This review is based on a very recently concluded business trip to the fantastic SAFETY 2011 show. My stay was a rare opportunity to experience my own town, the great city of Chicago, as a visitor. It actually made me envious of the many people who get to come here often on business. My base . . . the Hyatt Regency. As I always do, I am breaking my review down to the GREAT, GOOD, BAD, and UGLY with some bottom line-type comments. Ready? Let's do this . . .
* The 'Backdrop': This is bold, beautiful, dynamic Chicago we're talking about here and the Hyatt Regency (referred to here henceforth as 'HR') is a great setting. On any level much higher than a standard ferris wheel, you will be treated to awesome views of the city, river, and Lake Michigan (I was on the 25th floor and really enjoyed the view). The hotel ITSELF offers a very impressive lobby area with one of the very best bars I have ever had the pleasure tipping a few back in. Seat yourself at the bar of the HR and enjoy a dramatic elevated backdrop of the Chicago River and city beyond - this is especially nice at night (see pic included).
* Location: The HR is situated at a nice location for a visitor - just off the river and close to city-center and Navy Pier. When you stay at the HR you are in close proximity to the main shopping, dining, and party areas a little further north (and the more interesting areas even further northwest). Yet, you are also a short walk away from the many city-center attractions just south - like Millenium Park, the museums, Grant Park, etc.
* Service: In a lot of other reviews here, the HR is referred to as 'impersonal' and 'not charming'. Well . . . duh! Folks, this is one of the largest non-gaming hotels in the WORLD (I think it might still be THE largest in room capacity). Complaining about this hotel lacking charm is like visiting a quaint boutique lakeside bed & breakfast and complaining about their 'terrible business center'. That said; I found the HR staff to be very friendly and helpful in limited interactions and I found the service to be highly efficient. When I arrived at registration I cringed at the long line but I was checked-in in no time and . . . I never had to wait long for my food or another Blue Moon at the beautiful bar.
* Room temperature and 'comfort': I loved the room temperature control system - you just set the desired temperature and the system does the rest - very easy. And I found the room to be comfortable and very 'new' feeling but . . .
BAD ('room' for improvement)
* This is defintely the type of hotel you will remember years after your stay but . . . aside from the view, you will likely NOT remember the room itself. For such an otherwise great hotel, the rooms feature the standard cookie-cutter hotel room design with a bathroom being the first thing you encounter (either on the left or right) and the room beyond that. This is a minor knock but . . . I felt like they dropped the ball in not making even more use of the spectacular city backdrop with a more interesting room design. Then again, I had a lower priced room - perhaps that is the case if you upgrade.
* I would have loved to have had my car during this stay (Chicago is a great convertible city) but . . . I could not have expensed the exorbant parking charges to my company in good conscious. I know its downtown and all but . . . $50 / night to park? That's 'how do you sleep with yourself?' expensive.
BOTTOM LINE COMMENTS / RECOMMENDATIONS
* You will not regret using the HR as your base when you visit the great city of Chicago.
* DO request a high-level room
* DO NOT bring a car if you can help it. Chicago is a very 'walkable' city with good public transportation (be sure to know where you are though)
* If attending a trade show at McCormick - no prob. DO NOT stay at the McCormick Hyatt as your nighttime options will involve having to have a car or spending a fortune on cabs. Stay at the HR and use the show shuttle (there will most likely be a show shuttle) or pub trans from the nearby Millenium Station (there is a red line stop at McCormick).
Feel free to shoot me a note of you have Q's.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the difference between a hotel and a Hyatt when you stay at our incomparable downtown Chicago, Illinois hotel. Set within the epicenter of the city, our AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Chicago is conveniently connected to the Illinois Center and within minutes of the Magnificent Mile.We are excited to announce the completion of our $168 Million renovation! We are eager to show you our new welcoming lobby, engaging check-in pods and new restaurant concepts and menus. Come see the completely transformed Hyatt Regency Chicago! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel Chicago
- Chicago Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Chicago