I stayed here once before in the North Tower. My thoughts were "good hotel in a great location". So when a $107/night deal on Hotwire that was hard to pass up was the InterContinental, I had to see if anything had changed since the last stay.
The answer: Plenty. We again ended up in the North Tower, which is undergoing a renovation, and ended up in one of the renovated rooms. In fact, we could still smell the fresh paint and wallpaper on our floor. Once you get past the weird hallway carpeting that looks like it had lime paint spilled on it, they did a spectacular job renovating the rooms. Beds are extremely comfortable, decor is modern and attractive, and there were a megaton of power plugs for your gadgets (unfortunately, Wi-Fi ain't free, but AT&T LTE reception is great here, and the Starbucks in the lobby has free Wi-Fi). Another one of my complaints has also been rectified: the North Tower's noisy old toilets have been replaced by quiet yet effective Toto toilets as part of the bathroom remodel, which also includes new faucets with a rain shower. The Agraria toiletries are also new since the last visit... most hotel toiletries either smell bad, don't perform well, or dry out your skin (sometimes, all three). These are none of the above. Don't like the modern changes in the North Tower? Pay a little more and stay in the historic tower.
The fitness center had a fee, so I passed on that. However, I did use the hotel's amazing pool. Words cannot describe how good this is for a hotel pool.
There was a minor inconvienence in the middle of all this construction: We needed some ice, and the wing's only ice machine was on the 7th floor, which was blocked off for renovations. Although a visit to the front desk brought a giant bag of ice to our room, I think that there should have been some kind of warning. Still, this is the Iowa Hawkeyes' official team hotel for the Big Ten Tournament, and anything management can do to limit the amount of cold beer in the rooms might actually be a good thing.
Overall, these improvements that are in the works are making an already good hotel really great. Remember, the North Tower is still under renovation, so don't be surprised if you get an older room with the old decor and noisy toilet if you stay here for the next few months. But when the dust is settled, this will be worth the wait for frequent visitors to this great hotel in a great location.
- 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