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“If Modernism & History had a baby...The Blackstone!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel

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Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel
Ranked #34 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“If Modernism & History had a baby...The Blackstone!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

My husband and I stayed in Chicago for 4 days and had the pleasure of staying at The Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel. If you have never done a city like Chicago, then you would have been as cautious as I was when the bell guy asked me to hold onto my keys while our car was outside the hotel. I did apologize to him, but I felt safer having my husband stand with the car as I went to check in...he agreed that it was smart of me to be cautious. This was however before I met Sam & Rory and got to know some wonderful people who worked at the Blackstone hotel. It was 55$ a night for them to valet the car,however, it was worth it and it seems fairly standard in Chicago to pay for parking.

When we checked in our room wasn't quiet ready and so we handed the keys to the valet after checking and tagging our bags...they are nice enough to store the bags for you at the front desk and call you when your room is ready. The valet guys were all very friendly and nice especially George, they were very helpful also in directing us and saving us some time.

The hotel staff, especially Rory & Samantha were wonderful people who we made friends with over our stay and hope to meeting up with when we go back to Chicago...in fact Chicagoan love their city so much they were trying to convince us to move there. Loved them! They were so helpful, engaging and really made us feel like we were at home. They also gave us access to the VIP lounge were they served hot breakfast, Starbucks coffee, specialty drinks, snacks from 5-7 and dessert from 7-10, a nice way to save some cash. It was because we were on our honeymoon.

The hotel itself was beautiful, had a very 20's vibe with a modern twist. Everything from the railings to the chandeliers had history behind them. In fact, we discovered that at one point the hotel was owned by the producer of the Beatles and several movies had been filmed there including the movie Untouchables. My husband was in heaven...to stay at the same hotel where a DeNiro film was done. There was also a Starbucks attached to the hotel, the hotel was centrally located, easy to to get to shopping, food, train and buses. Near Museum Campus and Soldier Field and right on Michigan and our building was easy to spot from every angle...just look for the green roof.

The room itself was very modern and clean, we didn't have much of a view and was a bit concerned about how visible we were from our room to the hotel next to us, but we just kept our blinds down. The bathroom was unique and very classy, the bed was super comfy and we really enjoyed the whole experience. In fact the hotel is so unique that it even has an art hall where you can purchase art. We didn't eat at the restaurant at the hotel, but from reviews I've read and from checking it out...it seemed like a good place.

I also have to say their city tourism girl Amanda was very helpful in directing us around town and giving us options to save money. With some research on my part and her help, we got a great deal on all the attractions and transportation.

We got a CityPass: 80$ a person and can purchase at any museum (access into all the museums and the Sears Tower....with skip the line which was a big selling feature).

CTA Pass: Purchased at CVS Pharmacy 14$ for 3days and access to all city transportation.

I recommend the Shedd Aquarium...when school is NOT out! We didn't do the Planetarium or the Field museum, but by the end of the week I had wished we chose to do one of them because the Museum of Science and Industry was not such a great time...unless you have kids. Its rather out of the way and just didn't seem like a good use of our time.

I loved the Art Institute of Chicago and if your an art junky like myself you will really enjoy it. Sears Tower is something you have to do when your in Chicago...but after being on the Eiffel Tower, The Empire State & CN Tower...this was peanuts and it was all enclosed so you don't get that feeling of being so high up.

We also did lots of shopping, including Magnificent Mile...which unless you are very wealthy is just a place to check out. We did most of our shopping on State street. Millennium park, Soldier Field, Wrigley...all things we did and they are fun to see. The tours of the stadiums are not cheap and we were not interested in a 35$ trip through Wrigley when you can pay 10$ to see a game.

We ate at Gino's East Famous Pizzeria, which was a nice experience. They have a wall next to the bathroom that is full of celeb photo's...Gino's is no joke! A bit of a wait but well worth it! We ate at the House of Blues, which was fun. Good food, nice area...very romantic walk, menu done by a food network chef, great music and atmosphere and I tried a Pull-boy (deep friend shrimp in a bun) need I say more???!.

We also hit Navy Pier one night which made me feel like a kid again, but it was very picturesque and a really fun experience. I recommend eating on the Pier at Bubba Gump's Shrimp & Co. which was lots of fun! They even make you do movie trivia surrounding the movie...get the Mango Mojitos! Food was amazing, staff and everything was a great experience. Check it out!

While at the pier there are a bunch of places you can eat including Harry Carry's, which if you are a sports fan is a cool experience because they have memorabilia everywhere!!! A museum I would say...they even had the original Ghost Busters script!My husband almost cried.

Lastly on our way out of Chicago we checked out a burger joint featured on Diners,Drive-ins and Dives called "Big & Little's" a bright yellow sign on North Orleans Ave. will take you right there and there is a parking lot. My hubby tried a deep friend burger...yup deep friend! I had a burger with a fried egg on it. It was delish! People come from all over to try Big & Little's, they had a bunch of different hot sauces and burgers to satisfy anyone's hungry!

All and all...great trip...great food...great ppl...lots to do...Can't wait to go back! Thanks for everything Chicago!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bella1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (417)
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Denver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

I was in Chicago for a wedding and wanted to stay downtown for a few days first to have some fun in the city and play tour guide to my boyfriend. I booked two nights here through priceline and at first I was concerned it would be too far from the action and downtown cultural attractions. My fears were unfounded -- I loved that Grant Park was right across the street and Millennium Park and the Art Institute were just a short and pleasant walk down Michigan Avenue. Even from the Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River you could see the distinctive green curved roof of this hotel and know you weren't too far away.

