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OLD Conrad Chicago {US-IL} (no longer Honors)

OLD Conrad Chicago {US-IL} (no longer Honors)

Old Nov 11, 05, 5:12 pm
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OLD Conrad Chicago {US-IL} (no longer Honors)

I'm sorry if this has been announced already. I did a search and I couldn't come up any news about this.

Well, I went to the Conrad Hotels web site and I noticed the following announcement in the lower right hand corner of the front page:

Conrad Chicago Now Open!
Conrad Hotels are pleased to announce the latest addition to its growing portfolio of luxury hotels, at one of the most prestigious addresses within the Magnificent Mile.

I initially thought to myself, well, they must have rebranded The Drake.

But they didn't. I think the new Conrad is the former Le Meridien right next to Nordstrom.


Conrad® Hotels is pleased to announce the latest addition to its growing portfolio of luxury hotels -- the Conrad Chicago. At one of the most prestigious addresses within the Magnificent Mile, the Conrad Chicago is located above Westfield North Bridge on Michigan Avenue, with a main entrance on Rush Street at Grand Avenue.

With 311 spacious guest rooms in classic contemporary décor -- each featuring state-of-the-art technology, such as three dual-line phones, complimentary high-speed Internet access, CD player with clock radio feature and premier luxury amenities – the Conrad Chicago is the Windy City’s ideal urban oasis.

In addition to the hotel’s well appointed accommodations with views of the Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, the Conrad Chicago also offers guests 12, 000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting and conference facilities equipped with high speed and wireless Internet connections, a fitness center, a stylish bar and a signature restaurant.

The hotel lies at the heart of Chicago’s financial district, and is within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart and Lake Michigan. For shopping enthusiasts, the Conrad Chicago is connected to Nordstrom and Westfield North Bridge, offering convenient access to a variety of restaurants and exclusive retailers.Extensive renovations are planned for the Conrad Chicago, and once complete, guests will enjoy the luxury experience synonymous with all Conrad hotels worldwide.

521 North Rush Street
at Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Tel.: (1) 312 645 1500

I think the hotel is open for business.
francophile is offline  
Old Nov 11, 05, 6:01 pm
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Seems like this happened rather quick. It will be interesting to get some reviews on the service etc at this property. I like the location so hopefully the property will of the normal Conrad quality.
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Old Nov 11, 05, 7:16 pm
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I'll be in Chicago the first few days of December and hadn't yet decided where to stay. The Conrad Chicago's website says that it is open for business, however when I tried to book it said that there was no availability for those dates. And it also has never shown up on a search of the Hilton website. I may have to call and get the scoop...

According to the reservations agent at the property, the hotel was rebranded about 2 weeks ago. And they are actually sold out for the dates that I need (a group and/or conference has a large block of the rooms.)

Last edited by shell nyc; Nov 11, 05 at 7:29 pm
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Old Nov 11, 05, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by mcgahat
Seems like this happened rather quick. It will be interesting to get some reviews on the service etc at this property. I like the location so hopefully the property will of the normal Conrad quality.
This was a great Le Meridien property with luxury rooms and great service, amenities, etc.. If anything, I would be concerned that under Hilton/Conrad branding, it would take a step down.
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Old Dec 15, 05, 2:25 pm
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New Chicago Conrad hires Peninsula's #2 guy/ Great new amenities


This part sounds nice:

"In Chicago, the conversion will take place over the next few months, as amenities are added. Each room will have a 42-inch plasma-screen TV with an Internet connection, Pratesi linens and towels, espresso machines and a bedside electrical control panel that "will do everything except a manicure and a pedicure," O'Callaghan said. The cost will run several million dollars, he said."

Last edited by toomanybooks; Dec 15, 05 at 6:07 pm
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Old Dec 19, 05, 1:25 pm
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Chicago Conrad

I am considering a stay here late January.
Everything I read says it will take several months.
Is it worth paying their prices for a sneak peek to the new hotel? Or do I risk getting a non renovated room?
Gold so expecting some kind of upgrade on a weekend.

