Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection
Good location and price
I stayed one night in this hotel. My desire was something affordable and clean. At $161, this was the best deal I could find in the area of Chicago I wanted to be in -- to get that, I used my AAA membership. This hotel is right in the heart of everything -- where E. Wacker Dr., State St., the Chicago River, and the "Magnificent Mile" intersect. My room, 1031, was pretty spacious. Everything looked new and immaculate. These hotel rooms and hallways are anything but boring. The decoration is very uncharacteristic of a hotel -- more like home decorating done by a professional decorator -- but, of course, you'd never dare use such raucous patterns and vibrant, primary colors. I, too, was missing morning coffee, and I agree that the hotel info. about available services and how to avail yourself of them is minimal. My view was of the auto levels of Marina City, but there was also a bit of river view. I heard no noise whatsoever. The bathroom was appealingly decorated, and everything was fine. The vanity afforded plenty of room to spread out; there were two nice soaps -- different ones for sink and tub use. The towels were nice enough and plentiful. The toiletries were good and included shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and lotion. There was a robe in the closet and plenty of nice, wooden hangers. The desk chair was ergonomic. For extra seating, besides the beds and desk chair, there was an ottoman. Besides coffee, the only thing I thought a guest would miss was a hairdryer, but I'm sure if you asked, you could get one. There was a TV on a swivel stand, a CD player, and an electric alarm clock. There was an ice bucket, and ice was available down the hall. A Chicago newspaper was delivered in the morning. I ate lunch at Bin 36. I had the special of the day -- grilled shrimp with salsa and tortilla chips. It cost $13 and was delicious, but it seemed more like an appetizer than a meal. I thought this hotel provided excellent value, and I experienced no problems. I would not recommend it generally for business travelers, because all business services, some of which are sometimes free, cost money, but on my last night in Chicago, I was playing tourist and did not need such things. The only thing that bothered me was that my non-smoking room was not on a non-smoking floor, so there was the experience of nasty, stale cigarette smell when I got off the elevator on my floor. My room must have been quite far from the smoking rooms, though. Still, there must be enough non-smoking patrons for whole floors to be reserved for them -- after all, even at the height of the smoking era, smokers were in the minority. To sum up, rooms were nice, attractive, well-equipped, well-maintainded, and clean. I didn't want to pay for extra luxuries I didn't need. I got pretty much what I was looking for but not in that bland, budget hotel form. I would caution that my stay occurred during the week, and I wonder whether this hotel might get noisy on the weekend.
Loved this place
One of the best hotels for the money I have stayed. Spacious rooms, CD player, comfortable beds, great bathroom products, and plenty of great nightlife and dining on the premises.
A fun place to stay
This is indeed a funky hotel to stay in. The rooms vary in size but they are all decorated in bright and "eccentric" colors and styling. The rooms are on the dark side but it adds to the overall mood of the hotel. The king bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was large and had all the expected amenities.
Hotel location was excellent but the arrival/valet/drop-off area outside was always very congested and the check-in area very small.
For a good time try out the 10-Pin bowling lounge. The prices are reasonable and it's always great fun to throw a couple of games with friends.
For those with any smoke allergies, be aware that they mix smoking and non-smoking rooms on the same floor. I believe they have smoking one end of the floor and non-smoking on the other but I could still faintly smell cigarette smoke in the corridors.
Overall this is a fun hotel, I guess you could call it "relaxed", but in a sort of smug and pretentious way.
HOB Hotel is a Must!
I stay at this hotel frequently for business trips. My colleagues stay at the stuffier hotels like Four Seasons, Omni, etc. If you like a great, funky, casual, and comfortable atmosphere - the House of Blues Hotel is a must! The rooms are consistently clean, roomy, and have bright artistic decor that puts a smile on your face when you enter. The staff is always friendly and helpful. As a guest at the hotel, you can get a pass from the concierge for the "members only" Foundation Room across the way. Although, there is also a great bar in the hotel lobby that offers a similar atmosphere. This hotel is conveniently located to every whim found downtown. Ask for a room on a higher floor with a great view overlooking the river. I never stay anywhere else.
