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“Great location and... and... I'm stuck :(”

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InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Ranked #67 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed July 23, 2013

First of all I'm not sure this is a fair review because we haven't even stayed here yet. We booked a night at another hotel but thought this would be a better location that was more professional. We had a long day at the zoo and were quite tired (myself, my wife and 4 yr old daughter) but nonetheless thought it would be nice. The location is great.... if you want to be in the centre of Michigan Ave then this is the place. That being said here is our experience thus far...

We got there after walking all day and were super tired. We really didn't like the hotel we were at and like others reviewed, were looking for something more upscale. We were greeted by a nice young blonde lady (I forget her name, sorry) who's service was great. We asked to see a room and although the room was fully booked she managed to find one that she could show us. We checked it out in the historical tower and was advised we could have a room like the one shown which is a deluxe with 2 double beds and a view of Michigan Ave, perfect for what we wanted. While checking out the room my daughter fell asleep in my arms from a long day... understandable but tiring.

I asked the price and advised we are CAA/AAA members. We were told by the lady assisting us it's $246 for the evening compared to the regular rate of $286. She also advised that they are unable to give me this rate at the front desk as their "system" doesn't allow this and doesn't even show what the rates are for promotions. I then called the toll free number with their kind assistance and spoke with a "Troy". Keep in mind I've had a long day... unable to eat because of a hotel we were currently having troubles with and have a 4 year old asleep in one arm while I'm on the phone with the other. I told Troy we looked at room 1905 to get an idea of the hotel and it's rooms (as the one we are currently staying at isn't quite what we had in mind). He then starts mentioning another person's name and offered us this rate and many options for being some sort of a gold ICH member of some sort (sorry I'm paraphrasing this part) and that we would have a free movie included and free internet. At the end of this I said this sounds great. I state my name and that I'm not the person he assumed I was. I asked him why he would assume I was a guest currently there when I advised clearly at the beginning of the call that I was still just initially booking. Not only that, he advised the price as $270ish ... when I advised the price quoted, he had found that price... great, I'm supposed to their jobs now. I advised I still want these "perks" and that he had offered them. Do I need a membership to qualify? I didn't think this was Costco.

I'm still choked at this point I have a sleeping 4 yr old in my arms. He apologized as he couldn't do anything as the "system" doesn't allow it. Every organization or large company has a system. I don't accept this and here's why:

Anyone can follow the rules. the best companies that offer great customer service bend them or work to find solutions. I spoke with the manager and advised the same thing. Was told... the system doesn't allow it, there are restrictions, etc. I asked him if he's the manager of the hotel, why can't he make the exception to offer the AAA rate at the front desk. I empathized and understood that he didn't create the system in place. I was then told they can offer the regular rate of $286 less 10% which is normally the AAA discount. At this point I fired back at him because I was told by the lady at the front desk (still very nice at this point and right to the end) and that math still doesn't add up to the rate of $246. Not sure why he thought I'd be happy with that but anyways.... I asked him if he was going to offer the rate or not to which he said he would book me in at $286 and then discount it after.

Why does a "world class" hotel such as ICH have systems issues that offer little flexibility. Why do managers seem to have no discretion? Why do I have to lose my temper and get upset with a sleeping child in my arms to make a case in order for a solution to be provided by a manager who seems content with saying it's the system and that basically the way it is??

I feel like I've been fed lines and this customer service is brutal. In short I'm happy with the location and had planned on staying two nights but have had way better service from the Marriott Courtyard in Schaumburg and the Marriott Fairfield in Starved Rock.

To fellow trip advisors who have rated this hotel or stayed at other hotels in downtown Chicago? Any recommendations for other hotels? Please, your warm wishes for my stay tomorrow night.

Cheers.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Dean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyiana, Assistant Front Office Director at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your recent stay with us. I am deeply sorry we fell below your expectations. Our hotel is very proud of its level of service and quality of its product and for this reason your comments are very valuable and will certainly be looked into this. Please accept my sincere apology for the shortcomings you have experienced. I appreciate you for bringing this into our attention as the feedback we receive from our guests like you, enables us to target problem areas and take the necessary actions to improve our guest services.

Thank You

Aravind Gudidevuni

Assistant Front Office Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,832 - 2,838 of 4,709 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights whilst attending a conference in Chicago. An amazing location, it was great to be able to walk out of the hotel and walk to shops, bars and landmarks. The River walk was close by as was Trump Towers and the main shops. Bedroom was fine with 2 double beds. Breakfast was served in 2 locations with home-made omelettes which were lovely. The bar area and restaurant were lovely. An amazing location and great hotel that wasn't too large to be impersonal.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Becky B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Perfect location for Chicago, lovely historic hotel with an outstanding staff. The air conditioning could be just a little cooler, but there was a heat index of over 100, so it was understandable. We will definitely return for another visit. Close to all our favorite shopping spots and restaurants, as well as the subway to venture away from the downtown area. Centrally located on the Miracle Mile, very close to the theatre district as well.

Room Tip: A higher floor gives great views of Michigan Avenue.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mrush16848
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I was excited to come to the IC Chicago for a family event this past weekend. I was very disappointed. Several things did not go well as far as the hotel was concerned.

First, let me describe the decor. One word does it well -- DATED. Dated as in everything in the hotel from the lobby to the elevators to the guest room (at least mine) looks in need of an update. It is neither "hip" nor "elegant" nor "classic". Just tired.

