Decided to stay here for my wife's birthday while we were in Chicago (having a full kitchen for me to cook in beats out a luxurious suite) and also because I've been platinum elite with Marriott for years and love the extra service they provide for being an elite member. This will be a long review as I'll be using it for my Marriott based survey so I'll be covering everything from start to finish.
Location is great, right in the thick of things downtown, and the facility is also connected to a Springhill Suites. Parking was rough, the valet was apparently extremely busy and we were early so we just went ahead and parked in the garage ourselves, only to see the harried valet flying around the garage in a Lexus SUV, tires squealing as he went around the corners. We figured our self parking choice was best.
We got there around noon on a Saturday so figured the odds of checking in early were pretty dismal but tried anyway. The folks at the desk were dressed down as sometimes happens at Marriott's on weekends, but after not acknowledging my elite status, the desk person noted there were no rooms available currently and offered to take my phone number to call when available. Great, so I did. She promised we would be called promptly when a one bedroom suite was available.
We went to lunch, did some shopping, and never got a phone call. So we went back at 3 (the normal check in time) and proceeded to check in. Couldn't help but notice the list I had signed up for sitting on the counter apparently untouched. Alrighty then. No big deal.
This time a different young lady acknowledged my status and checked us in quickly and my brother in law and his wife were also checked in quickly. I have several standing requests on my profile, one of which is for a high floor. We got on the 19th floor (of 27). Brother in law who isn't a Marriott rewards member got 22nd floor. Alrighty then. No big deal.
I can confirm 100% the complaints about the elevators seen in other reviews. There are three elevators servicing 27 floors on the Springhill side and three more on the Residence Inn side. One of those 3 on each side is a service elevator with a separate button on the door frame we happily learned, and almost every time we got that elevator once we learned the trick. Wait times averaged 5-10 solid minutes (not kidding) even with calling the service elevator. Still, six total elevators for 27 floors seems pretty inadequate.
Our room was 1911....the first room against the elevator bank on the 19th floor. Alrighty then. No big deal. But the no big deals are adding up. Thankfully the inefficient elevators are very quiet so it didn't become an issue at all, and we discovered the next morning why they were especially quiet that night.
Standing request for extra towels and pillows not honored. Alrighty then. I'm beginning to think they don't look at member profiles at all, which is fine I guess. The room itself was clean and comfortable, we got a 1 bedroom for some privacy so the extra tv and rollaway bed for our son was handy. Kitchen facilities were very nice and everything worked fine. One of the very few high hotels with opening windows, which was nice for a little downtown ambience.
Preparing for bed that night I was able to check off more of the other complaints I've read here. Sink water pressure is non existent even at max settings, so I brushed my teeth in the kitchen to rinse my toothbrush properly. And hot water at 9pm was of a very short duration so I couldn't wait to see how it was in the morning....
And it was just fine. All three of us took hot showers with no interruptions or hiccups in temperature, which was nice. What wasn't nice is the very modern glass enclosed stand up shower didn't have any kind of water barrier at the bottom of the door so the bathroom experienced a minor flood with every shower. Hmm, that explains the water rings on the tile floor. Now if only I had some extra towels to soak up the excess water...My in laws also commented on the flooding in their room so it must be an overall issue. Looking at it again before we left I'm not real sure how they'd fix it short of lowering the door and putting a seal along the bottom of the door. Probably too much work.
Breakfast was very good, albeit very crowded. The staff is very attentive and laid it on pretty thick, doting on my son. Oh, hang on, I should back up. When we left our room there was an elevator on the 19th floor, door open waiting on us! We got on and after playing with it for a few minutes discovered it was out of service. So since it was there on the floor with doors open, it disabled the up and down call buttons for the other elevator. The service elevator never came either. So after a few minutes we walked over to the Springhill side and waited about 5 minutes to get down over there. Once in the lobby I noticed the huge line on the Residence Inn side waiting on elevators so I went ahead and let the desk people know the middle elevator was stuck on the 19th floor. She apologized and stuck an out of service sign on the elevator and literally did nothing else. I pointed out to some of the people there was another bank of elevators on the Springhill side and managed to disperse a lot of the crowd myself.
Checkout experience was pretty bland, not even so much as a thank you for staying with us, but I guess since she was by herself at the desk (one other young lady eventually came out while we waited for the rest of our party) she probably didn't have much time for anything overly courteous.
So overall, for a one night stay, not bad. Not great, and not sure I would want to come back, but not bad. One thing I noticed here on Tripadvisor is the management staff responds to issues and posts comments. Considering the relative newness of the building and the complaints about nearly the same issues over and over (elevators, water pressure, and hot water), I'm a bit curious about whether or not the issues are even fixable, so I suppose that should factor into your decision to stay here. There's plenty of hotels in the same price range nearby.
On the other hand, not acknowledging a rewards member's profile requests seems pretty unforgivable to me. Yes, I could have asked for the items every other Marriott does automatically for me, but then what's the point of being a rewards member? For that reason this hotel will receive a poor review once I receive my Marriott Survey, but I wouldn't discourage the average customer from staying here. For the structural faults and issues which the staff seems to take in stride, the hotel location and overall cleanliness make the hotel worthwhile.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 1, 2012
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I want to thank you for the time that you spent writing such and extensive review. It is very important for us to hear both the positive and negative aspects of our guests experiences. I also do want to let you know that I have forwarded your complaints regarding the water pressure, shower stalls, and lack of acknowledgement regarding your status to the appropriate manager.
I want to offer my personal apologies for your status not being recognized. Every guest is important to us but we do understand that individuals who have reached the elite status are exceptionally loyal and this should be recognized. I would like to double check and make sure we do have everything correct in your profile if you would be willing to send me a private message or email it would be my pleasure to make sure that this does happen again.
The weekend that you visited us we were participating in a fundraiser for Back On My Feet which is one of our company wide charities. Both associates and managers who were participating had paid for the privilege to “dress down” that day.
I do want to let you know that the engineering team has recently changed the aerators in the sinks to increase the water pressure. We needed to find the correct part that would increase the pressure but still fit within the green standards. If you return to our property please let me know if you feel that the sink pressure has increased.
We are aware of the elevator situation and have had several individuals out to fix the elevators during the time frame that you were there. I know what an inconvenience it can be to wait for the elevators and want to thank you not only for your patience but also for letting the front desk know about the issue and taking the time to inform your fellow guests.
I want to thank you again for taking the time to write a detailed review that addresses both the positive and the negative experiences that you had at the property. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to rectify the issues you had while at the property.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.