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University Club of Chicago
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Reviews (83)
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Reviewed June 4, 2013

Amazing location. Lovely historic and "old boys club" feel to the architecture and interior spaces which is a welcome change from the identikit modern hotels of today. That said, the actual rooms were very updated and contemporary.

We stayed in an interior room and the room was supremely small (barely large enough for two people with 2 carry on size bags!). The widows were all frosted and didn't open so be prepared for that. That said, the value for the location and overall quality was definitely impressive. I would love to stay here again (probably with an exterior view!). The amenities were also quite expansive and likely better than most other high end hotels in the city - squash rooms, a beautiful new gym overlooking the park, a few options for restaurants/bars with a view, a golf center, a large business center, exercise studios/weight room and swimming pool/sauna. You won't be disappointed!

A word to the wise, there is a dress code on the week days so bring appropriate clothes. If anything, this hotel caters more to the business traveller.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank islabery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Stayed for a wedding with the family. For a family stay, this is probably not a great choice but for business, great location, great historic relevance - this is an excellent environment. Considering the age of the Club, the rooms are reasonably sized and there wasn't any difficulty fitting a family of 4 into a 2-bed room. The workout facilities are excellent and provide a great view of the lake and downtown Chicago. But perhaps my favorite parts were the wedding reception in the Club library (8th floor) and then dinner in the ballroom (9th floor). The staff in each instance, was outstanding and the views across the lake are unbelievable.

Overall, this is by no means a modern marvel, but the history, the location and the service made this an excellent visit to an amazing city.

The one caveat to our stay would be that we did not have any hot water on our last morning and were not offered any compensation or apology during check-out.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank BoCoMoTiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I and two of my staff planned to stay in the University Club for three nights each, to coincide with a two-day conference we were holding there in early March. Turns out, a snowstorm in Chicago necessitated an extra day's stay, and a snowstorm back home added yet another day.

As many reviewers have noted, this is a club for business people, not a hotel for families with toddlers in tow. If you know that in advance, the stay is sensational. Since I was running a business conference, I planned to be in business attire all the time anyway, so I was at no risk of running afoul of their wardrobe guidelines.

The second you walk into the club you want to put on a tweed jacket and retire to the extensive library (situated on one of the top floors) and hunker down with "The Fall of the House of Usher" in front of the fireplace. (I did just that after my conference ended.) The whole facility is imbued with that "club" feel.

Conference facilities were first-rate, and so was the attention and service provided by staff. We used the Madison Room, if I recall correctly, an elegant space that seated 75 easily in "rounds." Wifi access in the room was good, and A/V support was perfect.

I was fortunate enough to room in a junior suite, and the experience was wonderful. The bed was huge and comfortable, and the shower was a dream: one of those rainfall-like showers with the "nozzle" (more the size and shape of a manhole cover) directly overhead, dumping steady streams of hot water. There are so many soaps, shampoos, creams, etc that I thought I was in a spa.

By far my favorite part of the experience was the athletic facilities. [Skip a few paragraphs down if this topic doesn't interest you!] Some hotels have a single room with a rusty bike, a worn treadmill, and mix-and-match dumbbells. The University Club has a whole floor dedicated to squash and cardio; another floor dedicated to free weights, exercise machines, resistance equipment, etc; and a third floor with a pool and two cardio rooms. It is all free for guests.

Since I had some extra time due to the snowfall, I took two of their athletic classes. I've been working out for 30 years, and these were two of the best classes I've ever taken. I'm going to try to get my gym back home to adopt them. A guy named Tim ran a speed and agility class whereby the class did sprints, shuffles, cone drills, ladder drills, jumping drills, etc for an exhausting hour workout. We finished the class by playing a type of floor hockey with a rubber ball and rubber mallets, which worked on all the lateral and driving movements we had done in class.

Another class, by a guy named Tom, ran us through a circuit similar to Crossfit: 3 minutes on, 40 seconds off on each apparatus. Exercises included kettle bells raises, burpees, rowing, squats, clean and press, Russian twists, bear crawls attached to a pulley, etc. I'm still feeling it the next day.

It's easy not to have to traipse through the club in your athletic gear. There are locker rooms on the various floors, and they are filled with every tonic, ointment, grease, spray, and salve known to man, including Vitalis, which I thought was gone by the 1970s. There is even trail mix for a post workout snack.

As for food, I didn't try the restaurants, only the catering for our event. The sliders and sushi were delicious, and everything else was very good. The club is so centrally located (and one block from the El) that I decided to leave the facility to sample the many excellent Chicago restaurants.

In sum, I sort of wish it was still snowing so I could be curled up in the library or taking a fitness class with Tim or Tom.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank mgips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

This is a great old, historic building right off Michigan Avenue, across from the Art Institute of Chicago and lose to everything.

For the business traveler, it is first class all the way, but if you are a tourist or bringing a family, you might want to skip this hotel.

But for people traveling on business, this is what you want -an outstanding staff, close to everything, and it is QUIET!

They have a couple restaurants, but there are plenty of great ones itching walking distance.

But to give you an example how great this hotel is, the public men's room has a variety of personal products ( mouthwash, hand lotion, hair supplies, etc) and even a shoe-shine machine!

I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone visiting on business.

Room Tip: The rooms, as the whole hotel, is old, but well maintained. They have a room at the lowest rate called an "inside room" - it has no windows, however it is also in an area called the quiet area - if you don't need to look outside, this is a great cheap and restful alternative.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank CinciJeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Amazing property and an even more amazing staff, from the Doorman Louis to the Front Desk team and the houseman. Checked in with Jessica who was able to direct us to a great little restaurant after a long drive. Zaef the houseman was very polite and was able to accommodate any request in a timely manner. We had the Sunday Brunch before we checked out and the Eggs Benedict was delicious. This is the only place in Chicago I will stay for now on.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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