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“Old, new, cozy, chic, classic, modern, cool, haute; perfect.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kimpton Burnham Hotel

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Kimpton Burnham Hotel
Ranked #21 of 185 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
597 reviews
152 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
“Old, new, cozy, chic, classic, modern, cool, haute; perfect.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

As an architect, the Reliance Building has been on my radar since architecture history class back in.. well, a while ago.. Known as being one of the first skyscrapers, it's an architectural gem that was turned into a chic boutique hotel by the fine Kimpton folks about a dozen years ago. I can't imagine better, more-friendly service than I've received at this hotel, before, during, and after my stay there. A week before I even checked in I got an e-mail asking if I had any special needs or requests. What?! I've never heard of such a thing. Other hotel flags need to heed that message / warning: customer service begins before the guest arrives. Kimpton nailed it.

The lobby is cozy and cool, tastefully restored and designed, and is thee place to be between 5:00 and 6:00 pm in the evenings. The wine party / event was a nice touch every evening. It was fun to chat with friends and strangers while enjoying a nice glass (or, two?) of wine. I, unfortunately, didn't have an opportunity to eat at the hotel restaurant, Atwood Cafe, because of my schedule in town, but from the things I heard from my colleagues about the food and service there, it sounded outstanding. That's not too surprising. There are two elevators in a slim, two-story, restored-to-perfection elevator lobby and also stairs if a person wanted to get some exercise (as if walking around Chicago wasn't enough exercise). I was on the 10th floor and I took the stairs more often than not. They're a fun set that winds around the structure, and although they're "working stairs" (i.e., cleaning folks use them and things are stored along the way, and they're not fancy, but are industrial metal), they were perfect for me. I didn't need the third floor exercise room but I checked it out and it had a few nice, high-end machines in there.

My room was a regular queen room and it overlooked Madison and State Streets on the north side; it was a great view. It was cool to have an actual key for the door, that added to the historical feeling of staying in someone's former office. The bathroom was on the small side, but it was great for me since I was by myself. It wouldn't be a problem at all for two people staying in the room. The high-end products, super nice towels, animal print bathrobes (cool!) were great. The tv wasn't super loaded with channels and since I end up working in my room a lot, that was a bummer. I kept it on HGTV or the news the whole time. The bed had a bit of a sag in it, that was really my only semi-issue with the room. I'm guessing it may have been an original mattress from the complete renovation in 1999.

There were so many restaurant and food choices in the neighborhood that it almost made my head spin. Not to menton the shopping! Theaters? Wow, everything is right here. I absolutely love the Loop area of Chicago; right in the heart of the historic city and where the action is. This hotel was only one block from my photo assignment so it was perfect, I could just walk down the block and did that many, many times; back and forth. I had zero problems or concerns on any of the streets that I walked on, even with thousands of dollars worth of photography equipment with me. Not one person gave me any reason to even start to worry one bit. It's a great, clean area of town. Do not miss the sweet new Target store down the block in the former Carson Pirie Scott store and the famous "Macy's" (formerly the famous Marshall Field's) right across the street.

I drove my Prius and Kimpton gave me half-price valet parking! What a great company. I can't say enough about this great, classic, modern hotel and I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: My room was fairly small but I didn't need more since I was by myself. It was literally whisper...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ScottyG777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,387 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (330)
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English first
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Never have I had such great customer service in a hotel before! It started even before I arrived! The hotel emailed me a few days before and asked me if I needed anything extra or special upon arrival. Who does that? Actually I needed a very early check in and they not only checked me in at 10:00 a.m., but upgraded my room with a fantastic view, gave me a coupon for free mini-bar raid, free wi-fi, fresh brewed coffee bar and complimentary wine happy hour every night!! Who does that? Hotel Burnham, that's who! Lcve this place! The best location in the loop with the blue line train stop only one block away to grab a quick and cheap ride to the airport!! This is the only place to stay in Chicago!

Room Tip: Ask for upper floor for a great view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Sandy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeamBurnhamChicago, General Manager at Kimpton Burnham Hotel, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
So pleased you choose to stay with us on your trip to Chicago and had a great time! This is amazing to hear and the whole team was truly happy to know we looked after you. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

Truly exceptional staff. From the doormen to the front desk to the housekeeping staff everyone seems to want nothing more than to make sure you have the perfect stay. I had a corner suite with great views and a lot of natural light thanks to the huge windows in the sitting area. My suite was very spacious with a huge sitting room and the all important bed. A very comfortable bed complete with your choice of pillows help to ensure a good night's sleep. Add to that complimentary wifi for Kimpton intouch members and I would definitely stay here again. A special mention for Emil Encarnado who was kind enough to send me through a copy of my invoice after I misplaced my original.

