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All reviews evening reception navy pier made to order breakfast sky lobby great location whole foods managers reception long line free breakfast cocktail hour living room pull out couch street level self parking magnificent mile corner suite michigan ave
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Reviewed July 22, 2010

We stayed here for three nights over a weekend in mid-July. The location of the hotel was excellent; it was about three blocks to Navy Pier, the Ohio Street Beach, and Lake Michigan, and about two blocks to the Chicago River. There is a grocery/store pharmacy called Dominick's across the street, so it's easy to buy drinks and snacks for your room, although that is almost unnecessary with the free hot breakfast served every morning and the nightly manager's cocktail party (even on weekends). Because my spouse has priority with Hilton, we were upgraded to a corner suite on the 17th floor (the highest floor), with excellent views of the river. The standard suites weren't quite as large as the corner suites (there's an odd window from their living area to the hotel atrium, so one could see in), but were still a great size, with a separate bedroom, bathroom, wet bar/microwave/fridge area, and living room with sofa bed and desk (the corner suites also had two chairs as part of the sofa grouping). There is an indoor pool and fitness center, as well as a gift shop, bar, and large lobby lounge area. There is no outdoor space at this hotel, which was the only drawback for me. A little sundeck, or other outdoor relaxation area (no matter how small) would have been welcome. The hotel spans an entire block, so it is possible to enter from multiple locations. There is an AMC movie theatre right next door, along with a bowling alley, PJ Clarke's restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, and a Walgreens pharmacy. There aren't many non-chain, unique restaurants in the immediate two block area, which was another slight drawback, but it was a quick walk to more cuisine-friendly streets. It is necessary to take two sets of elevators to reach the guest rooms. One set of elevators only travels three floors, from the street to the mezzanine (meeting) level to the sky (lobby) level. Then you must get off and walk to the other side of the hotel to catch another set of elevators that goes from floors 5 to 17. I understand that this set-up discourages non-guests from hanging out in the lobby and using the restrooms, but it is slightly inconvenient. I must say, though, that this hotel has the fastest elevators that I've seen in a long time! If you hesitated the slightest bit before trying to board, the doors closed and the elevator whisked away. (But that's probably why we almost never waited for an elevator, even being on the 17th floor during a busy summer weekend.) I would definitely stay here again, even considering all the other hotel options nearby.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank fluffnfold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2010

As parents with two small children, we've always enjoyed the privacy of suites when travelling, and the Embassy Suites has delivered a consistently good stay whereever we can find one when we travel.

This hotel has a very narrow, alley-like two-lane driveway so it was very congested when our taxi pulled up. Very awkward for those arriving by vehicle.

One immediate downside of this particular hotel is that it is built on top of retail and thus you have to take an elevator to what is essentially a fifth floor lobby. Then, after checking in, you have to traverse the length of the hotel to get to the main hotel elevator banks. The bottom line is that there is lots of walking to get to your room. Not a problem if you are okay with walking, but if you are mobility challenged or want quick street-level access to your room, this is not the ideal hotel.

Check-in was friendly, smooth and quick. Front desk offered some typical toiletries if you forgot something.

This is one of the newer Embassy Suites so most hotel areas and rooms were in great condition. The main lobby has the expected huge atrium contributing to the nice airy, albeit noisy, feel typical of Embassy Suites.

A few complaints in the room:

1. The bathroom shower rod was one of the new curved type that gives people more room, but the mount was broken so gravity made the curtain open whenever we showered. This led to lots of water spilling out onto the floor.

2. Walls are paper-thin and you could clearly hear conversations in the next room. Much worse than other hotels we've stayed at.

3. On the second of three days, housekeeping didn't replace enough towels or supplies. The other days were fine.

4. The single power outlet integrated with the desk lamp is too close to the switch so you can't plug in a flush-mounted power strip's plug.

5. Charging for internet access in this day and age is simply ridiculous.

Breakfast was also typical of other Embassy Suites: it's free, the food is mediocre, and it gets crazy busy if you go late. To their credit, they keep the food and lines moving, kept it open longer than the stated 10 am cutoff, seating was plentiful and the service was quick and friendly. The manager's reception offered a decent selection of drinks and beers. Personally, I'd rather have free internet access than free breakfast or drinks. The best would be for Embassy Suites to offer all three! :-)

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2010

We left Chicago early on our last day of a weekend trip mainly to get away from this hotel. The night before, as I was trying to rest before late-night plans, I could hear a baby in the next room and a constant din from the hotel's atrium, and I went to a movie next door just to escape. I was disappointed to say the least. The service was great, room quality decent, crowds barely tolerable, double-elevator thing annoying, but the real problem is the atrium-style design. I'll never understand it. Every room overlooks the cacophonous atrium, as though every guest wants to hear what is going on in the atrium at all times.

Walls were thin; heard babies crying on both sides at various points of the stay. On a sold-out weekend, the breakfast buffet was a madhouse. Waited 25 minutes for an omelet. The lobby is on an upper floor of the building, so you take on elevator to the lobby and then, across the atrium, another elevator to the room. The manager's reception, a daily perk, is good for the drinks but not worth the time for the snacks - nachos and cheese sauce, and sweet-potato fries, both mediocre at best.

I didn't love the location. It's convenient to Navy Pier, which I didn't need, but families with kids must enjoy. It's also close to Michigan Avenue, but you have to climb steps to reach that street, because the hotel is set on one of Chicago's lower-level streets. A little confusing to reach, too. It wasn't a bad walk to Michigan Avenue, but it felt a little removed.

