We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago a few days ago for the 4th of July. It was our second visit. The hotel is a little worn, but you have to remember that it is a historical hotel built in 1893 during the World’s Fair.
The best thing about this hotel is the location. The address is 520 South Michigan Avenue and Lincoln Park is right across the street.There are a multitude of restaurants and bars within walking distance. Lincoln Park, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute are close. There is a train station 3 blocks away and you can easily Uber or taxi to the museums and Wrigley Field.
We valet parked our car and planned to take the train to the baseball game and uber anywhere else we wanted to go. It cost $44 dollars a night. We attempted to check in but there was an extra charge of $50 for that. We checked our bags with the bell hop who placed them in a locked vault and checked in later that afternoon.
The lobby is beautiful and elegant with high gilded ceilings. There is complimentary water. There is a lounge in the front corner with cocktails, flat screen tvs, and games. Coors Lite was on sale for $6. There are two restaurants on the first floor: Rafael’s for lunch and dinner and The Gazebo for breakfast. I ate breakfast at the Gazebo and it was very good. There is a gift shop and ballrooms on the first floor.
There are three towers. We have stayed in both the North Tower and the South Tower. We had gorgeous views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan both times. The hotel is very worn looking but the rooms are clean and very roomy with high ceilings. The bathrooms are small but charming with nice amenities. Our room this time in the South Tower had a bay window. The king bed and pillows were very comfortable and our room was nice and cool. We had two comfortable chairs and a nice round table. We had a flat screen tv, wifi, and a coffee maker. No refrigerator but we didn’t need it.
I had a nice Groupon Deal so it wasn’t as expensive as most downtown hotels and you can’t beat the location. All the employees were very friendly and helpful. The bartender can be a little grumpy.
The Congress Plaza Hotel is very historic. Benny Goodman had a radio show there in the 30’s. Many presidents have stayed there to discuss their campaign strategies. Al Capone conducted business there and is thought to haunt it. The Congress has been called Chicago’s most haunted hotel. Several other ghosts have been sighted there.
Anyway, I recommend staying at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Your trip to Chicago will be unique, comfortable, and convenient.