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Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

Old Feb 18, 05, 10:07 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
Arrow Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

With Search being down and Google searching being somewhat difficult, i thought i would solicit opinions on this property. I am checking in today and was wondering about: Platinum upgrade successes (or lack thereof), Executive Club/Lounge (open on weekends?), quality of gym, any other thougts on service, etc.

Thanks so much, folks.

fly co to see the yanks is offline  
Old Feb 18, 05, 12:59 pm
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington, DC USA
Programs: AA Platinum, SPG Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Lifetime Platinum HH Gold
Posts: 246
no recognition, no upgrade, no lounge. Check out and go to Westin River North

Not sure if they were full or conference or something . . . but there was also mold on the ealls of the room . . . got a few points.

I went once . . won't go again.
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Old Feb 18, 05, 1:53 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
it's weird. even before Search was gone, when i searched on Chicago there were tons of comments on the other properties (Ws, Westin River North, Sheraton) but not much on this property. not sure if it is a weird statistical anomoly that flyertalk members don't stay at Westin Michigan Ave or what.

i just called the property. they are "full." no upgrade available. i will be checking spg.com when it comes back. right now it's offering 500 points because it's down (in the middle of the day).

3:53 PM Eastern, Friday, Feb 18, 2005:

source: spg.com

"We Are Currently Updating Our Site

Periodic maintenance helps us improve your online experience, enabling you to take care of your travel planning quickly and easily. We encourage you to come back online for future reservations.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and would like to offer you 500 bonus StarpointsSM. In order to take advantage of this offer, simply call one of our reservation centers now (during this maintenance period) to make your reservation. Your bonus Starpoints will be awarded after you complete your stay.

Not a Starwood Preferred Guest®? Not a problem. You can become a member when you call to make your reservation.

For reservations, please call us now:
In the U.S. and Canada: 1-866-500-8320
Global Toll-Free Number: ++800 325 55555
(++ Int'l Dialing Code)"
fly co to see the yanks is offline  
Old Feb 18, 05, 2:36 pm
Join Date: May 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: NW Gold; HH Diamond; looking at SPG Blue card and sighing longingly
Posts: 63
Over MLK weekend the gym was under construction or something and the equipment had been relocated to a conference room on #5....I got a good-sized corner room, but I wouldn't call that an upgrade. Beyond the Heavenly Bed and Shower hoo-hah, and the traditional swank Westin furniture, the room was a smidge worn looking.Generally, PLT recognition was sorta tepid, but service was all right.

Not awful by any means, but below average for a downtown property.
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Old Feb 18, 05, 3:20 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
update: as i said earlier, booked a deluxe room. called hotel. my deluxe room has been blocked off.

i just checked spg.com and they are still selling suites.

guess i will have to call the platinum concierge.
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Old Feb 19, 05, 3:26 am
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: USA; UA-1K; Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 1,728
I have been put in several room types here. Twice a suite, man times a beautiful, large King room with an awesome view of the lake. I love the location, and have found the staff and service to be quite up to Westin Standards. I am staying here on 2/23, as a matter of fact. Gym is ok, nothing special...Westin Workout type stuff, but last time I was there the equipment was not especially up-to-date. No lounge. Wireless access in lounge areas, which by now may have made it to the rooms.

shinbal is offline  
Old Feb 19, 05, 10:15 am
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
called the front desk and was told that all the remaining suites were specialty suites and not subject to upgrades. when i checked in, i was told that the suites available on spg.com were actually out of commission due to renovation. when i asked what would happen if someone that booked one of the two suite types showed up and the suite wasn't available, i was told they would be downgraded to a deluxe room. hopefully the property will get their excuses straight.

room is fine...rather small. nice view of the lake. great location. took about 45 minutes to have a cork screw delivered (and three calls to service express). room service is very, very fast and friendly. breakfast choices on the room service menu is very limited (i.e., there are no waffles, etc.).

