Feb 24, 10, 6:51 pm
Has anyone stayed at this new property yet? I am curious on how it compares to other hotels in the area and the IC Chicago?
Feb 22, 11, 11:50 pm
Look like limited info on this property so I though I would get the ball rolling with a review of our stay over the past weekend. This hotel shows up as the Crown Plaza Magnificent Mile and also the Avenue. A little confusing but according to the person I talked to the hotel was called The Avenue hotel right before being converted to a Crowne Plaza. I am assuming they did not want to change some of the signage so they kept Avenue in the name.
Arrival: We were driving on this trip and had a parking package booked. We arrived in the evening and had no problem finding the hotel as it has a great location just off Michigan Ave on Huron St. The front door person met us quickly upon arrival and took our car.
Check In: The relatively small check in area was a bit congested as an air crew was checking out an the other desk was occupied for some time with a person that apparently had never stayed at a hotel before and had many questions. :) When are got to the check in desk the lady apologized for the long wait (it really wasnt long at all) and advised us of a room upgrade due to our Priority Club Platinum status, upgraded to a location suite. Also, she told us we had a coupon good for a 15% discount on breakfast at the Sky Lounge on the 40th floor and a coupon for a free drink at the Elephant and Castle Pub on the ground floor.
Room: Our suite on the 30th floor was nice. The front room had its own small closet (with extra pillow and blanket), a nice leather sofa (pulled out to a bed), a comfortable zebra pattern chair, mini bar, work desk and an flat panel TV. A small hallway seperated the front room and the farely small bedroom area. The bathroom was off the hallway in between the front room and bedroom. The bedroom was a little small in that there wasnt a lot of room between the foot of the bed and the windows but the far side of the room had a closet area that was fairly deep and plenty of space for luggage and to hange clothes etc. as well as an iron and ironing board. The bed was pretty comfortable with the newer bedding that the newly renovated Crowne Plaza's have. The sleep kit is also provided, I cant remember exactly but think it was some lavender spray and some eye shades. The bathroom was nice enough with a medium sized vanity, Neutrogena shampoo, soap and lotion. The shower was the only problem as the pressure was not good at all. The TV in the bedroom area was an older CRT but not a problem for us but just seemed out of place with what seemed to be newer furnishings. The channels on the TV are extensive, cant remember exactly how many but a lot more than you normally get at a hotel. Free wifi is available and not limited to one login etc but it can get slow at peak times.
Sky Lounge Breakfast: With discount coupon in hand we decided to try out the Sky Lounge breakfast. The room appeared to be a converted executive/club lounge with a very nice view of Lake Michigan and the city. When we first arrived we were not impressed with the food offering. It was just not a huge buffet. Potatoes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, breads, a few pastries, fruit and cold cuts and some cereals. Not a huge offering but everything was well prepared, not dry or over cooked. Really good to be honest. Service was excellent the morning we were there with just one person working the room but he did a great job as we wanted for nothing. I was not particulary pleased with the tables as they are just too small for the size of plates they are using. Typically those style of tables are used in lounges and the plates in club lounges are smaller so it is not a problem. I really think they would do better getting bigger tables and in particular possibly some high top tables as you could then see out the windows as you are eating breakfast as the windows are too high to view while sitting. The cost of breakfast with coupon was $17 each including tax before tip and I thought that was a bit high for the offering but given the service and quality I did not mind the price so much.
Elephant and Castle: Had a drink the night of arrival and breakfast on the day of departure. Drinks are a bit over priced but for a Chicago hotel, that is the price. :) The service was really good and friendly. Nice place to have a drink but cant comment on the food for dinner. Breakfast has a limited menu but the price is pretty cheap. The morning we were there there was only one server for some reason and he was working hard but very much behind. It did not bother us as we had time but some others got a little impatient. The price was right at about $8-10 per menu item including coffee in the price but the size of the portions are small. The quality was "OK" but not as good as the food in the Sky Lounge. If you just want a small cheap bit the Elephant and Castle is fine but if you want more the Sky Lounge may be a better choice. This place serves its purpose and although nothing spectacular it is fine.
Misc: We did take a look at the fitness area and the pool. The fitness area was a nice fitness area, not huge but seemed adequate for a workout on the road and the pool which was closed for the winter was pretty small. If a pool is important to you on your stay, this is not the place.
Departure: Quick check out with the front desk person stamping my parking ticket as being paid and then went over to the valet window just off the lobby to get our car.
Summary: Very happy with our stay. Comfortable room, fantastic location and very friendly staff. I will definitely make this my first choice in the future for stays in Chicago.
Here are some pics from our stay.
Front Room Closet
Front Room Sofa
Front Room Desk and TV
Bedroom View Michigan Avenue
Bedroom View Michigan Avenue