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“Pleasantly surprised” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

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Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1816 North Clark, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)   |  
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Ranked #33 of 178 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

When we read some of the negative reviews and saw the pictures of the small rooms at Hotel Lincoln, we were bracing for the worst. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations and would return here again.

We stayed for 3 nights in their basic bedroom. Some of the critiques were accurate: it was a very small room, there was evidence of an aging structure in spite of the remodeling, and it was possible to hear our neighbors going into the bathroom and hot water pipes whining. However, most of the experience was very pleasant.

POSITIVES:
Location, location, location! This is less than 1 block away from 7 different CTA bus stops, Lincoln Zoo, and a park with bike paths. As we used public transit and the CTA 3-day passes for all of our transportation, this made for an EASY “get out and go” and a “ride until the bus pulls in front of your hotel” experience.

Free bikes! You can reserve hotel bikes for free in 2-hour increments – more than enough time to zip through the zoo

Looks nice! Everything you can see is new – wallpaper, carpet, bedding, furniture, wall A/C, blinds, artwork, bathroom interior

Artsy and green! Contemporary art and modern/retro colors decorate every hallway and room. Rooms provide recycling containers and low-flow showerheads that are wide enough you don’t notice they are low-flow.

Quality extras! Pillows are long, stuffed with down, and very comfortable. Bedding is similar – light but very warm. Towels are the longest and thickest I’ve felt at a hotel. Flat-screen TV is easy to navigate and new. Iron heats quickly.

Staff! Smiling young folks welcomed us almost every time, sounded pleasant on the phone, and all dressed in these fun, retro (70s) clothes that just made it feel this hotel would be different.

Other: There is a workout room, free computers and printing, and a restaurant. We did not use any of those. Also has hair dryer, iron.

NEGATIVES:
Small room. You basically walk into a room that holds your bed. There is a desk in the corner, but if you sit in it, you can’t walk around the bed. This was inconvenient for us, but you can just climb over the bed. With some flexibility (Where do I stand the iron?), we made it work.

Small bathroom. Again, it’s functional and not nearly as tiny as some described. It’s about the same as our bathroom at home, to be honest. But it’s not as large as you’d get at a modern hotel in a suburb. Face it, this is an old, tall, skinny hotel. You can’t change that!

Noise. Almost every hotel has this problem, and since we were on the almost top floor, this was not a huge issue. We brought earplugs and were fine. It was not significantly worse than other hotels.

Price. Not the cheapest place in the world, but it’s Chicago. We paid $100+taxes at Priceline, $360 for 3 nights. We could have got a lot more for a similar room in the suburbs, but then we’d have to drive in, and we did not want to pay for that!

Other. No refrigerator (there’s no room!), so you can’t keep leftover food from your favorite Chicago meals. So we ordered smaller portions, which was probably better for our health and savings, anyway!

Room Tip: If you need space, upgrade your room size!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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1,054 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (371)
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English first
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

The Hotel Lincoln is in a fan-freaking-tastic location, which is probably the best thing it has going for it. The rates are very reasonable as well, compared with River North and other areas nearby. It is right across the street from the Green City Market and about two blocks from the Old Town area which seems to be very popular with people who like the "oontz oontz oontz" bars.

The check-in experience was easy, although they didn't seem to be able to find my reservation and I ended up getting an upgraded room with lake view. Score. The rooms all have free wi-fi, which is not advertised on the corporate web site. They say you have to be a member of the Joy of Life club to get it, which isn't accurate.

The rooms are nicely appointed and have been recently refreshed. The decor is very cool, the beds are comfortable, and the bathrooms are nice. The rooms are mostly quite small, I think, but I'm just there to sleep and shower so I don't mind. One downside to the rooms is that there is essentially no privacy--from other people in the room or in other rooms. The pocket doors they installed on the bathrooms don't really close off the bathroom, so someone in the room could easily see you getting in the shower or whatnot. The walls are also paper-thin, which I'm sure is a function of the age of the building. You can easily follow conversations people in the adjoining rooms are having. At one point I sneezed and the person the next room said "Bless you." As other reviewers have mentioned, the air conditioning units are pretty loud and I found that mine drowned out the sound of traffic below and any random noises my neighbors were making. If you have loud neighbors, you will probably be wanting to move.

Everyone I encountered was extremely friendly. There are some small service glitches--for example, every morning the maids would take all my towels (even though I hung them up, indicating I don't need them changed) and not leave new ones. I think the hotel owners are still ironing out some wrinkles, so to speak. However, if you give them a chance to address anything that's wrong, they will do so quickly and professionally.

