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“I'd look elsewhere” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Chicago's Essex Inn

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Chicago's Essex Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   800 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #108 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“I'd look elsewhere”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2008

Although it was not imposed, the $50 fee to leave early is ridiculous. My plane arrived late and it was only when I arrived at 11pm that they disclosed this. My rate was going to nearly triple (which i did know in advance). It seems like they cater to tour groups.

Noise from the hallway was disturbing, and housekeeping knocked at 8:20am.

The location is near the Loop but south of most of the city's offerings. Not fatal, but not ideal. There isn't much in the way of restaurants, etc. nearby, though there are some attractions.

There is a fee for wireless ($6 or 7). The sink was miniscule -- too small to refill a water bottle. Water pressure was weak. The tub was chipped and had a smudge -- not sure what caused that.

The shuttle only runs 1/hour.

I fared better at the Hampton Inn -- paid a bit more, but it was worth it.

  • Liked — it was clean
  • Disliked — fee for early departure, noise, check-in was slow and not adept
  • Stayed March 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1,176 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Kentucky
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2008

Our youth group (from Kentucky) drives to Chicago every year work at an area shelter. We look forward to staying at the Essex. It is a little expensive. The weekends are quite a bit extra and since the kids have to raise money for the trip and can't afford the weekend rate, we leave on Friday. We have been staying there for several years.
The kids love the pool and the lifeguard is a plus. The rooms are small, but are very clean.
The staff has been nothing but GREAT to our group. That's not always easy when there are several kids involved. We had one gentleman go out of his way to help one of our youth. Our group won't forget that. It makes you appreciate the staff so much.
I would recommend the Essex to anyone.

Stayed July 2007
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Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2008

The price of $69 seemed like a steal until wrong charges showed up on charge card after check-out. Front office manager did not return multiple messages and general manager always "unavailable." Room was strictly Motel 6 and not what I was promised, despite 2 calls directly to front desk before check-in. Staff talked down to us and treated us like we couldn't even read (we have PhDs). Frankly, I am surprised they are still in business with such classic intimidation and bait and switch tactics. Not worth the risk with other quality lodging in the area.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Rude staff and billing practices
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2008

We (my family of 4 and three grandparents) booked three rooms at the Essex based on a Sun Times article about places to go with kids. We arrived early, so the front desk said they would block off an adjoining suite for us. We returned later only to learn that there were not any adjoining suites available, so clearly they had given the suite to someone else (though they didn't admit this, and went through many failed excuses as to why there were not any adjoining suites available). We were stuck with a corner suite that wasn't really a suite, because the room we wanted to use for gathering had another full bed; there wasn't a couch or table. The weather was sub-zero, and one room in the suite was unusable because of the cold. Luckily we had the three beds, as there was plenty of bedding to block out the cold draft that was pouring into the other room in the suite. We ran into a couple who stayed in our suite the prior night, and they said they were given a new room after a bottle of water left near the window froze.

The pool area we hoped to enjoy with the kids was too cold (not the water, but the room itself).

In the morning, there wasn't any hot water. When I left, we complained, and without any apologies or much of an acknowledgment, were given a $40.00 discount, which was hardly adequate, as we had to move my grandparents and kids around to avoid the ice box room. Now I understand that old hotels can have problems in severe whether, but the lack or concern from management is why I will not be returning. I should note that we enjoyed all of the staff at the Essex other than the two managers, the one who lied about giving our adjoining suite away and the one that gave us the $40.00 discount on our 229$ suite. It is amazing that such upbeat friendly staff (the bell hop/concierge, cleaning staff, other desk workers) could work for managers with such poor customer service skills.

  • Disliked — The management.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Berkeley, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2008

The Essex Inn is not the Hilton (teasingly located next door), but it's more than adequate. I stayed for 4 nights in early January. The room was a little shabby, but clean, and the heat worked like a charm. You could tell that the place was once stylish, and actually, they're starting to renovate the whole hotel, from the top down. Also, the amenities were great: free, empty, and well-stocked gym, helpful staff, in-house restaurant, and spectacular location. You're right in the Loop, which at this price point is a rarity. I used Yelp to find local restaurants and cafes before I went, and was amazed by the food. Cons: (1) bathroom facilities were clearly old, and (2) wireless internet signal strength depended on where I was sitting and cost $6/day.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — shabby/old furniture and fixtures
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSalle, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2008

I am very disappointed about this hotel. My boyfriend and I stayed here on December 29th, 2007 and it was discusting. The rooms were not as clean as what we would have liked. We were not told about any of the amenities. The desk clerks were very unhelpful and rude. The sounds from out side were like we were sleeping right on the street. I
stress not to stay here.

  • Liked — The pool
  • Disliked — The desk
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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chicago, illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2008

I'm not sure who's writing the previous reviews, but even if you’ve just experienced motels, I am sure you would find this "inn" horrible. Location I guess is everything and it the only thing going for this hotel. I paid an outrageous amount for what appears to be an old half-way hotel with a new coat of paint. The picture of the pool that is shown on the website must have been taken when they first open (in 1800's). My shower provided warmer water that the pool. The rooms were small and filthy. The carpet had so many stains it was had to differentiate what was carpet and which were stains. This hotel sinks!

Stayed December 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chicago's Essex Inn

Address: 800 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Best Value Hotel in Chicago
#98 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Chicago's Essex Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chicago’s Essex Inn is a hotel in downtown Chicago on the Michigan Avenue Cultural Mile that combines breathtaking panoramas of Grant Park, the Museum Campus and Lake Michigan with exciting promotional packages that incorporate famed attractions and events in Chicago.From our steel and glass lobby to contemporary rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows to an all-season rooftop pool, the Essex Inn offers amazing views and amazing value. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chicago`s Essex Hotel Chicago
Chicagos Essex Hotel
Essex Inn Chicago
Hotel Chicagos Essex

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