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“inexpensive but beat up”

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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #148 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
56 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“inexpensive but beat up”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

I have been traveling to Chicago for over 20 years and have stayed at a lot of HOTELS. I was always curious about this place because of it's pretty cheap rates. My wife and I got 4 nights for $68/ night, less taxes. Anyway, the lobby is spacious and warm then you go to the resident floors. As I was told, it was built in 1920's and it looks like it too ! Thought the doors, trim, molding are pretty bet up at least the have a fresh coat of paint on them. The rooms are not very spacious as you can imagine from that era but have been updated. Bathroom, carpet,,,not so much the window treatments. But, it was clean and very quiet. THe mattress was hard as a rock. There is a little cafe on the lobby level that offers a nice breakfast but at hotel prices. IF you want an inexpensive place without bells and whistles where all you need it forms a place to flop. This is it The owners(s) really need to drop a buck or to into the place though.

Room Tip: A room not facing Michigan avenue is quiet !
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank number10Toledo_ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Muskegon, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2014

There was one nice thing about this hotel...the close vicinity to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum...that was it. The price for the room was way too high for what we recieved which was a very small outdated room, with paper thin walls. If you want to hear every single word the people next to you are saying, this is the hotel for you. Hallways were not lighted, the hotel was very creepy and spooky...not a comfortable or safe feeling environment. On top of that we came into town late due to inclimate weather and decided to relax down at the bar and have a drink. A domestic bottled beer was $5.50 and luke warm. When we asked for a pizza to snack on, we felt as if we incovienienced the bar tender for having to take our order. For $11.00 we were served a very small microvable pizza that was still frozen in the middle. Sooo needless to say the employees were rude, the accomidations were sub par to say the least. Big waste of money, not happy with the experience one bit. O ya and prepare to spend anywhere between $25.00 and $45.00 for parking....didn't see that coming either.

Room Tip: Don't stay at this hotel unless you like wasting money and being treated poorly.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DrEw8716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Chicago hotels

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

The place was outdated, needs to be updated. Staff was friendly but it seemed like you were bothering them. They charge for everything except the air you breath. The heater was broken and made alot of noise. For 50 bucks more you can stay at a better place.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Bryan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palatine, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

Stay here all the time and we love it. Price, location, and staff friendliness, especially Steve, the most awesome doorman ever, make this a home away from home. The chicken tenders and fries that you can get in the hotel bar are great! Ask for a room on the lake side of the hotel because the view is spectacular.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Cleo330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
77 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Our family of 5 visited Chicago for the weekend and booked a room at Congress Plaza. The very helpful guest services representative upgraded us at no cost to a corner room with spectacular views of Sears Tower, the el, and the Harold Washington Library. The architecture and history and uniqueness was a total hit with the kids (boys age 11 and girl age 9). They loved the history behind it, especially after a security guard took us to visit the Gold Room.

This isn't your express box hotel and everything in it isn't going to be perfect. But our room was spacious, clean, charming, and very comfortable. Learning about the history behind it is even more special. Our upgrade to the larger room with a view and having a guard take us to the Gold Room is just the kind of thing that separates Congress Plaza from all others. The kids often ask us if we can go back and stay there, and our answer is always yes. We will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask about room upgrades or rooms with a view upon check-in.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank teewinot13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2014

I stayed at the Congress Plaza hotel at the end of July 2013. When I woke up in the morning on July 30th, I felt a sore spot on my leg and noticed a small blood spot on the sheet where my leg had been. I jumped out of bed and inspected the sheets and the mattress, and found old blood stains all over the mattress. I also saw little black and brown specks that appeared to be excrement. I did a google search for pictures of bed bugs, mattresses, and everything else that follows. The images on my phone matched was I saw on the mattress at Congress Plaza.

I reported the incident to the front desk at 5 a.m. One of the managers flatly denied having bed bugs without even attempting to inspect. I didn't have time to file an incident report in the morning, so we arranged to complete a report and inspection around 5 pm. In the meantime, the maid service was not to clean my room. When I returned, someone had already "inspected" and everything was clean, even the old brown blood spots were gone. The person who entered the room with me for inspection stripped the bed, and after seeing a clean mattress, spoke to me as if I were a child, asking, "what bed bugs?!"

Wow! I had to leave that place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
13 Thank joy e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
63 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

If you are snobbish and everything has to be perfect, do not stay here. If you love history, old charm and you are not worried about things being in perfect shape...a great place to stay.

There are some things that could use a touch up or so...The wall paper needs to be replaced, some of the antique furniture is chipped and looks well used and there may be 6-7 coats of paint on the wood. Yet, this place has a charm of yesterday. The history behind this place is fantastic. To know that I stayed in a hotel that Capone used was a trip in it self. The room was very clean, the bed was comfortable and well made.

The staff was exceptional! Steve, the door man went out of his way to make our stay in Chicago fun and enjoyable.

Look past the little things and have fun!

Room Tip: Stay in the North Tower--it is supposed to haunted. We didn't notice anything, but good for the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rick P
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 #148 of 188 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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