I am a platinum member of the Marriott Hotel Group and feel comfortable commenting on this hotel as it compares to others in the chain.
While nothing can beat this location for a pleasure trip to Chicago - right off Michigan Avenue, within walking distance to the Theatre District and as much shopping as you can handle - this hotel suffers from an unfortunate aging complex. It's not old enough to be historic, but it is too old to qualify as modern - more specifically, it is lacking the modern conveniences a hotel of this calibre should offer.
The Pros - Location, lobby decor and atmosphere, an extensive breakfast buffet, attentive staff, dual elevators for "low floors" and "High Floors" (so the guests in the high floors (there are 46) don't have to stop at every floor on the way back down)
The Cons -
the rooms are small - in a room with a King bed, there is barely enough room to walk between the end of the bed and the dresser/TV stand, and it is not possible if the drawers are open. Only room for one small side chair and a small desk extension off the end of the dresser
Poor Lighting - whether they were low watt or energy efficient bulbs, I do not know, but with all lamps on (there were no overhead lights) it was difficult to read in bed and almost impossible to find a dark sock dropped onto the floor
HVAC - this is Chicago and weather is variable. Even the little sign next to the thermostat admits that in the spring or fall it may be difficult to manage room temperature as desired. As we found out, with an aging HVAC system, it's downright impossible to adjust a too warm room with any kind of A/C because the entire building shifts its system from a universal cooling system to a universal warming system, so no matter what you set the thermostat at, you will ONLY get warm air flowing from the vent. By the time you realize that - even with the thermostat set at 65 - your room has become an oven and it's too late.
Maintenance - when new, the appointments to the room were likely very nice, but with some age, there needs to be some maintenance. Most of the room showed only minor wear and was acceptable (at a lower priced hotel), but the bathroom required serious attention to the grout and caulk on the tub, and the toilet had been cleaned so frequently that the enamel had worn away below the waterline which gave the unfortunate appearance of black marks.
The Closet - even though I have already commented on the room size, I feel a special call-out is necessary for the closet because its size must have been designed as a practical joke. Instead of closet doors which open out, these doors only slid to the sides meaning that when "open", only approximately 20" was accessible. Because the closet was also exceptionally shallow (the hangars hit against the ironing board hanging on the back of the closet wall), this small opening made it physically impossible to place a decent size roller bag on the luggage stand it contained. I angled and tipped every way I could, and it never made it in. We were forced to move the stand into the already cramped room.
Drive-Up Entrance - although the hotel has a Michigan Ave address, the drive up entrance is on the opposite side on Rush Street. In and of itself, this is not a big deal - it would be impractical to have it on Michigan Avenue itself, and most of the hotel literature clearly announces this point. What they do not point out however is that this entrance is a one-way, one lane driveway which processes the loading and unloading of all guests through valet, taxi or personal drop off. The result is utter chaos, delays and frustrated drivers who become trapped behind or cars who are taking too long to move along. The staff there was VERY good, however, and did their best to keep things going, but unloading a family of 6 can take time, and if you are stuck behind them, you can do nothing but wait.
In summary, Marriott has far superior properties within the city and the other reviews on TripAdvisor can help direct you to them. Until Marriott does some serious updating or migrates the hotel to cater to a mid-priced label which would help temper the expectations, I would not recommend a stay
a "city view" means you will never see the water - likely facing due west. If that's...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.