Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago-Downtown/Lakefront

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, United States

1 Review

Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown Lakefront
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 38% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families80
  • Couples84
  • Solo87
  • Business77
  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    A New Embassy Suites in Streeterville


    They call this the Embassy Suites Lakefront, though it isn't actually on the Lakefront, its a few blocks away. (Not to be confused with the Embassy Suites Downtown, which isn't actually downtown, either.) I haven't stayed here. but I would -if I found a good rate. It just opened in 2003, and I like the general location a lot.

More about Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago-Downtown/Lakefront

Great for the price we paid!

by TripAdvisor Member chris4633

Upon checking in and telling the desk clerk it was our first visit to Chicago and requesting a high room with a view, he put us on the top (17th) floor with a stunning downtown view!!

Our room was large, clean, all the amentities we could ask for. There was compimentary cocktails in the lobby until 7pm and a nice complimentary buffet.

There was an issue with the toilet flushing handle but it was fixed in a matter of a half-hour.

The best part.... $60 on Priceline! Parking was $36 for 24 hrs.. ouch!

Overall, 5 stars for what we paid!

Great stay, mystified by previous review

by A TripAdvisor Member

I stayed here for 4 days during the first week in May 2005 and had nothing but a positive experience. The room and hotel were clean (every day), quiet, and comfortable.

I spent a lot of time reviewing available hotels and chose this one for its location and amenities. Sure, this is not a boutique hotel that pretends to be trendy, but it is part of a large chain which means they know how to do things right without being rude or snobby.

I was up early each morning and did not experience the long lines at the breakfast that others had mentioned. Nor did I see a ton of kids all over the place. As a matter of fact, I could count on one hand the number of children I saw during my stay. The Manager's Reception in the evening was busy early but quickly cleared out and allowed for short lines. The swimming pool is indeed smaller than it looks on the web site, but I had no intentions of using it anyway. One thing I liked is that there are enough elevators, and they are fast too. It was sort of a pain not being able to get to street level in the main elevators, though.

Other tips:

1) There are always taxis at the valet drop off for use.

2) The Thai restaurant around the corner is excellant.

3) Free trolley to the Navy Pier (although it seemed rather deserted, maybe things pick up in the summer).

4) Arrive for breakfast before 8am and the Manager's Reception after 6:45pm.

5) Just use the self parking (which is a different driveway than the valet). I ended up in the valet drive and never saw my car again until I checked out. It was easy to walk everywhere from this location.

Again, I had a great stay and will definitely look at staying there again next time I make it to Chicago.

Slightly above average

by A TripAdvisor Member

My travel mate and I (mid 30's males) stayed here while in town for the USA v England soccer game. We paid $259 for a corner suite on the 9th floor, which was supposed to be one of their larger suites. We found that it was average size for a room at Embassy Suites. However, it was extremely clean and quiet.

The front desk staff and concierge were quite friendly and did all they could to make our stay as comfortable as possible. We were permitted an early check in at 11:30 AM.

The hotel was completely sold out the night we stayed (5/28). This made for quite a large crowd at the Manager's Reception, so the line for drinks was outrageous. Some people have complained about the bartenders only serving 1 drink at a time. My advice; try tipping them! After all, the drinks are free, so what's a couple of bucks for each round? We were allowed to order as many drinks as we wanted, but we were only permitted to carry 2 at a time from the bar.

After a long night of drinking, we were a bit late getting down to breakfast (approx. 10:15) the next morning. This is no joke. The line to be seated was over 75 yards long! It stretched the entire length of the atrium and bent around all the way to the gift shop. Needless to say, we skipped the free breakfast and just went to a coffee shop for bagels.

The only thing truly negative that I can say about this property is the lack of transportation from O’Hare. Unfortunately, there is no shuttle. A cab ride from the airport is $40.

I would give it 3.5 points, because it is slightly above average with all things considered.

Great Location

by TripAdvisor Member Yoda14

Great Location - We stayed here from June 9th (Thurs) thru June 12th (Sun) for the Red Sox v. Cubs series.

