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“A better value than the Sheraton” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront

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Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)   |  
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Ranked #70 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Hampton, Illinois
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A better value than the Sheraton”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I recently attended a conference at the Sheraton, but elected to stay at the nearby Embassy Suites instead. I am so glad I did. The rooms were more reasonably priced, I had a fridge and coffee service in the room and a view of the lake. Lissa at the front desk was friendly and helpful. There was a free managers reception each evening and the free breakfast was outstanding. They even served made to order omelettes. The rooms were quiet and the elevators quick. I would recommend this hotel to both business travelers and families.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,540 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Oak Park, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Our stay during the superbowl 2013 weekend was exceptional. We watched the superbowl on a large screen in the lobby. We were graced with complimentary drinks and snacks. Our rooms were very comfortable and the morning breakfast was delicious. We had great service and we will definitely return. This hotel exceeded my expectations for the price.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Normally, I would give this hotel 5 stars. I am a diamond Hilton member and we've been here quite a few times when we come down for a weekend. It was restaurant week in the city, so we decided to stay at the Embassy Suites.

Most of the staff are extremely friendly. We are always welcomed by the people at the front desk.

You can't beat the free cocktail hour (Manager's Reception) from 5:30-7:30, which is really nice before heading out to dinner. Not high-end liquor, but hey, it's complimentary.

On this occasion, however, one of the bartenders, Elizabeth, was very rude. My husband and I went up for a cocktail together initially. We then sat down at a table to relax. About an hour later, we decided to get another drink. Because our coats and my purse were draped on chairs to save our spot, I went up alone to get our drinks. When I asked if I could get my husband's as well as my own (where she could SEE him sitting) she said, "No. One to a customer. That's the law." Okay.... so I got mine... then he got in line (there's always a line) and got his.

Near the end of the reception, we decided to grab one last drink. We got in line together (the line was long at the end of the reception, so there wouldn't have been time for us to go separately before it ended). Two gentlemen in front of us were discussing what drinks they were getting for themselves, and their friends. I was curious if they would be told the same thing I had. My husband and I stood there and watched Elizabeth pour two drinks for each of them. They grabbed one, walked it over to their table, then went back for the second.

When we approached, I made it very clear I was frustrated that these men were treated differently than I had been earlier. When I questioned why they were allowed to get two drinks when I was not, she got VERY indignant and said, "They took them one at a time, they didn't get TWO drinks at once." Okay - so that's how you get around the "one drink at a time" restriction. When I asked her why she didn't tell me about that option when I wanted to get my husband's drink as well as my own, she simply got snippy and rude. She knew she had been caught treating the men differently than me and she had no excuse. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry, I should have explained you could have gotten the two drinks by taking one to the table, and returning for the second", she chose to be condescending and snide. We've been to this hotel MANY times, and she is the first RUDE bartender we've ever encountered.

Too many kids running around during the "manager's reception." Mostly the fault of parents that don't teach them manners or how to act in a bar area (where, in my opinion, they shouldn't be!)

The hotel includes free breakfast. Not just pastries, but cooked to order omelets as well as the basic scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, etc. It would be nice, however, to have some grapefruit or tomato juice available instead of just orange and cranberry. I'm not a fan of the sweet stuff.

The second issue came when we went to pick up our car from the Valet. I had called in advance to ask the rate for parking. It was $51. I ASSUMED (Incorrectly!) that since we didn't use the car once the entire weekend that $51 would be the price when we picked it up. Imagine my surprise when I was charged $102 for a car that sat in a parking lot from Friday night until Sunday morning @ 10:00 am. Ridiculous. When I spoke to the woman at the front desk upon checking out, all she said was, "That's how it's been since I started working here. That's the price...$51 a NIGHT).

Adults on the elevator going to the pool in bare feet? Really? Wear some flip flops for goodness sake.

Everyone else we encountered the entire stay (including the other bartenders) were friendly, helpful and a pleasure. The location of the hotel itself is great for walking to the pier or local restaurants. We'll stay again, but I'll make a POINT not to have Elizabeth wait on us, and we'll probably take the train next time.

