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“Incredible, Fantastic, Beautiful, Wonderful”

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The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Ranked #39 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
“Incredible, Fantastic, Beautiful, Wonderful”
Reviewed October 6, 2009

We arrived on Saturday and requested an upper floor, lake view room. We stayed in room 1918, which is a corner room looking out on Lake Michigan. It was beautiful. Clean, bright and very roomy. It exceeded all expectations. Being directly on Michigan Avenue we expected some road noise. There was very little. There was also no noise from the other guests. Zero. This hotel is beautifully appointed.

The staff was incredibly helpful and welcoming. The bed was very comfortable. The only negative was feather pillows and no extra blanket in the room. I know every upscale hotel has feather pillows, and it is very hard to get foam. I still slept very good because the bed was so comfortable.

Room service was so so. The prices are very high and you must be very specific on what you want. We ordered coffee with cream and got milk. Not too tragic, however, when you pay $15.00 for coffee with cream, and it takes 1/2 hour, at least give me cream. The hotel restaurant wasn't too good for dinner, but has a wonderful breakfast. The 2 eggs any style are a fantastic deal. Worth it.

We went to see the Chicago Bears game and ended up walking to Soldier Field. We ended up walking to our destinations and cabbing back after dinner etc. It is in a great location for seeing the city.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank teenystang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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East coast
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2009

The Hotel: I was there for a 4-night stay which qualified me for an upgraded corner room overlooking Michigan Avenue and Grant Park on the 17th floor, plus a $50 voucher for room service or the onsite restaurant. Those were very nice perks. As for service, they loaned my friend and I umbrellas for walking around downtown and were. The size and cleanliness of my room was excellent. it had carrerra marble baths and a unique room layout, making it feel spacious. The hotel itself is classic and well built with ornate details throughout. The gym has many newer machines and treadmills and lots of them. I've never seen so many guests working out at 6AM as I did at the Blackstone.

Negatives: Wireless internet was $13 plus a dollar tax in room, but free in the lobby. That was barely convenient for checking email.

The location: Very good for walking to Millennium park, the Art Institute to the north, and even the Field Museum and Soldier Field to the south. Taxi rides make things much easier, and getting to the Cubs game was no problem via walking to the nearest red line station. For a leisurely breakfast, try "Yolk" just south a few blocks. The variety of breakfast food was impressive.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 9kvector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 29, 2009

Was in Chicago for a long weekend and loved this hotel. Would definitely return. The rooms were spotless and nicely renovated it was contemporary with the charm of an older hotel. The staff was awesome they upgraded us to lakeview free of charge since rooms were available. We got a good deal on the room and would definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lcwilson0628
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2009

Along with a hoard of other kind folks, I stayed here for the U2 shows at Soldier Field. I can't think of anything to complain about! Everything was amazingly well done by a professional & courteous staff. The restoration is beautiful, and the employees are proud of their property (deservedly so!).

ah, I thought of something to complain about:
The queen beds in my room were fantastic! The plush, top-notch bedding & linens I've come to expect from the Marriott family were even nicer than usual.

However, the king bed in a friend's room wasn't so great - not nearly as comfortable and not up to the Renaissance/Marriott standard. So if you have a choice, go with the queen room.

The bathroom was great - Aveda products & good lighting. The TV in the bathroom mirror was amusing, but mostly a gimmick. I like the local art on the walls, the connections to Chicago history, and the selection of books on local lore - the overall attention to detail here is what made my trip so enjoyable. The hotel was completely full, but once in my room, I didn't hear any other guests.

Unlike another reviewer, I found the Doormen, Concierge, and desk staff to all be very friendly & helpful. Theo & Jordan couldn't have been nicer or more helpful (thanks Theo, for the directions to Malnati's - you were right, it was that good!). The ever-changing video feed from the roof is fun to watch.

Also, late at night the lobby is a very relaxing place to chill with good music and free wifi. This is a fun hotel to explore, and staff doesn't seem to mind you looking around.

My only other complaint about my trip is with the City of Chicago - the sales tax is a little steep at 10%, but at $40+/night, the hotel taxes are an insult to visitors. Traffic management was the worst I've seen for a city of any size - but that's nothing to do with the Blackstone. If anything, the Blackstone is a charming, comfortable oasis in the midst of the city, an oasis with good coffee in the lobby and within walking distance to Lou Malnati's pizza & Garrett's Popcorn - what else do you need?

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 0ceanView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Zobie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukegan
1 review
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
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Vkgsox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, MN
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank MKandLSaintPaul_MN
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

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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