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“Nice, classy old hotel”

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InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Ranked #66 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Great hotel. Check in was quick and efficient. I am a priority rewards member, so I was offered a late checkout until 2pm, which I took advantage of. The rooms are very nice and comfy. There were 3 of us and we got a room with 2 doubles, there was plenty of space. The gym and the pool were very nice. Staff was great. Nice touch of having a Starbucks attached to the hotel. The only complaint was the $57 a night parking.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank SteveRalegih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICMagMile, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2012

Thank you for being a Priority Club member. I see that you travel extensively and I appreciate the time you took to write a post. Parking is at a premium downtown and the price is competitive within the market. When your travels bring you back to Chicago touch base with the Concierge and they could certainly help with some alternative options.

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Reviewed November 6, 2012

I was in Chicago this past weekend for a wedding. The wedding and the reception were held in the Grand Ballroom at the Intercontinental on Michigan Avenue.

There were about 260 guest attending the wedding. I was one of approximately 100 that were from out of town that also stayed at the hotel. I arrived around noon, used the valet parking and was able to get into my room in the “north” tower. I’ll go over my experience in the room later.

I’ll cut right to the chase, this wedding was by far the best I’ve ever attended. I give the hotel & it’s staff a 5+ star rating for the event. Food was excellent, service was unparalleled, and the décor was exceptional!

The wedding started at 6PM in the Grand Ballroom. The room was divided in two, with rows of chairs for the guests. The aisle was adorned with glowing white candles in various sizes. There were also white rose displays in between the candles on both sides of the aisle. Visually the room was stunning. After the wedding we were escorted across the hall for our cocktail hour.

There were 3 bars set up. In addition servers passed trays of white wine. You never waited for a drink that’s for sure. There were six hand passed appetizers, two were chilled, while four were warm. There was a tomato, buffalo cheese, & red onion, skewered appetizer that was marinated and honestly to die for. A chilled chicken salad was served in a pastry cup.

The warm appetizers were crab cakes that were shaped like ocean scallops, lobster that was dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried(delicious beyond description), a crab stuffed rice paper roll that reminded me of sushi, and the fourth slips my mind(perhaps too many Knob Creeks!).

About an hour later we were escorted back to our tables, which were stunning. I’ve attached a photo of my table before we sat down. Chargers(inscribed with the IC logo), were placed at every seat and included a damask napkin, with our menu inserted in a fold.

We sat down and a server came around and took our napkin and placed it in our lap, then another server came around and took our order, finally another server came around and removed the charger. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people wait on a table. We started off with a toast, champagne was provided to all. Then the wine service started, we had our choice of white or red. If you ordered white wine, they removed the red wine glass. Amazing attention to detail.

Now comes the food… We started with a butternut squash puree, & squash and pine nut saute. It was simply divine. The first server came along and placed a soup plate in front of us(from the left of course). The soup plate had some diced squash and some pine nuts in it. Almost immediately another server came along and ladled the squash puree into the soup plate. It was wonderful, almost like eating a warm pumpkin pie.

Next we had a bibb salad with grilled pear, stilton cheese, caramelized pecan & a dark balsamic vinaigrette. It was wonderful. Everyone loved it.

For dinner we had our choice of blackened sea bass with potato and leek napoleon, green asparagus with a veal and merlot reduction, or mesquite seasoned filet mignon, stilton crust potato vegetable strudel, green asparagus with sour cream jus. I don’t know how they were able to accommodate 260 folks ordering at the table, but they pulled it off. They must have one heck of a kitchen.

I’m a steak fan, but decided to try the sea bass and I was glad I did. Should clarify that the one thing that makes a meal go from extraordinary to mediocre is the temperature of the food. Entrée should be hot, and the salad chilled. Well that was the case here. My sea bass was piping hot, and frankly indescribable. It may well be one of the finest meals I’ve ever eaten. Rest assured my plate was cleared, it was that good.

Coffee was served and a dessert station was available, but I never visited that, no room for anything else. Event went on until about 12:30, it was certainly a magical night. All in all, I again want to thank the staff of the Chicago Intercontinental for making this a night to remember.

On to my room. I stayed in the North Tower on the 8th floor. Room had a view of the south tower. Not a great view, but not that I care either. I’m in the room to sleep & clean up not look out the window. Room was small, bathroom was quite tiny, but for a downtown hotel in an older building I’ve dealt with worse. I’m 6’5” and walking through the hallways was a struggle, I kept having to duck, as I thought I was going to run into the head of the sprinkler system, an exit sign or a door frame.

Other complaints I heard was the high cost of wireless, well I never needed it. I used my IPOD touch through out the city using free wireless provided by numerous restaurants, shops & stores.

I did use the valet parking which was pricey, $57 a day. Another person I met at the wedding told me he parked out by the airport for $8 a day and took the subway into the city. You certainly could do that, but I would rather pay the extra money, have valet service and not have to lug my suitcases all over the city on the subway, moving up & down stairs.

