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“History and Character” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel

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The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 (The Loop)   |  
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Ranked #25 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Hampton, New Hampshire
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“History and Character”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

We stayed here during my husband's mid-June conference at McCormick Center. On arrival, we were bowled over by the gorgeous lobby, steeped in history and meticulously restored. You could readily imagine you were back in the 1920's and Warren Harding was being vetted as a presidential candidate by stockyard and railroad magnates in the hotel's "smoke-filled" rooms. (In part my loyalty to Marriott stems from its efforts at preserving and renovating national landmarks like the Blackstone in Chicago and the Wentworth in Portsmouth, NH). At check-in, we were offered an "upgrade" due to our Marriott Elite status. We were warned we wouldn't get a view, but the room was "on a concierge floor". That was fine with us; however I had erroneously assumed rooms on a concierge floor were more luxurious, larger. That doesn't appear to be the case. While pretty, the room, located two floors down from the concierge lounge, was unexpectedly small. It would have been fine for a night or two, but we were there for 5 nights. There was no place to sit other than the bed or at a narrow desk against the wall. As noted in other reviews, the bathroom door is a slider. It wouldn't stay shut and frequently slid open at the most inopportune time. We faced the back, and even as high up as we were, heard the El trains. I wasn't bothered by the sound however, and actually found it soothing. We heard absolutely nothing from adjacent guests or people passing in the halls; so in general soundproofing was fine. Housekeeping was excellent and prompt with any special requests (we needed more hangers). The concierge lounge offered snacks at the cocktail hour and a nice breakfast with freshly brewed individual cups of coffee. Unfortunately the lounge was usually packed. The few seats there were occupied and guests were perched on desk tops or ottomans, balancing plates on their laps. Staff did their best to bus the space and replenish food, but the hungry hordes made it nearly impossible to keep up. The hotel might consider enlarging the space, or at minimum adding more seating and staff. The location was perfect; we could walk to the parks and museums, and had no trouble accessing nearby public transportation to get further afield such as Lincoln Park or the airport. Would we stay here again? Probably... although, I'd make more clear our interest in a larger room.

Room Tip: Request a larger room. If using the concierge lounge, go very early to avoid the crowds.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Hi claudia664,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! I am so sorry that you were not thrilled with your room - unfortunately the hotel, because it is a historic restoration has all sorts of different sizes and shapes of rooms. I also appreciate the feedback on the Executive Lounge - I will definitely work with the team regarding staffing and seating! I hope that you will consider staying with us again. If you do, please reach out to me directly.
Best regards,
Kim C
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1,094 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Marion, Iowa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

Just left the Blackstone today and we have had a great stay. I rarely review hotels but this time wanted to share with others.

While a few of the furnishings in the lobby do need to be cleaned or recovered, the architecture and history of this place can't be beat. So many famous people and presidents have been here. If you like history or architecture, you will love it. You step in and just feel like you went back in time. The whole place is interesting. They even had a Frank Gehry wiggle chair on display. We did not use the lounge and ran out of time to eat at Mercat but saw the tapas coming out and they looked good but was $$$$. Used Starbucks each a.m. Very long wait but nice outdoor seating and Starbucks faces Grant Park.

We did not pay the $40 a night to upgrade our room to Grant view. But from RM 1816 we could still see the entire museum complex and Northerly Island stage from our side window. I could sit on the ledge and look out...this made me so happy!! Thank u front desk. Our room was not ready quite due to arriving an hr before check in. No problem. Lou Malnattis is just a five min walk. While we were enjoying a Lou classic pie the front desk called me and said room was ready. nice touch. I booked on hotels.com and prepaid. Check in was smooth. Desk, bellhops and concierge all smiling and friendly. Our room was modern, clean and the king bed very comfy w down pillows and comforter. Even our housekeeper was sweet. Check out via phone took A minute. The Hilton is right next door and has nice lounge too. We self parked down the block to save $. Left car for two days and walked or cabbed with no issues. Really if you don't have physical limitations you can get everywhere walking. (Warning we have had our car tossed and robbed in Chi self park on another visit so lock glove box and leave NOTHING in car.)

This location can not be beat. My husband and i stayed July 4th and 5th for the Dave Matthews Concert on Northerly Island. You step right out of the hotel onto Balbo, cross the bridge and you have a 30 min walk to the venue. It would be the same give or take to Shedd, Adler or Field Museum. You can also walk to soldier field. We chose to walk the 1.4 miles after the concert vs try to park In soldier field lot. Tip...McFettridge and Congress Pkwy were blocked off for the concerts so cab couldn't get right to venue anyways. There were pedicabs u could snag enroute walking that can save some foot fatigue. When walking we always knew which hotel was ours by the distinct architecture up top.

You are right on Michigan Ave. We grabbed Cosi lunch and ate in the Art Institure outdoor garden next to the Henry Moore sculpture. We picnic here with our kids when we visit...such a beautiful area. This hotel location just truly can't be beat if you want to start on the south end of Michigan and shop your way north and enjoy all of the amazing Chicago architecture, Millennium Park and unique stores.

