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“Great, Except for Wells St. Noise”

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Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
Ranked #56 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed July 8, 2012

I was knocked out when I walked into my uber-stylish room with TWO bathrooms, and all sorts of hip touches like the desk chair upholstered in burlap silkscreened with vintage Chicago blues posters, a mod, red-framed mirror, and beautiful sofa cushions. While bathing under a large, rain-style shower head, in one of my small-but-lovely bathrooms featuring sparkling silver soap dishes and fixtures, and towels so thick they recalibrated my definition of “dense,” I was already thinking of writing a superlative tripadvisor review. Super comfy bed, charming staff in the coolest uniforms ever, a cute coffee bar, and fairly easy access to Lake Shore Drive, too. Five circles for sure; what's not to love?

Well, that night, a Saturday, brought endless, loud street noise floating up from North Wells Street, nine floors below, and the volume had me deducting review points all night. The next night, I turned on the noisy air conditioner which successfully drowned out any street noise, but was hardly the optimal solution. When Monday night rolled around I anticipated a quiet “school night,” but early Tuesday morning a garbage truck backed loudly, and interminably up Wells Street, interrupting my sleep once again.

One other sticking point: as a woman traveling alone I would have felt more secure with tougher door security than the old school chain lock that was falling out of the door frame from stripped screws.

I'd happily return in a heartbeat if they could (1) guarantee that a room facing another direction would be quiet at night, and (2) add modern door guard hardware. It really was a great property otherwise, with wonderful, eager to help staff.

Room Tip: Request a room NOT facing North Wells Street.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank TravelAndShoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,037 - 2,043 of 2,159 reviews

Reviewed July 7, 2012

Our recent four-night stay at this hotel was very nice, and I would stay there again, without hesitation. Our room was spacious and had a king-sized bed and a mini-living area with a sofa, coffee table, two small chairs, and a large flat-screened TV. Our view was of the park and Lake Michigan. The 1960's-influenced decor in the room was fun, and the linens were of high quality. The bed and pillows were comfortable and were at the level of luxury that I would expect for this type of hotel (very pleased). Another reviewer wrote about the lack of privacy afforded by the sliding, frosted-glass bathroom door. I can see where this could be an issue, as there is no bathroom fan and nothing to camouflage bathroom noises, *ahem... Moving forward, I found the staff to be very cheerful and extremely helpful--especially upon arrival. Lincoln Park is a wonderful area with so many lovely attractions within walking distance, and this hotel is perfectly located right in the heart of this area. **This hotel is also pet-friendly, and the staff was very welcoming to our two chihuahuas who accompanied us :~)

With all that being said...I was traveling on business. I had questions about how my bill/receipt would be set-up. I asked the front desk employee about this, and she directed me to speak to the manager in charge of financial issues--i believe her name was Jessica. I tried multiple times in the last two days of our stay to get in touch with "Jessica" and left her two messages to which she never responded.

Lastly, I had heard great things about the restaurant on the ground floor, so we decided to try it. We entered through the door in the hotel lobby and were greeted by an extremely unfriendly wait person. He scowled and said (loudly) "you need to go to the other entrance and see the hostess". We ultimately left, due in part to the way we were "greeted" (which set the tone for the experience) and also because the menu offered few choices and was pretty expensive.

FYI: Valet parking provided by the hotel is $44/night. Museum parking across the street was $28/night--and within 2-3 min walking distance. Other than those two options--there is NO PARKING NEARBY.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Chihuahuas T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

This hotel is cute, clean, interesting with a spectacular coffee shop attached. My children loved it, the staff were very on the ball.

Room Tip: Our junior suite = 2 full baths, two connecting rooms, 1 large closet, 1 small. Small room had bunk...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank travelckids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

I got on hotwire and saw a fantastic price for a 4 star hotel in Lincoln Park. I had never heard of the hotel and didn't know what to expect. I arrived and the guest service from valet to front desk was just impeccable. The hotel is super cool and check in was a breeze. My first night I stayed on the 4th floor and my room was SO comfortable. The rooms are small but they really found a way to maximize the space available in the room to fit in all the amenities. They had a great assortment of cable channels and the linens and towels were super soft and plush.

I loved it so much I stayed another night!!! I am moving to this neighborhood and I can't imagine having my family and friends stay anywhere else:-)

On a side note...the coffee shop attached to the lobby is AMAZING! Literally the best iced coffee ever!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank dougers79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

We live about three hours from Chicago, so we go often and stay in random hotels. We will never stay anywhere else but Hotel Lincoln again!!!

