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“Beautiful Hotel with a Rich History”

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The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Ranked #39 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel with a Rich History”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

My friend and I stayed at the Blackstone Renaissance for the weekend recently and were very happy with the accommodations. The hotel is in a great location and fairly easy to get to, even if you're unfamiliar with Chicago. It's in very close proximity to both Blue and Red Line CTA stops, so you could very easily train in from O'Hare and not have to walk too far.

My friend and I looked for alternative parking options around the hotel and were able to find a lot directly behind the hotel for about $35/night, which is significantly cheaper than the hotel's valet service (I'm not even sure where their garage was, though we did look). My car was safe there the whole weekend.

The lobby of this hotel is stunning and comfortable: very reflective of the era it was built in. This hotel has a great deal of history from the moment you walk in. Check-in was quick, friendly, and efficient: all of my requests were honored (high floor, etc.), though very little was mentioned from staff about the hotel's amenities. The concierge was more than happy to help me find directions to the Blue Line station, and was all smiles. The bellman we ran into in the elevator was so friendly and we definitely can't speak highly enough about his recommendation for the nearby Bongo Room for breakfast - the wait was SO worth it and his menu recommendation was spot on - much appreciated.

Every time I spoke to someone on the phone (housekeeping, front desk, etc.), I was met with a friendly voice and help was provided - though I felt $13 to bring two wine glasses (without wine) to the room was a bit ridiculous. We did not eat at the hotel's restaurant, though we heard it is a great place. The on-site Starbucks was quite large, but the workers had very little interest in any conversation beyond what was required.

Our room was great. There was a large entryway and a closet (with safe) that even had a light in it! The bathroom was bigger than some hotel rooms I've been in, and was gorgeous. The waterfall shower head was a very nice touch, though the shower door itself is only a piece of glass that covers about half of the shower, so it's VERY easy to drench your bathroom if you're not careful.

The bed was HEAVENLY (very soft - be advised if you prefer a firmer mattress), and the refrigerator was a nice addition, as well as the dimming lights on each side of the bed. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby, but there is a charge in-suite. The TV is against the side wall, which I thought was strange, but I soon realized it pivots out to face the bed thankfully.

While we weren't at the hotel too much and didn't take advantage of almost any of the amenities, I love this hotel - beautiful, well maintained, historic, and the rooms are incredibly large and comfortable: location is hard to beat, as well.

If you want a very chic hotel at a decent price, I would highly recommend the Blackstone. Seldom is a hotel of this age so modernly decorated. I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Drive around the hotel before opting for their parking lot - there were much cheaper surface lots wi...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank mno86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Des Moines, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012 via mobile

This is a beautiful old hotel, the staff was excellent. Great Starbucks in the facility and right across from Grant Park. If you're looking for a funky hotel in a great location, check this out. I live the Hilton (classic) next door but this is great option. My only suggestion, replace the carpet on the lobby stairs, it's worn and reflects poorly on a great historic hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Greg271
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NH
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Just got back home from a 3 day trip to Chicago. Great experience, sorry can't say excellent. My room wasn't ready so I needed to change for a meeting in the bathroom, not what I expected for a platimum member. The lobby area is small, dark but inviting. My room was on the 5th floor overlooking the train station, so needless to say , I heard the train all night. The room is furnished very nicely and the bed, sheets and comforter are a dream. I meant to look at what type of bed and sheets so that I can sleep in comfort at home but never got the chance. My room was across from the housekeeping room so at times there was some noise. I did have access to the 23rd floor lounge, which was great. Breakfast in the morning with a newspaper with little coves to sit in. Night time wine, cheese and crackers- great touch!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank franci329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basehor, Kansas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The staff at the hotel were available for everything that we needed. Initially we arrived at 9 a.m. which is well before the available check-in time. The front desk advised us that they would be able to fit us into a room with queen sized bed instead of king with a view instead of on the interior. This was an agreed upon adjustment to your reservation and we were given our room right away.

We went to the Chicago Bears game and Soldier Field is within 15-20 minutes walking distance. The hotel offered to keep our luggage even though we wouldn't return until 7 p.m. that night. The staff did a great job with our luggage and the door men were able to remember our taxi service and come inside and let us know when they had arrived so that we could wait in the warmth.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TimothyL177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 6 Contributor
245 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The Blackstone has been lovingly restored to reveal its beautiful period detail in the lobby - a comfortable and welcoming space too. The rooms are usual Marriott comfort with a dash of chic. Lots of marble (including a marble-topped desk), nice decorative objets and muted reds, beiges and creams make for a welcoming environment. Rooms on Michigan Avenue have an excellent view of the Lake but no street noise. One slight quibble: With all those marble floors, this is the one hotel where you would really need those disposable slippers - but they don't provide any. Shirt laundry costs $7.

