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“Great budget hotel.”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #131 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
“Great budget hotel.”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

While it's true that the temporary check-in/check-out area gets very crowded, the employees were very efficient and handled things quickly. We arrived too early to check-in and they stored our bags while we visited the Field Museum across the road/park. Then on check-out day, they again stored the luggage until our late train departure, so that we could visit the planetarium. The only negatives we had were that the bathroom was in need of attention. Grout on floor was stained, and shower caulking needed replacement (was badly discolored & pulling away). The exhaust fan did not work in there, so the bathroom quickly became a steam room! Also, since the hotel controls ALL heating and cooling, you can't regulate your room temperature. We had a room with a terrific view of Grant Park and the Museum campus, but our window latch was broken, so it wouldn't close completely. Although it was early April, our room was very warm. Too warm at night, since all the hotel heat rose to the top floors (we were on 15th)! So we had to keep that window open all the time (although "open" was only 3")

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrsK454
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (353)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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  • English first
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The Essex is a solid hotel in a good location. We stayed while the lobby was under renovation so check in was a bit of an adventure, but other than that no real complaints. Clean, spacious, modern rooms and well within walking distance of many bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions. A great home base for a fun weekend in Chicago

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BrettS2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed at the Essex inn for 2 nights and found it a great place to stay good clean spacious room and a great location only 10 minutes walk to the museum 20 minutes walk to magnificent mile and 30 minutes walk to navy pier

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank johnredge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
De Pere, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We recently stayed at The Essex Inn knowing going into it that the lobby was under renovation. And that it was! There was a very skinny hallway through which guests had to maneuver, with their luggage, to check in/check out/access the valet parking/etc., which wasn't very friendly. We had a 15th-floor room, which was great for views. BUT our one-bedroom room was immediately next to the elevators, so we unfortunately had to listen to the elevators make their traipses up and down the floors all night long. That was probably the biggest downside of our room. Although small, it was tidy and clean and served its purpose. I will say that the reviews warn the rooms can be extreme temperatures, especially in transitional times of the year like now, and they were right. Our room was so hot that my son slept in his underwear and I wore a long T-shirt and slept with a mere sheet on part of me. At home in Wisconsin I sleep under fleece sheets, two blankets and a thick down comforter to stay warm, to give you a comparison! There was one window we could open, and that did help with the heat in the bedroom although not in the living room. All that said, except for needing to cool down the room the first night, as it was like a sauna, it was a tolerable temperature with that window open. I know it's an old building with an old heating/cooling system.

The highlight of the hotel for my son was the swimming pool area. He absolutely loved the pool, which was a delight to use in the mornings and again late in the day. There was a female lifeguard who was very attentive to the swimmers and also a good source of a family-friendly eatery nearby, as well as an older male lifeguard who was also very attentive. In the late afternoon one day, we had a younger male lifeguard who spent most of the time he was "on watch" on his phone, sending and receiving texts or emails. That was disappointing given that the pool was probably the busiest when he was on watch. The pool itself was very nicely maintained, and the airy, bright space was a delight in which to relax while my son swam.

We didn't use the in-hotel restaurant, a French-oriented restaurant, which was a bummer because you'd think that with a family-oriented hotel like the Essex, it would cater to the younger set with more child-friendly options. and unless I missed something, there wasn't even a room service option which would have been nice the day we arrived.

If there's something to say about the Essex, it's that the people make it. We had very gracious people at the check-in desk, bellmen, lifeguards (with that one exception), etc.

Room Tip: Definitely ask to be located AWAY from the backside of the elevators!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wowicita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern NJ, USA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013 via mobile

Briefly, this hotel is trying to figure out how to function without any lobby at all. They're apparently doing construction, although none was evident during my 3 days. The lobby area is boarded up and there's a small desk next to the garage where they're trying to conduct customer service. The employees are very nice and try to be accommodating but it's difficult

My room (a deluxe King I was upgraded to as the regular Kings were gone) was beautiful ... BUT ... there was NO hot water in the shower. The room itself looked redone recently and was spacious, well laid-out, and had beautiful views. The bathroom was from the 1930s and barely larger than one in a cruise ship cabin. They quickly and happily changed my room to one with the same great layout and 25-35% better hot water in the shower ... but the TV literally took 20 minutes to acquire the satellite each time it was turned on, so I eventually just left it on for the entire stay.

So, once upgrades are finished, lobby is built, infrastructure is tweaked, and hot water supply is overhauled, this will be a gem in a great location. For now, it's a cheap alternative with issues.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DRGNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
minneapolis
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

The Essex Inn was centrally located for everything we wanted to do. It's nothing fancy, and it's a hotel that has seen much better days. We were there while they were remodeling their Lobby, but we didn't really seem to be impacted by it one way or another. The front desk staff was helpful, if not particularly knowledgeable about things such as the "L". The restaurant was typical hotel food fare, but the staff was friendly and attentive. It was a French theme so unless your kids are adventurous that way, it's not your best option. Thankfully, because we were smack dab in the middle of everything, there were lots of choices for food. The pool was fantastic, BUT, it needs to be heated more. The lack of heat in hotel pools is always frustrating, especially when making a choice in a hotel because of an indoor pool. All in all, if you're looking to explore Chicago and need a decent place to sleep that is centrally located and convenient and feels safe, The Essex Inn was/is a good choice.

Room Tip: Try to get a room mid-way up the Hotel and facing Michigan Avenue. The top floor is a good choice...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank northernlightslodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

If you care about decor, this isn't your place. But if you care about cleanliness, hotel staff, location and value, I recommend this hotel. I booked a room for one night through Olotels.com and got a great price. The room and bathroom were extremely clean. The heating system, as other reviewers have mentioned, affords very limited control. When I entered my room, it felt like a sauna. But by simply turning the fan to "off", I was able to maintain a perfect room temperature for the duration of my stay.

Back to the decor: there's nothing wrong with it. It just seems dated and uninteresting.

The several people I spoke to at the front desk (for transit info etc) were all exceedingly pleasant and helpful. I was a bit taken aback by the $75 hold fee in case a guest accrues extra expenses. It can take anywhere from 2-8 days for the money to be returned to your account. This wasn't a dealbreaker for me though.

If you're into swimming, the pool on the 4th floor is wonderful. It's a nice size and has a couple of lanes roped off for lap swimmers. The workout center is adjacent. The pool room is surrounded by glass panes (it's on the roof of an adjacent building), which make for a nice, sunny swimming environment.

The free shuttle to the Magnificent Mile is a useful feature but it's drop-off only and service ends at 4 pm.

I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Claudette D
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

Property: 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 #131 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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