Whenever I’m traveling I book a hotel that is not only affordable but also has several amenities I’m looking for. So, when I go to book my stays in Chicago I look for a place that not only has affordable parking, but also has a decent WIFI connection. So when you find a hotel that not only offers Free parking in Chicago, free WIFI and a large in room fridge for that extra pizza you bring back – you book it.
I want to start this review with a simple statement, we were paying guests at the Chicago South Loop hotel last spring and had a miserable stay. The manager invited us back for our visit this spring, and did extend a free night, and a discount on the other nights while we were there. There was an understanding that I would be writing a review of the hotel. The stay this year was plagued with other issues, and since I’m still a paying guest I’m giving a complete rundown of our stays and why we’re never returning.
Last year we booked our room as a hotel deal and let’s face it, the amenities sound fantastic! Being only a mile from the McCormick Place the location was perfect. But our requests for pillows were never done, our room was never cleaned, luggage racks were missing, WIFI was spotty, the hair dryer didn’t work (which is a big deal for 4 women) and we even found condom wrappers left in our room from previous guests. When we requested more towels in our room, their maintenance team delivered them to our room unfolded and in a giant trash bag. We complained to the front desk and nothing came of it. To say our stay was bad was an understatement.
Like I said before, we were invited back this year at a discounted rate to give the hotel a second chance. I went in with an open mind, and was given a Deluxe Room for myself and a friend coming in. The room was clean overall and even had a larger wine sized fridge that fit a whole pizza box and other snacks I brought with me for the trip. We did have a bottle of wine and some candies waiting for our stay. And besides a random person knocking on our door late at night, which could be excused as drunk or lost, our first night there was pretty uneventful.
After that first night, it could easily be said my stay went on the track of bizarre. My friend who was staying with me this time wasn’t scheduled to come into town until the third night, so I was staying by myself for the first couple nights. My second night at the Chicago South Loop there was a loud pounding on my door at around 9 pm – it was a man trying to change the lights in my bathroom. With the time of night and being by myself, I refused to answer the door – besides the fact the lights in my bathroom were fine. But let’s just say that didn’t make me feel very safe staying by myself – and the security bar remained in place any time I was in the room.
When I returned to the room the next day when my friend was arriving, I found a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door. My first thought was that my friend had gotten to the room early and was taking a nap. But when I opened the door, I found the sign for our room on the inside of our door and our room uncleaned. A call downstairs got our room cleaned shortly, but the cleaning staff was upset that they were called to the room and moved quickly as they tried to go home (this was around 5 pm). I didn’t make a big deal of our room issue at this point and considered the matter settled. When we returned after an event that night we turned in for the night and called it good. But in the morning we found a partially eaten cookie on the door knob.
It seemed that every problem we were having with our room and our stay happened after management left, and was done during the night shift. I spoke with the front desk and asked for the manager to call me to speak with me. The issues at this point seemed to to be targeting our room since we were there to review the hotel after our bad stay. We had a missed call with the manager, but were directed to speak with the night manager. Any message we had given to the front desk did not make it to management, and the evening manager basically just nodded and agreed it was weird. We had one final promise for a call from the hotel manager and were offered to to switch rooms – late at night on our last night of our stay. When I went to our room that night, while the room was clean we didn’t have towels for the next day – an issue we ran into our first stay the previous year.
At this point, we have yet to receive any call about our stay. Had we had one or two problems with our stay, I wouldn’t make a big deal of it. But since it was a new problem each day and each happened during the night shift, and seemed to be targeted directly at our room – I was completely unhappy with our stay. Next year, we will not be staying at the Chicago South Loop, and would not recommend anyone else does as well. Even without this review, I noticed that the amount of people staying at the South Loop was much less than the year before, with more than half of the parking lot empty each night. I think the bad service at the hotel is getting known by guests and the word is spreading.
I am more than willing to discuss this with the hotel if the manager ever decides to all back as they promised, but no bottle of wine, chocolates or discounts will get me to stay at the Chicago South Loop again.