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“The Agony of Deceit”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #143 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We were given a room with a dripping heater, slow/clogged drains, and bad sewer vents. The desk's first solution was to happily pretend everything was fixed. Their second solution was to pretend everything was fixed and turn off the hot water to our heater.

"Why did you turn off our heater?" I asked the desk.

"Oh, the hotel's boiler is off tonight, since it's so mild." she replied, smirking.

What a pro to be able to say that lie without flinching! But, no, It was super cold in Chicago. They begrudgingly gave us another room. Sure enough, the hotel boiler was 100% on and working in the new room.

This hotel has seen better days. The lobby is a joke, with drafts blowing across the room every time the door opens, and mismatched, sagging ceiling tiles. The rooms are cramped, the elevators are slow. The vending machines are pretty cheap, I'll give them that. So I guess it's no surprise that they have service to match.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with working drains and sewer vents, and a heater that is on and not dripping.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank WilliamHWilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carlosd33, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We really appreciate when guests provide honest comments (even when they are not positive), as it helps us improve the service we offer. It is clear that we failed to provide the quality of service you deserve and that we aim to deliver. I would like to apologize for the unpleasant experiences that you had while staying with us.

We’d like to discuss your stay with you in more detail. This will help us improve our service to you, and to all our guests in the future. We’d also like an opportunity to make things up to you. I have reached out to you via private message and look forward to hearing back from you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,214 - 1,220 of 2,038 reviews

Reviewed November 2, 2012

On arrival the place look very tired, reception area was chaos, staff were pleasant enough though.

The whole lobby could do with decorating, re-designing and a new carpet, it looked kind of grubby.

The hall ways are very dreary and need brightening up. The room while not a bad size, was a dull orange colour and did nothing to lift the sprits on arrival.

The room itself was clean, with a basin separate from the bath and toilet.

The lights at first seemed incredible dark as they are emergy saving and take time to 'warm up'.

The location wasn't bad, about 15 mins walk to the river and 10 mins to the Loop.

All in all you must be able to get nicer in Chicago, but if thats all they have take it, you'll survive

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Saral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carlosd33, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We appreciate hearing honest comments, both positive and negative. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know we are in the process of updating our room lighting and will also be undergoing a complete lobby transformation this winter. We hope you will stay with us again and check it out the next time you visit Chicago.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012 via mobile

Stayed for a few nights in october while touring a few different citys in usa, beautiful hotel! Easy to find just 5 min walk to subway, beautiful location overlooking grant park and lake michigan, on the same street as the mag mile, tour bus stops outside hotel next door so great if you wanna see the cities attractions! When checking in was a little nervous about what the decor in the room was going to be like as the lobbie is quite dated and 'retro' looking, but the bedroom was fab, very modern with a really confy bed!!! Great place to stay would stay again!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Happytraveller254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

This Chicago landmark always meets expectations. Yes, the property is old and even a little tired, but it's always clean and very comfortable. The very accomodating staff make you feel welcome and at home.

Room Tip: Request a lake side room and enjoy the view.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank SFBenoudiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

My wife and I stayed here on 24 and 25 September 2012 as part of a Cosmos bus tour to Los Angeles. We loved the location facing the park ; if it's good enough for the grand Hilton Chicago just across a side street, it's good enough for us!
Our room was very comfortable with two beds and tea and coffee making facilities, and the hot water and air conditioning were good.
The hotel lobby is a nice place to look out to the park across Michigan Avenue.
There is no free breakfast, but we stocked up at Trader Joe's on Roosevelt Street, a few blocks south of the hotel.
We would stay here again when we come back to Chicago.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stickman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Stayed here overnight as a Route 66 start point. Room was spacious, clean and well equipped. Free internet was easy to connect to. Parking was a bit pricey at $41.00 per night. Located within walking distance of Millennium Park and Navy Pier etc. I'd happily stay here again.

Room Tip: There are a number of parking lots local to the hotel. Consider them as a cheaper alternative.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

First the plus points, the Essex Inn has a great pool, and for the size of the hotel the gym (with Life Fitness equipment) is very good too. The WiFi works throughout the hotel so one can relax in say one of the sunloungers by the pool and still be connected.

The hotel is in a great location; everything seems to be walking distance.

Service was fine, but not great; for example, when another bed was requested, accompanying extra towels were not provided, and when these were requested they took ages to arrive.

I was less impressed with the rooms. The airconditioning is old and outdated and doesn't control the temperature very well. This is made worse by the fact that if you go at a particular time of year, you can only select heating (or cooling). In our case, as it was October, even though it was really pretty warm, we couldn't cool the room and had to open the window which made the room noisy.

For what the hotel is charging, the bathrooms really need updating. The bath surround in my room was a horrible linoleum/vinyl, and the temperature of the water could not be thermostatically controlled.

Overall, if you won't be using the pool or gym a lot, I would look elsewhere as other hotels in the area such as the Best Western provide larger and better equipped rooms. If you do want a nice pool and gym, this makes up for the shortcomings of the rooms.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Mark I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chicago's Essex Inn

Address: 800 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-7101
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #143 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $91 - $314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chicago's Essex Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chicago's Essex Inn is a hotel in downtown Chicago on the Michigan Avenue Cultural Mile that combines breathtaking panoramas of Grant Park, the Museum Campus and Lake Michigan with exciting promotional packages that incorporate famed attractions and events in Chicago. From our steel and glass lobby to contemporary rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Essex Inn offers amazing views and amazing value. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chicago`s Essex Hotel Chicago
Chicagos Essex Hotel
Essex Inn Chicago
Hotel Chicagos Essex

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