The hotel was fabulous, amazing, wonderful, adorable, friendly and super clean. Beds and pillows were comfy and loved the bathroom and shower. Rooms are decorated so cute!

Love the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is close to everything. We walked to the magnificent mile easily (about a 15 min walk). We could have walked to Wrigleyville but decided to take a taxis.

Love love love! Will continue to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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2  Thank ann_steward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

I was thrilled to see that the Joie de VIvre group was opening their first hotel in Chicago, especially in a wonderful neighborhood which didn't have many hotel options before. This location puts you in the middle of Old Town, a beautiful residential neighborhood which has a very vibrant commercial area, full of interesting restaurants and shops. You will be a couple of blocks away from the world-famous Second City comedy club (a must), the Chicago Historical Society museum, and right across from the Lincoln Park Zoo. I lived in Chicago for nearly 2 decades, so I enjoy going back and staying in an area where I feel like a resident rather than a visitor.

The reason I seek out Joie de Vivre hotels is that they typically offer fun design and good locations without a huge price tag, and the Hotel Lincoln delivers on this. Decor is funky with a retro vibe: not at all your cookie-cutter chain hotel feel, nor is it a 5-star luxury hotel feel. This is a big city boutique hotel, so it was no surprise that the rooms were on the tight side. The 1920's architecture dictates the space allocation, to a certain extent, which means small rooms, but no smaller than at many other city hotels. The bathrooms have a sliding, rather than a swinging, door because the hallway is too narrow. Cool door, but zero sound privacy. The heating and cooling units below the windows were noisy and not functioning optimally. We stayed there after the hotel had only been open for a few weeks, and management knew there was a problem with this and was working on it.

Our Lakeview Junior Suite was a nice corner on a high floor, which we were given as a free upgrade, perhaps because I'm a member of their loyalty club. I was with my husband and two children, so having TWO full bathrooms in our suite made getting out the door in the mornings much faster. Ask for a room away from the elevator to avoid hearing a very loud ding every time it stops on your floor. Very comfortable king bed, not so comfortable (to be expected) pull-out sofa bed. Room lighting was a bit dim and should be augmented. Room design and colors were interesting, trendy.

The very young staff usually was pleasant and tried to be helpful, although some seemed inexperienced. Although there was a bellhop at the front door, loading and unloading luggage from cars, no one ever offered to bring our luggage to the room. Housekeeping was generally very good, but one night, when we got back to our room, it hadn't been touched. After notifying the desk, we had to wait a while before housekeeping arrived. Second floor business center has big iMacs, but dial-up internet service is very slow. Having a very good coffee bar, Elaine's, off the lobby was much appreciated.

Would I stay here again? Yes. When I want to be in a "real" neighborhood, not in the middle of downtown or a tourist area, but still having plenty of action nearby, Hotel Lincoln fits the bill.

Room Tip: You can self-park at the same zoo lot, across the street, that the valet parkers use for half the pr...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank born2travel555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

A friend who lives in Chicago recommended this hotel as it was a good location for our visit to Wrigley Field. The rooms are nicely appointed but small and not particularly sound-proof and the a/c in our room was so loud that we couldn't really sleep soundly. The staff was lovely and helpful. I would likely look for a different hotel if I were to go back to Chicago.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sari L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

Address: 1816 North Clark, Chicago, IL 60614-6043
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Lincoln Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $126 - $604 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just north of Chicago’s downtown financial and retail hubs, Lincoln Park is the city’s most charming and historically rich residential community, where tree-lined streets are dotted with a mix of million-dollar-plus homes and classic three-flat apartment buildings and sidewalks buzz with energy from families, DePaul University students, young professionals, fitness buffs, and visitors to the city. At the center of it all is Hotel Lincoln. Hotel Lincoln is an upscale boutique hotel with an eclectic-meets-collegial vibe, offering 184 guest rooms, executive meeting space, a lobby-level European-style coffee bar, a spacious rooftop lounge with panoramic views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, and the acclaimed Perennial Virant – helmed by award-winning Chef Paul Virant. As Joie de Vivre’s first hotel east of the Mississippi, the property is uniquely designed to not only connect Chicagoans with iconic city gems, but also give travelers a taste of what life is really like in the packed-with-personality city. ... more   less 
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