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“Absolutely the Best Hotel in Chicago with the Nicest Staff”

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The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Ranked #37 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2009

We were in Chicago for my teenager to check out Columbia College. The Blackstone looked like the closest hotel and I noticed that it had recently been renovated. It was beautiful! The room was large, the beds were so comfy and the staff were happy to help with anything we asked of them. Room service cuts off at 10 though...so order early or take a walk to a nearby restaurant. The location is superb. It's right across from Grant Park and about a 10 minute (slow walker) walk to Millenium Park.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank pekaesar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,868 - 1,874 of 2,012 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2009

We pulled up and they were on us like flys at a picnic, one was helping with the luggage, the other was parking the truck. We stayed two nights, paid $125 on priceline, which I thought was a good price. Asked several times during our stay for local information and the staff was very friendly and knew exactly where we needed to go based on our description of what we were looking for. This is within walking distance of several great Chicago landmarks. Upon check in, I asked for a city view, which they graciously granted! This is a great property. Room was recently updated, not the biggest room, but plenty of room for my wife and I. We didn't eat in the hotel, but the restaurant was packed most of the time we were there. Very classy place.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank texlawdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2009

My daughter and I went for a 3 day weekend for a wedding. We arrived on Friday afternoon. We felt welcome from the moment we arrived. We were greeted by friendly doormen who opened the cab door for us and took our luggage inside. We checked in, went to our room which was on the 7th floor. Snacks and drinks were provided for an extra charge, which we did not use. I noticed coffee and tea but found it strange that sweetner and creamer were not provided. We loved the actual room. Nice big bed, great desk and chair, but I can honestly say the bathroom design/layout was lousy. It reminded me of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Must be the same architect. You absolutely have no privacy with these bathrooms. Everything is all in one room. The bathroom door just slides over the opening, doesn't shut. Therefore, anybody sitting in the bedroom area can hear everything that is going on in the bathroom. You might as well leave the door open. There was no purpose in it at all. Very odd. The shower was nice and big, but again, no door which is ok except water gets everywhere on the floor. I think the toilet should always be separate from the rest of the bathroom. Never can 2 people get ready at the same time. Would be embarassing if you had a guest visiting with you in your room and then someone used the bathroom. You would hear it all. Poor design, Blackstone. My daughter and I would joke about it and whoever needed to use the bathroom, then the other would wait on the bed and had to turn the TV on to make some distraction noise!!! We were happily surprised by the Blues Fest we came across at Grant Park which was across the street. Location was fine, but noisy for sure. The staff was friendly but not well informed as they should be about directions and restaurants. We asked where we should go for famous Chicago pizza and we were given directions and never found the place. This happened 3 different times. I asked about Italian Beef sandwiches and nobody had a clue as to where to get those (Chicago is famous for them) and on my last day walking around, there was a restaurant within one block of the hotel that had them. I would think they would know this. They told us how to take the bus which was $2.25/each person but did not inform us that for only $5.75 you could purchase a day pass and ride all you wanted to. We learned this the last day as well and wasted money because we were not informed of this. It's a college area and safe and fun. But next time, I would stay some place else closer to the shops and I would make sure the bathrooms were a bit more private. Just my thing, I guess!

  • Stayed: June 2009
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1  Thank Beachprincess55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

The hotel was really nice. My room was decorated really nicely. The bed was comfortable. Nice toiletries. The location was great. Easy walk to restaurants and the museum area. The staff was very friendly. The room service was over priced but otherwise I really liked this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
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Thank FrequentWorkTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

This is a charming property with an interesting juxtaposition of modern decorating on a historic foundation. We were delighted to hear a little of the hotel history while on our Gray Line bus tour of the city.

I booked this hotel for $115 on Priceline--surely a good deal--but was disappointed to get short shrift on service. It is not the first time that I felt I have gotten second-citizen treatment when dealing with a Priceline reservation. I called four times in the course of two weeks, six weeks in advance of the trip, to request a room with two beds; only on the fourth call did someone actually put my request in the system. Upon early check-in, however, I was given only a king room with the promise of a rollaway. Come our return to the room at 11:30 pm, no rollaway had been added to the room. Upon visiting the front desk, I was told that a rollaway would not fit in the room because of fire codes, that there were no rollaways left, and that there were no other rooms available. Finally, I was given the use of a "parlor room"--essentially a meeting room on another floor that had a fold-out couch. I was happy for some accomodation after the broken promise but overall disappointed that we could not have gotten a two-bed room to begin with.

The hotel was clean and the rooms were comfortable. The maid service was only fair, despite good tipping; the half-empty toiletries were not replenished after the first night. At checkout my room was given someone else's mini-bar charges, an error that was corrected with a phone call. Overall, this is a hotel with great character that could use a little improvement on the personnel front.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank melehundele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

When we arrived at the hotel at 11:30pm, the front desk staff informed us that our room was no longer available (we had confirmed our reservation earlier in the day and made & paid for the reservation 3 months ago). The customer service was much below the standards of a hotel that is affiliated with Marriott which follows the values of "Do Whatever it Takes to Take Care of the Customer" We were told that the Blackstone would accommodate us at another hotel, however this hotel would be near O’Hare airport. We live about 45 miles south of Chicago so this would have made no sense. Our night was ruined on the account of Blackstone Hotel. We were planning on spending the weekend in Chicago and this could no longer happen. The manager said we would be reimbursed for our room and we were given money for a cab ride home. The staff did not seem a bit apologetic for their mistakes. I was so angry, and I couldnt believe when a security guard came to me and said he would escort me out if I didnt calm down!! Didnt I have every right to be angry!? UNBELIEVABLE!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank saree143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2009

The good bits first - friendly check-in staff, modern rooms with a boutique hotel feel, superbly comfortable bed, shower (no bath), small rooms (even though we apparently had a slightly larger one). To be honest ,taken at face value this hotel is fine - the problems occur when you scratch the surface.

It's apparently a 4 star hotel (sadly the girl on reception didn't know this). We requested and paid for a lake-view room and sure enough our room faced the lake but - when the room was re-designed the TV was put bang slap in the middle of the window - completely obscuring the wonderful view - even the staff were bemused by this and no, neither the desk nor TV could be moved - both firmly screwed down. Apparently some rooms have TV's on the wall - well I never! There were none of the things you would expect to find in a 4 star hotel - no one offered to help with our bags (saved on the tip I guess), no writing paper or sewing kit, cheap toiletries (thankfully we had our own). I believe this is a Marriott - it certainly feels like a fairly typical US Marriott albeit wearing a nice frock. There is a very small rather dingy bar which smelled rather damp and a Tapas bar with an award winning chef but sadly it just didn't seem appetising (fortunately Chicago is awash with great eateries).

So with no view to admire we decided to indulge in a cup of coffee in the bar - oh no we couldn't: not in the bar, not even in the lobby even though it was only 5pm on a Saturday. The on-sight Starbucks - allegedly open till 8pm closes at 5pm (staff know this but haven't changed room info). We were told we could only have coffee via room service or The Hilton opposite - and you know what - if you're planning on a trip to Chicago we suggest that's where you go - we could have got a better rate for Hilton - we will go back to Chicago it's a truly amazing city, but not to Blackstone there are simply too many better hotels for the same or less dosh.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ECAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $148 - $523 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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