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“Extremely convenient location.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center

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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 (Downtown / The Loop)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #138 of 184 Hotels in Chicago
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Extremely convenient location.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

Convenient location, bargain rate. The hotel is old but the rooms are clean. The staff is helpful and friendly.
Just be mindful that bc it is cheap, it's cheap for high school kids on a class trip and college kids on spring break.
I would probably stay at this hotel again if I couldn't get a better deal at a nearby hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AsianAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,229 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (583)
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English first
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
74 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We have stayed at the Congress many times over the years, and we usually like it. It's an old, historic hotel. But we stayed on the fourth floor of the north tower, in the first room down the hall to the right, on the right, in December, 2012. We stayed for two nights. When we first walked in one evening, I saw two bugs crawling on the bathroom floor. They were of a variety I had never seen, sort of tear shaped, brown, about a quarter inch, clearly visible on the floor. I just stepped on them and did not worry about it at the time, silly me. When I got into bed and put my hand under my pillow, I felt something gritty. When I looked, I found some black shreds of something that looked almost like tea leaves. I thought maybe someone had put lavender leaves in the pillow, though I did wonder how it could still be there; the bed seemed quite clean and nice. I had looked at the mattress edge when we got into the room, but I did not look it over very well. I am still amazed that I did not do something to change rooms or ask the management about this situation, but my husband was minimizing it, and we just went to sleep. We did not get any bites or see any more evidence of bugs, but I am now convinced these were bed bugs. I have since seen pictures of bed bugs and the dirt they leave in beds, and I have no doubt that's what we had. We were very lucky that we got no bites and did not bring them home, though we always do put our bags on the tables, not on the floor. This report may be a little unfair because we never did alert the hotel staff, but it is an honest report of our visit. Our friends stayed in a room down the hall, had asked for and received a nice upgrade to the room they had reserved, and were very satisfied. I probably will go back to this hotel again because the location and price are good, but I will be very thorough in examining the room next time and will not stay if I see any evidence of bugs.

Room Tip: As in any hotel, check your room for bed bugs very thoroughly before staying.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hilltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrensburg, Missouri
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Stayed over St. Patrick's weekend. This caused a problem as we arrived an hour prior to the big parade on Columbus and because of the influx of people for the parade, the hotel suspended all valet parking until the afternoon. Luckily we found parking on the street directly to the west behind the hotel. The gentleman running the valet lot told us there were no more spots anyway but we could see one whole half of the top parking lot floor empty. Hmmm. Later we brought the car back and had it parked, but I ended up paying for two parking places on Saturday.

The hotel is a nice old hotel with a lot of history. My son told me that five US presidents gave speeches there last century. The lobby is cool art deco style and the elevators are fast. The downstairs bar is loud (all tile and glass) and not very comfortable and they ran out of Baileys on St. Patricks! Only three taps in the bar area.

The room was average. The carpet was a little threadbare in places. The beds (and most of the pillows) were very hard. And the flat screen TV was too small to be that far from the beds. The plumbing is a little dated and our toilet tank started filling up with water every few minutes so I had to call the desk to have it fixed (it was, for a time). Generally, though, it was clean. It would be nice to have a chair in the room, other than the hard desk chair.

The hotel sits right across from the park and along Michigan Avenue but there aren't many close restaurants. You have to walk a few blocks which is fine, except when there's a gale blowing at 30 degrees. The concierge and gentlemen working the door were excellent, though. You are about four blocks from the bus #22 which takes you north into the interesting neighborhoods of Lincoln Park (great, free zoo) and Wrigelyville. Grab a bus pass from the CVS drugstore.

Location, location, location.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EGT1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Nothing is special about this hotel it's really old, my experience there is not what expected to see, however it is a good hotel for limited budget and the main special thing about it is that it is in the middle of Chicago downtown. However I've been there for three nights and I don't know maybe other people have better experience.

Overall it is average.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AK-Abouasleba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed St Pats weekend and its in a good location, staff is friendly and our room was clean. We were on the city side so we heard the el allll night. My son said the hotel reminded him of "The Shining" although we never saw a ghost. Great pizza place around the corner. The beds were hard and pillows even harder. I felt like I was sleeping on a rock. I love Chicago and will always return but will definitely find a different hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TLL574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Although historical (built in the late 1800s) and beautiful in certain areas (ie. ballroom, lobby) the majority of the hotel needs some serious updating (ie. rooms, bar). It's "ok" as far as cleanliness is concerned, and the staff is alright (ranging from friendly to not-so-friendly). Finally, although the location is decent (right on Grant Park) there are very few restaurants/bars in the area.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rebecca C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Chicago hotels

Cork, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We came from Ireland and found in my opinion , a lovely old world hotel which wants to move on but for whatever reason its not being left develop a pool and spa area. After 9/11 tourists were very scarce flying anywhere in the U.S.A. and the hotel reduced wages to keep staff until things picked up again, instead of shutting down. This didn't please some union or other and they went on strike, The people striking are not workers in the hotel but come from other hotels in the area. Now there's a sort of Mexican standoff thats about to come to an end as a strike cannot last longer than 10 years.
The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The room that we had overlooked the Fountain and if there is a ghost in the hotel , I can only suggest that he or she had such a lovely time there that they probably never want to leave.
I cant wait to go back there and enjoy the delights of Chicago from such a wonderful location

Room Tip: Look for a room overlooking the lake
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brendan O
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
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 #138 of 184 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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