Tips for Chicago Visitors

If you are headed to Chicago and are looking for a great place to stay, consider the newly renovated Blackstone Hotel.

My husband and I were headed down to Chicago for my daughter’s college graduation and I procrastinated on making reservations (as usual……..I mean what if our plans change???!!!!!). Anyway, I decided to give those scary websites a try, you know Hotwire and Priceline. I tried to book what looked like a great deal on Hotwire for a Magnificent Mile 4 star hotel for $197 a night. Every time I tried to book it, it kept saying “This itinerary is no longer available”. It felt very bait and switch to me. So, I logged on to Priceline. I strenuously object to any thing that forces me to make a commitment to something without really knowing what I’m committing to. Nonetheless, I started pressing all the right buttons. As my request was being processed, I changed my mind and “x”ed out of that page. Unfortunately, my “x”ing was too late and my bid was accepted! Grudgingly, I checked my email only to discover our reservation s were at the Blackstone Hotel. Oh dear, I thought! I’m from Chicago and I remember a sort of old, out of style, run down, 3rd rate building that I was sure we would not be comfortable in. So much for booking a 4 star hotel, I thought. 🙁

But, the deed was done and I had to make my peace with it. At least it’s a place to lay our heads down at night, right? And, I got a pretty good price considering all of the graduations and proms and Grant Park activities that were occurring that weekend.

When we pulled up to the hotel, I could see from the grand exterior, that a transformation had taken place. It looked brand new, but brand new in it’s original historic grandeur. The lobby was equally impressive. (hmmm, I said to myself with raised eyebrows.) The service people, from the valets to the wait staff to the clerks at the front desk, were courteous, knowledgeable about the history of the building and eager to please. The rooms were not only clean, but well designed and equipped. Every historic aspect of the hotel was beautifully restored to it’s original luster and the new, more modern elements were gracefully integrated.

We had a lake front view from our room on the 9th floor. We were so comfortable we didn’t want to leave! Our plans are to go back to Chicago and stay at the Blackstone when we can be down there to enjoy the city without any distractions.

According to Wikipedia, The Blackstone Hotel is known as the ‘hotel of presidents’ as most 20th Century presidents have stayed there, and more presidential candidates were chosen as a result of political discussions that took place at this hotel than any other.”

I recommend you do the same if you want an extraordinary hotel stay!

Submitted by Susan Hofflander

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