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“Grand Hotel, with some maintenance issues”
Review of Hilton Chicago

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Hilton Chicago
Ranked #101 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Grand Hotel, with some maintenance issues”
Reviewed October 5, 2008

There's nothing like sweeping in the front doors of the Hilton Chicago, a "grand hotel" in the early 20th century tradition. The wide, marble stairways, the high ceilings, the hustle and bustle and delicious smells wafting in from the restaurants -- it's truly like being in a very cool movie, despite the omnipresent conventioneers.

Overall our one-night stay was lovely, but marred by some deferred maintenance issues -- and surprising disinterest from the staff. We had a terrific corner room. Although just two double beds, the room itself was quite spacious, with windows on two sides and a partial Lake Michigan view where we were able to watch the fireworks (from Navy Pier?) that began shortly after we arrived.

The downside: poor lighting by just two dim bedstand/desk lamps , which could have easily been remedied by adding a floor lamp (certainly plenty of room). The desk was sufficient but with a chair so low as to make it unusable. As others have noted the rooms also lack sufficient electrical outlets, which meant the coffee maker had to be plugged in either at the base of the bedstand lamp or in the bathroom (we couldn't reach the outlet behind the TV/minibar console).

The real maintenance issue, though, was the bathroom, with badly peeling paint and some crumbling plaster on the ceiling above the tub, as well as strips of epoxy missing from the tub itself. The drain was also badly clogged -- or simply not up to the task of draining from a high-powered showerhead -- which we didn't discover until in the morning too close to check-out time to call the maintenance staff. (We showered in mid-calf high water; ugh.) When we mentioned this at check-out (the peeling paint , the crumbling plaster, and the nonworking drain), the clerk said simply, "Gosh, I'm sorry to hear that," and proceeded with the check-out transaction. We weren't looking for a discount or a comp, but it's really been on my mind since then that we received such a lackluster response -- perhaps because the staff already knows that the ceilings and the drains need work but can't do anything about it. A gentleman behind on the way said out that this has been a problem in the rooms before when he's stayed there.

The bathroom issue really makes it difficult to recommend another stay, although we otherwise loved this grand old hotel.

  • Liked — The classic "grand hotel" feel and design
  • Disliked — Peeling paint and clogged drain in bath
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jengaworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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streator, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2008

We travel to Chicago regularly and have always wanted to stay at the Hilton Chicago. We booked a PriceLine room on the weekend of the half marathon. The place was busy, but the staff certainly found time for each individual guest.

The room was nice and just what we expected. The pool area is also very nice for a downtown hotel.

The location was great as we were taking in the Bears 49ers game on a Thursday night and a Sox game on a Friiday night.

We would certainly stay there again and would recomment it to others.

Great quality even at the regular room price.

  • Liked — It's a Hilton
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cshager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Twin Cities
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2008

Hotel is clean, comfortable and about as quiet as a big city hotel can be. Our room was clean but showing some signs of wear. Staff was pleasent and friendly, and for the price we were thrilled. The neighborhood around the hotel could be a little better, but if you're heading to the museum park area it is a great find.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank gvwmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2008

I stayed at the Hilton while on a business trip with colleagues. This hotel was a logical choice because the conference we were attending was being held at the hotel, and I curious because I have never stayed at this hotel.

The hotel is a huge old building and when it was built, it was said to be the largest in the world. By 21st century standards, it's not one of those Las Vegas-style monsters, but it's big enough to hold a conference with 1000 people attending. Another way to judge its size is by the fact that John McCain's presidential campaign was in the hotel at the same time as our conference, and we hardly noticed them despite the large entourage and heavy security. The hotel's size causes some inconveniences. The elevators are all in the center of the hotel, the hallways are very long and maze-like, and many of the rooms have no view at all.

But we were here for a conference and didn't spend much time in our rooms. The conference rooms that we saw had the usual too hot / too cold HVAC problems, catering was good but not memorable, and the basement exhibit hall rooms looked like converted parking lots. The public spaces are ornate and well maintained, and my room wasn't quite ready to be refurbished but it was on its way. Doormen were always there to greet and help people, and there were always taxis waiting.

