I booked this hotel in the random price lottery through Priceline, as my flight was unexpectedly delayed and I needed inexpensive accommodations quickly. Since I had never heard of Carlton Inn, I assumed it was a locally-owned hotel (which concerned me, having seen Priceline's evaluation of hotels).
I called the hotel and the clerk immediately dispatched a shuttle to pick me up. Jon, the driver, was pleasant and helpful with tips about the area. I arrived at the hotel and horror flashed before me ... the area looked dangerous and the buildings appeared old and rundown. I immediately wanted to protest and have Priceline refund my monies. But, I was stranded due to lack of transportation so I decided to make the most of it.
The clerk who checked me in was polite; however, she failed to honor the Priceline rate as she stated in our phone conversation. (I had to stay two nights due to the flight delay, but was only able to book one night online due to the late hour). Too tired to argue, I resigned myself to a less-than-mediocre night and went down the breezeway to my room, as the hotel has only outside room entrances.
Upon opening the door, I was invited into a small slice of luxury. The rooms were simply appointed but very modern in design and decor. The television was the same as the internationally-acclaimed 4-start hotel I had left the night before ... but the refrigerator and microwave were included complimentary at this property! In a separate area, like a walk-through office, I had plenty of desk space to spread out and work. Near the bed was an armchair to sit back and enjoy television. There must have been 15 hi-def movie channels PLUS a complete Comcast cable lineup that included all of the networks I love. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the bathroom was very clean which gave me final comfort that the stay would be fine.
The complimentary breakfast was simple and tasty. Again, the microwave in the room made heating up the extra sandwich quite convenient. There was a diner and several fast food options within walking distance. If you go to the diner, beware that service may not be great. But the food is tasty, so you will just save money on gratuity.
My only concern was my room had windows in both front and back. However, the inn did provide an overnight security guard who was vigilant and very helpful.
Upon departure, the shuttle driver, Noel, came down to my room to carry my luggage and load it on the van. He also helped me into the airport since I had more bags than hands. Again, all of the staff was very helpful in accomodating every request.
While the property is not 5-star glamorous, it is an affordable and appealing alternative to the brand-recognized hotels such as Hampton Inn or Best Western. I would choose this "diamond" again and enjoy the savings without sacrificing a large portion of the quality expected from a hotel stay.
*** One last note to the hotel management: I suggest removing the dog with the bandana from the lobby area. He's truly a lawsuit waiting to happen, even though he seems harmless and unassuming.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Carlton Inn Midway offers the amenities and services of home or office. We are located 1.8 miles from Midway Airport with complimentary 24-hour transportation to and from. Whether you are in Chicago for a convention at McCormick Place or Shopping the Magnificent Mile we are 7 miles from the downtown area, with easy driving access via I-55 and around the corner from the Orange Line Elevated Train, a 15 minute train ride to downtown. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Carlton Inn Midway Hotel Chicago
- Carlton Hotel Chicago
- Carlton Hotel Midway