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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #153 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed February 1, 2013

PROS
I booked this hotel for NYE this year. It was the cheapest rate I could get in downtown Chicago, but still was not inexpensive. Location is not too bad, on Michigan Ave. just south of Millennium Park. The lobby was beautiful and service at check-in was quick despite the line.

CONS
The building is very old, the decor and condition of the rooms really show that. The hallways are dark and dingy. The rooms are SMALL- I got a room with a double bed so there was only about a foot between the two beds. The bathroom is too small to accommodate a tub there's an actually a stall shower. I can't say that the hotel was dirty, but it felt that way because it was so dingy and out-dated.
I probably would not stay again and if I did it would definitely not be on NYE. The hallways were noisey until about 4 a.m and in the morning we found puke on the floor just outside our room.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jabes44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,790 - 1,796 of 2,838 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

The lobby is stunning and the staff at the front desk was great. Then you get out of the elevator on your floor to find and old dilapidated building that has not been well cared for. Once in the room, I found it to be cleanish, with awful decor. The work that had been done to this hotel over the years was done by the lowest bidder and really horrible choices were made. In my mind there are three things that make a hotel, bathroom, bed, and comfort. Choices made for updating this hotel were obviously made for reasons of cost only.

Bathroom,
Not very clean. Water did not drain from tub. Toilet seat was as cheap plastic as they come. The shelf above the sink was not deep enough to hold my shaving kit, (and mine is on the small side). The tile was installed poorly, and the ugliest thing in the room. The grout looked dirty and old, and the caulk seems were disgusting. The towels were on the small side, cheap and rough to the touch. Water did not drain from the tub. The light was a cheap florescent fixture with bad color temperature. Im sure the ladies hate doing makeup in that light.

Bed,
quite comfortable, although the bedding was crap.

Overall comfort,
Internet was quite good, furniture was awful. There was no desk to work from, there was no comfortable chair to sit in. Heat did not work, and in the winter so close the lake, that sucks. room amenities did not exist.

Its not so bad that I am going to move on this trip, but I will certainly never choose to stay here again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank lampylamps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Located near Cloud Gate, Soldier Field, the Field Museum, the Art Institute, the lake and more. Our room was clean and quiet, the bar was lively (it could've been b/c it was a game weekend) and the hotel was w/in walking distance to a lot, which is mostly why we stayed there. Nothing over-the-top-fantastic, but it's hard to beat that location for that price.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brittany_11_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

It is an old building with sufficient updates to the bathroom. The location is great, right across from Grant Park. Many restaurants are within walking distance. I have no issue with bugs or getting stuff stolen but conceivably both could exist. For me, the price was unexpectedly low. But then I was given a group rate because I booked the room as a runner in the Chicago Polar Dash Half Marathon.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank StLouisTraveller726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This hotel is located right in the heart of the Loop surrounded by plenty of restaurants, bars, and attractions. It is very close to a CTA red line station as well as many bus stops for getting around town. There is also a bar, restaurant, arcade, and small fitness center located right inside the hotel. The concierge was very helpful and friendly and the rest of the staff was very polite and friendly as well. Our room was also nicely made up each day. It is an older hotel so there are some places where wallpaper was peeling and carpet torn, but overall it was a great value!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RedHeadSteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

Yes it is an old building and yes the rooms would benefit an (extreme) makeover. But for the price I bet you won't find any other place so close to everything! This place is litteralty next to the lake, the art institute, grant park and Michigan Ave North. When travelling, for me at least, a hotel has one purpuse : Sleep at night. The congress plaza hotel will do the job just right! I would definitly go to this hotel again.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank mbouletcraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2013

In short, the hotel is old and our entire floor smelled like mold and cigarettes. The beds were terribly uncomfortable. And last but not least, some jewelry and electronics were stolen from my locked room and the situation was horribly mismanaged from a customer service standpoint.

After reporting the situation to security, the security guard stated that it was likely a member of the cleaning staff and that it was not likely the items would be recovered. We discussed our dissatisfaction with the manager at the front desk who informed us she couldn't do anything for us (apparently not even apologize for the situation) without permission from the General Manager, who was not on site. We left our phone numbers for the GM to please call us, but he never did. After weeks of leaving messages on the GM's voicemail, we finally received a call from the head of security offering us a discount on our next stay. But with an experience like that, why would I ever choose to give them my business again?

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Michelle S
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 192 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $84 - $219 (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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