The location of the hotel was my least favorite part of my stay. It's across Michigan Ave. from Grant Park, but 1 - 2 miles away from the River North / Streeterville part of town that has most of the restaurants I'm interested in. Since the conference kept us busy, the 30 - 45 minute walk was a bit much and we went on quite a few $10 taxi rides to find dinner. I would have been happier at the Sheraton for this reason, even though we were treated well by every member of the Hilton's staff.

  • Liked — The staff was ready for anything
  • Disliked — The location and the endless maze of hallways
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank nhunixguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roscoe,IL
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2008

I took the wife and kids to Chicago for one last fling before school started back up. When I checked in, the staff was very attentive, I showed a little consideration for the friendly attitude (small tip) and was upgraded to a huge upper floor room complete with a bar! I didn't get the "Priceline" glare and it paid off for all involved. The air and water show was underway on the lake front, and we had planes flying over our room. The kids thought it was great. That night we had a great view of the fireworks at Navy Pier. The Sunday morning breakfast buffet at the hotel was very good and the price was not out of reason. The conceirge was very knowledgeable and very friendly. It was one of the best times we ever had in Chicago.

  • Liked — Friendly staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EyeBeen_thereB4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indiana
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2008

Stayed here years ago and loved because of great city view, great service and good sized very nice room. Due to taking family members we opted for Executive room upgrades. Could not believe how small the beds and rooms were! The double room was bigger than room with king bed. Views were not so good and service was poor. Historic feel of hotel is great and we very much liked the location due to being close to park/museum campus etc. Unsure if we would return, but if we did we would want to know view and room size ahead of time and hope to get better service. High prices are expected in Chicago, however hotel ratings are usually right on the money. Would probably pick better TA rated hotel next time.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sciroccokid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2008

The Hilton Chicago is a huge hotel and a very busy one too. The lobby area and rooms are very grand and somewhat colonial. The rooms were not awesomely huge but they were comfortable and conform to Hilton standards. Navigating the guest floors' corridors were like navigating a maze but that adds to the excitement of being in one of Chicago's most historical hotels that have housed countless dignitaries from all over the world. Location wise, you're right across from the picturesque Grant Park and there is a free shuttle to the Mag Mile shopping district albeit they can do better with a larger bus or more frequent runs.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank andrew23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Chicago

Property: Hilton Chicago
Address: 720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-2116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Green Hotel in Chicago
#62 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#68 Family Hotel in Chicago
#76 Business Hotel in Chicago
#84 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Chicago 4*
Number of rooms: 1454
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic meets cool as Hilton Chicago embarks upon a $150 million renovation in celebration of our 85th birthday. The fresh, new vibe inspired by traditional, design rich elements pulls its inspiration from the hotel’s original architecture and intertwines a dynamic and contemporary spin. With the renovation underway, the hotel has already introduced over 400 new guest rooms, 13 new hospitality suites, a new technologically versatile Grab & Go – SNAX and a new restaurant with private dining space and bar – 720 South Bar & Grill. The new contemporary guestrooms have been cultivated with ornamental lacquer finishes, soft leather and rich, bronze wood detailing accented by a cool color palette of velvet and silk textured accents. Guestroom media capabilities include a 37 inch flat screen television, in room touch concierge panel, HCN Navigator computer and wireless and wired internet access. Following a day exploring Chicago, decompress at the largest Chicago hotel athletic club with running track, take a dip in our indoor pool facility or catch some rays on our sundeck during the spring and summer months.Located on Michigan Avenue in the South Loop, the Hilton Chicago is 1.6 miles to McCormick Place, along the Shuttle Route to McCormick Place and the first stop on the returning route from the convention center. Directly across the street from Grant Park and walking distance to Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Lake Michigan, Buddy Guy’s Legends, South Loop dining and art galleries, Museum of Contemporary Photography, The “Loop” – Chicago’s Financial district, State Street Shopping, Soldier Field as well as two short “L” stops to Chinatown. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Chicago Hotel Chicago
Hilton Hotel Chicago
Chicago Hilton Hotel
Hilton Towers Chicago
Hilton Chgo Hotel

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