I like Conrad Hotels, check that I love Conrad Hotels. Ever since our first stay at the Conrad Bali in 2007 I have been hooked on this chain. Of the 24 current locations of this boutique hotel chain operated by Hilton I’ve since stayed in eight of them, and overall I have loved all of them.
The Conrad Chicago, was no exception. Sure it’s not an amazing resort hotel like the Conrad Maldives or Bali, but for a city hotel it was good. The hotel interior was beautiful. The lobby as you can see has tons of seating, with several small intimate areas which was great. The lobby also featured a separate indoor and outdoor bar called Terraces. Unfortunately the outdoor area was closed except for my first night. I figured I’d have plenty of time to check it out, but unfortunately due to the rain and crummy weather it was always closed. Next time I need to strike while the iron is hot. That being said the bar was pretty hip, had a nice drink menu and was a nice hangout.
I’d characterize this hotel as a business hotel. Duh it’s in the third largest city in the US. That being said, it really catered to that type of clientele. This was definitely not a resort, nor was it the local hangout after work hours. Yes they had the bar and terrace, plus a restaurant, but that really was it. For example at the Conrad Miami also in the downtown corridor has the lobby on the 17th of 60+ floors you had a killer bar with even better views of the city. Sure Miami never sleeps, but in downtown it sort of does, and this was a great bastion for nighttime entertainment. Compare that to Chicago, where the bar closed at 11 or Midnight, depending on the day and a terrace w/out views of the city it was walled in, didn’t do much for me. As I mentioned, they had a good drink menu and my favorite summer signature Conrad Cocktail.
The hotel has 312 guestrooms and 33 suites, with 4 terrace suites and 1 Grand Terrace Suite. At check in I asked if we could get an upgrade to a suite or bigger room. I had booked a super cheap room almost eight months ago when the rate for a standard room was under $200, when the usual rate is close to $300, so frankly I had no expectations. Unfortunately because I needed two beds, and supposedly our stay conflicted with other reservations for a suite we were denied. The receptions, at least spent about five minutes trying to make it work and I appreciated that. They also gave us a few drink coupons and an extra thousand points. I’d rather have a lounge to get free drinks, breakfast and coffee in but hey they didn’t have one so what can I say. It was a nice touch for not getting upgraded.
Now on to the room, it was simple yet elegant. The beds had tons of pillows of different thicknesses and softness levels. The beds was also super comfortable, which was a nice bonus. The room also featured a lounge chair and ottoman a work table, dresser with mini-fridge and 40” TV, with apple TV and Bose sound system. The room was just fine. It was not opulent or over the top, it was not huge but had enough room for two people. Unlike other Conrad hotels that have in room Nspresso machines, multiple TV’s, rain showers and other fancy amenities this room was not like that. So even though I liked the room I was longing for more. Oh the charmed life of a hotel snob.
Overall I liked this hotel, it was a nice property in a perfect location to wander the city. It was 2 blocks from the Red “L” line, 4 blocks from the river and about ½ a mile from the Navy Pier. Besides that the four mothers of Chicago deep dish pizza were all within 10 minutes by foot, a super plus. Then you had tons of shops since it was basically on Michigan Avenue (The Miracle Mile), and all of bars and restaurants you could ever want were on Rush Street which the hotel is on too. The only downside I had were that of all the Conrads’, it was the most basic. Now don’t get me wrong it’s a fine hotel and I would stay there again, but when you have hotels with over water villas, lounges that serve high tea with amazing cocktails, or sweeping views of the city from 50 stories up you get a little spoiled. Oh and amazing service, where at several properties after the first days breakfast they know what you want to drink and have it waiting for you when you arrive. That’s what I call service, and that’s why I choose to stay at Conrads’ when I can, and why I chose this hotel. In this case they sadly didn’t have any of these options nor that level of service, but again overall I’m just really nitpicking. I liked the hotel, the staff I interacted with were great and I’ll say it again, I’d stay here next time I’m in Chicago.
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