed us that he was giving us a night's complimentary in an luxury king. I was amazed.

That was certainly not what I expected. We fully intend to make the Conrad our hotel of choice in our future stays in Chicago.

Thanks Conrad staff.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mikefromgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Lyon, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This hotel is definitely at the center of it all, and for that alone, it deserves 4 stars. The rooms are very nice, the staff was great and overall we were happy. The reason I can't give it 5 stars is because of the way you have to exit the hotel. The only exit from the hotel to the street is downstairs on Rush Street. If you want to get to Michigan Avenue, you have to walk up a large flight of stairs from Rush Street. In order to exit directly on to Michigan Avenue, you have to walk through the lobby, into the Nordstrom mall and take that elevator to the ground floor where you will have to walk through the mall to exit. That's also the main mall elevator, so you will have to wait a long time to use it and it stops at every floor. Granted we were there during the Festival of Lights Parade, so it might have been busier than usual.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sarcpres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing Region, China
Level Contributor
89 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

I stayed in Conrad Chicago for just a night this Friday. When it comes to Conrad, you always expect more. Well, the room is clean and spacious, the bathroom is like... WOW. But as the city view rooms are sold out, my room has a view of an office building 50 feet away. That's not very desirable if you think privacy is important.

I especially like the Bose media system which you can connect to your iPad. Free WiFi is fast, so I am able to watch Netflix all night on TV in a hotel room.

One thing I don't quite like is that there's not an elevator to take you to street level. You have to "transfer" at the 5th floor lobby. Sometimes the electors can be busy, especially the ones shared with Nordstrom.

Overall this is a nice boutique-feeling hotel at a perfect location. I used my HHonors point (it's even on sale so only 36,000 pts) to redeem the night, so i have nothing to complain. It usually costs you more than $250, and I think with that price you can get better somewhere in the loop. On Magnificent Mile, this is probably the best.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank exzx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

This hotel is quiet, near the shopping area (you can enter in a 4 level NORDSTROM shopping from the hotel elevator), has a correct fitness center, and very good rooms. Try the 1019 room, for the king size bed. The service is awesome, with polite and helpfull staff.

Room Tip: Room 1019 is very good, with king size bed and nice bathroom.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PSMendes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago

Address: 521 North Rush Street, at Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 (Formerly Conrad Chicago)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Magnificent Mile , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Business Hotel in Chicago
#17 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#21 Family Hotel in Chicago
#26 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago 4.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally situated in the heart of the Windy City, The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago is rooted in the history and heritage of the city's Magnificent Mile, paying homage to the 1930s in both its architecture and ethos. The newest member of Starwood Hotels and Resorts' prestigious group of Luxury Collection Hotels is an artistic icon that exudes timeless style and elegance. Housed within the landmark McGraw-Hill Building, The Gwen features an Art Deco aesthetic amplified by a sculptural façade, famously created by artist Gwen Lux in 1928. The idea of a female artisan making her mark in a predominantly male design city depicts an exciting atmosphere of change. The building has been home to many stories in its illustrious past, and today The Gwen provides the ideal canvas for guests to create their own distinct memories. This 300-room hotel includes 199 King accommodations with separate soaking tubs and showers, 54 Double/Double accommodations, as well as 34 luxurious suites, including some featuring beautiful terraces overlooking Michigan Avenue. The inventory, which averages 380 square feet per guest room, includes rooms that are ADA-accessible. Guests of The Gwen can enjoy the use of plush bathrobes and slippers to make their stay more comfortable, as well as complimentary in-room basic Internet access (wired and wireless), a 42-inch flat screen television with HD stations, a surround sound system, a Keurig brewing system, and an in-room safe. Offering the best of Chicago from right outside its doors, The Gwen is located on the Magnificent Mile, minutes away from premier shopping, world-class dining, and exciting cultural and entertainment hotspots, such as Navy Pier and Millennium Park. Connected to The Shops at North Bridge, The Gwen provides guests with enclosed access to upscale retailers, such as Nordstrom Michigan Avenue, and Stuart Weitzman. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Conrad Chicago Hotel Chicago
Chicago Conrad

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