House of Blues Hotel adventure
I would definitely stay at Chicago's House of Blues Hotel again, despite a few 'caveat emptor' notes. First, they gave away our room the first of three nights. However, they put us up in the nearby, fancy Ritz-Carlton (a far superior but boring luxury hotel), even giving us cab fare to and from the Ritz. Why did this happen? 'A group came in,' the unsmiling young clerk said, as though bracing for a tirade.
Thinking maybe it was a group of groupies for some band playing at the HOB next door, we didn't protest much. I suspected it also had to do with the fact that we booked through Expedia, but can't substantiate that. Expedia was great. After paying in advance and having Expedia alert the hotel in writing that we were arriving late and us calling the hotel directly that afternoon from the east coast to confirm ('yes, we have your reservation'), it sucked coming from the airport and being summarily told there was no room. But points to the HOB for putting us up at the Ritz-Carlton (which failed to give us the requested roll-away cot when they didn't have a room with two beds for two straight guys so one of us slept on the floor on a bedspread at the Ritz after coming in at 4 a.m. but that's another story). Anyway, next morning, we called the HOB to tell them we were coming over for our room. 'Yes, sir, we have three rooms with twin beds.' Only problem was, 20 minutes later, the front desk tried to tell us there were no such rooms. Persistence paid off, and we soon found ourselves in a nice, spacious room on the 15th floor. Everything else about the HOB hotel was good. In fact, they wanted to comp us with a Junior Suite after the trouble we were put through, but it didn't have two beds. Points for HOB Hotel. We liked the room decorations and colors, although the voodoo motif might have scared the heck out of kids or a sleepwalker. The room had a great view and floor-to-ceiling windows that actually opened! Excellent air-conditioning. The bathroom was outstanding, as was the maid service. Night-owls will like the opague curtains. The towels were thin, but the shower fine. Doors were solid and elevators efficient.
The place seemed new and was very clean. No hookers seemed to be hanging around, although there was plentiful scenery in this chic location. The TV reception was poor and number of cable channels small.
But we didn't go to watch TV so didn't matter. They give you a compiliation blues CD. Rooms have a good little stereo system, so bring your own CDs. The room was spacious, with a desk chair, but no lounge chairs. Nice hassock, though. The downstairs bar, which just won a Chicago magazine poll for best hotel bar, was dead as a doornail Sunday/Monday/Tuesday. But the adjacent House of Blues restaurant/concert hall was hopping. The HOB location is great, just over the Chicago River from the Loop subway stops, meaning you can take a subway from either O'Hare or Midway and walk to the hotel if you're traveling pretty lightly. The river itself is dwarfed by majestic architecture and topped by multiple picturesque bridges, a few blocks away from the site of the 1915 Eastland ship disaster that killed 800 people (plaque marks the site for history buffs). Besides a friendly Smith & Wollensky next door overlooking the river, the general area is kind of beautiful but kind of dead, so hop on the Red Line to Wrigleyville or just about anywhere in the city (we got a three-day $12 subway/bus pass that we wore out). Back to the hotel--the lobby looks like something out of Marrakesh; this is not your average expensive hotel, perhaps an acquired taste, but I would definitely stay there again. Staff was pretty friendly, location is bedrock Chicago, subway right nearby, and you might get a break on the price through Expedia or other on-line broker; our average cost for Saturday-Sunday-Monday was about $155. And we brought the dress code a bit down to earth at the Ritz in the process!
We just got back from a great vacation in Chicago! The House of Blues was the perfect location for us to get around by public transportation and foot. The room was very clean and the staff was helpful...though we weren't at the hotel enough to ask for much. They also provide more amenities (a blues CD, down comforters and great pillows!) than most hotels I've stayed at. We did have a room facing the club and it was a little noisy when the shows let out, but that was to be expected.
The best deal in Chicago!
