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“Fancy but not functional”

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The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple Hotel
Ranked #17 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 23, 2005

We stayed one night at the Burnham in August 2005. Our room was lavishly decorated, the front desk people are friendly and competent, the location is convenient to all of downtown Chicago, and our room was very quiet. But the basic layout of the room was not traveller-friendly.
One small oval table was the only usable flat surface, and it was already largely taken up with a purely decorative lamp and a lot of advertising flyers. The only dresser drawers were in the armoire, and keeping the large flap doors open while trying to open the drawers was a nuisance. And after all that maneuvering, both the drawers were already full, with 2 Chicago phone books, a large picture book of local advertising, the Gideon Bible and the Thoughts of Buddha. No room for shirts, sox, underwear, and all those non-decorative things travellers like to put in hotel room drawers.
The bathroom was charming and clean, but again no thought was apparently given to what people need in a hotel bathroom. There was a lovely oval sink but no counterspace at all for even a small toiletries bag.
The building is a fascinating restoration of an old office building. There is a front entrance on Washington St, with an attended lobby desk and doormen. However, the elevator lobby also has its own direct entrance to State St., very handy if you are going that direction. But not very effective from a security standpoint - anyone can come in off the street and go right up to the guest floors without passing any lobby personnel or doormen.
It's your choice, then, as to whether charm and decor make up for lack of functionality and security. But it does seem a shame that this hotel could not have been designed to provide both.

8  Thank BrooklynLodgers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,701 - 1,707 of 1,866 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
San Diego, CA
469
Reviewed August 8, 2005

I'll start out by saying that I've never been a big service buff, but now I've turned into one knowing what a difference good service can make to your stay.

The Burnham is very conveniently located. We took the train there from the airport, at $1.75 per person it was quite a bargain and only a block or so away from the station. I pretty much walked everywhere from the hotel including most of Michigan Avenue, the Navy Pier, Milleneum Park, and the general lake/river area. I love to walk though and some of these distances might be too far for some, so a cab or train might be in order.

Check in was the fastest process I've ever seen. It literally took two minutes and we were off and running. We had booked a suite at the AAA rate of $206 per night. I can't speak to the size of the regular rooms, but the suite was perfect. There was a sitting area with sofa, TV, chair, and table, along with a bedroom with a king bed, desk and TV. The bathroom was adequately sized. The room was spotless and very nicely decorated. Maid service was always prompt and they did a good job.

After stepping out for a few hours, we received a note, a bottle of water and a small box of chocolates welcoming us, which was a very nice touch. I had ocassion to use the Concierge a number of times throughout the trip and she was EXCELLENT. She helped me get play tickets and restaurant reservations at an excellent restaurant near the theater, the same day we were wanting to go. At the restaurant, we received a complimentary appitizer from the conceirge and at our room soda and choclates for our anniversary. I've never stayed anywhere that has gone the extra mile like that, and all though the concierge was especially helpful, all the staff was super nice and friendly.

I ate at the restaurant on the premises twice. Once for breakfast and once using room service and both times it was very good, albeit predictably over priced.

I can unequivoclly say that this was one of the best hotel experiences I have ever had (and I've had a few) and I'll definitely return to the Burnham on my next trip to Chicago!

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled on business
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16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
214
Reviewed August 8, 2005

We stayed at the Burnham this past weekend and were really very pleased. The lobby area is quite lovely, as was our room. I must say the room was really very small, but it was very well appointed and the entire East wall was one huge window. We didn't feel cramped at all, but I could see how someone would.

Although there is no mistaking us more multi-millionaires, we received particularly good service from all of the staff, from the doormen to the concierge.

We found a rate of $170/night on the hotel's own website, and at this rate we feel we received a very good value.

Chicago is a fantastic city and I would definitely recommend considering this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2005

Trip: 7-26-05 to 7-29-05
The best thing about this hotel is the main lobby floor and the cafe/bar. It's beautifully decorated and high windowed ceilings make for a nice place to have breakfast. The location is good but we spent more time in Wicker Park and the Gold Coast so I would probably stay in the GC next time to save on cab fair. The doormen at the hotel with the exception of one grumpy old guy were the best service people in the hotel. They were quick to open your door or hail you a cab - even in the pouring rain.
However, the front desk people were unresponsive and didn't do what they said they would do. Really young people running the show who didn't seem to care about the service they provided.

The bar closes really early which is unfortunate since like I said it's the best part of the hotel. The rooms are terribly tiny even though we had a nice view the bed was so close to the entertainment center which had faulty doors. Not what you would expect from a $250/night room.

But Chicago is great and the people are super friendly!

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
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12  Thank Kristi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
324
Reviewed July 19, 2005

Ideally located across the street from Marshall Field's, the Burnham is a pleasant if not somewhat overpriced hotel. For $350USD/night I was expecting something a little more luxurious. The room was absurdly small. It was not comfortable for two people. The bathroom was unremarkable. The staff were OK. The "above and beyond" attitude that Kimpton Hotels' staff purport to possess was simply not there.

I would look elsewhere on my next trip to Chicago and were I to stay here again, would never pay this absurdly high rate for such an absurdly small room.

Stayed: May 2005
17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Washington, DC
230
Reviewed July 11, 2005

The Hotel Burnham was a most pleasant experience: historic surroundings, helpful and professional staff from the front desk to housekeeping, and comfortable to come "home" to after a day of sightseeing. This hotel is highly recommended and will our family's hotel of choice in Chicago. (We were guests at this hotel from July 3-July 10, 2005.)

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
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25  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2005

A most charming hotel but quite expensive. Over $300 per night with taxes
and w/o breakfast. Lobby small. Room is decent size. Bathroom good. Located one block west of Michigan Avenue and several blocks below Wacker. It's across from Marshall Field's flagship store. Good spot for the Art Institute and some theatres. Inconvenient for N. Michigan shopping.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank Risha1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple Hotel

Address: 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602-1603 (Formerly Hotel Burnham)
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Chicago
#14 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#15 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#15 Business Hotel in Chicago
#24 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $118 - $303 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple 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 Alise Chicago is an intimate boutique hotel like no other. Housed in the landmark Reliance Building, now beautifully restored, The Alise provides an authentic, luxurious and historic taste of the Windy City. In the heart of the Chicago Loop, across from Millennium Park, and home of the Atwood Restaurant, The Alise is near Chicago's top destinations and attractions. See the Windy City with the perfect homebase: Staypineapple at The Alise Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Burnham Kimpton
Hotel Burnham Chicago

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