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“You get what you pay for! Close to Grant Park”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #143 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
A TripAdvisor Member
Overland Park, Kansas
Reviewed August 31, 2005

This hotel is old, out-dated and dirty. Our room was clean, however the wall paper was peeling off of the ceiling! There was no light bulbs in the lamps, the carpets had lots of stains! The decor was outdated! The location of the hotel is great! It is close by the free Trolleys, and the staff was helpful! The food in the restaurant was over-priced and nasty! I will never eat there again! My husband, my daughter, and I enjoyed the fact of getting our room earlier than we expected, but maybe if we waited, we could've got a better room! I doubt it!

If you want to stay close by the festivals this hotel (South Michigan) would be the place, and if you do not care about the atmosphere, then Essex Inn is the place for you! It is also central location for the Loop, and around lots of Mcdonalds, starbucks, garrett's popcorn, and subway restaurants.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 16, 2005

My boyfriend and I just returned home from a 2 night stay at the Essex Inn and I should have listen to this reviews before booking our stay there! Although the hotel was great price-wise for poor college students I would never stay there again!

When checking in we signed a sheet of paper locking us into our hotel rate and gave them our credit card information...we then found out the next day after taking money out of an ATM and getting our receipt that they took over $100 more out of our checking then they were suppose to! We went and spoke the them immediately and were then told that they take an extra $50 out each day incase there is something wrong with the room. We never were told this or agreed to let them take the money off our card. The whole thing seemed a little sketchy and although it has only been a day since we left that money has still not been placed back onto our account!

Although I did take the low price into consideration the place is a rat hole and the only thing nice about it was the artwork in the hallways. I felt like I needed to keep my shoes on the entire time I was in my room and bathroom looked like some nasty Frat house bathroom....the floors were disturbing and the water would not turn off all of the way so it ran constantly.

Also... The second day that we were there we placed the "do not disturb" sign on the door because we were taking a nap before our next outing...and about an hour later we were woken up by a loud pounding on our door and then moments later someone tried to open the door and would have been able to walk right in if it weren't that we had latched it...we then realized it was housekeeping and then got really pissed off!...

So the moral of the story is, stay further up on Michigan, in the end the price isn't worth it!

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2005

We stayed at the Essex Inn in Chicago a few months ago and were pleasantly surprised but both its value and amenities. The inn is neatly kept if not quite old, but the lobby has been renovated in quite a modern fashion. The restaurant in the lobby has hearty pub food as well as a fully stocked bar. The rooms have VERY small bathrooms, but nice and neat bedrooms, and upgrading to a suite is WELL worth it. For an extra $50 per night (on top of a VERY moderately priced typical room rate), we went from an average hotel room to a hotel room plus spacious living room on one of the top floors with floor to ceiling windows that made the view worth the price of the upgrade. Staff is friendly and the gym is worth checking out for its very large indoor swimming pool and outdoor rooftop sitting area. Overall, very pleased with this little known Grant Park accomodation.

2  Thank TACO2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2005

We just returned from 4 days at Chicago's Essex Inn. The room was small but clean. The bathroom door stuck so if you shut it completely it was hard to open. It would not be good for someone alone unless they were strong. The staff was very nice and helpful. The shuttle driver was also informative and very funny. The vending machines didn't always work but that is probably not the fault of the hotel's. If you are in a hurry forget about waiting for the elevators. Slow, slow slow. The restaurant is a little over priced but that is Chicago. Also 1 morning we had quite a wait because they were short handed. They like to charge plenty for the food but don't seem to want to spend it on help. If you are looking for a place that is reasonable and close to Grant Park and the museum campus this would be fine. If you want to be close to shopping pick a place further up on Michigan Avenue. Also there were the usual panhandlers and poor homeless people. Chicago should probably do a little more for these people. They are always spending money on city improvements but seem to forget these people.

Stayed: July 2005
3  Thank Pilgore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Kansas City
Reviewed July 21, 2005

This hotel meets your average criteria for clean and decent. But that's it. The rooms are small and so are the bathrooms but not any smaller than a Comfort Inn or Best Western. TV's were fine. Towels were good. Miad service did their job. But remember this hotel is an older hotel and it's age is showing. The decor is late 70's green and yellow. Some things to consider though that may change your mind about this place if you can get past the above noted are:

If you have children, especially small children, the rooms have an entire wall of glass - great for the view but not so great for kids. The bottom 1/3 of this glass wall is windows with no screens or grates or any protection. The windows can be opened!!!! We had 2 rooms. In one room the windows handles were removed and the windows were bolted. In the other room, the handles were on the windows and one of them was not bolted. Our 3 year old son was able to open the window. We were on one of the top floors. This is very scary!

Our shower was virtually a trickle, while the other room's (adjoining) was full blast. We wouldn't have hot water and the next room would (late at night).

Beds are for people no taller than 5'8" or so. Very short. Hubby is 6'3" and even sleeping diagonal it was too short. I'm 5'10" and my feet hung over.

We drove to Chicago and were aware that there was a parking fee of $20 a night. However, if you drive a vehicle higher than 6' or longer than an average size car - your special fee is $30 a night. (We had a large SUV). And if you want to take it in/out - count on another $10.

Pool is great. Kids loved it, except for the "lifeguard's" dinner break when they close the pool from 5-6:15. ?????

Internet rate is the best for this average hotel. Don't pay more.

10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2005

Someone reviewed and named the Essex a Rathole. Totally correct.
Someone is either lying, or posting reviews from the management
if they say this is a decent hotel for the money. STAY AWAY.
You can find other hotels at same rate that at least are not scary.

Has anyone told you the halls and part way up are covered in old, dirty,
LEOPARD carpeting .... the elevators get stuck regularly, and no one
cares. Onto "little" things -- did anyone tell you there is NO MAIN
ENTRANCE by which you can pull up and have a bellman get your
bags, or even take the bags in yourself? NO, you must drive around
and back up a little side street (8th) and ENTER with car and bags
underneath the hotel in a little parking garage and go in that way.

Doesn't it raise a red flag when one reviewer said the "Security Guard"
made our restaurant reservations??????!!!!!!!!!! There you go. That's
what you are in for.

The rooms are small, but that's ok. I can live with that. But dirty.
And another reviewer said, "it was fine because food was not ground
into the carpet at least!" Wow. Now that's discerning. And actually,
I did see unnamed spots in carpet that I wasn't about to get close to.
Wore my shoes even in the middle of the night. Finally switched
hotels. Not that it matters, what with everything else, but the shower
is so tiny that I could not move without bumping my elbows; how do
men do it? And a big man just could not.

Basically, it is dirty, unsafe, and the worst hotel I've ever stayed in.

  • Stayed: June 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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13  Thank emmaattic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
El Dorado Springs, Missouri
Reviewed June 2, 2005

I booked the Essex Inn on Hotwire at a very good rate not knowing which hotel I was getting. After reading the negative reviews on tripadvisor, I was very apprehensive about my stay as I had booked 5 nights. In our case, we had a very pleasant experience. The hotel is very clean, in a good location, and the service by the maids, bellman, front desk, and porters is excellent. The hotel pool and fitness room is top-notch, although the pool was a little cold for my daughter to enjoy herself. I would recommend this hotel as long as you can get a decent rate and aren't expecting the latest decor, fancy bathrooms, or spacious 4-star accomodations. Save yourself some money by getting a CTA visitor pass. The bus stop is right across the street and will take you to all of the major attractions.

  • Stayed: May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #143 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $46 - $409 (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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