Prior to arriving in Chicago, I called the Blackstone to check on room type, etc since I had booked on Priceline and I wanted a room with a view and a king sized bed. The woman I spoke with at the desk was very helpful and did not speak to me as some hotels would because I had booked on Priceline. After the conversation, I was impressed with the service had had high expectations for the level of service once I got to the hotel. During our conversation, I had asked how to get to the hotel from the Midway airport. I was told that I could take the train for only $2.25 per person or a cab for $30. I was also told that the nearest stop was only a couple of blocks away and that people walk it a lot. Well, those couple blocks seemed like miles and it was extremely hot. It would have been worth it to pay the $30 for a cab. Before my pre-check in conversation concluded, the hotel employee told me that she would notate our account to "surprise and delight us" since this was the first time my boyfriend had been to such a big city. Upon arrival, I was not surprised or delighted. The doorman didn't open the door, or help carry our bags up the stairs. The desk clerk was nice enough, but I didn't get a sense that she cared whether or not I was there.
I stopped by the "Navigator" desk (aka concierge) desk to inquire about good restaurants in the immediate area that were not overly pricey and had a fun atmosphere. I expected the concierge/navigator to ask questions, find out what we were looking for, and provide personal recommendations, but instead I was given a handout with a list of restaurants that were nearby. Not impressed with that service, she could have a least pointed out one or two on the list that were her favorites.
Upon entering the room, I immediately saw the great view that we paid $40 per night more for, along with the beautiful, somewhat modern decor and furnishings. I loved the room and could live there! The placement of the closet was odd, with a very long hallway that seemed to be a waste of space. Overall, the room and bathroom was spectacular.
One aspect of the hotel's location that I did not appreciate, was the number of bums/homeless people that hasseled us each time we went out at night. This led to a very uncomfortable time coming and going. The hotel is right across from the entrance to Grant Park, so using public transportation was a breeze.
The quality of the customer service did not match the quality of the rooms, hotel interior, or even the location. I think that if the employees were trained to make an effort to greet each guest, act like they cared the guests were there, and tried to make the stay special and memorable, this hotel would be nearly perfect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Blackstone in downtown Chicago is a storied architectural icon rooted in the city's legendary past, but newly updated to deliver a distinguished hospitality experience for today's discerning traveler. Previously known as the Renaissance Blackstone, this recently revitalized destination is blooming as a point of cultural and creative discovery on the Cultural Mile. The Blackstone, where epic history meets a clever contemporary attitude. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Hotel Chicago
- Renaissance Hotel Blackstone
- Renaissance Chicago
- Chicago Renaissance