Room Tip: I like to stay up higher where there seem to be less kids running around. (The pool is on the main f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eldridge, Iowa
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

My wife and I stayed 1 night at this hotel on 1/31. It's interesting as you enter through a tunnel into a lower entryway and then take an elevator up to the lobby. The lobby is very nice typical type Embassy with waterfalls, seating areas and a bar.

The downtown location was great.

Check in was quick and the front desk staff was very pleasant.

We got a drink at the managers reception and there was really no line. I was advised by the bartender that the line can be very long on some nights but no problem on this night.

This hotel was busy with business people which I assume is the norm for a weekday in downtown Chicago.

The room as very nice and very clean. Nothing "fancy" but very nice indeed. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars as it is not luxurious or fancy but I typically don't look for that nor does Embassy cater to that. We did have a beautiful view of the lake.

The breakfast was great. I don't know what else to say about it but it was really good.

I enjoyed everything about my stay and would definetaly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: The lakeview was nice but any view at a downtown Chicago hotel is going to be nice, lake or not.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I am a native Chicagoan and always enjoy a trip back to my hometown. This was my first visit to this great Chicago hotel and I was definitely not dissapointed.

Staff is polished and centered on service. The Front Desk Staff was helpful and friendly and the restaurant staff was on a mission to make breakfast seemless no matter how busy they were.

The location was perfect and satisfied my need to be near the lakefront and my eleventh floor suite had a beautiful view. Making my way around was easy as everything I needed was within walking distance or a short cab ride away.

Thank you.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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New Lenox, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I have stayed at the facility several times over the past years and never been disappointed. The location is great, a couple blocks from Navy Pier and a couple blocks from Michigan Ave. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the rooms clean, spacious and quiet. The afternoon managers reception is nice although having to stand in line for the drinks can be a pain and they only allow one per person at a time. It would be nice if you get a limit of 2 at a time. Breakfast buffet is very good and they give you hints on when you should eat to avoid the crowds. We used the valet parking and they were very good and right on time delivering our vehicle. I did not get in the pool but the hot tub and sauna were very nice. I highly recommend this hotel. My company even holds their annual sales meeting here. There is a movie theater and bowling alley just down the block and also a Dominick's grocery store across the street.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Usually love embassy's but this one was a bummer. Worst layout ever. They have 3 elevators that go from parking to the 5th fl lobby. There was a convention and the elevators took forever. I was ok taking stairs but you can't access stairs to go up from street level for security. Ridiculous layout. Main lobby breakfast area is not big enough to handle size of conferences so didn't even bother with free breakfast because the line was 50 deep. Will never stay at this property again. Go to the Palmer house if you want Hilton points. Better loc and nicer hotel by far.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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GM_CHIRE, General Manager at Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest -

I appreciate the review of your recent stay at our hotel. I understand that you were disappointed with our hotel and that we came-up short of delivering what you are accustomed to and expected from us. I truly apologize but unfortunately there is not much we can do to alter the existing layout of the building. I realize you will not come back and we naturally regret that very much but understand and appreciate that you have specific architectural and layout preferences for your hotels which we could not meet.

Again, I thank you very much for your constructive feedback and wish you the best with your future travels.

Sincerely,

Syed E. Hasan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront

Address: 511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#54 Business Hotel in Chicago
#60 Family Hotel in Chicago
#69 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront 3.5*
Number of rooms: 455
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown/Lakefront hotel is located just 2 blocks from Chicago's Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile Michigan Ave Shopping! This downtown Chicago hotel is within walking distance to many Chicago attractions such as Millennium Park, Water Tower Place and the Hancock Observatory. Our location and amenities make the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown/Lakefront an ideal choice for the business or leisure traveler! Guests of the hotel stay in a upscale spacious two-room suite complete with a refrigerator, microwave oven and flexible work/dining space. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Embassy Suites Chicago
Embassy Downtown Lakefront Suites
Chicago Embassy Suites

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