My wife and I have been driving down to Chicago from Milwaukee at least once a month for the past 12 years. We have stayed in an eclectic number of hotels from the top of the line Ritz Carlton to the very basic Lenox Suites. The best and most consistently excellent experience we have had is at The House of Blues Hotel. The rooms are larger and more intricately decorated then most other hotels costing tons more. The staff is as friendly as any staff we have encountered, and we travel all over the world. The attached restaurant, Bin 36, is the best wine bar in Chi town, and doubles as a gathering hole for the friendliest people in town. Bin 36 is open from early morning to late night. On the week-ends, The House of Blues Hotel offers free entertainment in their lounge. What's more, they are pet friendly! The hotel is located in River North, one of the most "happening" areas of town. I believe your other reviewers should stick to The Red Roof Inn and Motel 6 as their reviews certainly reverberate with that aura of sophistication. You will love The House of Blues Hotel if you enjoy urbane ambience.
Makin' me Blue
The House of Blues Hotel is located in downtown Chicago, immediately north of the river. We threw a bachelorette party in a 2-room, 2-bathroom suite that was ENORMOUS and well appointed. The room was clean and well stocked, with unique decorations and a great view of the city. If you're looking for an off-beat hotel, this is the place for you. My complaint is with the parking: as the hotel is downtown and parking is scarce, guests are forced to use the valet parking. For $28 (!!), I expected top-of-the-line service. Instead, I waited an HOUR AND A QUARTER for the valet service to bring my car from the garage. Numerous staff "looked into" the ticket and promised that it was coming "right down," finally culminating in our speaking to the manager and having the charge removed from our room. This experience marred what was otherwise an excellet stay at the HOB Hotel.
We are usually Comfort Suites and Holiday Inn type people, but thought I'd treat myself to a birthday present by staying at this "unique property" downtown at about $250 a night. Big mistake. The room was smallish, although the bathroom was huge and the towels were pretty nice. There were 2 terry robes for guest use, I requested and received 2 more since there were 4 of us, but only 3 robes remained after housekeeping visited the first morning and the missing one was never replaced. The touted "videogames" that "come with the room" turned out to be Lodgenet, the pay-per-hour thing with limited game choices, available at many hotels. No coffee maker in the room, and it took over $6 and a 45-minute wait to get a 2-1/2 cup carafe of the stuff. The bathroom doorknob fell off in my daughter's hand the first time she went in there. There is a small desk in the room upon which the TV perches; the desk looks like it came from a yard sale, and a knob came off the drawer on that as well. There was no dresser or other place for clothes. Room decor was supposed to be "cool" or something, but simply slapping on olive green wall paint doesn't even begin to make it interesting.
The real House of Blues is a wonderful place, quality live music and good food, fun and funky environment, but the pretentious Loew's hotel that built next to it was bad news.
Apalling Service and Unsafe Atmosphere
We were robbed in our hotel room, while sleeping, in the middle of the night. As if that was not enough, the next morning, when we realized what had happened, we encountered the most incompetent and abusive customer service. The hotel operator asked for a credit card deposit in order to make phone calls (credit cards had been stolen!). They insisted it was a hotel policy and could not make exceptions. Another hotel operator repeatedly refused to connect us to the police. Front desk attendant simply ignored us when we arrived downstairs in the lobby and asked to speak with the hotel manager. She kept cleaning the counter with Windex while pretending that we did not exist. Security treated us with suspicion and contempt. The security staff which do several rounds of floor checks nightl, failed to observe that our hotel room door had been open the entire night. We were never offered any apology or complementary services. We later found out that hotel room door doesn't close shut. We strongly suspect the burglary was an inside job and the hotel management is involved in a cover up. It has been a week and we have not heard anything from the hotel regarding investigation or compensation for losses.
Also worth noting that the day we checked in, the heat in our room did not work. Later that evening, we ordered room service. It arrived an hour late (1 1/2 hrs after placing the order) and it was completely cold.
So much for service at the House Of Blues Hotel!