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“Old and it shows it”

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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #153 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed September 27, 2012

The staff here are great, helpful and friendly. Unfortunately they have a wreck of a hotel in which to work. It is old and shows it. Peeling paint, worn-out carpets, creaky stairs and just a general griminess. My first room had cable that only worked intermittently. The staff was great getting me into a new room immediately. A room with a mattress that sagged so much in the middle it almost touched the floor. Not kidding! Also, the TV listings in the room were incomplete (they didn't list the NFL Network, missed half the game). Yes, the location is great, but the hotel is old and very overpriced.

Room Tip: Don't get a room on the west side of either the North or South Tower, the El is just a block awa...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank J Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,890 - 1,896 of 2,871 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2012

Historic, great location and fantastic views. Thats what we where promised and thats what we got. The main stairways where a bit shining, in fact it would be fair to say a bit dated, but, that added to the experience. Our room looked out on to the fountain and more important The Lake. With the "E" a street behind, The park in front, The Bean in Millenium Park, The Navy Peir (in view), Shopping and eating. The Architecture, ..................... If you are pessimistic dont go but if you enjoy experiences do. The buffet breakfat is only on if enough rooms full, but plenty other places to eat. Room where very spacious, clean and quiet. Bar a bit "Hotelly" quiet. Lovely long lobby with a few shops. Quick check in. And door staff always around. All told I would recommend it but not if your a Holiday Inn person. (new and shiny and business like)

Room Tip: Lake veiw, simple as that.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank bryzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

When I booked this hotel for a bachelorette party for the Bears game I asked for the family suite with 2 bathrooms, when booking I was assured there were 2 bathrooms. When I checked in I was again assured I had two bathrooms but the room was not ready. They did check all of our luggage though so we could go shopping and eat while the room was cleaned. When we came back at 3 room was ready, carpets were wet because you could tell they had just shampooed the carpets. and guess how many bathrooms there were, one. I called the front desk and they said they have no rooms with 2 bathrooms.
The beds were comfy, the furnishings in the room were embarassingly old and ugly. The ac didnt work thank god the windows opened at the top so we could get a breeze. The bath tub clogged,
Good things were the location, the price and that it had a bar.
If you can afford better, go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dawniegeorgean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

I was traveling for business and was completely disappointed. I felt like I walked into the movie the shinning! The room was spacious and mostly clean, a bit dated but it was drafty and run down. I had room service but was disappointed with my meal. When I asked for directions to an outside restaurant the clerk sent me in the wrong direction for food.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank DLuty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

My partner and I spent the week of 9/16 at the Congress Hotel. We found the experience to be a very positive one. The hotel is very centerally located. We walked to Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute. The area around the hotel has resturants of all types and both of our banks had atms mere blocks away. There is a branch of the Chicago Architecture Foundation located about 2 blocks from the hotel through which we arranged an architecural riverboat cruise and a wonderful Frank Llyod Wright homes tour. The hotel is old and very old school, but our room was spacious and very clean. The bed and linens were very comfortable. The cleaners provided plenty of towels which was a plus for me as I usually have to request extra towels. Our 9th floor window had a spectacular view of beautiful Buckingham Fountain and Lake Michigan. We had 2 room service breakfasts and ate in the Gazebo Resturant one morning. The food was hot, tasty and reasonably priced. All of the staff whom we encountered from the desk people, bellmen, food servers and cleaners were helpful and polite. We loved our stay at the Congress!

Room Tip: Get a lake view room!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Right opposite the lake front and the Buckingham fountain with views of the marina and waterfront walk and parks. Within 20 mins walk of the museums, galleries and a full street of your favourite shops. The hotel a beautiful remnant of the twenties mostly modernised to accomodate modern needs- we had a small problem with the air conditioning- always on and only controlled by a secret downstairs switch so we wore our sox until we went out!!

Room Tip: ask for waterfront when you book and use rapid bookout if the machines are working!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank min997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012 via mobile

This hotel smells like my great grandma's house. I know it's super old and some might say it has charm (which is what I kept telling myself because we had no other choice but to stay there), but if you prefer newer hotels stay away from this one. We complained 2 times before we got a nice room, with tall ceilings, good view, and a bay like window. If you settle you are likely to end up in a room that looks like it's half way through being renovated. During our stay a man went crazy in our hallway with the fire extinguisher and was using it to bang on our wall/door at 4:00am. There were holes and blood splatter on the wall, and the entire hallway was covered in the white spray from the extinguisher. The man was on the wrong floor trying to get in the wrong room and it set him off. There were fire trucks and police cars that showed up within minutes of us calling 911. The hotel never reached out to us to comp our room for the night or to apologize. I'm 5 months pregnant, really didn't need this kind of stress. There are so many other choices, there is no reason to stay at this hotel. If cost is a reason, you'll be glad you spent the extra money to stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Zizi24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center

Address: 520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-1602
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #153 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $87 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center 3*
Number of rooms: 851
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step inside and experience an extraordinary piece of living history during your next visit to downtown Chicago at the Congress Plaza Hotel. This "Landmark of Chicago Hospitality" has delighted business and leisure travelers for over a century. Guests at the Congress Plaza Hotel can explore art institute, millenium park, buckingham fountain, magnificent mile,museum campus all with in walking distance just by stepping outside our front doors. Situated adjacent to Grant Park, our 14-story property is located along Michigan Avenue, providing unlimited access to the city's finest retail stores, the bustling business district and Chicago attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congress Plaza Chicago
Hotel Congress Plaza
Congress Hotel Chicago
Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

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