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“Great location; pool not the best for beginning swimmers”

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InterContinental Chicago
Ranked #73 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Peoria, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great location; pool not the best for beginning swimmers”
Reviewed August 14, 2006

Very nice hotel in a GREAT location -- we enjoyed our 1 night stay. We booked through Hotwire[--] for $182/night on a weekend when both the Tall Ships and LollaPalooza (sp?) were in town and rooms everywhere were expensive. We're more used to Holiday Inn/Comfort Inn type accomodations but even the downtown locations for those chains were more expensive, at least for the night we were staying.
The valet staff courteously explained the parking/luggage process (something we are used to doing ourselves), and the front desk staff were efficient if not overly friendly. However, housekeeping ignored our Do Not Disturb sign and rang our doorbell promptly at 9 AM to see if they could make up our room. Also, the light bulb was burned out in the small entry hallway in our room, making it hard to see in the hallway closet. The bellhop that brought up our luggage said he would contact maintenance to get it fixed, but nothing ever happened. Another word of caution: parking is $41, not the $10 to $25 estimate listed on the Hotwire website. However, we were allowed to drop off the car 2 hours before check-in time (our room was ready that early also), and leave it in the garage 5 hours after check-out. We walked or took free trolleys everywhere (Navy Pier, Millenium Park, American Girl Store, Rainforest Cafe), saving us parking fees at other places.
The pool area is gorgeous, if you like historical decor, which we do. The pool itself is huge (75 feet long). However the shallow end is 4 feet deep, so if you have young children be sure to bring their flotation devices. Our daughter ended up using the kickboards that are available at the fitness center desk (one of the few things that were free). We were a little surprised that there was a substantial daily fee ($17?) to use the fitness center.
Our room was in the Historical Tower, and faced Michigan Ave. As another reviewer mentioned, we heard sirens all night, even though our windows were closed. We just figured that was part of the Chicago experience! Our room had 2 double beds, but one of them was about 6" from the wall. It was fine for the three of us, but a fourth person would have had a hard time getting out of bed. Obviously hard for the maid to vacuum also, as there was a row of dust bunnies along that baseboard. Otherwise the room and bathroom were very clean and comfortable.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CamperAtHeart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2006

Our room was clean and comfortable, plenty of space, however the double beds are far too small for two people (we were in the "historic" south tower). The staff really made our stay nice. From the front desk and bellman, to the banquet and fitness center staff, everyone was very friendly and professional. The hotel has a lot of history but they seem to keep up on the maintenance and updates fairly well. Can't beat the location, but you pay for it. You could get a much better rate by staying just a block or two off Michigan. Nice stay.

  • Liked — Location & staff
  • Disliked — Rates
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank FrugalVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2006

Stayed here for a business conference. Was impressed with the public areas but my room was small in a stange way... it was long but not wide. There was about 3 feet of room between the foot of my bed and the wall. The bathroom was unnecessarily large and if made smaller, the bedroom could have been larger. The pool, fitness room, and banquet rooms were well decorated but in a exaggerated, Las Vegas resort way. I probably wouldn't stay for leisure travel as I wouldn't spend that much money on a night at this hotel unless I was guaranteed a larger room.

Stayed August 2006
Helpful?
3 Thank manders318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2006

My husband and stayed here for our 10th wedding anniv. Five night stay Aug 2-7th, 2006. Booked by phone from number on web site with a special rate--309.00 the first night, then 239.00 the rest of the stay. Well that turned out to be a misquote--the 239.00 was only to be for the one night on Thursday and then back to the 309.00 for the remainder of stay. When I found the mistake in rate I called and spoke with Josh Ellerman in Guest Relations. Apparently they had recorded the original booking conversation and the hotel did honor the 239.00 rate. He was very nice, polite, and helpful. The hotel is lovely, great location and very clean rooms. All the staff at the hotel was very nice, polite and more than helpful. We did encounter problems with finding out the hard way there is a fee for every little thing--ex: free local calls, but only up to 19 mins, after that there is a fee per minute--not informed of that when inquired concerning charges. So be careful when using internet. They will charge your credit card 75.00 a day for "incidentals" and they stated it is on their web site, but we never saw it--must be the tiny little print that no one reads! Just little things like that. We did not park, but they charge 41.00 a day for parking. Close to bus pick up and El trains, Walgreens and Starbucks about a block away--very handy!! Right in the heart of the city!!

