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.
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.
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!