haven't checked out the gym yet but it is still in a conference room on floor 5.
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Old Feb 19, 05, 9:11 pm
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: WAS & FPO
Programs: AS, Hyatt
Posts: 399
Location is the only plus for Westin Michigan avenue

Stayed there last fall as a Plat. Great location but plain room, no lounge, no pool, indifferent staff, weak gym. I won't return. The Sheraton down the street seemed nicer and had a lounge.
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Old Feb 22, 05, 9:46 am
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
finished my stay.

pluses: concierge Anthony, great location, free passes to the new Equinox gym across the street. having spent 20+ years going to gyms, this Equinox is one of the best equipped i have ever seen, particularly for such a small space (i.e., it is two floors but it isn't the size of some of the gyms i have seen in universities or even in san francisco where they are huge). but, this gym had virtually everything i could ever imagine wanting. equipment was state of the art and brand new. it was amazing.

i thought the bell staff was very nice and the front desk was never too crowded.

negatives: small room, sloppy front desk, inconsistent reasoning on why i couldn't have a bigger room/suite (please see comments above about how property changed its tune on why i couldn't have one of the suites available for sale on spg.com).

sloppy front desk:

1) my rate included two $10 off breakfast vouchers for room service. they were never given to me and i had to deal with having $20 taken off my bill at the end
2) i am platinum and was put on a non-spg floor where bottled water was not provided for free (it was free on the spg floors). when i mentioned this the second to last day of my stay, i was given vouchers which are to be left in the room if i drink the bottled water so that i don't get charged. why weren't these vouchers mentioned when i checked in? so, when i checked out, i had other items to have reversed off my bill. also, by not mentioning that i could drink the waters in the room, i didn't (except for one or two). saved them the bottled water, i guess.
3) i checked in after my traveling companion but i made sure he had access to the room. but, when i got to the property, i went by the front desk to give them my ID and credit card. i was no offered my platinum amenity (was not offered water cards, not offered $10 bfast vouchers). sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.
4) when i asked about the gym (it is under renovation), i was told to visit the temporary gym in the conference room on the 5th floor. no mention was ever made about equinox passes. anthony (concierge) brought this option to my attention.
5) while i was never offered the amenity or the bottled water tickets or the breakfast vouchers, i was offered a daily paper. over my three day stay, said paper was never delivered (unless it was purloined by other guests).

i am not sure what the front desk personnel sees when they pull up a reservation. so, not sure i should be so quick to blame. knowing starwood's I.T. acumen (or lack thereof), maybe the front desk personnel don't have enough info. or, maybe they do and they are too lazy to look for it. i have no idea.

there was also a small fire in a guest room while i was there...no, not a drill. an actual fire with trucks, etc.

i saw a piece of paper behind the front desk that says that their reimbursement for a free room was increased as result of moving from a cat. 3 to a cat. 4 property. i think the rate went from $47 to $56 a night (rounded).

Last edited by fly co to see the yanks; Feb 23, 05 at 8:38 am
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Old Feb 22, 05, 11:03 am
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: Bonvoy Amb; AA EXP
Posts: 1,135
I have only stayed at the Westin Mich once and the stay was decent. My only comment is that the hallways were a bit dank (not dark like the W, but just plain dreary.) I had a view of the lake, which was cool, but it was so windy that my windows shook.

My rooms and my stays in general at the River North have been a bit better (not the view however).

Score8 is offline  
Old Feb 22, 05, 6:34 pm
Join Date: May 2004
Location: formerly Gold now Diamond, formerly MSY, now LAX, formerly NW, now DL
Programs: Hyatt Plat, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Delta Diamond/1MM
Posts: 4,542
my stay was nice, great view, awesome location, service was alright, smallish room but enjoyed it. i've heard mixed things prior to my stay their and it seemd the RIver North is more consistant....but then I don't have any experience in this...enjoy!
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Old Feb 23, 05, 8:18 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Used to be elite in UA, SPG and Hertz...now I'm just a regular guy
Posts: 383
My award stay at this property last summer was better than expected. Got a suite upgrade. Had a great salad from room service delivered quickly. Was not offered my amenity. That was about the only problem I had.