Last edited by Canarsie; Jan 17, 06 at 10:17 pm Reason: This milepost (and the following two mileposts) were merged into this thread unedited.
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Old Dec 19, 05, 1:44 pm
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Hmmm...just looking at publicly-available rates, I think I'd be headed for the Drake on either of those last two weekends in January.
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Old Jan 17, 06, 9:57 pm
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Question Any Recent Experiences

Planning a trip and wondering if anyone has had a recent experience or trip report to share.

Id like to know the following:
1- How are Diamond members treated
2 - Is there an executive lounge
3 - Any pictures

Thanks in advance and i'll add one of my patented trip reports upon my return.
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Old Jan 18, 06, 1:54 am
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I was in Chicago 3-6 jan and it was branded Conrad. One entrance seems to be the elevators/escalators next to Nordstom (opposite IC) on North Michigan.

I didn't go inside.
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Old Jan 19, 06, 9:22 pm
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Thumbs up Conrad Chicago Trip Reports and Reviews


I have stayed at the Le Meridien in the past on average of 5-6 times a year as it was a company approved hotel. I heard of the transformation to a Conrad and needing to stay over in Chicago in late December, decided to burn some HH points.

The property is the same, same paintings in the lobby, same names for the restaraunt, bar, etc. Nothing changed, same old, same old. But that is not a bad thing, either.... As a HH Diamond, I was not given any extra attention, aside from a single voucher for continental breakfast (we where a family of four). Also, perhaps as I was using HH points for the stay...? There is no executive lounge that I am aware of either.

I look forward to the upgrades they are promising. The Le Meridien was a great property as well, so if upgrades are coming, it will just improve upon a great hotel in a great location! ^

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Old Jan 25, 06, 12:34 am
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Thumbs up Conrad Chicago Trip Reports and Reviews

I’ve never stayed at this property, so I thought I would check the joint out and give you kids one of my fabulous reviews.

The hotel is actually the “old” McGraw-Hill Building. The hotel has a boutique feel as there are approximately 300 rooms/17 suites The hotel is in a great location on Michigan Avenue, with hundreds of shopping, dining and tourist activities within a 5-minute walk in any direction.

Although the hotel list a Michigan Avenue address the main access point is located on Rush Street (located between Grand and Illinois) and this lobby can be hard to find as it set back from the street and there is almost no signage. This entryway is open 24 hours and is where you can get a cab or valet park if you are driving. The second, access point is from the mall the hotel is connected to. This entry/exit is open until about 9pm.

I checked in at about 12 Noon and my room was ready. I was upgraded to a suite with great views looking east to the river and north up Michigan Avenue. I was also given breakfast coupons, without having to ask. Although the Conrad hasn’t been a Hilton brand very long they made it a point to learn the HHonors program.

They staff is in the process of being trained on the Hilton systems and programs. The property has not upgraded to any of the Conrad standards (bedding, bath, furniture, TV, etc.) the first phase of the rebranding should be complete by end of the first quarter ’06.

Although I forgot to take a picture, the lobby is comfortable, with a nice lounge (which opens up to a terrace in spring/summer) and bar. The restaurant is right around the corner with a great (breakfast) menu with excellent service.


Check-in/check-out ^
Quick, and easy. Very attentive and friendly staff, who seems pretty knowledgeable of the Hhonors program.
As a Diamond I was upgraded
Concierge was attentive and knowledgeable of the area.

Common Areas ^
Clean, entry, lobby, and check in area
Nice terrace (spring/summer months)
LONG waits for the lone elevator adjacent to the mall, short waits for elevators to guest rooms or the Rush Street Lobby
Nice furniture, clean & quite hallways leading to guest rooms.
Small business center on the 8th Floor

Guest Rooms ^
Large, clean with lots of windows
Generous workspace & electrical sockets
Large King Bed that was very comfy
Wetbar, but no sink
”ok” furniture but lots of dings & scrapes. Furniture (in my suite) is starting to show normal wear and tear, this should be remedied as the hotel converts to Conrad standards
Couldn’t hear a thing from the adjoining room, the hotel was only at 30/35% occupancy.
I suspect suite upgrades will be hard to come by at this property, as there are not many.
Housekeeping staff was great; room was cleaned from top to bottom each day, sheets changed each day.
Received turndown service with a fruitplate each night. Note: not sure if this is the norm or due to Diamond Status.