For the family event that I was attending (a wedding at a nearby venue) I was supposed to be given a welcome bag from the front desk. I was not. I called about it the next day to ask if they had a bag for me and it caused a scramble. Three phone calls later an exasperated bellman delivered it to me. While I appreciate the bellman's effort, how hard is it to know that everyone in the XYZ party gets a bag at checkin?

I got to my room and immediately knew it was a smokers room. I called the front desk and asked if they had non-smoking rooms. They assured me that the hotel is fully non-smoking and that nobody had smoked in this room. That was, of course, complete nonsense. I could smell it. The prior guests had probably smoked and the housekeeping staff sprayed disinfectant. It's a very distinct smell and I'm sure many readers know it. Turns out there were no other rooms available so they sent up housekeeping to spray some more. It was pretty unpleasant that first night. By the second day the smell had faded and was tolerable.

Next, the room had some issues. The view from the 34th floor was nice but there was a lot of hall noise from the elevator and guests returning from Friday and Saturday night's out. The shower had issues in that the lever to switch the water from the spigot to the shower did not seal properly and only half of the water would rise to the shower, resulting in low water pressure out of the shower. The desk has a weird flat panel computer monitor on it. I played around with it and it didn't always work -- again DATED -- but more annoyingly it would come on periodically and display advertising for the local steak house or a tour of Chicago that one can buy. In room flashing banner advertising, sheesh!

The one thing going for the hotel is its great location on Michigan Blvd. Also, there is a good Starbucks in the lobby. Other than that, you aren't getting much, imo.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank LeisureErik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyiana, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2013

Dear LeisureErik,

Thank you very much for bringing your feedback to our attention.

I am very sorry indeed to learn about the various issues you had during your stay and I would like to offer you my most sincere apologies for not providing the kind of service that you, have the right to expect at an Intercontinental Hotel.

Please let me assure you that I have already discussed your e-mail within our department head team, as we must ensure that we don't make the same mistakes twice. It is feedback such as yours that helps us improve our services.
We sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Intercontinental Chicago in the not too distant future, giving us a second chance to show you the impeccable service that you would expect at an Intercontinental Hotel.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly anytime. It would be a please for me talking to you personally regarding incidents happened.

Sincerely,

Martina Lebensorger

Director of Front Office

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Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here many times. Rooms are nicely updated, very modern, comfortable and upscale. Rooms are a little small, understandable, as it is a historic hotel. This hotel has great spaces, meeting rooms, and especially the pool... Don't miss taking a swim! Meeting rooms in the historic tower very interesting, kind of medevil. Only paper cups, no coffee mugs or glasses, a bit curious for an Intercontinental Hotel... I like morning coffee in a mug. Phenomenal location, walk to everything... Including Billy Goat Tavern below for late night munchies.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Goblu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I want to say right from the start that I very rarely mark excellent in every category when I am doing reviews, but I am going to this time because this stay was so incredible. This stay was by far my greatest hotel stay of all times.
I would like to thank every staff member that was working July 9th thru the 11th. I want to recognize everyone that I dealt with on this trip by name, but I know that I will be forgetting someone. If I forget anyone in this review I want to apologize right now. In no way does it mean that I didn't appreciate your service. My thanks to Raymond V., Sean O., Margaret M., Martina L., and the countless other staff members that made this trip perfect. I especially wanted to thank the manager that I corresponded back and forth with while making this reservation. I unfortunately have lost all of my emails for the last couple of years which included your name. For that, I apologize for not giving you the recognition that you deserve .
My number 1 reason for recommending this hotel is the staff. I can say that they are the best in business. I will now judge all other hotel staff by the standard that they have set.
Location is prime at this Intercontinental. Directly on Michigan Ave and right across from the mall. Only steps away from the river and all of the boat cruises.
Looking for food? You have to try The Continental for their breakfast brunch. I had some of the best breakfast food. I would have liked to have spent more time there than I did. It is well worth a try at least once.
Did I mention bedding? This bed was so comfy that I fell asleep before my wife even got out of the bathroom. I don't think that I moved all night. It was very unusual for me to sleep so well on a hotel bed.
The pool is just unreal. The seating section was under some remodeling when we were there, but it did not stop us from enjoying the Olympic size pool. It is one of my favorite spots in the hotel.
Have you join Priority Club and upgraded to Ambassador status? If you haven't... you need to. Free upgrades, fresh fruit, your own check in area, mineral water in your room just to name a few of the perks. I am currently Platinum Ambassador with IHG. I know that after this trip I will continue my Ambassador status for life! I am gold with a competitor, but I am going to let that expire.
Another fun thing to do is just to walk around the first 3 floors and look at the architecture in this place. It was built in the 1920s and they did not skimp when it came to the stone work. Very impressive work.
For everyone that thinks that this place is haunted....sorry to disappoint, but I never saw any ghosts.
I hope that we get this kind of service when we visit the Intercontinental in Tahiti this coming November.

Room Tip: Get Ambassador status and get free upgrades.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank sigs99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I was in town for a convention and had a meeting run long and Patrick Taylor was incredibly helpful in providing me all the service I needed to get out of my meeting and make it to my flight on time. He went over and beyond what was expected of him to make sure my stay was as comfortable and convenient as possible. It's the service that he provided that makes me want to come back and stay there again. Thank you again, Patrick!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank William M
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:
#22 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#30 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: $150 - $534 (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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