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“Convenient, dark”

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Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Ranked #105 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
iowa
Level Contributor
58 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Convenient, dark”
Reviewed January 19, 2009

I stayed here for 3 nights. My stay was booked through my company as we have a discounted rate and I was here on business. Based on reading other reviews here, I must have gotten the most basic type of room. It was pretty small, exceedingly dark (dim lighting) and a very minimal view. It was on the 14th floor, and I mostly looked out at other buildings, although I could see a sliver of Millenium park and "the bean" between two buildings. I had only one window.

The decor is minimalist, modern, masculine. Everything gray and taupe. Comfortable bed and desk chair. It was kind of depressing to spend too much time in the room because of the darkness. When I first got to the room, I turned on every light and it was still quite dim. I called the front desk to see if all the rooms were this dark and they told me that was they style at this hotel. They did volunteer to bring up a lamp which helped somewhat.

I was also kind of warm in the room and it seemed as though the thermostat was not responsive. I asked for a fan and that helped quite a bit.

The staff I interacted with were all helpful and prompt. The location is central -- easy to go north to the magnificent mile shops or the river north restaurants. Also a short walk to milennium park to the south or the shops along state street. It fronts on Michigan Ave. so easy to get around and orient yourself.

The computer in the lobby was easily available, the atmosphere was nice down there. Also there was wireless in the room and I had no problem connecting with that.

The bathroom was interesting. Nice fixtures and a cool look. No bath, but a big shower. The fixed glass shower door only covered half the opening, if that makes sense -- so the other half is where you enter the shower and is always open. I could not avoid having some water splash out through the opening, so kind of a weird design. Nice Aveda bath products.

All in all, it's a nice hotel and good location. I would stay here again for the price. But I'd be a little worried about the temperature if it were hot -- I'd be afraid the room might not be cool enough. Also, just be prepared for very dim lighting. Although from other reviews it doesn't sound like that is a problem in every room.

  • Liked — Location, price
  • Disliked — Dim lighting, warm room
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank IowaMidwestTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockMGR, eCommerce Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, responded to this review, February 9, 2009
All of our guests, including our corporate visitors, are important to us. Guests that would like an enhanced view of the city can book a Select Room, which offers enhanced city views for a very reasonable price. The lighting in the guestrooms was designed to convey a feeling of city nightlife, and many guests enjoy the thematic feel. Our upcoming renovation plan will focus on warmer lighting temperatures in the guestrooms while retaining the character of the original concept. For guests that presently stay with us, a lamp may be delivered to the room at the request of those who wish a brighter room. As to the size of our guestrooms- even our most economical room types measure approximately 350 square feet, which is larger than the guestrooms of many downtown Chicago hotels. We hope that any potential guests will consider this response while making a decision to stay at our hotel.

Sincerely,

John Price
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights from 01/03/09-01/05/09. Managed to get 20% off on a hard rock king room through a promotion on their website. If you can swing the extra $, I definitely recommend getting an upgraded room. Our friends stayed in a basic room, which was fine....We had a spacious, corner room with a window looking right on to Michigan Ave, plus another window with a small view of the lake. There was also one in the bathroom (definitely kept it closed while bathing, etc.). The beds & pillows were very comfortable. The room was immaculate.

The good - Location. Can't beat it. Walking distance to shopping on the mile, Millennium Park, restaurants, and museums. Not far from the Navy Pier (Its a pretty good walk, but there is a free trolley that you can pick up on Michigan Ave that takes you there & back). The staff was fantastic. We requested early check in (and late check out) & had no problem. The valet/porters are there to help you catch a cab even late in the evening. We had a late flight home, so we left our bags there with no problem. They really aimed to please...

We really had no complaints - but some travelers may not like the hotel restaurant. Its pricey, but its decent. There are so many dining options nearby, so it shouldn't be an issue. Our room didn't have a flat screen, but we didn't really watch much TV. It had a stereo system (which we never used). Lighting in the room may be a concern, it was a little on the darker side. There was no fridge or microwave. The minibar is stocked, but we never used it. There is a walgreens across the street if you need to stock up on anything.

Like any Hard Rock - it has some cool memorabilia. I wish we had more time to check it out. Next time...

I'm not sure why this property received some poor ratings. Like I said, try to spring for the upgraded rooms, you will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — Location & Staff
  • Disliked — Lighthing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mooky217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2009

We stayed here two nights over the holidays and were very satisfied with the room, the location and the price.

The room was spacious, and there was a comfortable chair and footstool. There was a decent radio, so we got to listen to some WXRT ( It's nice to hear some Frankie Lee or Bobby Skafish when you're back in town).

Check in was quick, courteous and welcoming, check out was by phone.

Two very minor complaints-at check in they offered a free delivery of USA Today to the room-didn't happen either day. Would have been better not to raise expectations:)

Second, the room wasn't made up while we were out from 9AM to 2 PM. We came back for a nap and it was made up when we left again for the evening.

I'll stay here again if I can get the same rate ($110). The location was great. My husband had worked in the building many years ago and loved being in it again. The lobby is beautiul.

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
Thank TerBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
victor, ny
1 review
Reviewed December 15, 2008

15th December 2008
My wife and I visited Chicago to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with members of our family and while there stayed on the 23rd floor of the Hard Rock Hotel fronting on to Michigan Avenue, from which elevation we had a magnificent view of Millennium Park close by and the open-air Ice Rink. Although the room was furnished with brevity it was, nevertheless extremely clean, comfortable and well provided for. Breakfast, taken in the hotel restaurant, offered a large choice of dishes and we were very well served. We would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone seeking excellent accommodation that places them close to the major stores and places of interest in downtown Chicago.
Jean and William Flockhart

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
Thank wflockhart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2008

My last stay at a Hard Rock was in San Diego, which I loved. I've also been to the one in Vegas (though never stayed there) many times. So my expectations were understandably high for the Chicago one. Unfortunately, I'd say the location is probably the best thing about it.

