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“Nice location, strange hotel policies” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chicago's Essex Inn

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Chicago's Essex Inn
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   800 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 (Downtown / The Loop)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #107 of 177 Hotels in Chicago
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
“Nice location, strange hotel policies”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I stayed at the Essex Inn in August, 2013 with my husband and 2 young children. The location was great. It is located across from Grant park and within walking distance of several museums and Shedd Aquarium. Upon arriving at the hotel, I was caught by surprise by the "no cooler of any size" policy. I had just arrived by car and had a small cooler with drinks and sandwiches. We valet parked, so while we were trying to unpack our car, I had to scramble for plastic bags to transfer my wet cooler items while making sure my kids were safe. Not fun.

Once we finally checked in and got to our room, I noticed there was no microwave. So this eliminated my ability to heat up leftovers or make oatmeal for the kids in the morning. Also, the bathroom had the smallest sink I have seen outside of an RV bathroom. The bathroom was small and had a door separating the toilet and bath that could not be closed without a lot of effort.The double beds in our room seemed very short, and I am only 5' 6. The a/c unit had very poor temperature control. When it was on, it was cold. The temperature adjustment did nothing, so we had to have it on or off.

A highlight of the hotel for me besides the location, was the pool and exercise room. My kids loved the pool. The pool had a lifeguard, which was a pleasant surprise. The exercise room was large and had top of the line equipment. There were also towels for use in the pool and exercise room.

The staff was friendly, except for one person at the valet parking. I am not sure if I would stay here again. The location was great, but I missed having a microwave and a comfortable bed.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,308 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 (246)
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poppypumpkin
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We found this hotel perfect for our stay in Chicago. It was centrally located, walking distance to museum campus and Buckingham Fountain. The train station was only 2 mins away. The hotel itself was clean and well maintained. A great experience!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
PoppyPumkin,

Thank you for staying with us. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay. Its great that you were able to take advantage of Chicago's museum's and attractions. Their is still plenty more to do, we would really enjoy welcoming you back again in the future.
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Racine
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We try to always stay at the Essex when we travel to Chicago for a football game. It's clean the staff is friendly but it is an older hotel. The atmosphere is always good on game day and it is within walking distance.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
CamiRacine,

We hope to see you this year, The season opener is right around the corner. We are very close to the stadium to like you mentioned which is great when attending a game. Thank you for being a loyal guest and we look forward to welcoming you back again this season..... Go Bears!
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Celbridge, Ireland
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

This hotel is well past it's best. It is the noisiest hotel that I have ever stayed in. The first room was next to the elevator and I could hear it and every person outside my door. The next room at the top floor and I could still hear traffic and trains passing not to mention people passing on the hallway. The level of sound proofing needs to be updated. We got a double room and it was tiny. The room while clean was very shabby and I never took off my shoes for my three days there. On a positive note the pool is lovely and the lifeguard works very hard and keeps a lane open for lane swimmers at all times. The location is excellent but I feel that for the amount this hotel cost I deserved a lot better than this.

Room Tip: All rooms for doubles are too small, maybe the family rooms are bigger.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to inform us of your feedback from your recent stay. I am sorry to hear that the noise level kept you up. Downtown Chicago is full of Buses and trains and they run quite frequently. I am glad that you were able to take advantage of our swimming pool. It is a wonderful spot to rest and relax after a nice swim or workout.
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Leigh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

I love Chicago's Essex Inn - it rates as one of my favourite hotels in the world. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are always very spacious, clean and welcoming. The beds are among the most comfortable I have slept in. I highly recommend this hotel for all the above and the location - you have Buddy Guy's Legends Club just at the back of the hotel for world class blues music. A bus stop for the hop on hop off open top buses - just out of the hotel and straight on, brilliant. I will be returning the Chicago's Essex Inn.

Room Tip: We booked through Trailfinders and asked for the hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
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GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Dave S

We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us! Thank you for being a loyal guest and we cant wait to welcome you back again soon.
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Basel, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here with the Groupon special which was a good deal ($97/night during high season). The Shoreline 30 minute boat tour was included and we really liked it.
However, you see different details in the hotel room that look a bit rundown. Our room smelled very strongly from somebody's perfume which was disturbing but we didn't complain either...
The pool was nice with an outdoor deck and the lady at the entrance was pleasant.
I thought the rate was outstanding and so we were more willing to put up with less quality. I probably wouldn't go again and pay full price.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

We used the Essex for a two day and a three day stint in Chicago before and after a tour of Indiana, these were our third and fourth visits to the hotel. Most of the stay was great, location, and a good base to explore the city. The only downside was on checkout, we booked via Virgin who told us we had free parking, free water in the room and a 2pm checkout. We did get these(apart from the in room bits) but after a standoff with the desk staff who insisted parking wasn't free and that a late checkout was 50 dollars. After the first stay I called Virgin to ensure I didn't have an argument on checkout after the next stay, they rang the hotel and I was assured all was sorted, it wasn't, again I was billed for parking which I refused to pay. I rang Virginwhilst at the desk and told them to sort the mess. The Essex staff wouldn't speak to the Virgin rep and gave me a new bill minus the parking charge.

Not sure who's really at fault but either the hotel, or Virgin need to sort their act!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Gilly0111,

I am so sorry to hear that your check out experience was less then satisfactory. I assure you I well look into this matter. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We do appreciate you being our guest and are grateful that you brought this to out attention.
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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 > Downtown / The Loop
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:
#100 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chicago's Essex Inn 3.5*
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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