A real plus is the Garces restaurant Mercat providing an excellent range of Catalan tapas; it seems a real destination place. Also excellent breakfasts, perhaps the eggs Benedict with chorizo and truffle oil or the wicked French toast with honey butter and orange jam.

Room Tip: Ask for a Lake view
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Camwas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DOSBlackstone, Director of Sales at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, December 6, 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.

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.
Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I was recently in Chicago for a conference and had a wonderful time at the Renaissance Blackstone from the moment I arrived. Abel, a bellhop, opened the cab door and helped with my bags. At the reception desk, Scarlet explained that the hotel wanted to accommodate my request for a room with lake view and had only an accessible room, which meant that it included bars in the bathroom with some lower towel/robe hooks and a lower rod in the closet. Abel brought up my bags, pointed out special features of the room, found the classical music station on the radio, and ordered a full-size ironing board from housekeeping (the room had only the table-sized one).

The room itself (1121) was terrific and the view, beautiful. I could look across Grant Park at the lake and be greeted each morning by the sunrise. Although others have complained about street noise, I didn’t notice this at all. Especially appreciated amenities were the very comfortable king bed, light fixtures that could be brightened and dimmed (e.g., to leave a night light in the bathroom), empty refrigerator, coffeemaker, and—last but not least—a luxurious terry-lined bathrobe. To fill the refrigerator, if desired, one can find a supermarket a few blocks south and to the right.

Not wanting a big dinner, I sat in the quieter bar section of the restaurant, Mercat a la planxa, and enjoyed a delicious warm salad (spinach, pine nuts, currants and apples), which came with bruschetta topped with tomato salad and spices. Like the other hotel staff, the waitress, whose name I unfortunately don’t recall, was extremely helpful and eager to please.

At the concierge desk, Shannon booked me a place on the Chicago Architects Foundation (CAF) river tour and later, the hop-on, hop-off trolley tour. Both are highly recommended! Although the river tours have ended for the season, CAF offers other tours that I heard were excellent.

I really like the hotel’s location, which seems a bit quieter than other sections further north. It was lovely to walk north along South Michigan Avenue. Several times I passed the Chicago Symphony, just a few blocks up, and was enticed to go to a performance for which I was very fortunate to get a last-minute ticket.

The hotel building is gracious and welcoming. Features of the comfortable lobby include a billiards table, a gold-upholstered sofa, and a couple of nooks. One can get newspapers (Chicago, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal), for a dollar each, in the gift shop behind the concierge’s desk, which is also stocked with drinks and other items. Off to the left in the back corner is a business office, where one can use the computer (there are two) and printer for free. I never had to wait.

My visit to Chicago was greatly enhanced by the staff and accommodations at the Renaissance Blackstone!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank aFellowTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DOSBlackstone, Director of Sales at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, December 6, 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.

Thank you also for the wonderful comments about our staff, specifically Abel, Shannon and Scarlet. We will be sure to share your comments with them.

Next time you are in Chicago, we hope that you choose the Blackstone!

Happy Holidays,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

This hotel is absolutely gorgeous! We arrived in Chicago earlier than our check in time, but they allowed us to go ahead and check in and upgraded our room since it was storming out. We had a view right over Michigan Avenue and was able to see many of the sites that Chicago has to offer, including the Navy Pier. The hotel has a 1920's feel to it with it's hard wood decor, which is stunning. However the rooms are very modern and comfortable. Be aware that there is no public parking and you will have to valet and it was pretty expensive (can't remember exact cost). But, we will definitely be back (sooner rather than later!).

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking Michigan Ave and bring your walking shoes!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MrsCopeland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DOSBlackstone, Director of Sales at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, December 6, 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'm glad you enjoyed the beautiful views from your guest room. Navy Pier is exceptionally gorgeous at night.

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.
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Additional Information about The Blackstone, Autograph Collection

Property: The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Address: 636 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 (Formerly Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel)
Phone Number:
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
#26 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#36 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Blackstone, Autograph Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 335
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

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