Would stay again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the higher floors to get away from the restaurant/bar on the first floor.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nevada, Iowa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

Beautifully remodeled hotel. (5 months) Rooms are a little smaller, but so clean & modern!!! Really enjoyed being in Old Town Chicago & walking to many places. Free bike rental with unique helmets. Staff was very friendly & helpful. Also had valet parking. They are putting in a new rooftop garden & bar. Great place!!!!!!

Room Tip: No pool or spa at this time.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Great place to stay when in Chicago. Close to everything and it has been renovated to bring the rooms up to the 21 Century.

Room Tip: Historic Hotel with morden technology. Great service and friendly folks to help. Rooms were very ni...
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  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

I cannot recommend the Hotel Lincoln for several reasons. First there is the noise from three different sources: a bar/restaurant located on the first floor, the hallway PA system playing disco, calypso, and rock music, and noise from the street below. I woke up 45 minutes after falling asleep to hear people partying outside at the bar. I had to ask to change rooms at 11:30. I could still hear people talking on the 12F in my new room. Music from the PA can be heard all through the hotel constantly as well as in your room. It was really excessive. Making matters worse the hotel doors were left wide open so that street noise was audible in the lobby area and second floor. Second, there was no parking at the hotel and the hotel's website fails to mention anything about parking. When you pull up, there is valet parking for $44 a night and no other information about where to park your car. As it turns out, there is no parking nearby either. The sign indicating the cost of valet parking was hidden between the mailbox and bicycle rack, so do not think the hotel is providing valet parking for free. Third, I naively gave the porter a $20 bill which was the smallest bill I had and told him to take a tip and give me the change. He took $10, which shocked me. While you could blame me for this, in the end it is going to cost the hotel more than $10 after people read this review. Would you go to a hotel where you cannot trust the people who work there? If they view the customers as an easy mark for parking and tips, what does it say about the rest of the management? Fourth, more indicative of the management's failure to consider the customer's experience, the printer in the 2nd floor business lounge area did not work. Avoid this hotel and find a hotel that is honest in its dealings with customers.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotellincoln, General Manager at Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, responded to this review, July 20, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience at Hotel Lincoln. I had the opportunity to review and look into several of your comments and although some provide insight and assistance in making improvements, I also found some of your comments to be misleading. The rates for valet parking are posted clearly in 6” font on the Valet podium. The podium is located front and center of the arrival area, not between items or hidden from view. We offer several options for parking and provide a discount coupon for those guests who chose to self-park in the History Museum lot across the street. The lobby music cannot be heard on the 12th floor as there is no PA music system in the hallways. Integrity and honesty is treasured, earned and valued attribute that all of our associates and myself use as a guiding compass to assist in our daily decisions. My deepest apologies if you felt taken advantage of. Please accept my invitation to have an open dialogue in ways to improve what we do at Hotel Lincoln.

Robert Shelley
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Needed a hotel in Lincoln Park as our son lives and works there. Location was perfect! Could walk to the zoo, the beach, and all the great food you could eat. Neighborhood was beautiful. Loved the hotel everyone was very helpful, the decor was fun and new and very clean. My room had two batherooms, love that! We will be staying there again and recomending to others!

Room Tip: Pony up for the suite! Had a sofa bed if you need it and had 2 batherooms!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

We just stayed here for a weekend in Chicago with two teenagers, and loved it. The hotel is so charming! Staff were great, and very attentive. Came in soaked from a rain shower and asked for towels as we walked in, they were sent up immediately. Had a Jr. Suite and it was perfect for the 4 of us. Great view, nice furniture and lovely bedding/blankets. Bow ties on front desk staff are fun!!

Room Tip: Ask for lakeview room
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

Address: 1816 North Clark, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Lincoln Park , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 178 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just north of Chicago’s downtown financial and retail hubs, Lincoln Park is the city’s most charming and historically rich residential community, where tree-lined streets are dotted with a mix of million-dollar-plus homes and classic three-flat apartment buildings and sidewalks buzz with energy from families, DePaul University students, young professionals, fitness buffs, and visitors to the city. At the center of it all is Hotel Lincoln. Hotel Lincoln is an upscale boutique hotel with an eclectic-meets-collegial vibe, offering 184 guest rooms, executive meeting space, a lobby-level European-style coffee bar, a spacious rooftop lounge with panoramic views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, and the acclaimed Perennial Virant – helmed by award-winning Chef Paul Virant. As Joie de Vivre’s first hotel east of the Mississippi, the property is uniquely designed to not only connect Chicagoans with iconic city gems, but also give travelers a taste of what life is really like in the packed-with-personality city. ... more   less 
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