The Congress Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Chicago
Reviews - The Congress Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
Want to see more hotels? View all hotels in Chicago
Historical Traveller Reviews of The Congress Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
Pleasantly Surprised! :)from petfriendly
Our room was on the 9th floor, very clean, well supplied with all our needs, nice use of space, view of the lake, quiet - didn't hear a thing from the other quest, & the beds provided for a good nights rest. The staff was very friendly & graceous to the three of us & we felt comfortable & safe during our three days in Chicago.
Yes, there is minimal level noise from the trains; but the system is only a block or two away - not interferring. Yes, there is a nick here & there in the wooden doorframes; but what would you expect from a building 115 years old? All of this, simply adds to the character of this beautiful building. Location is wonderful - walking distance to theatres, shopping, & eating places.
We would stay here again & suggest it to friends & family as well.
Equal Timefrom lewisg
I was initially drawn to this hotel (and btw, I'm sitting in the hotel as I type this) by the low price. Courtyard, and others of that ilk, run at least $50 a night higher in this area.
As a regular business traveler, I have stayed in many hotels, none as old as the Congress, and so none with as much of an excuse as the Congress. For every negative I read, I can point to a similar experience at a major chain hotel that should be delivering a better product.
The Congress is over 100 years old, and yes, the building does show its age. Some reviewers complained of construction noise, and this is due to the continuous remodelling that is going on. A one-thousand room hotel doesn't get redone overnight - and certainly not when it has such a low occupancy rate due to the very issues they are working hard to correct.
Here are the pros and cons as I see them on my 17th week here:
-sometimes stale, funky smells in the hallways
-inroom coffee is about the cheapest stuff they could find
-some fixtures have issues: jiggly handrails, loose trim, dresser drawers needing repair, etc.
-surprise closings of food service (makes sense when paid staff outnumber the guests)
-Low water pressure on some floors. Irritating if you like a bath as opposed to a shower. I find that the shower sprays fine, even in low pressure.
-If they tell you your room is in the "Buckingham Wing", tell the clerk you're leaving if they don't put you in one of the towers. The BW is a small part of the hotel on the south side of the building that looks like it was added on in the 1950's. These rooms can really sour you on the Congress, but unless there's a convention going, they should be able to move you.
-Low occupancy on some weeks makes you feel like the place is abandoned. Sometimes I'd swear it's just me and two other guys in the whole place.
-Best prices in Chicago Loop area
-Great bar. The bar has a reputation apart from the hotel.
-Different room every week (I'm on week 18, and I've yet to have the same exact layout twice. Kind of nice when you have to put up with hotels all the time)
-Comfy beds. Someone upstream complained about a torn bedspread. I've seen sloppy housekeeping in the best of them.
-Friendly staff. Really. Someone complained about being ill-treated. Well, I've been working long enough to know that there are some folks that just don't quit until they've pressed every one of somebody's buttons.
-Tons of character. Rooms have 10 or 11 foot ceilings, never seen that before.
-Internet works great. It's wired instead of wireless, which in a hotel is better, I think. I've had some bad chain hotel experiences with the wireless stuff.
-The Lakeview rooms are beautiful. Nice view of Lake Michigan, worthy of snapping a few pics to impress your friends.
-Room service food is fast and excellent. Killer garlic mashed potatoes, prime rib bigger than your head (exaggerating a little here ;-), pizza is passable (It ain't Uno, but it's yummy), and the 12 oz. burger is awesome. Order the Pecan Royale for dessert.
Someone commented that business travelers should stay away, but I would say just the opposite - it's perfect for the frequent guest (I say, speaking as one). The people I would warn away would be younger people seeking some "perfect experience" like in the movies. This ain't a movie - it's a place to flop your briefcase down, have a drink, watch a little TV and go to sleep. If you want experiences, hey, it's Chicago in every direction out the front door. And say if you're an older couple on a vacation weekend, and you want to do something with it besides sit around and gripe that the plumbing is fiddly, I'd say you'd be pleased too.
