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Conference in Chicago - Which hotel would you choose?

Conference in Chicago - Which hotel would you choose?

Old Apr 25, 16, 3:32 pm
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Conference in Chicago - Which hotel would you choose?

I am going to a conference in August at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The conference organizers have given us 4 hotels to choose from:

Hilton Chicago Hotel
Palmer House
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Sheraton Grand Chicago

Obviously, the Hyatt is the only one right by McCormick Place, but it seems that there isn't much in that area, so in the evenings I would have to travel a little to find food (unless I ate in the hotel).

My other option is to choose one of the other hotels, which seem to be in livelier areas, and 'commute' to the conference each day by bus on L (I guess the Hilton is only about 2 miles so I could walk - but it'll be hot in August).

So, for those of you who are more familiar with Chicago that I (I've been a couple of times) which one of the 4 hotels would you choose?

Also, what is the walk like from McCormick Place L stop to McCormick Place/Hyatt, is it something you want to avoid doing at night or is it reasonable safe? (If I choose to stay at the Hyatt and head out for dinner, I'll be heading back to McCormick Place late)
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Old Apr 25, 16, 3:41 pm
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Depending on the nature of the conference and your role, my vote would generally be for the Hyatt right at convention center as it's nice to be able to return to your room during the day and, more importantly, this choice is likely to maximize your opportunities for informat interactions with other participants, especially if it's designated as the headquarters hotel.

Does your conference have social events in the evenings or semi-private evening receptions and parties? If so, where are these events located?

In terms of the hotel's hard product, Palmer House is an iconic historic property that was extensively and successfully renovated some time ago. It's stunning if you like that style.

Are your conference rates the same at all of these hotels? Have you checked the rates for reserving a room outside of the conference's housing "office."
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Old Apr 25, 16, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Depending on the nature of the conference and your role, my vote would generally be for the Hyatt right at convention center as it's nice to be able to return to your room during the day and, more importantly, this choice is likely to maximize your opportunities for informat interactions with other participants, especially if it's designated as the headquarters hotel.

Does your conference have social events in the evenings or semi-private evening receptions and parties? If so, where are these events located?

In terms of the hotel's hard product, Palmer House is an iconic historic property that was extensively and successfully renovated some time ago. It's stunning if you like that style.

Are your conference rates the same at all of these hotels? Have you checked the rates for reserving a room outside of the conference's housing "office."
Actually, the Hilton is designated as the HQ Hotel, strangely enough.

All 4 hotels are being offered at essentially the same rate (Sheraton is $10/night cheaper) and are all a little cheaper than what I could book myself.

There is nothing really scheduled for the evenings, either I go grab food by myself, or with a small group of people - but nothing organized by the conference.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 4:13 pm
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If the Hilton is the designated hotel for your group, I would expect there to be organized transportation between there and McCormick Place.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 8:08 pm
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My personal choice would be the Palmer House. Plenty of restaurants easy to walk to. Also CVS, etc. Hyatt is not near anything much and a bit sketchy to walk around nearby.

I have stayed in all these hotels with family visiting Chicago.

Do not mess with the L. Cab/Uber would be cheap and fast.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by DavidDTW View Post
If the Hilton is the designated hotel for your group, I would expect there to be organized transportation between there and McCormick Place.
That's what I was thinking, see if there's transportation already arranged. There's a restricted road along the Metra tracks for shuttle buses to/from McCormick, though the north entrance isn't all that close to the Hilton (up by Aon/Illinois Center).
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Old Apr 25, 16, 10:57 pm
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I would pick the Hyatt for ease of access to the sessions etc.

When conference day is over, you can ride the conference provided bus to one of the other hotels, placing you near lots of dining options. Cab back when done - this will mitigate the transportation costs.

It should be easy to avoid chain restaurants and instead enjoy some local options.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 11:24 pm
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I sure miss Miggs Field, just hope in the plane and take off, stay at the convention hotel, nice to go to the room in the middle of the day ...

Most conventions provide shuttle service.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 11:30 pm
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Before deciding, the OP should ask the conference organizers if there will be shuttle service, its frequency, and for which hotel(s). With any luck, this should be psoted on the conference website, but if not, there should be email and phone contact information.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by satman40 View Post
... just hope in the plane and take off ...
This little typo made me smile.

But seriously, folks ... all other things being pretty much equal, re cost and transport, which it sounds like they are in this case, I'd vote for the Palmer House. Stay in a grand and historic hotel if you have a chance. There will be other Hiltons and Sheratons and Hyatts, and they will not be as memorable.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 1:28 pm
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I recommend the Palmer House. Its a cool hotel, nice bar downstairs if that's your thing and plenty to and eat do nearby
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Old Apr 26, 16, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Actually, the Hilton is designated as the HQ Hotel, strangely enough.
That is where they are hosting the plenary sessions and the Business/Committee Meetings and Events.

They honestly don't list a shuttle on their website, which is odd. But they will have them. They are sponsored by AbbVie this year.

Even if the didn't have the shuttles, I would stay in the Loop or Mag Mile.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by bearsfanord View Post
I recommend the Palmer House. Its a cool hotel, nice bar downstairs if that's your thing and plenty to and eat do nearby
I go the other way on that. The public spaces are amazing, definitely worth hanging out at. But the age of the hotel shows up in the rooms, they're tiny. A friend of mine attends a conference there annually, he usually stays at the Hampton above the Majestic, close enough to the conference but gets a nice room.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by glg View Post
I go the other way on that. The public spaces are amazing, definitely worth hanging out at. But the age of the hotel shows up in the rooms, they're tiny. A friend of mine attends a conference there annually, he usually stays at the Hampton above the Majestic, close enough to the conference but gets a nice room.
Well, some rooms at PH are tiny, sure. The infamous "coffin rooms," which often go to Hotwire/Priceline people, I have heard over the years.

Status definitely helps at PH. And PH has an indoor pool, a nice feature. But any of these hotels would be fine.

PH is an easy walk from Hilton.
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Old May 4, 16, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
I would pick the Hyatt for ease of access to the sessions etc.

When conference day is over, you can ride the conference provided bus to one of the other hotels, placing you near lots of dining options. Cab back when done - this will mitigate the transportation costs.

It should be easy to avoid chain restaurants and instead enjoy some local options.
+1

With so many great dining options in Chicago, do yourself a favor and do not dine in the hotel.
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