Our stay at the Essex was great! We have no complaints or problems! We booked our stay on priceline.com (winning bid $100/nt, plus taxes). We took a taxi from the train station (about $8+tip). We arrived at the hotel around 10am and wanted to either check-in or leave our luggage for the day (as that is a service of the hotel); we were so happy that our room was already ready, so we went up. The room was very nice, clean, crisp. I giggled a bit at the other comments about the "smallest sink I've ever seen" because, yeah, the basin was small, but there was counter space and under counter space. There was a hair dryer, iron/board, small closet area, too. Other reviews mentioned the older heating/cooling system, which is was, but worked perfectly fine. I love when hotels have a free refrigerator in the room, which this one did (and stayed cold). Additionally, there was a safe in the room, which is always nice.
The pool area, the workout room, and the patio were all great bonuses! The pool area had separate towels that you could use. The workout room had about 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, free weights and a few weight-machines. I used the elliptical one morning then did my cool-down/stretches out on the patio overlooking Michigan avenue - it was a great way to start the day!
A useful resource of this hotel was their website. There are a lot of nice pictures of the rooms, common areas, and the restaurant. It mentioned that they have a free shuttle around the downtown area. There is a schedule posted in the lobby and it seemed that the shuttle pretty much left every hour, on the hour; we typically started our day earlier than the schedule, so we didn't use the service, but I was happy to know it was an option! They also have a page "Experience Chicago->Fun for Free" which gave some good free ideas in Chicago.
Of course, one of the best qualities of the Essex Inn is location. We booked tickets on the Double Decker Buses/Trolleys, and one of the stops was just across the street at the Hilton Hotel. The main "hub" for the buses was just on Michigan/Randolph which was just about a 1 mile walk, which is safe daytime and nighttime (though a few homeless people asking for money). One of the places we like to eat is "Hot Woks, Cool Sushi" on Michigan Ave. (great food and reasonable prices!) and it's just a few minutes walk away, too. Of course, Millennium Park (which had free concerts both nights we were there, even the "seating" is free, as well as the lawn seating) and Grant Park are very near and the Buckingham Fountain is a short walk away. Things like, Walgreens, Subway, Jimmy Johns are all nearby, too.
I'd also like to mention that the staff was always very nice, very accommodating and very helpful! I'd definitely recommend the Essex to anyone (good for families, couples, girlfriends weekend, etc). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!! Enjoy Chicago!!
- 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