Mind you...there was nothing wrong with the service, the staff, the booking process, or even checkout. It was just that the room was incredibly mediocre and average, and for the $299/night I paid, I definitely had other choices. I stayed five nights, so I think I had a good amount of time to experience the hotel.

I requested a smoking room, which may have been one of the issues. The view from the room was great--I saw right onto Michigan Avenue and was fairly high up. However, the room was pretty dark, and you didn't have more than a few light sources to illuminate the room. As a result, the room was perpetually as lit up as a club--but without the cool ambience of a club.

The bathroom was set up strangely. You had a window that looked onto the street that was in the shower/bath. I guess that's cool if you want to soak in the tub and look at the buildings and skyline, but if you're taking a shower, it's strange to have to pull the shade and then put the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel on the window sill. Some people with voyeuristic streaks might like this, and maybe if I were there with a female friend, it would have been different.

The minibar was not well-stocked at all, and I ended up just going next door to the pharmacy (Walgreen's or Rite Aid or whatever it was) to get what I normally would have gotten at the minibar.

The China Grill downstairs was good for food, so I liked that.

Would I stay here again? I dunno. It's not a bad place, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Mediocre rooms, poor lighting
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank andergtr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockMGR, eCommerce Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, responded to this review, February 9, 2009
Here at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago we enjoy welcoming guests that have stayed or visited our sister properties in San Diego and Las Vegas, and are proud to share their four star rating based on our amenities, service, and décor. Our hotel is unique for the reason that it is the only Hard Rock Hotel located in a city center, and the rates we offer are comparable to the rates of other four-star downtown hotels. We are sorry this guest felt that our rooms were disappointing because of the dim lighting and the layout of the bathroom. The rooms were designed to reflect the night skyline of the city, and a club-like atmosphere. The bathrooms, which are larger than those in many neighboring hotels, were designed to showcase additional views of the city, which are breathtaking in many of the bathrooms, and would be wasted without a window through which to view them. We hope that this perspective will provide the necessary information so that potential guests can make an educated decision on whether or not to stay at our hotel.

Sincerely,

John Price
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
Reviewed December 10, 2008

I originally booked the Hard Rock Hotel as a result of a special they were running. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive as I thought it might be a noisy (rocker hotel) stay. The hotel was great! Far more upscale than I expected. The loacation couldn't have been better—right in the center of shopping and major attractions, and close to the lake. The building is beautiful architecturally and the rooms were more like suites—very contemporary with a great bathroom and amazing views of the chicago skyline. The staff was also very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Boardogg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Level Contributor
104 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2008

We just returned from a trip to the windy city. The only thing that was not great about our trip was the fact that we were booked at the Hard Rock Hotel. We were supposed to stay for 3 nights but left after one(thank goodness they let us go w/o charging us). We had to check out early on Thanksgiving weekend and pay a premium to find another hotel last minute but felt we had to because it was SO HOT!!! The first night we kept adjusting the thermostat but it stayed hot so we opened a window and basically just were miserable. Imagine our suprise the next morning when we told them that we needed our thermostat fixed just to find out that it wasnt broken they just dont work! They stated that heat and air are controlled for the whole hotel and they cannot adjust nor can the guests. Is this the stone ages or what?? Thier only suggestion was to "Open a window". Well, been there done that and for a 4 star hotel thats pathetic!! Besides this misery, they were grossly understaffed and were not in the least helpful except they did send a person to plunge our toilet when IT DIDNT FLUSH!!! For a 4 star hotel it was more like a 1 star. We finally stayed at the DoubleTree, Magnificent Mile where we even ended up saving a few bucks and were COMPLETELY satisfied!! Dont let the Hard Rock name fool you or the 4 stars or you will be sorely dissapointed!

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank reneesmail1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HardRockMGR, eCommerce Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, responded to this review, February 9, 2009
We were sorry to hear of this guest’s experience with us, and after becoming aware of the issues they encountered here we were able to promptly get in touch with the guest and make amends. We cannot change the experience that this guest had at our property, but we are committed to learn from it, and want to assure any potential guests that what they experienced was not the norm.

Our hotel is housed in the beautiful and historic Carbide & Carbon building, and while the heating and cooling system is sound, occasionally we experience heating and cooling problems typical of a building constructed in 1929. We are confident of our ability to work with any guest that experiences temperature problems such as this, and are sorry that this guest did not have an opportunity to speak with a manager, who would have provided a speedy and adequate resolution to the problem. It's unfortunate that these issues combined in the experience of one guest, who left our hotel dissatisfied. We are reviewing the staffing levels of our hotel during holiday periods to ensure that in the future our guests have quick and educated responses to any question, concern, or request they may have.

We hope that this perspective will provide the necessary information so that potential guests can make an educated decision on whether or not to stay at our hotel.

Sincerely,

John Price
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

Property: Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Address: 230 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601-5906
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#64 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#83 Business Hotel in Chicago
#85 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#85 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hard Rock Hotel Chicago 4*
Number of rooms: 381
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A downtown Chicago, IL hotel offering suites, spa services, pet friendly rooms, meeting space and wedding venues. Guests can also enjoy nightlife at the hotel’s bar and lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hard Rock Chicago
Chicago Hard Rock Hotel

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