All things considered, including the staff, from the bellhop, concierge, guys in the garage, to the check out clerks, all were all professional & courteous. My stay at the Intercontinental Chicago was excellent, with one exception. I’m rating this a 4 star hotel rather than a five star hotel because of….. plastic cups in the bathroom. Shame on whoever made that decision. You’re going to charge downtown hotel rates yet provide items that I would expect at a truck stop motor inn? Well this was a true let down.

Just a suggestion to anyone that is thinking of having a wedding at this hotel, I would suggest that you buy a couple cases of glasses and have the hotel put them in the rooms of your out of town guests. This will save you much embarrassment.

Room Tip: Windows open in the North tower which I liked. Ask to stay on the same floor as the icemaker.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kskwestlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICMagMile, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experience at the Intercontinental. I really enjoyed reading the post and no detail was missed. I have shared your comments, not only to recognized great service but to also look for opportunities to improve. Thank you again.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

It's a nice property, might need some renovation inside rooms. Booked a junior suite, spacious room and fantastic view of the Magnificent Miles. It's nice to have such a large room in Chicago. Bathroom is nice, but I dont think regular room has separate shower and bath tub. Decor in the room is definitely out dated

Room Tip: Higher floor is prefered
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Ted Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICMagMile, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Thank you for your feedback and I appreciate the time you took to write a post. The Hotel has two towers, the Historic Tower which was renovated in 2010 and we have a scheduled renovation of our Grand Tower starting in January 2013. I am very excited about the new rooms and updated features. Please contact our Guest Relations team or me directly at Simon.Chapman@ihg.com when your travels bring you back to Chicago.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

Arrival: Room was not ready. A 45 minutes-wait was necessary. While the guest desk apologized, it could have not hurt to received a complimentary Starbucks so we could wait properly.

Room: Good room. Not spacious but does the job. Good beds and linen. Clean.

Location: You can't beat the location. Right in the middle of Michigan Ave. Exit and turn left to go to south Michigan (Millenium park, museums). Turn right to visit magnificent mile, see restaurant, beach.

Price was decent. I recommend.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank FrenchTraveler88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICMagMile, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Thank you for your post and the great suggestion. We certainly look for different ways we can delight our guests and I will ensure we review your suggestion.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

I think this hotel has an excellent location--right in the heart of Michigan Avenue & a short walk to the Pier and great restaurants. The hotel itself is simply average. The entrance is clean. The staff working the doors have a lot to learn about service--in the 3 days I stayed there only 1 doorman offered to open the door--when I was entering with a stroller!

The rooms were clean--but again nothing special. I was in the main tower & on a high floor. I was happy that my room was all the way down the hallway as the walls were pretty thin--so wouldn't have wanted to hear people walking off of elevator. The furnishings were all in fine shape but again nothing overly modern and the room was on the small size. The bathroom looked like it had a very inexpensive makeover--so again adequate but nothing fancy.

I checked out the pool in hopes of going there with my daughter--but it is purely a lap pool--so no shallow area that she would have been able to stand.

If I returned to chicago I would most likely not return to this hotel unless I was getting a very good rate. For the same price I could have stayed at the Westin--an I thought that was a much nicer hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a room far away from the elevators.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank fly_high5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ICMagMile, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Thank you for your feedback and I appreciate the time you took to write a post. Please accept my sincerest apology for the poor service from the doorman. I can assure you that is very unusual and will review with the team.
The Hotel has two towers, the Historic Tower which was renovated in 2010 and we have a scheduled renovation of our Grand Tower starting in January 2013. I am very excited about the new rooms and updated features. Please contact our Guest Relations team or me directly at Simon.Chapman@ihg.com when your travels bring you back to Chicago.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Although I used free points for this hotel stay, the hotel staff could not have greeted me more warmly than if I paid the full room rate. The room itself - a deluxe king - was wonderful, with a superb view over the city. The cleanliness of the room - often a problem in different hotels - was top notch. I also suggest the wine bar in the hotel - Eno.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sally F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

It's not widely advertised that one of Chicago's archtectural gems is the historical tower of this hotel. Request your room be in that part of the hotel. The pool is gorgeous and that whole side of the hotel is like stepping into a bygone era of elegance. It's very well-located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, within a short walk to the great parks, the art institute, shopping and dining.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank angel040574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Address: 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-3827
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Magnificent Mile , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#29 Green Hotel in Chicago
#40 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#58 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#64 Business Hotel in Chicago
#65 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $133 - $467 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile 4.5*
Number of rooms: 872
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Chicago is a lot like the city itself: historic but hip, refined but relaxed, cultured but comfortable. A member of Michigan Avenue s architectural elite since 1929, our hotel is within easy reach of Chicago s incomparable museums, stores, theatres and restaurants. Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium and Oak Street Beach are minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Chicago Hotel Chicago
Chicago Intercontinental

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