Dark and dated hotel, bad food.

Old Nov 9, 20, 6:50 am
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Dark and dated hotel, bad food.

The Gwen, Luxury Collection, Chicago

Map| 2 Reviews | 50% Recommended

The Gwen, Luxury Collection, Chicago

521 N Rush Street Chicago, Illinois US 60611

The Gwen Chicago - dark and dated hotel, bad food. (5 Photos)

The Gwen, Luxury Collection, Chicago

Just finished a stay at the Gwen in Chicago. The hotel is dark and dated, albiet quirky at times. The food is categorically not good. 4/10 (3/10 being typical Embassy Sute, Hampton Inn, etc, 8/10 being most Asian luxury hotels).

Check In

Before checking in, I emailed the hotel to inquire about how the $100 Marriott STARS credit and breakfast worked given covid and received no response. Not a good start. However, the day before our stay, we used the Marriott Bonvoy app and able to message hotel staff that way and get our answers. Breakfast is one entree, one coffee, and one juice per person.

Service

We did not utilize much of the hotel service and tried to venture out into the city as much as possible. The gym was big for a cookie cutter hotel, and had Peloton bikes for guests, which we did utilize.

Room

The room was quirky, dark, and scuffed up. The hotel is designed to celebrate Gwen Lux, there are homages to her work throughout the property. However, it is one thing to feature an artists' work at a hotel, it is another to have it appear as a budget S&M trailer. The rooms had dark funiture, carpet, and curtains. The sheer curtain was a metallic mesh. The side of tables had spaced out studs.

Bathroom was much better with a giant sink and giant tub.1_4A3B5D37-4736-483D-9868-FDA3BE00D858_1_105_c.jpeg992CE296-6A85-4308-A715-A64D709781CF_1_105_c.jpeg0B868073-7DE1-441C-8F37-1EDC66D40D75_1_105_c.jpeg

 

View from room - lake Michigan peeking through buildings.

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Dining

Absolutely the lowlight of the entire hotel. We dined at Upstairs at the Gwen for dinner. Due to Chicago's covid restrictions, only outdoor dining was allowed so only Upstairs at the Gwen was open. Upon arriving at the restaurant, the staff informed us that the restaurant is booked and we could not be seated because we did not have reservations. We were then told we could sit in the loungers to have drinks, and if there are canceled reservations later, we would be allowed to be seated. Great. After lounging for half an hour and seeing many empty tables, we inquired if we can be moved to a proper dining table so we can eat. The staff agreed.

 

For dinner we ordere a few things. To start, the burrata - burrata, olives, and tomatoes on sourdough. Wonderful. For our entree, we got the grilled octopus, Parisian gnocchi, and lobster fettucine. We asked our waitress, who did not entertian small talk or pleasantries, to add no salt to our dishes to the extent possible. We understand some things are pre-made and pre-seasoned, and that is fine. The octopus came out - the texture was perfectly done but it seems like the octopus was soaked in a 99% saline solution, and was salty beyond imagination. We sent this dish back. The gnocchi was salty, but edible, nothing to write home about. The lobster in the lobster fettucine was dry and stringy. It almost seemed freezer-burned. The fettucine was dry and under-sauced. We sent this dish back as well. We then ordered a grilled salmon and emphasized the no salt request, which was honored this time. Salmon steak was done well with crispy skin. Sides of veggies seem to be soaked in the same 99% saline solution.

 

For breakfast, guests each get one entree, coffee, and juice. We got the brunch sandwich - which consists of cured meats and egg on a bun, and the smoked chicken hash. Both dishes were very oily and salty. The hollandaise on the smoked chicken seems to have curdled. The smoked chicken tasted like plain chicken breast soaked in oil. And also soaked in the same 99% saline solution I imagine is used to season all dishes here.

 

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Location

The hotel is well situated a tourist. It is within minutes of the river, and half a mile of Millenium Park. However, if luxury shopping is your thing, Oak Street is a bit of a walk away.

Overall

Overall the hotel is dark and darked. Food was categorically not good. I would not recommend staying here.

The Gwen Chicago - dark and dated hotel, bad food.

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