We would definitely stay again. Thanks Blackstone for a cool time.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Smartphone

Room Tip: Higher up for more views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Hi mom2Sassypants!
Thank you so very much for taking the time to write a review. I am so happy that you not only found the hotel to be convenient, but you enjoyed all that it has to offer - especially the awesome architecture and history!
We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Kim C
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Oak Park, Michigan
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

I made a reservation on 6/30/14 through booking.com. 1st mistake (never use them again)!!! I called the hotel on 7/1/14 to confirm my reservation as I never received a confirmation email from booking.com nor Blackstone. Blackstone told me I didn't t have a reservation. So I let it go. On 7/2/14 my bank account was charged $218.00 and the name of the payee listed on my bank statement was Blackstone. At this point I was understandably pissed. So I again called Blackstone and again told I had no reservation. I was told that I should call booking.com. Long story short booking.com claimed No reservation was made. So today 7/3/14 I go into my bank to have the charges reversed but something said call (Blackstone) one more time. Moraciously a reservation appeared. At this point I no longer want anything to do with Blackstone nor booking.com. Alll I want.is to cancel my reservation for 7/5/14. and I have been told everything from book.com has to do that to Blackstone has the money. While waiting to speak to a supervisor at Blackstone I was put on hold and a new line worker picked up the line and wanted me to reiterate the issue!!!!!!! For Real!!! If this is the service a guest receives before arriving. I PASS!!!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 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.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Hi Deidra,
I am so sorry to read about the situation that you had to live through this past weekend! I understand from our Front Office manager that she was able to work with you and actually unsure that you had a great stay. I'm not sure if this was written before that happened or not, but I would appreciate any additional feedback that you have. Sometimes there are delays between the time that you book on a 3rd party and when they are actually entered into our system.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Stayed here using Priceline's Name Your Price service and saved a bundle. Staff was VERY friendly and helpful. Lobby is gorgeous, but rooms are small, especially with a King-sized bed. The bathroom in my room was very avant-garde and European-flavored -- stand-up shower with a fixed glass pane rather than a curtain. Great location, convenient to the Red Line train and 3 or 4 Bus lines.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Hi Joel,
Thanks for taking the time to write a review! So happy that you enjoyed your stay and found the hotel to your liking! I hope that you will visit us again soon!
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Just got back from a long weekend in Chicago. Had a rather uneven experience at the Blackstone. When we checked in on Saturday evening, the front desk clerk with whom we dealt was uncommunicative, cold and barely looked us in the eye as she recited the opening hours of the coffee shop, health club and bar/restaurant. We didn't exactly feel warmly welcomed! The bellman, on the other hand, deposited our luggage and subsequently remembered us and greeted us warmly every time we saw him. Room was super comfortable and fairly clean, but I agree with some of the other comments on this site about the thin towels. There are also an inadequate number of towels provided for two people - but housekeeping is very quick to bring extras. If you are the kind of people who like to have a nightcap in the lounge of your hotel before turning in, don't stay here. The lounge was empty and closed early when we were there. Probably the most annoying element of our trip was a phone call that we got at 8.50 on Monday morning from the housekeeping staff asking when we were going to be out of our room so that it could be serviced because the housekeeper "didn't want to miss us". She asked when the "do not disturb" hanger was going to be removed from our door. I travel a lot, and that has literally never ever happened to me before! My travelling companion was very put out at having to get out of bed and get dressed on a leisure trip - but we went about a block down Michigan Ave to the right out of the hotel and found a GREAT French bistro called something like MJ (I think it was in the Essex hotel?) for brunch with delicious food and great service that I would highly recommend. The location of the hotel is not bad - it's across from a beautiful park, but we'll stay a little closer to the Mag Mile next time. And hopefully the next time we visit Chicago, we won't get rousted from our beds before 9 am when we're travelling for pleasure!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Wow, I am so sorry about your experience with housekeeping! I can assure you that what you experience is NOT standard operating procedure and we will definitely follow up!
I appreciate your candor and glad that you at least found a few things good about the hotel. I hope that you will give us another chance to make a better impression!
Please let me know the next time you come to Chicago!
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

We took the train for a getaway to Chicago, so we wanted to stay somewhere downtown that was close to the L and bus lines. The Blackstone was excellent. The building itself is gorgeous and is within walking distance to Grant park, many restaurants and mass transit. The amenities are first class and the staff was very helpful. We arrived early, and they stored our luggage (free of charge) so we could go sightseeing unencumbered. One minor thing - the bathroom had a sliding frosted door, with a small gap between the door and the wall, so privacy was limited. Not a big deal because I was traveling with my partner of 12 years, but it could be uncomfortable in some circumstances. Overall, we had an excellent time and could not have asked for a better hotel!

Room Tip: There are rooms overlooking the lake - which we did not have because we booked via Price line and go...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Hi Elizabeth,
thank you so very much for your excellent review! I am so happy that you enjoyed your stay and thrilled that you thought the staff was helpful.
There are a lot of choices of hotels in Chicago and I am glad you were able to stay here.
Best regards,
Kim C
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san francisco,ca
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

After moving from W hotel at the lakeshore drive, we found the staff super great, the service perfect.
It is across the street from Grant park, 20 minutes south of river, 10 minutes to millinum park and there are several cafes at walking distance, there are nice restaurants walking distance as well.
The lobby is gorgeous, rooms are decent size, they have coffee machine, safe and fridge in room.
The housekeeping is amazing, with first phone call they deliver what you asked for in a few minutes...

Room Tip: It is a little far from the north side, you need to walk 20 minutes to get to the river. If you are...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2014
Hi Barneshi! thank you very much for writing a review. I am so happy that you enjoyed your stay and found the hotel to be quite convenient, but especially happy that you thought the staff was outstanding!
I will definitely share your comments with our team. Although the hotel is awesome, it wouldn't be anything without the great group of individuals we have working here!
I hope that you will visit us again soon.
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel

Address: 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#19 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#27 Business Hotel in Chicago
#28 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 332
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rediscover a legend with the revival of historic Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel in Chicago! Meticulously restored to its original grandeur, the acclaimed Blackstone Hotel is back with 332 unique and luxurious guestrooms. Once hailed as "the premier hotel of Chicago", we are eager to welcome you back to this Landmark, and share a story or two with you from our rich history. What will be your story? The Blackstone. How Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Hotel Chicago
Renaissance Hotel Blackstone
Renaissance Chicago
Chicago Renaissance

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