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“elegance and a glimpse of the past” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Congress Plaza Hotel

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Congress Plaza Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   520 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 (The Loop)   |  
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Special Price
10%OFF SUMMER SALE
Ranked #124 of 167 hotels in Chicago
Urbana, Illinois
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“elegance and a glimpse of the past”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

The Congress was a view to a bygone era. It is a lovely building with gorgeous architecture. The lobby is stunning, with a lot of marble, brass, and velvet. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Our room was large, with a wonderful view of Grant Park. The beds were comfortable and the room was clean. The bathroom was roomy and clean. The location could not be better, as it is right on Michigan avenue with an amazing view of the park.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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santo domingo
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

My husband and I went for the marathon and we found this old the hotel, all ancient, old baths, this hotel seems they be used to film old movies
they should remodel evething,becuase is in an excellent location. is clean

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

As usual, before I travel, I check out properties on TripAdvisor. I'll have to admit, I was a little freaked out by all the horrible reviews of The Congress Plaza Hotel before I left for Chicago. I expected the worst, but honestly found the experience a bit delightful. Yes, it's a very old hotel - embrace the history. Yes, the bathroom was impossibly small - that's okay by me, I typically don't invite others into the bathroom with me anyway. The furniture was older (think period furniture) and I had to throw my shoulder into the door to unjam it upon entry. But the view, sigh - the view. Devine. Definitely get the lakeside upgrade - well worth it for another $10 or so. The bed was amazingly comfortable, and I appreciated the custom monogrammed bedding; even the wallpaper (albeit peeling). I ordered room service for both dinner and breakfast, and it was remarkably fast and adequate. Look, if you're expecting top shelf accommodations during your visit to the Windy City, stay at the Peninsula or somewhere newer and upscale. If you want to great value, a phenomenal view, and good service, don't shy away from the Congress Plaza Hotel. No, I didn't see any ghosts. That would have been icing on the cake and resulted in 4 stars from me!

Room Tip: Opt for the upgraded Lakeside rooms - bay windows with a gorgeous view!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

The hotel is well located for the attractions of Adler Planetarium, the Natural History Museum and the John Shedd Aquarium, which are easy walking distance from the hotel. The hotel lobby is very striking. However, the rooms themselves are a little bit old fashioned. Staff were genuinely helpful. There are also nice views of Lake Michigan depending on where your room is.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of Lake Michigan
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Congress plaza had clean rooms, comfortable beds and new bathroom fixtures, but much else was lackluster and dull. Outdated heating cooling system was a bit annoying. Staff was friendly. Very few amenities - makeshift excecise room and no pool. The lobby is a post-art-deco gem though.
Great location right across from Grant Park.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

My stay at this hotel was much different than alot of the review--thank goodness. We had 2 rooms for the weekend of the Chicago marathon. For the location and ease of reaching the start of the race the hotel was a 10/10! great location for the price. The hotel is old and if u want a brand new hotel, then stay at a brand new hotel. The staff was very friendly and helpful. They were always helpful b/c I called and changed my reservation several times. Check in was fine, staff gave us good advice on restaurants, security was available, they even sent a maintenance staff quickly to fix the door adjoining our rooms. Breakfast was good. Before arriving I was so scared about the old age of the hotel and fire escapes but we checked and had good access to fire escape and stairway too! Elevator was fine and worked quickly with full capacity since the hotel was sold out on Sat before the marathon. No problem with the bed. Only negatives: yes as in other reviews water did not get very hot, but was still ok, very aged by all the coats of paint on the doors and wood trim.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Here's the deal...the hotel is in a fabulous location, right near Grant Park, the museums, restaurants, Soldier Field etc. HOWEVER, the hotel is in desperate need of a renovation; everything is just kind of run down. I get the impression that a renovation will never occur because they know people will stay there anyways due to their location. This is no 5 star hotel, but if you want a base location with a decent place to sleep, the Congress plaza hotel will be fine.

Also, I found their customer service to be pretty underwhelming. I asked for a rollaway bed, and was told it would be brought up to the room immediately. Four hours later, when the rollaway bed was still MIA, I stopped by the front desk and was told they would bring it up shortly. I mentioned that I was told that four hours earlier and the gentleman at the front desk told me that was the best he could do for me. Any request I had took FOREVER - valeting my car, getting checked luggage, etc. It was all a bit of a hassle.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with the view of the lake, you won't be disappointed!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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Additional Information about Congress Plaza Hotel

Address: 520 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #124 of 167 hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Congress Plaza Hotel 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step inside and experience an extraordinary piece of living history during your next visit to downtown Chicago at the Congress Plaza Hotel. This "Landmark of Chicago Hospitality" has delighted business and leisure travelers for over a century. Guests at the Congress Plaza Hotel can explore art institute, millenium park, buckingham fountain, magnificent mile,museum campus all with in walking distance just by stepping outside our front doors. Situated adjacent to Grant Park, our 14-story property is located along Michigan Avenue, providing unlimited access to the city's finest retail stores, the bustling business district and Chicago attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congress Plaza Chicago
Hotel Congress Plaza
Congress Hotel Chicago
Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

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