My husband and I stayed at the Renaissance Blackstone Fri-Sun of Labor Day weekend for Jazz Fest. We had stayed at the hotel the year before for the same reason, and we will come again. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the location is perfect. Their staff needs to work on a few things to be more attentive to their guests. Our room faced southeast and had a lovely view of the Planetarium, the Oceanarium and the Field Museum. Room was exceptionally quiet despite being on the corner of Michigan and Balbo. Our king bed was clean and the mattress was very comfortable. The suede chaise in the room is just perfect to stretch out on and read or watch television. Mini-bar prices were reasonable, room came with 2 spa robes. There is a Starbucks on the lower level with an outdoor seating area where we went on Sat. It was very pleasant to sit there and people watch and enjoy some coffee. We had breakfast on Sun in Mercat. My only quibble is that they need to increase their staffing for weekend morning breakfast service. There were a number of tables occupied and not enough servers. The hostess was doubling as the bartender. The servers were obviously stretched and were not too prompt with additional things like hot sauce, etc. Prices are on the high side, too. We noticed a number of people being seated, checking out the menu, and then getting up and leaving without eating. If you're on a budget, you might want to just go to the Starbucks for their oatmeal/pastries. Fitness center is clean and has about 10 treadmills, 10 Ellypticals and a free weights room. Towels, fruit, water provided and the door requires a room key card to prevent outsiders from accessing the facilities/security. Doormen should be more prompt to welcome/acknowledge guests. When I arrived alone (my husband was arriving later) I got out of a taxi with my luggage and started up the stairs on Balbo before anyone acknowledged me/welcomed me/offered me assistance. Sat evening, we came out of the hotel to go to dinner and stood and waited while the bellmen/valet/doormen stood around and chatted and never approached us. We finally went to the curb and hailed a cab ourselves and the doorman acted surprised that we had done so on our own. Front desk staff is good; I noticed that the concierge seemed overwhelmed on Sun as people were asking for assistance with site-seeing, wanting to check bags, etc. More attention to staffing on weekends is needed. Overall, they are close to being a 5 star hotel, and much more cozy, accessible and updated than the tired Chicago Hilton & Towers next door, which is enormous, impersonal and much more for conventioneers than for leisure or business travelers.
- 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