Guest Room Bathrooms ^
Huge bathrooms with separate water closet
Large sinks with ample space to spread out if sharing a room
There is a stand-alone shower and a deep soaking tub Note: was told a few rooms do not have tubs due to the layout of the room.
Lots of face, hand & body towels
Large mirror
Great Molton Brown toiletries
So-So lighten, so might not find this a problem however, I thought there could be better overhead lighting.

Executive Lounge
This property does not have a lounge

Gym ^
Nice large gym with lots of cardio machines and free weights. The space is large and very well laid out.

No pool at this property

HSIA/Wireless Internet ^
Complimentary throughout the hotel

Concierge ^
There is a concierge on staff, who seems to be knowledgeable of the local restaurants and activities.

Parking/Valet ^
Didn’t use but located at the Rush Street Lobby

Dining ^
Used HHonors coupon, which is worth $12 and can be applied to the total bill, with no questions asked.
The breakfast menu had a good selection
Attentive staff

Would I return? Yes, but, based on rate.
Would I recommend? Yes, based on requestors needs
Would I recommend restaurant? Yes
Value for price paid? OK, since the palmer house and Drake showed cheaper rates.

Overall property rating on a scale from 1 to 10 = 8

Last edited by KENNECTED; Feb 23, 06 at 7:15 pm Reason: Adding photos
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Old Jan 25, 06, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Cheap Elite
Executive Lounge ^
This property does not have a lounge
Thanks for the review.

Why the thumbs up?
gvaughn is offline  
Old Jan 25, 06, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by gvaughn
Thanks for the review.

Why the thumbs up?


I typed that review at 1:15 AM.....that was a boo-boo! Thanks for catching and I'll edit my review.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Jan 26, 06, 11:48 am
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Thanks for this excellent report; I loved this place as a L-M and will report on my stay in Feb.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 5:14 pm
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Brief Report:

2 night stay as a gold.
Check-in: Fast and efficient. Room available as per request. 17th Floor. Gold Status recognized: Breakfast coupons provided. Also hot towel provided. Desk staff indicated none of the rooms have been renovated to date.

The room: 17th floor, view of mag mile. No changes since my prior stay as a Le Meridien observed. No wi-fi. However, wired net access is complimentary. Standard TV. CD player/alarm clock. Sheets were fine/mattress was comfy. I noticed no major wear/tear in the room. Bathroom is above average. Molton Brown Amenities, which were replenished on turndown ^. Water pressure was a big problem for me. Sink, shower, and toilet all seemed to suffer. Shower didn't get really hot, per se. Big deep separate tub I didn't use.

Restaurant: Bar & Restaurant were empty every time I entered. Breakfast was very good: your gold coupon gives you $12 off anything on the menu. You can get a continental b'fast for $12. I opted for the American b'fast (eggs, toast, sausage) which was piping hot and quite tasty. The waitress acknowledged the coupon, but manually adjusted the bill?

Concierge: Friendly and knowledgeable about local area, including store hours, directions, and cuisine. Not always present though (maybe they hide in the back?).

Housekeeping: Room was clean and neat. However, at an upscale hotel, I expect room service dinner trays to be removed in the evenings. Several plates of food were on the floor in the evening and were still there after housekeeping completed their AM service. Not very classy

Misc: Long wait times (> 8 rings) on the phone each time to request wake up calls.

Overall: It's a superb location. Locals always have trouble finding the porte cochere (it's on the grand st side). They will need to do a lot of room renos IMHO to garner Conrad rates. However, the property is solid and I would stay again. The double points don't hurt either.
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