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“Older hotel but pricing and location are great” 3 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)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #124 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Georgetown, Ontario
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Older hotel but pricing and location are great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

We stayed at this hotel for business. It is located close to all attractions and is right next to the train lines. It was easy to get to the cubs game and to the McCormick Centre. The hotel is definitely dated, we were actually on the same floor that Al Capone used while he stayed here!! The rooms we stayed in had at least 11 foot ceilings and we very large. I was able to see the fireworks display out my window. Lastly the price was great. It was significantly cheaper than most of the newer hotels on the other side of the river. If you need a hotel for work or as a tourist and are only interested in location and a night sleep, then this is your hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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1,430 reviews from our community

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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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Twin Cities
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

First, the location is fabulous! Second, it is a gorgeous old hotel that felt as solid as a fortress. Third, you can open the windows a few inches and get fresh air! High ceilings, beautiful tall windows, charming wallpaper with the Congress logo with gold lions, clean as a whistle. Our room had newer drapes that complemented the wallpaper (but didn't match like in some of the photos.) The elevators are very fast. We were on 10th floor. Check in and check out were quick. Nice little gift shop. No evidence of any ghosts. Secure feeling as you have to have a room key to open the outside doors (except the main one out front.) We had a view of Navy Pier and their fireworks. Also could see part of Grant Park. We had a family suite. Technically it is a courtyard view but we could see a fair amount of Lake Michigan and Grant Park. Love the bay windows in the room. We ordered supper from the Pizzeria Ora, which has a page in the hotel info book. Great food and very reasonable. I like that there are many inexpensive restaurants close by, from DQ, Subway, Dunkin Donuts up to the Corner Bakery and many ethnic places. There were always cabs out front waiting to take you wherever you want to go. My only "issue" was that the WiFi runs out in 24 hours and I had a bit of a problem with the Etho Stream (or whatever it's called) reconnecting to my Kindle Fire. If you are there more than one night, prepare for that interruption in service. Minor detail as far as I'm concerned. Love the hotel. Comfy beds, luxurious sheets, comfy pillows. They kept the A/C quite cool. You can adjust the flow of air but not the temp, but the comforters were really thick and warm. Like I said, I'd go back in a heart beat and will certainly choose the Congress again next time I go to Chicago!

Room Tip: Get a room facing Lake Michigan.. The family suite is great. One room has a king, the other two do...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Independence, Kentucky
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

I booked a room at the Congress Hotel for a recent family vacation to Chicago. The location was what drew me in the most, as it's within walking distance of many of Chicago's primary tourist attractions, and it's right on bus and train lines if you need to get to others. After reading some of these reviews, I was expecting on an old, worn-out, musty room with bad plumbing and a seedy feel. What I got was something completely different. Yes, it's old, there's no secret about that, and it's certainly not the Hilton or the Ritz Carlton, but what you get in exchange is a great value in a great neighborhood with a wealth of character. I can't remember the last time I walked around a hotel I stayed in just to look at the architecture and detailing. The lobby is gorgeous and really lets you feel the distinguished age of the place. The rooms did feel a little worn, but not in a tacky or dingy way, and they were clean throughout, more than I can say about some much newer rooms I've stayed in in the past. The high ceilings and large closets really give away the fact that this hotel was built long ago, and it's fun to stay in a place that evokes that feel in this day and age.
I had a solid wireless connection throughout my stay, at no extra cost. My reservation said that wireless fees applied, but when I asked at the desk, they confirmed that wireless was always complimentary.
Parking at the hotel is expensive ($40/day), but that's pretty standard for a hotel in downtown Chicago, and I was able to park in a surface lot literally around the same block for $25/day.
The service at the hotel was outstanding. Due to some poor planning on my part, we arrived at the hotel nearly 3 hours before the standard check-in time, but the desk attendant let us right up to our room. The doorman and all attendants we encountered were friendly and courteous every time we interacted with them.
I realize that everyone looks for something different in a hotel, and it's possible that The Congress would be at the bottom of some lists due to its dining options, spa options, or due to other amenities that it may lack (its workout room is pretty lackluster). For a tourist who's primarily using the hotel as a base of operations from which to see the city, though, it can't be beat. It's practically a tourist attraction in its own right! I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

The Congress was glorious back in the day. I say this not because I know any history about the building, but because you can see its past glory shining through. Beautiful marble floors, arched doorways, Greco-Roman sculptures, gold detailing. It was gorgeous at one time. Now the rooms are just ok. Service is ok. Price is ok. Its a typical 3 star place minus the lobby. I'd put the actual rooms on par with the Travelodge Downtown.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We booked via Groupon and after reading reviews I was a little scared to stay here. I have to say I am so glad we did! The location couldn't have been more perfect. Walking distance to nearly everything there is to do or see. The only thing we couldn't walk to was Wrigley but there is a train station not even 2 blocks from the hotel that takes you right there. The room was clean, nice and spacious. We had no problem getting hot water, unlike previous reviewers stated. The concierge also held our bags upon early arrival and late departure so we could walk around enjoy our time there. I will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Sunset Hills
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014 via mobile

Me and my family all loved the room we got. It took a long to clean but it was worth it. Some views were pipes and walls and one window was a beautiful view of the city. When there was no room left for the sixth person they brought a foldable bed to our room. The nice staff kept our bags safe while our room was being cleaned. This was a vacation I'll never forget.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Spokane, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We just stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel. The room was outdated, smelled old and musty and was generally old, dirty and not a pleasant feeling. We did not shower there and just got a bad feeling from this hotel. The beds were fine but that's about all I can say about the place besides the location across from Grant Park. There were layers upon layers of paint on the outdated wood trim and walls. We will not stay there again and would not recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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 174 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Congress Plaza Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 851
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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