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“Outdated, but a decent stay”

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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #150 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Outdated, but a decent stay”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed in a Lakeview room this past weekend, and it was perfectly acceptable for us. There was a beautiful view, but they could definitely use some better curtains because the light was entirely blinding in the morning, even with the curtains drawn shut. The room was too warm--we ended up having to open the windows. Definitely outdated, but not gross by any means. However, despite these few negative things about the room, the bed was absolutely awesome. Strangely enough, it was probably one of the comfiest beds I've ever slept on, which for the price I paid was something I was not expecting. Worth the price considering the location and view we had. I would stay here again without a doubt.

Room Tip: Get the lakeview room!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 20sketch12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

This is my second stay at this hotel. It is a worn out,old hotel. The hotel was so empty this time of year that it felt like a horror movie. We were provided a room on the back side of the hotel, so we had the wonderful opportunity to listen to the trains. With an empty hotel, you would think they would provide their guest with a lake view and impress us for futhre stays. As we entered the room it was so hot, we had to open the window (it was in the 20s outside), and as I approached the window I was greeted by a Roach, now I know they are difficult to get rid of, but it didn't make for a great start for my stay. I did not make any complaints, cause when I did call the front desk, no one answered. I sat on the bed and the mattress fell to the floor, I had to put the bedslats back up. I love this location, but I think I will learn to love another for my next visit.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grlskas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2013

We selected the Congress for our trip to Chicago because I had stayed at the hotel for my 10th birthday (a LONG time ago!) and I've always loved seeing the lit sign behind Grant Park. It was old and shabby then; not much has changed in the last 30 years, but it is CLEAN and the staff is very helpful and friendly even though there has been an ongoing employee strike. The bellmen were extremely helpful in helping us catch buses and general location questions.

What is a little uncomfortable is that we rarely saw any other guests during our stay. Apparently, the Congress is outdated enough that hotel snobs don't want to stay here. We had cable, an updated bathroom, lamps that worked and clean sheets & towels--when you are out exploring and enjoying a world class city like Chicago, why do you need a super fancy room?!

Allegedly, the hotel is haunted; we did not encounter any spirits or spooks.....The Congress is a faded flower of her former days, but a great place to stay if you want to explore the city.

Room Tip: Since the hotel is often not at full occupancy, ask for a lake view room!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Patricia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jabes44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lampylamps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Level 6 Contributor
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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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Brittany_11_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wildwood, Missouri, United States
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StLouisTraveller726
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

Property: 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 #150 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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