I was attracted to the place initially to save the company a buck, but now I stay here because I really and truly like it here. I'll be here until mid-May, and if my company sends me back to Chicago after that, I'll come right back.
Very disappointed!from Sharon610
The worse Hotel experiencefrom fieldswonder
(someone from the service department told the front desk person they fixed the issuse a while ago) I insisted that no one was been to my room, 15 mins lately a service guy showed up. The vendening machine took my $1.75 for a can soda.
Later I went down stairs to the bar to whine down, after a bit I wanted to know if the hotel had a mircowave, so I was about to walk across the hall to the front desk, when I fell off the landing from the other side of the bar's entry way. This area was not clearly marked
"to step down or watch your step". To end my stay the next morning the water was barely warm.
Only if every other hotel is fullfrom Farnham_Flyer
This hotel was clearly grand - once. The rooms, whilst very spacious for Chicago, seem to have last been renovated during the 1970's.
I did have a great view over the Buckingham Fountain and the Lake and it is close to the Loop business district.
It was also very cheap - for a reason !
The negative reviews have meritfrom innowner
After reading reviews and rating on the hotel, she called me with her concerns, I told her give it a chance its just an older hotel.
Well she was right to be concerned it turned out to be dirty , dingy and in need of a total redo.
My involvement with this hotel occured when I contacted them to deliver a fruit basket to the room and a birthday cake the next day.
Not only did they give me the run around with several referrals on who would take the order, but they had me photo copy my credit card number and fax it to the front desk. It should be no surprise they didn't deliver either items and were indifferent when I called to complain .
Lucky for my daughter her company removed her from the hotel and she was booked at the Hyatt instead. People in her Chicago office were surprised that she had even be booked there in the first place.
worst experience ever!!from CaliforniaWineLuvr
Horrible experiencefrom Maggiemoo3
Stay awayfrom dalymount
Also under a union strike for the last four years. Thanks for informing me orbitz! Stay away!
Top Local Tips for Chicago
Grey Line Tours Make the time to take a tour of the city...Grey Line is a great way to go!
Secured parking garage! Right behind the hotel is a secured parking garage that has a security guard 24/7. Don't forget to get your ticket stamped at check in to get the discounted rate ($27/day) and use that public transportation. There are buses and taxis galore and an L station just a block behind the hotel!
museums Musems close earlier than we thought and open later than we thought. Make your plans for these from 10am-430pm
Other names for The Congress Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
- hotel congress plaza
- congress plaza hotel chicago
- congress plaza hotel
- congress plaza chicago
- congress hotel chicago
- Address: 520 South Michigan Avenue - Chicago - Illinois - 60605 - United States
- Loading Image...
- Loading Image...
- Loading Image...
- Loading Image...
Hotels Near The Congress Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
- Hilton Chicago Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.3 km / 0.2 mi
- Essex Inn Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.4 km / 0.2 mi
- Hotel Blake Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.4 km / 0.2 mi
- The Palmer House Hilton Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.6 km / 0.4 mi
- Best Western Grant Park Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.7 km / 0.4 mi
- Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.7 km / 0.5 mi
- Club Quarters Central Loop Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.7 km / 0.4 mi
- The Silversmith Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.7 km / 0.4 mi
- W Chicago City Center Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.8 km / 0.5 mi
- Hotel Burnham Chicago, Illinois Distance: 0.9 km / 0.6 mi
- Hotel Monaco Chicago, Illinois Distance: 1.2 km / 0.8 mi
- Hard Rock Hotel Chicago Chicago, Illinois Distance: 1.3 km / 0.8 mi
- Fairmont Chicago Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 1.2 km / 0.8 mi
- Hotel Allegro Chicago Chicago, Illinois Distance: 1.3 km / 0.8 mi
- Renaissance Chicago Hotel Chicago, Illinois Distance: 1.3 km / 0.8 mi