Still, the Westin River North would be my first choice of Chicago Starwoods.

Last edited by raisin; Feb 24, 05 at 12:02 pm
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Old Feb 23, 05, 8:36 am
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Location: new york, ny, usa
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I forgot to mention that room service was lightening quick and always came 100% correct. That's certainly a plus.
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Old Feb 23, 05, 8:53 pm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: D.C. ...in between flights!
Programs: UA and a couple o' hotel chains
Posts: 853
I'm a *Wood Platinum so here are my thoughts.

By the time I checked out I swore I would never go back. But the Front Desk Manager Niek (he's Dutch) was so nice (he's really on the ball & surely will be a GM one day somewhere) I told him IF I did come back, it would only be IF he was going to be on duty during the time frame.

The sole restaurant "Grille Room" is really expensive and not very good. Dinner entrees start at $19 (no cheaper options). Breakfast buffet $15 and none of the items had descriptions (three pots of eggs with mystery ingredients). I asked the manager what they were and she was clearly annoyed. Plus two chafing dishes had no handles - I didn't want hand burns, what's a guest to do? My mother & I started taking our meals at the Four Seasons across the street because it cost the same and the food & service were 100x better.

The weekend I went (pre-Valentine's Day) was highly booked. I was offered an "upgrade" to a room with a view of Michigan Ave. The "upgrade" was the view - not the actual room. If the front desk said they upgraded you, pin them down as to what they are offering (view or room size - you decide what's important). It was a very small room (1406?). Two double beds. One bed was 6" from the wall. After one night of claustrophobia, I asked Niek if there was a bigger room avail. No suites, but he found a room (1031?) maybe 10m2 larger with a view of the HVAC system.

On a previous stay, I was given a big suite with a dining room table - but it was noisy as it was next to the elevator. Had the "whooshing" noise all night. Found out ALL the 1BR suites are next to the elevators so no option of moving for less noise.

The hotel is very busy with groups, wedding parties, bridal shower weekend parties, etc. Bell staff very nice. The temporary gym on the 5th floor has four cardio machines (2 treadmills, and maybe a bike & stairmaster, can't remember). A few weights. Very lame. I either saw a note or heard upon check in (I'm blocking a lot out from that weekend!) that the gym was being refurbished and if you were not satisfied with the in house option, see the front desk for one guest pass to an alternate facility (the Equinox I found out later).

The one incident that so thoroughly angered me was this: I had the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door all day because I had mega-jet lag after a MR to BKK. Just wanted to sleep all day. Hence the DND sign. At 5 pm, housekeeping called on the phone. I couldn't find the phone in my haze. Then the front desk called. "The Do Not Disturb sign is on your door. Housekeeping is trying to call to see if you want your room cleaned but you hung up on them." Um, does the sign say "Do Not Disturb unless you are housekeeping. If you are, then please keep calling me."?? I suggested a carefully worded note under the door saying "we were unable to service your room during normal housekeeping hours. please call if you require limited service." The woman at the Front Desk didn't get it. She just wanted to go on & on about how I wasn't going to get my room cleaned.
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Old Feb 23, 05, 9:51 pm
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 19,523
I'm no big fan of this property either. On my stay I got the worst short-sheeting I've ever experienced. It was the middle of the night when I discovered it, so I just stripped off the covers and re-made the bed myself. Next morning I called the Housekeeping Manager to log my complaint and got an apology and a promise it wouldn't happen again.

Got back to the room late that next day, got into bed and guess what? Short-sheeted again! Not just a little bit either. I pulled the covers off the bed and this is what it revealed:


What the heck was the maid doing? I sent a print of this photo along with a letter to the hotel manager by snail mail. Never heard a peep back. Nothing.

Needless to say, I'm not going back unless it's the only thing available.

FYI...No upgrade at all here either. We were simply told, "We don't have any upgrades available." Don't know if they were jerking us or not, but got the impression they weren't even trying.
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