Room Tip: Go for a high floor to maximize the views.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank freqflyerSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeamBurnhamChicago, General Manager at Kimpton Burnham Hotel, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
It makes us truly happy when our guests recognise our efforts and when you do this by name it is truly fabulous, Emil and his colleagues were over the moon and we cannot express enough how much we appreciate your words and effort. Thank you very much!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

Great hotel in a wonderful location in the midst of the theater district and just a couple of blocks from the Art Institute and Millenium Park. But what makes the place so special is the staff. They are friendly, helpful, create a stress-free experience and make you feel like a valued guest. I stay here almost every month. It's really comfortable for women traveling alone. The only disappointment is the new chef at the Atwood Cafe. I'm not crazy about the new menu. It's too fussy for my taste.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
91 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

We spent four nights in this beautiful historic hotel, which is perfectly situated just a couple of blocks from the glorious Millenium Park and near the Art Institute. I requested a room with a bow window on one of the higher historic floors facing north and east and that's exactly what we got, facing the Chicago Theater and former Marshall Field's (now Macy's). Spotlessly clean, luxurious, quiet, with the most comfortable beds we have had in an American hotel.

However, it was the service supplied by the enthusiastic staff, particularly wonderful Emil, that impressed us the most. They always were ready to help in any way possible, always exhibiting warmth, welcome and beautiful smiles, providing bus directions to all of the restaurants and museums we planned to visit with our useful 3-day CTA pass, and filling our wine glasses at the daily cocktail hour. BTW, Starbucks coffee is provided every morning in the lobby.

Constructive suggestion (and only criticism): please remove the room safe from the floor and put it somewhere more convenient to reach so you do not have to get down on all fours to place or remove items.

Breakfast tip: Pittsfield Cafe just a block east on Washington, for a delicious filling hot breakfast served promptly at unbelievably reasonable prices.

Room Tip: Request a historic room on a higher floor (7 or above?) for quiet and gorgeous hallways with origina...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cinti attorney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

We just finished a few night stay that was a mix of business and pleasure. It is on par with other Kimpton hotels that we’ve stayed at. It is nicely appointed, clean and well maintained. Like others have stated, it’s a historic building that has a certain charm to it. The room was comfortable as was the bed. There is nothing fancy about the bathroom but again it is clean and well maintained. We were in room 503 and I found that there was plenty of room for two to move about comfortably. Have I seen bigger rooms? Yes, but I’ve seen a lot smaller too.
The location can’t be beat. It’s central to everything in the Loop. Plus the blue line to and from O’hare is right around the corner, making it very convenient and inexpensive to get there. The cost is $2.25 as opposed to a $50 cab ride. We did not take a car and relied solely on public transportation. The 3 day CTA pass is well worth it and easy to use.
The staff was very friendly and helpful, more so than many other big city hotels that I’ve experienced. The daily free wine/beer happy hour from 5:00-6:00 is a very welcome treat, especially after a long day in and out of the city. They are not bashful about letting you have your fill either.
My only small complaint is that they have standard definition TV. The rooms are equipped with decent plasma tv's yet they do not offer HD. The picture is horrible. There’s no sense having the plasmas if you’re not going to utilize them properly. We only watch it at night before bed but still……..Why a hotel of this caliber would do that is beyond me. It’s not a deal breaker but it did cost them a star in my rating.
Overall I would definitely recommend this hotel if it fits your budget. We were fortunate enough to have it paid for. Otherwise I would have to weigh the value vs. the cost. But again, comparing apples to apples in the city, you can’t go wrong.

Room Tip: We have 503. It was a good corner room.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jmass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeamBurnhamChicago, General Manager at Kimpton Burnham Hotel, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thanks so much for recently staying with us at the Hotel Burnham, we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and also had a fab time in chicago. I must apologize about the TV reception, it must have been most frustrating, we did have some technical issues and they are being worked on so we can get HD on our super flat screens. We do hope to see you again soon and thanks again for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The Hotel Burnham is an architectural treasure. The historic pictures in the elevator lobby tell a fascinating story of the origin of the building, the architect, and the wonderful restoration project. Only 3 blocks from Millenium Park, with its fabulous Cloud Gate (aka the "Bean"), the Prizker Pavilion, and the rest of Grant Park, the hotel is also right at the bus stop for the Museum Campus. The staff was outstanding, the bed was super comfy, and the wine hour from 5-6 was great. We had breakfast and dinner at the Atwood Cafe, and the food was terrific. I'm gluten-free, but that presented no issues at all for the gracious wait-staff and kitchen. I will certainly return to this wonderful hotel.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th floor, which could have been a little noisy, but the noise didn't really both...
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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
Helpful?
Thank Groovin57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimpton Burnham Hotel

Property: Kimpton Burnham Hotel
Address: 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602-1603 (Formerly Hotel Burnham - a Kimpton Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Chicago
#10 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#15 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#15 Business Hotel in Chicago
#18 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#24 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Burnham Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chosen by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best hotels in the world, the Hotel Burnham is an intimate boutique hotel like no other. Housed in the landmark Reliance Building, now beautifully restored, the Hotel Burnham provides an authentic, luxurious and historic taste of the Windy City. In the heart of the Chicago Loop, across from Millennium Park, and adjacent to Atwood Café, the hotel is near Chicago's top destinations and attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Burnham Kimpton
Hotel Burnham Chicago

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