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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #153 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed November 8, 2013

It was nice to know the history of the hotel, but my room did not have a working air unit. I realize Chicago is the windy city, but I need an a/c unit that works. Outside of the non working air unit, my stay was pleasant and the bell guys were terrific - just make sure you use the walk signs because it seems as if some drivers are willing to run a person over. :)

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank 32jerell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 7, 2013

The Congress Hotel is old. The wall paper is a bit faded.(It states to be one of the older hotels - I am glad they don't slap paint on and pretend to be built recently. It has character and history !) The stay we had was wonderful! I paid ten dollars extra for a bigger room and ten for a view. A view we did get! Loved staying here! Right off the elevator and there was our room. Two King-size beds, very comfortable and the room huge. The view was exceptional. The location perfect for a day at the museum or a stroll to Grant Park. Getting a cab wonderful, Front desk pleasant and the rest of the staff- great. I will stay here again, and I think the hotel has charm and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: "Sixth Floor- with a view!"
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JDB b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013

My God!
From searching the internet the hotel looked great on paper as the saying goes, but when we first arrived in the door this once I am sure beutiful old hotel lobby had like a biker bar like feel. the first thing I saw was a pool table with the lobby filled with people drinking beer sitting in cheap red leather chairs. Our room smelt musty it creeped me out . Rooms are not sound proof at 2:30 am woken up to hours of a couple havin good times. Oh and you better be dressed as I was writing a post card to my daughter when a spiderman like figure dropped down in front of my 10th floor window looking right at me it was 8:30 am I was half dressed really! Oh and bring your own pens etc. the hotel does not leave any in your rooms I asked at the front desk and there response was that guests steal them okay then?Also no free wi fi in this day and age really. Unfortunately we had 5 days though spent all our time out of the hotel eating at the Hilton down the way or Starbucks . It really is a shame it has potentioal but until someone with $$$ can come an tear the guts out to bring it back to life as in times past I would not recommend it. I asked cab drivers and locals about the history of the hotel and they said they call it the ghost hotel, and rat infested dive with workers just ending a 8 year long strike holy no wonder. Over our five day stay I could go on but I will end with saying this after elevator conversations with other guest I found the census to be the young couples thoughts were its an okay given they are young and on budgets I can understand beats the Y. anyone over 30 ish thought it was a dive and felt ripped off .

Room Tip: get a room facing the fountain
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Brenda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

I was at the Congress Plaza for a week and had pretty mixed feelings. No complaints about the room or the facility. It is old and falls into that "formerly elegant" category, but clean and reasonably well kept. However, the housekeeping was really disappointing.

To begin with, I usually get ice each evening and use that little plastic liner to line the plastic ice bucket. They only emptied out the bucket and left a new plastic liner ONCE all week. They also didn't clean the glasses I used each night to drink ice water.

The towels were an issue also. As I used the towels, they always took away the old ones, but didn't always replace them with clean ones. By the end of the week, I was down two or three towels. I was alone, so it wasn't a big deal, but I kept worrying that the end of the trip they were going to do a towel count and charge me for the missing towels. I also would have liked more than one hand towel (I started with three).

I was also disappointed with the Sundry shop on the first floor. On my first evening, I realized I had forgotten to bring my deodorant. I checked and the Sundry shop was set to open at 7 a.m. in the morning. No problem, I thought. I'll be there when they open, get my deodorant at 7:05 and be on my way to my meeting by 7:15 a.m. Well, I guess they treat the 7 a.m. start time as a "nice to have" and not a mandate. By 7:10 I was asking around as to when the place would open. The best answer I got was "the guy stops and gets some newspapers for us in the morning. He should be here by 7:30 a.m." No apologies or embarrassment for that explanation despite the posted opening time of 7 a.m. I ended up walking two blocks up to CVS (which was open) and probably saved a bunch of money as it turned out. But I shouldn't have had to deal with this.

This hotel was much cheaper than some other options I was looking at in the same neighborhood and this was a personal expense. So at the end of the day, I'm glad I stayed there and it was a pretty good value. But I really thought such a grand old facility in such a great location would be run a little bit better than it was.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
Thank MikeInMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

Do not believe these other reviews, this hotel is 100% not worth the location or savings. First, the hotel fails to mention that the only parking option available is $39 per night...and you still have to haul your luggage to the garage a block away to get your car where random guys from the ghetto go tearing through the parking garage at breakneck speeds in your car. They make no attempt to help with your luggage. I'm sure in 1940 this hotel was the place to be. Unfortunately, nothing seems to have been updated/fixed/cleaned since then. The rooms are small, dark, dirty, and just plain weird with dated furniture and broken everything. The carpet is smelly and stained throughout the hotel with cracking plaster walls and razor thin walls. The beds and pillows were essentially incompatible with sleep of any kind. The location is nice, but there are many options to choose from and cabs are everywhere and easy to get in Chicago. Overall, the hotel is not worth the savings or location and was easily the worst part of our trip.

Room Tip: All rooms are old and dirty, stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Nick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

My husband and I honeymooned in Chicago and chose the Congress for it's great location. We wanted to be able to walk to most of our activities and didn't plan on spending a ton of time in the hotel. While the hotel is outdated, the tv was new and everything was clean. Lobby is really pretty. We had a room with a fantastic view of Buckingham fountain and the lake. The other rooms I saw while walking to the ice machine seemed to only look upon other windows-so spring for the lake view. Drinks in the lounge were a bit pricy but the service was good. The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Bean are all an easy under 30 minute walk. Navy Pier was right around a 30 minute walk. There are also many bike sharing kiosks around and we did utilize those for our further out ventures. Some really good places to eat are very close as well.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank arnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

We spent five days in Chicago and the Congress Plaza proved good value for money for a city hotel. If you're looking for immaculate rooms and first-class service then this ain't the place for you. The Congress gives the impression that it was a grand hotel in its heyday but it was long overdue a refurb - very dated rooms and staff who were there to pickup their pay-cheque.

In saying that the rooms were clean, (coffee machine was awful though!) and the maid service was very good. The hotel bar wasn't anything to shout about either, we didnt eat at the hotel restaurant along with the rest of the Chicagoan population. There were plenty of alternatives in and aorund the hotel.

But it was perfect location for Millennium Park and just outside of the busiest (and most expensive) parts of the city. I would use it again for the value alone!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank molymoly
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: $89 - $260 (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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