The hotel sits just a few blocks from Navy Pier in one direction & a few blocks from Michigan Ave. in the other & in a safe neighborhood that'll allow you the security to walk around to these different areas.

The free drinks at the Manager's Reception every evening were a great way to start the night before heading out. We never found the lines to long and if you tip the bartender (was amazed by how many people don't tip!) you'll get the two drinks per trip to the bar that others here have posted that they didn't receive. The breakfast lines however were far to long (70+ people deep at it's peak) but we found a great diner just two blocks away. Also, PJ Clarks in the same building as the hotel, just below it, offers great food for lunch & dinner & a full bar.

The hotel pool is good for children, not for the serious, adult swimmer (to small/crowded).

If available, I suggest paying the extra $ for a corner room. I found them to be a bit larger and VERY quiet! The room itself was very clean, large (we had 3 sinks, 2 TVs, mini-fridge & microwave) and the staff was all very polite and professional. All furniture, bedding & upholsteries were in good repair. Rooms on the upper floors offer great views of down town and/or the lake.

While you may not need a cab during your visit here (again, great location), if you do they're more than plentiful just in front of the hotel.

Tip 1: There's a Walgreens on the same block as the hotel which allows the option of purchasing items to stock your mini-fridge with vs. paying $$ for over-priced hotel refreshments.

Tip 2: As a previous reviewer has mentioned, cabs from Midway to hotel run about $40. We took the train from Midway to the stop at Clark's (approx. 25 minutes) then hailed a cab to the hotel for a total cost of $10.

Over all a pleasant stay & will stay here again if visiting Chicago.

BAD service, GOOD location

by TripAdvisor Member azstephany

This hotel looks beautiful and location is great BUT the service was absolutely terrible. Our toilet didn't flush for a whole day and no matter how many times we called they didn't either come at all or they came jiggled the handle and said it was fixed. We wasted a whole day of our trip trying to get the toilet fixed. We finally moved rooms and the bellboy was supposed to help us but he never showed up so we had to do it all ourselves. This is also and extremely NOISY hotel. Kids were running around wild screaming and you could hear all of it. You can hear it less in the interior bedrooms, but then you can hear all the traffic and sirens. I know this is a city, I've lived in NYC before so I know how it can sound... but for the price, there was not much peace in this hotel.

If you are going to stay here -- and I may again simply because I'm not sure you can do better for the location and amenities (fridge and microwave) try to get high up on the west side of of hotel (numbers up to 13 or less (such as room 1413 or 1711). There is a fabulous gourmet store and cafe for buying prepared meals and other stuff on Illinois St. It's not the marketplace but the one just past it toward the pier on the same side of the street. I can't remember the name of it but its "fox and ...." Make sure you take advantage of the free trolley to the pier and other places up and down Michigan Ave.

Very good overall

by TripAdvisor Member StJohnFan

I came for a conference and brought my family, and we had a fabulous time. The hotel is located in a great location, and we found the rooms very spacious. The fridge and microwave came in handy. Check-in was problem-free and we requested and got an early check-in (1:30 or so) and late check-out (12:30) with no hassles at all. The room was very clean on check-in, and staff were friendly and accomodating. We stayed on an upper-level floor which was almost but not quite a corner room, which meant that the door didn't open directly onto the atrium. Maybe that made it quieter, but we didn't have the same noise problems the previous reviewer did even though the hotel was booked solid during our 3-night stay. We had great city views which included the Chicago Tribune building, the Wrigley building, and a little slice of the Sears Tower.

Unlike some other reviewers, we had no unmanageable lines for breakfast. We requested the early seating (they have 2) and there were never more than 3 or 4 people in the "cooked to order" line and I never waited more than 5 minutes. They also have self-serve buffet tables that were nice: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and lots of choices for cereal, bagels, fruit, danishes, and donuts. Cooked-to-order choices included eggs cooked to your specifications, omelets, pancakes, and a "special" most days (our last day it was a breakfast burrito). The lines for the cocktail hour were longer, depending on how many people they had working the bar. Two of the 3 nights we were there the line moved quickly since they had 2 separate lines for beer/wine and mixed drinks, but the last night it was all one line and there was a long wait.

