We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just the small things keep this from being a 5-star hotel”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Ranked #36 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Zobie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (2,016)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,854 - 1,860 of 2,016 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2009

We were in town from waukegan for the U2 concert the rooms and service were definitely superior to hotels ive visited in Peoria and the Washington DC areas it was just awesome!!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Vkgsox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2009

The reception was terrible, the valet - that's why service is not a part of their title, the bees, not the best addition in a room with an infant. We stayed there almost a week when my wife was at a training at the Hilton. I am a Marriot Rewards member, but surely that did not do much in their eyes. From the start we were treated as though we did not belong there. There was no formal welcome except from the Valet service. We wanted to park ourselves, big mistake. We traveled with an infant and had many things, but the Valet told the bellboy to take our luggage off his cart. The Valet would't even budge to open the door in the absence of a greeter. You have to climb stairs to get to the lobby from the outside. Even with all the luggage that comes with traveling with an infant, the Valet didn't even think to tell us that there was an elevator. We had to discover this on our own.

We were in line, but the front desk served someone else better dressed than us first. Then we got the "room with the view" that also came with wasps. We complained to the front desk, but we had to again ask, this time with the housekeeping staff. They caulked up the hole with no guarantees. We asked to be moved and no help was offered in moving the crib and everything else we had to lug ourselves.

We talked to the manager and got a plate of stinking cheese. We complained after getting back and got an email for more information. We responded. It is now a month and a half later and yet not a response. We should have stayed at the Hilton across the street. We will use up all points and cut the rewards card. Thanks Blackstone for ruining a good relationship.

The best thing about the stay were the nice housekeeping folks. Management could learn alot from them. For those that are wheelchair bound, go somewhere else because you have to open the doors yourself and the elevator is too small.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MKandLSaintPaul_MN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

We stayed at the Blackstone in early August to go to the Lollapalooza Music Festival and to visit area colleges. We were really blown away by all aspects of the hotel (except for reservations but I will get to that later). The service in the hotel was really topnotch and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Room service went out of their way to accommodate us, when we arrived after 10 p.m. and required vegan choices for my daughter. The food was excellent in both the Mercat Restaurant and room service (which I often try to avoid). The staff did an incredible job as the hotel was completely booked and it was very hectic for the first three days we were here. Even our housekeeping service was friendly and accommodating. It did appear that everyone that worked here really enjoyed their job and was interested in making sure you were happy. The rooms were very comfortable. Plenty of space and well laid out. The beds were extremely comfortable. The bathrooms were spacious and we loved the walk in shower (no bathtub). We were also surprised that the rooms were pretty quiet. No noise from the street but we could definitely hear the music festival although this didn't bother us as it ended at 10 p.m. every night. The weather was brutally hot - high 90's but our room and the rest of the hotel was always nice and cool.

The location is good if you are interested in going to the museums and aquarium as well as spending time in the parks. The restaurants within walking distance were somewhat limited.

The one area that we had a problem was with reservations. I requested a double room (two beds) connected to a king room. I was later sent an email letting me know that my request was not available, although I did not realize this at first as I thought it was just a confirmation. Once I realized this, I called the hotel back and was told that I should call two weeks before arrival and was led to believe that this would be possible. I called two weeks out and was told to call back a few days before arrival. When I did this, I was told to call back two days before arrival and when I did this I was told to call the day before and then the day of. During this time, not once was I told that there are very few rooms in the hotel that have doubles (I think it is one per floor) and that the likelihood was not good that one would be available. In addition to that, these are also the only rooms that connect. We ended up with two rooms each with a king that did not connect. This definitely effected our trip as my husband and I each had to share a room and a bed with one of our children. In the end, the accommodations and service made us glad that we stayed here.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank muttger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

My wife and I were celebrating our 22nd Wedding Anniversary and decided on The Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Before our stay we were contacted via email with a personal note regarding our arrival. This was a very nice touch. I informed them of our anniversary and when we arrived at our room we had been upgraded to a lake view room (the view was spectacular on a beautiful September Chicago day) and we had a bottle of wine and appetizer awaiting us. It was truely a surprise. Molly in the sales department should be commended for taking such good care of us on our special day.

The room was very ecclectic and comfortable. I was blown away by how nice the hotel had been redone. It was decorated in dark rich colors and there was attention paid to every detail. The room was spacious, with a king bed, and comfortable. Even though our room lacked a tub, the shower was very nice and the "rainshower" head was out of this world relaxing. Our room overlooked the lake and the city and was the best part of the room. If given the choice in the future I would definately pay extra to upgrade to this type of room again...it was that special. About the only bad thing I can say about the room (1618) was that the noise was a little noticable from the city 16 floors below which was a surprise. We only noticied it in the morning and only when there was an ambulance or morning train whistle. Otherwise we never noticed anything during the night.

We requested early chcek in and late check out and it was not a problem and the staff could not have been more accomodating to us. We had drinks at the Mercat Bar and they were fantastic. I really have never felt so "taken care of" while staying at a hotel. Only one person knew it was our anniversary but it seemed as though everyone knew and applied the special touch.

Again, The Blacksone Hotel in Chicago is now my favorite "Home away from home" when I visit the city.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JKBOPB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

This historic building is absolutely beautiful. Don't let the age put you off -- the rooms have been updated and provide a perfect guest stay. Ours faced Lake Michigan so we could look out over the weekend fireworks at Navy Pier.

If you need to be at the Chicago Hilton for an event, skip the Hilton and stay across the street at the Blackstone.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LynneInMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

My teenage sister and I stayed at The Blackstone during American Idol auditions. It was an incredibly convenient location with in & out parking privileges which allowed us to go back and forth between the auditions with no problem. It was just across the street (a short 2 minute walk) from Lake Michigan.

On the interior of the hotel the decor was incredible!!! In the lobby they maintained the historical details of the building. On the interior of the rooms they were amazing. The place has obviously had a complete overhaul from top to bottom and the finishing touches show that whoever did the renovation paid very close attention to detail and used all high-end finishes.

Everything in the hotel room was better than we could have asked for from the amazingly fluffy beds and pillows to the fully stocked mini fridge, to the flat screen TV, huge desk and the bathroom. The bathroom was impeccable with marble floors and counter tops. We never heard anything through the walls either. The place is built completely solid.

The staff was also incredibly helpful. We had a great experience and would stay here again any day of the week.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank seattleep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Chicago hotels
Downtown / The Loop
Hotel Blake Chicago
Hotel Blake Chicago
#34 of 192 in Chicago
1,992 reviews
Downtown / The Loop
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
Downtown / The Loop
Hilton Chicago
Hilton Chicago
#103 of 192 in Chicago
5,236 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Downtown / The Loop
Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown
Downtown / The Loop
JW Marriott Chicago
JW Marriott Chicago
#42 of 192 in Chicago
1,502 reviews
Downtown / The Loop
Kimpton Gray Hotel
Kimpton Gray Hotel
#6 of 192 in Chicago
317 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Blackstone, Autograph Collection? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 - $514 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Marriott, Priceline, Hotels.com, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Blackstone, Autograph Collection reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Renaissance Hotel Chicago
Renaissance Hotel Blackstone
Renaissance Chicago
Chicago Renaissance

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing