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“Great Place for visiting the Museum Campus”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #144 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed January 9, 2009

We stayed at the Chicago's Essex Inn October 23 - 25, 2008. It was a great location for what we had planned. The rooms were clean and recently renovated. No complaints. We had room service one evening and the food was good. We swam in the indoor pool and it was very clean and the water was warm. There is a lifeguard on duty. Grant Park is directly across the street from the hotel. From there we were able to walk to Millennium Park. I highly recommed Millennium Park to see the huge "Bean".

Our trip mainly consisted of visiting the museum campus. We highly recommend purchasing the City Pass if you want to do the museums. Huge savings! We drove to The Museum of Science and Industry which is just a few miles south of the hotel. If you want to take advantage of free parking, do not go into the parking garage which is located under the front entrance. Drive past the museum on Lake Shore Drive and you will see an entrance into the Science Center. Park here! It saved us $15. The museum is great and plan on spending the entire day. The U-5 Sub is a must see along with the tour. The Baby Chick Hatchery is fun to watch too! They also had live science experiments happening throughout the museum.

The Hancock Observatory was fun. With the city pass, it offers an audio tour of the city. They offer one for adults and children. Our 10 year old daughter really enjoyed it.

Adler Planetarium was nice, but it won't take the entire day. At least we did not think so.

Shedd Aquarium was also nice. When we were there, the Oceanarium was closed for renovations. With that being closed we did not use up an entire day either. However, when that reopens, I'm sure it will be very nice. When we went to the Adler Planetarium an Shedd's Aquarium we took a taxi as it would have cost us the same to take the car in/out (with tipping), plus parking at the museums.

We also visited The American Girl store at Watertower. Very nice and we had dinner too. It's expensive, but our daughter enjoyed it and the food was good.

We ate at Ed Debevic's, fun place to go.

All and all, we had a great time and felt like we got the most for our money.

Stayed: October 2008
Thank Sue0121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 7, 2009

The Essex Inn provided very pleasant accomodation in a good location. We were there at Christmas time and the foyer was very inviting with a most pleasing cinnamon and cloves potpouri in the air. The rooms were very clean with lovely fresh white bed linen and towels. Fridge and coffee maker were available which was good. The bathroom was very clean with neutral tones and a good shower head. Pictures posted on the internet were exact, no hidden nasties. Our initial room was located near the lift which was not ideal but management were more than happy to move us. A little train noise at night from the EL may irritate the traveller who requires complete quiet for sleeping. Pool and gym facilities good and well maintained. All staff very happy to oblige
Good bus service down to Magnificent Mile,close to many wonderful galleries and concert venues, Grant Park ,Millenium Park and lots more. Wouldn,t hesitate to stay again. Only negative was the rather slow lifts.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Nedlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2008

I attended a conference at the Hilton literally 500 ft away and couldn't be happier to pay a lot less with decent room and service. I'd definitely stay again

Stayed: December 2008
Thank NBandaru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2008

Stayed in this hotel over Thanksgiving 2008 for 5 nights. Due to a lack of [or incorrect] communication between themselves and the online booking site, the triple room that we booked had only 2 beds [I had specifically asked for 3 and even paid extra to 'upgrade' from twin to triple] so we paid [again!] to upgrate to one of their junior suites. I was going to pay for the wireless internet, but this came free with this room - and the service/connection was excellent.
The rooms were lovely, nice views [although disappointingly in our room, to the side of the hotel and not the front] Very clean, although the bathroom was the smallest I have ever seen in a hotel!!!!! I was on the pull out couch and all that was supplied as bedding here was one thin nylon blanket - it was sufficient and I guess they would have given me more if I had asked. Reception was very helpful in recommendations on things to do and also recommended a restaurant to us one night in Chinatown which turned out to be really nice.
We ate breakfast in their little diner every morning of our stay. The food was lovely and the menu quite extensive and reasonable. We met about 4/5 of the diner staff. 3 of them were lovely and chatty and the other 2 were really grumpy!!
The location is fine, in terms of its proximity to the city centre - the views of the lake and park make up for the fact that were were not bang in the middle of the city. It's very handy for the aquarium, the park and the lakeshore. Also number 6 bus stop on the Tour Bus route is right outside the door.
The only negative thing I would say is there are a lot of people hanging around the area that will come up to you looking for money, so as long as you don't loiter around the front of the hotel you will be fine!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank Auntie033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2008