The only reason I gave a 4-star rating as opposed to 5 was that the maid neglected to clean our room the 2nd day we were there. Granted, we were in the room until 11 AM or so and we were back by 3:30, but that still gives lots of time. Since we had plenty of clean towels left from the day before we didn't complain, but we probably should have.

Other details: as stated by others, pool was really small but still enjoyed by our son; there is a Walgreens and AMC movie theater right in the same building (but you have to go outside to get to them as far as I could tell); and the gourmet store down the street is called Fox and Obel. The Navy Pier, Millennium Park (great sculpture/fountain which is a blast for kids on a hot summer day!), and Michigan Ave. are all in easy walking distance. Our son loved the glass elevators in the hotel--just like an amusement ride! I would definitely stay in this hotel again.

Loooved the Embassy Suites Lakefront!!

by TripAdvisor Member NeedaVacation

We just came home last night from a 3 night stay in Chicago. We LOVED everything about the Embassy Suites Lakefront.

GREAT location. 3 blocks away from the Magnificient Mile. 4 blocks from Navy Pier. 4 blocks from Millenium Park.

GREAT rooms!! We even got a FREE upgrade to a corner suite!! I highly recommend the corner suites. They are located at the end of a little hallway, so they are VERY QUIET and bigger than the standard suites and, because they are on a corner, there are tons of windows with AWESOME views of the city and the lake.

I recommend asking for a room on the 15th floor or above.
The suite was VERY CLEAN and everybody in the hotel (bell service, reception, etc) was so nice and helpful.

Finally... GREAT BREAKFAST!!! Cooked to order omelettes, lots of great breakfast food (doughnuts, bagels, YUMMY FRENCH TOASTS, fruits, bacon, sausage, cereals, etc, etc.).

We loved the Embassy Suite Lakefront in Chicago and we will definitely stay there again.

A disappointment

by A TripAdvisor Member

I have stayed at a number of Embassy Suites and was rather disappointed in this one. When we checked in, there were a number of housekeeping problems with our room. It had, shall we say, not been cleaned thoroughly. In addition, someone had kicked or punched a hole in the bathroom door. When I complained, the desk clerk apologized but did nothing to help. The next day I spoke to the supervisor who was very nice and gave us a $50 credit to help make up for it. If there had not been a number of large conventions in town, I would have checked out.
The pool is a joke. It is about 6 feet wide and totally inadequate for anyone except a sole lap swimmer.
I have stayed at the other downtown Embasssy Suites in Chicago and it is far and away better. They are close together. Stay at the other one.

Port Authority Ambiance

by TripAdvisor Member travelmavendiva

I stay at a lot of Embassy Suites, this one had the ambiance of a busy bus station. It seemed that they were very busy and did not have the housekeeping staff to keep things as orderly and inviting as possible. It was a chock full of visiting families with lots of children running around. Given the lack of acoustical controls in the vast atrium it was a bit like listening to constant traffic. The rooms were small (the interior 'living room' drab, sterile, not entirely clean feeling) for example stains on furniture and carpet. The lighting was very harsh and unattractive. There was considerable noise carry over from the corridor on the atrium side. The bathroom was passable but uninviting. The breakfast was unrelaxing and hurried, the food was ok, but it was not worth lingering over or trying to read a paper and enjoy a cup of coffee. The tables are very close together, and the attempts to mitigate the over crowding mentioned in the other reviews was met with table cloth covered banquet tables throughout the lobby area......temporary and not very attractive. Ok so I am a bit of a diva.....The waits for elevator were crowded and again full of unaccompanied and sometimes rude and unruly kids....I would not stay here again. Now I do have to stay check in desk was staffed by personable employees as was the nice lady monitoring the breakfast. I am assuming the busyness of the hotel during prime tourist/family season attributed to the feeling of chaos and crowding. I imagine the staff tried to do the best they could under the circumstances.


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 Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago-Downtown/Lakefront

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Embassy Suites Chicago
Embassy Downtown Lakefront Suites
Chicago Embassy Suites

Address: 511 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, United States