The crowd is kid- and family-heavy, because it's a suite hotel. Be prepared for that. Lots of bodies crowding the driveway, buffet, elevators, etc. On the other hand, the atrium is very spacious with lots of couches and chairs.

The pool is a lap pool. The hot tub is decent sized. Both are located off the atrium, not a rooftop or top-floor location like many hotels have.

The rooms were okay, though a little on the small side. Hilton Suites, Omni, and Doubletree Suites are much larger. There's a window with shutters in the living room to the hallway outside, and since every floor is open to the atrium, light comes in through the shutters at all times. It was never fully dark in the living room. Also, the window makes it impossible to feel secluded in your room. The living room is in the front of the room, with small hallway to the back bedroom. The two-bed suites have double beds, not queens. There's a sink and an armoire in the bedroom. The bathroom is of decent size, but not nearly as big as those at Hilton Suites. On the plus side, the beds were cushy (but not Heavenly Bed cushy), and the AC worked great. The back bedroom was cool and pitch dark, for a good sleep.

There were some positives. The service was very good. Buffet breakfast was more than satisfactory, with cooked-to-order omelet. The rest of the food is just okay, but you can eat a big breakfast that might cost $20 easily at a restaurant. There is a bike rack on the block, which we used overnight. A bike rental place at Navy Pier is close.

I will avoid the Embassy Suites Lakefront in the future, but if a family needs the space and can take advantage of the good breakfast value, a stay here makes some sense.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank IndyMegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

I am not sure if the other reviewers actually stayed at this hotel. The rooms are mediocre at best. I haven't seen a TV that old in some time. The beds were comfortable.
If you are going for the free breakfast and happy hour-stay at a better hotel, pay less for the room, and pay for it. The lines for this made me feel like college dorms. The lines for elevators were as long.
Bathrooms are small and nothing special.
The price for internet is pathetic and the business center must be dial-up. I was blocked from reading the newspaper. I waited 30 minutes for towels, two calls and an hour for a blanket, and one day we had to call to get our room cleaned at 5 pm. Would not stay here again or recommend it.

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1  Thank travel54039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_CHIRE, General Manager at Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded July 7, 2010

Dear Guest -

After reading so many wonderful comments by many of our guests day after day, it was disappointing and concerning to see your posting this morning. First of all, yes, it is true that all these other guests did stay with us and had a great experience.

With respect to your comments, I can tell you that our professionally trained staff strives every day to make each guest's experience memorable, but there can be an occasion when we fall short of delivering what the customer expects. It is those times that we regret the most and feel most disappointed. As general manager of this hotel, I will not make any excuses for the product and service delivery deficiencies you experienced. That will neither serve you nor will it make us better at we strive to achieve each and every day. There is simply no excuse for not having your room cleaned till 5:00 pm and there is certainly no excuse for taking a long time to deliver towels or a blanket to your room. I assure you I will personally review these performance issues with our housekeeping team so that we can improve the promptness in our delivery. I have also called our IT manager to examine the entire business center computer equipment and find out why it prevented you from reading your online newspaper. In today's cyber environment, we cannot afford to have outdated electronic infrastructure or software. I will make this another top priority to rectify.

Thank you again for your constructive feedback and you have my commitment that we will address each issue we control and get better. I apologize for the sub-standard experience you had with us and I am gravely disappointed that you will not stay with us again. I completely understand your perspective and consider this a huge loss for us. There is nothing more devastating for me, and for us, than to lose a valued customer.

I wish you all the best with your future travels and continued good fortune.

Syed E. Hasan
General Manager

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Reviewed July 1, 2010

Got a great deal from Hotwire on this outstanding hotel. The location is excellent -- between Navy Pier and the Mag Mile. The hotel is beautiful, in very good shape, and has great views. The rooms are large and stocked with 2 TVs, fridge and microwave. The full breakfast was excellent and saved us a lot of money -- we only went out to eat for a late lunch/dinner. The evening manager's reception provided light snacks and FREE drinks. The hotel has a small pool and a hot tub.

Although public transportation is nearby, we used the Chicago Trolley Company Hop-on-hop-off bus to see the sights. We also walked to many sights and used the nearby free Navy Pier shuttle. The hotel parking is very expensive, so I parked at Navy Pier for $20 per day. There is also a full service grocery store across the street from the hotel.

My whole family loved this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank ohiovaluetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_CHIRE, General Manager at Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2010

Dear Valued Guest -

Thank you very kindly for your gracious comments about our hotel and the services you received.

We were delighted to read that you and your family enjoyed our cooked-to-order breakfast as well as the evening cocktail reception. Both of these amenities are what make us, and the Embassy brand, an attractive value for the customer. I am also thrilled that you liked our coveted hotel location in downtown Chicago. There is nothing like being two blocks from the trendy shops at Mag Mile and just two short blocks from the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan.

I am, however, sorry to hear that you had to park your vehicle a couple of blocks away as the hotel parking price points were prohibitive for you. I completely respect your objection and the only thing I am able to offer you is that we are extremely competitive with our pricing and have parity in our parking pricing structure vis-a-vis other hotels.

Thank you again for your kind and thoughtful posting on Trip Advisor and your strong vote of confidence for our hotel. We loved having you as our guest and sincerely hope that you will visit us again when you travel to the Windy City in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, we wish you and your family a wonderful summer and great health.

Cordially,

Syed E. Hasan
General Manager

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