Stayed at the Essex Inn for 3 nights in November. The hotel is much smaller than most of the other hotels in Chicago, but dont let this put you off. The hotel although small has loads to offer including: pool and gym, bar, restaurant, business/media centre. My room at the hotel was OK in size with 2 double beds, HD TV, phone and tea & coffee making equipment, the bathroom was very small but had a good power shower. Drinks and breakfast at the hotel were a reasonable price and reasonable quality. Location was good if you are more into tourist attractions, museums, aquarium and football stadium, but is some way from the main shopping area for Macy's & Bloomingdales. I would slightly mark this hotel down on the staff who weren't rude but not overly friendly. Overall a pleasant but not fantastic experience at the Essex Inn. Chicago is a fantastic city and will return one day but maybe I will try a different hotel...

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank dcorbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2008

I stayed at the Essex Inn for 1 night on November 9th 2008 after leaving my previous Chicago hotel which had became fully booked (which is in another review on here) overnight before I had to go back to the airport for my flight home.

I found the Essex Inn to have very friendly staff,The hotel itself wasnt much to look at from the outside but inside it was very clean with lots of facilities,Gym,Pool,vending machines,Wireless internet throughout and a business center.

My room was 1216 on the 12th floor and it was very clean,Very spacious and had a huge floor to ceiling window which looked out across Grant/Milenium Park over Lake Michigan which was incredible.

I had a huge flat screen tv with too many cable tv channels to count which was great and a bed that could probably have fit 4,as well as a large bathroom with the bath/shower combination,nice handbasin area and all of the usual hotel amenties hairdryer,iron,shampoo,conditioner,tea/coffee facilities etc.

The only thing i would say about this hotel is that for a solo traveller like myself its quite a isolated area for the hotel as its not near the main attractions and at night it can become quite a shady area as its near the empty park and the elevated railroad passings which tends to host a lot of shady looking people,lots of homeless waiting around the corners to ask you for money and a few hustlers.

Now by no means dont let that put you off of going there as the most of them are harmless and will ignore you if you leave them alone but for maybe a solo female(s) or younger guests it may be something that would make you feel uncomfortable but the solution to this would be if you are going from uptown to the hotel in the evenings maybe to take a cab or stay on Michigan avenue to the south end of it where its more populated before you turn into the hotel rather than taking the backstreets near the railroad.

Overall I would recommend this hotel and stay there again as it was a very good hotel with value for money and everything that i could of asked for.I would recommend it to everyone but with the added fact that solo travellers like myself especially for young solo female travellers to plan how you will get to and from the hotel before you actually go out to avoid any unwanted encounters.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank Preyom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2008

We stayed at the Essex for 4 nights starting on the 01 Nov, I thought it great value for money.

The rooms were very clean and promptly cleaned each day, the decour was modern and bright. The bathroom was on the small side but more than adequate, I appreciate that for all you Americans reading this that you have large bathrooms, coming from England we have very small bathrooms so we tend not to think about these things !!!!!

The location was good with shops and restaurants in the near vicinity, Millers Pub ( on wabash street near Macy's ) was an absolute must, just go you won't be disapointed, the ribs were great and the hellavaburger ( 10oz ) was one of the best i have ever had and all reasonably priced. Beer was $4 whereas Kitty O Sheas was around $9

On a food note, don't eat at Kitty O Sheas (situated in the Hilton ) next door to the Essex, the food was very poor and overpriced.

Chicago is a wonderful city and great to look around, we felt very safe even late at night. We found everybody to be polite and very friendly, forget New York, go to chicago !!

Lastly i have to mention the food tour offered by food planet ( i think ) it was supherb and took us to areas we would never have gone to, well worth it.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank vegasbud
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 #144 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $65 - $320 (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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