The decor, service, and little touches in this place exceeded my expectations. I knew it had been under renovation for some time (I used to pass by it daily when I lived in Chicago and it was surrounded by scaffolding for what seemed like forever), and they did an amazing job retaining the historic character of the building while upgrading all the finishes to a luxurious, unique, and chic style. As an example -- the elevator floors had a beautiful "B" emblem mosaic tile pattern, and rather than a numbered light panel outside the door there was a kind of dial indicating which floor they were on and which direction they were going. The elevators were fast (a big deal!) and just a perfect blend of historic detail and modern luxury and convenience. The lobby overall had the feeling of style and comfort without being over-the-top modern or too old-world frou frou.

The room decor and furnishings were luxurious, comfortable (great linens!), and tasteful. I liked the lighting and the little Chicago-themed book selection. I had seen pictures online of room interiors beforehand and ours matched them. We did not have a great view (A/C units on the roof) but enjoyed every other aspect of the room. My boyfriend didn't like that the sliding frosted glass door for the bathroom left a bit of a gap between door and wall, but I didn't care. I loved the marble floors in the bathroom and the Aveda bath products, and the new look and feeling of it all. Everything was spotless.

We didn't use the concierge or interact much with the front desk, but I was very pleased that we were allowed to check in early and that they lent us an umbrella even after we'd checked out -- that was a lifesaver in the sudden rainstorm.

We stayed in two other hotels after this one for the wedding, and each was serviceable but a disappointment in comparison. I loved the comfortable luxury of this place and I really, really want to stay here again!

Room Tip: ask for a lake view.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank buffjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Hotel: Loved the place, but used a Groupon deal and as a result of this deal, ONLY paid $303/night and no view. $55/night parking ridiculous!

Restaurant: What we did love is the little restaurant upstairs from the lobby called Mercat a la Planxa - it was wonderful. Had 6 tapas and enjoyed the complexity and flavor explosion of each one. The only problem is we arrived late afer sailing and the server was very hurried. Our fault.

Room Tip: Get a guarantee of a room with a view. If you don't, the views are awful.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ChicagoGirl92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Reserved room through Hotel.com for June for family of 4. Requested 2 beds. Got a great price. Didn't find out till just before the trip when I called the hotel that I would have to pay another $30 for getting 2 beds instead of one. They only have a limited number of those rooms so good thing I called ahead since they were booked up by the time we got there. First time staying in that area. Location was great for activities at Millinium Park and the museums. Much easier to get to those places that staying around the Water Tower. Only stayed one night due to moving closer to a work related conference in another part of town. Would have gladly stayed longer. Staff was very gracious. Nice room with public areas having beautiful details.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CFW921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012 via mobile

Stayed at the Blackstone in June 2012 on business. I chose one of the rooms that faces the lake (king size bed) and the size and location of the room was great. The room was comfortable, clean and bright. They do not have water bottles in the rooms, free or for purchase, so you have to get them through room service. I only have breakfast in the room and it was exactly what I'd hoped for. Internet was good, cost at $12.95 per night, which is a pain. Service was good, Marriott-style. Overall, it was a good experience.

The one criticism is that the elevators are slow so give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes, if planning to meet someone in the lobby, etc. Taxis are readily available downstairs by asking the bellman.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandra W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, responded to this review, July 2, 2012
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to post a review on Trip Advisor. We truly believe that feedback, both positive and negative is a gift as we can learn from them and improve our services. I am glad that you enjoyed your evening with us. I will also definitely relay your comment regarding the wait time for an elevator.
We hope to welcome you back to the Blackstone in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
126 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

Stayed here for 2 night in early June 2012.
Location to the train from Ohare was a small walk - but fine.
Lobby was very cool. I got a nice room -but the view was of another hotel -so that was a little weird. I loved the TV in the mirror in my bathroom, not entirely practical and it didn't match the channels in the bedroom area but I thought it was a cool touch.
Bed was comfortable, room was small but the furniture was well chosen and I felt like it made the most of the space. I ussually stay at the Renaissance Downtown Chicago on Wacker, this was an interesting alternative. I liked them both. The lounge in this property is a bit cramped. I ended up walking back to where the one on Wacker is so I could eat at Smith and Wollenskys...

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Windsor999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, responded to this review, July 2, 2012
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to post a review on Trip Advisor. We truly believe that feedback, both positive and negative, is a gift as we can learn from them and improve our service. Next time you are in town and decide to stay at the Blackstone, please see our Navigator for alternative lounges in the South Loop area.
I am glad that you enjoyed your evening with us. We hope to welcome you back to the Blackstone in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

We had a clean average sized room - but we wanted a room with 2 queens plus a bathtub which meant they charged us 30dollars per night extra - if you want a lakeview room you will have to pay 40 dollars per night.

We faced the air conditioners but not too bothered as we rarely spent any time in the room

Hotel is beautifully decorated and very convenient to the art institute, millenium park and local transport links

If you like power showers, the rain shower is not for you!

All staff were helpful and polite

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CalgaryTraveller123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel

Property: Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel
Address: 636 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1901 (Formerly The Blackstone A Renaissance Hotel)
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#25 Business Hotel in Chicago
#25 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#36 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 332
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rediscover a legend with the revival of historic Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel in Chicago! Meticulously restored to its original grandeur, the acclaimed Blackstone Hotel is back with 332 unique and luxurious guestrooms. Once hailed as "the premier hotel of Chicago" and the "Hotel of Presidents, the staff is eager to welcome you back to this Landmark, and share a story or two with you from our rich history. What will be your story? The Blackstone. How Chicago. Legendary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Hotel Chicago
Renaissance Hotel Blackstone
Renaissance Chicago
Chicago Renaissance

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