Helpful?
5 Thank momfour4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2006

We stayed here 7/24-30/2006, after having stayed here last October, which was a pleasant experience. We weren't so fortunate this time. First, we arrived at 8:00pm only to be told our room wouldn't be available for at least an hour. Not acceptable when you're paying $350 a night, in my opinion. So we had to do the luggage storage thing while we went to dinner, which cost us a couple of extra tips. When we checked in after dinner at Ditka's, the drapery sheer was torn loose and hanging sideways from the curtain rod, the carpet in the entry way was soaking wet, and the bed was sunken in the middle like a hammock. It was late so we decided we'd deal with it the next day. The pillows on the bed were these awful feather pillows (are we the only people who don't like feather pillows??), so we requested foam pillows. The ones they sent up weren't much better. The next morning I was getting dressed for a business meeting, had my socks on, walked over to the closet, only to soak my socks on the still wet carpet - not happy! We asked to be switched to a different room that afternoon, and they accommodated us. We asked for foam pillows up front, and didn't get them, so we had to go thru the whole ask and wait scenario again. Pillows were a bit better this go-around. This room was better, but the problems of the first couple of days left a pretty bad memory for us. The location of the hotel is great - easy walking to many shops on Mich Ave. We had breakfast one morning in the hotel restaurant - Zest - and it was $57+ for the buffet for 2 people!! I have to admit it was very good, but it certainly should have been. If you like to have a cocktail at the hotel bar in the evening, forget it here. The bar was always full, with nowhere to sit, and incredibly noisy. So, they lost a lot of business from us over the course of the week. Overall, I think we'll have to try a different hotel for our next visit.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — quality of room
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AJ1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed July 10, 2006

Certainly the most luxurious hotel in which I have ever stayed, the Intercontinental was the second choice for our recent organists' convention. Alas, few organists can spend even the AARP rate of $161.00 plus tax per night Mon - Wed in early July. The Sunday night rate was even higher. Two clean double beds were provided along with a large screen TV. A Nintendo was available, but I did not use it.

The restaurant is named ZEST, and I did enjoy the vegetable pizza with white cheese on top for $9.50. It was quite a shock Monday morning when I saw that a hot breakfast would cost $23.50 and a cold Continental breakfast would be $17.50 or perhaps $13.50. Express breakfast was available, according to a gold card in the corner, with coffee $2, juice $2, a bagel $2, cereal $4. I finally settled on a cold cereal for $3.75 and coffee (which must be served) and a small glass of juice of $4.25 plus tax and tip.

The housekeeper did her job well, but I was called early one afternoon and heard a door knock on another, even though the Privacy Please sign was on the door..

The Chicago Trib was provided free on Monday, Wed and Thurs (Tues was a holiday). We were asked to leave the dark blue cover in the room to be used again. This hotel did not offer the option of not washing the sheets and/or towels to save on energy.

Wireless internet access was available in the room; I visited the Business Center twice for internet access. During the day, I could enter without a key. Late at night, the receptionist had to rekey my room card so that I could enter the locked room. There is a minimum of $6.75 for 15 minutes; more than 15 becomes $.45 per minute, payable to another business via credit card, not the hotel.

Elevators worked well. Ice was available on on the 7th floor. On a busy weekend, I had to wait an extra hour to check in to a non-smoking room. Smoking rooms were available.

In the room, in addition to the typical "mini Bar," was an assortment of snacks. Individually they would cost $28.75; as a package deal they cost $16.00. I managed to restrain myself from using those. A travel toothbrush and toothpaste would have cost $2, which surprised me.

Helpful?
Thank MsBach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kankakee, Il.
1 review
Reviewed July 7, 2006

We stayed here from July 2 through 4. We arrived at noon on the 2nd and were told we had a great northeast corner view room (it was) on the 19th floor of the Historic Tower, but it was not available until after 3:00 PM. We checked our luggage & had the concierge make dinner reservations for us for 6:00 PM. We walked to Millenium Park & The Taste of Chicago & returned to the hotel at 4:00 PM. We asked for our luggage to be delivered ASAP. At 5:30 PM we still did not have our luggage. After many phone calls & 3 seperate trips down to speak with the bell captain & have him tell us that the luggage was on it's way, we received our luggage, at 6:20 PM. Needless to say, we were very unhappy! I did eventually speak to a front desk manager the following day & he asked what he needed to do to help the situation. I told him that he needed to do what he thought was best. I was trying to find out how much they wanted my business back. We live about 1 1/2 hours south of Chicago, and although we do not travel extensively, we try to come to Chicago 2 or 3 times a year for a quick getaway. His response to the situation was to add additional points to our Priority Club. I'm guessing this is fairly common in these situations, but we were very disappointed in this result. We will plan on staying elsewhere when we return to Chicago.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Chicago

Property: InterContinental Chicago
Address: 505 North Michigan Ave, 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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#31 Green Hotel in Chicago
#45 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#58 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#64 Business Hotel in Chicago
#65 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — InterContinental Chicago 4.5*
Number of rooms: 844
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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