Great Chicago Hotel
We enjoyed our stay at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza. We were in downtown Chicago for the Auto Show and wanted a nice hotel to stay in. We had the best breakfast package, and the buffet was pretty good. We were walking distance to restuarants, and to attractions. Our only complaint was with the people in the next room who partied into the wee hours of the night. But when we called the front desk, they had security up right away. We would definatly stay at this hotel again.
Least ideal for Michigan Ave shopping
Happened to win this hotel through a bidding service and didn't pay much for the one night stay. I would NEVER have chosen this hotel on my own initiative, but it was an interesting stay that I wouldn't care to repeat.
They say location is everything...well, if shopping on Michigan Avenue is YOUR preferred location, this hotel is just inconvenient enough from that area (train, bus, or walk) to make your trip less than memorable as one of your favorite visits. Even after you arrive at the hotel, if via public transportation, your adventure is just half fulfilled, as it's quite a "maze", and about a 10 minute walk, from the bus/train stop to, eventually, arriving at your room. Once again, this is NOT the hotel for you if shopping in Chicago's Michigan Avenue corridor.
On the positive side, I must acknowledge that the physical appearance of this Holiday Inn is above average of the typical ones you would find. With that said, everything beyond the physical attributes is VERY MUCH typical Holiday Inn -- including a very average staff.
Suppose I have grown accustomed to the professionalism of excellent chains that are highly regarded for outstanding customer service. Upon my arrival at the front desk of the Holiday Inn-Mart Plaza, I was quickly reminded that I was about to take SEVERAL steps down in customer service professionalism from what I have grown so accustomed to in my travels.
The chain to which all others are to be compared is Marriott (of course in my humble opinion) -- impeccable customer service in EVERY property that I have been a guest. Marriott definitely has a genuinely desire to please their guests, while my overall experience at the few Holiday Inns I have stayed has been pretty much the opposite.
This location was no exception to Holiday Inn's overall lack of guest satisfaction. There tends to be no warm greeting at the desk, lack of genuine desire for satisfying simple guest requests/accommodations (rooms in certain areas, views when available, etc.). In fact, my perception is that their goal at the front desk was to get you out of their faces as quickly as possible -- not guest satisfaction.
Needless to say, I will NOT be returning to the Holiday Inn - Mart Plaza and, since I have visited Chicago on NUMEROUS occasions in the past, I would STRONGLY advise travelers to seek alternate accommodations of some OUTSTANDING hotels in the Michigan Ave/Wacker Drive area.
There are way-too-many great options in this wonderful city to settle for a hotel as mediocre as the Holiday Inn-Mart Plaza -- you can EASILY BEAT the location and, especially, the professionalism (or lack thereof) of this hotel among the vast array of hotels in the city of Chicago.
We stayed here Dec 04 and had a ball.
Hotel is nice and quiet and beautifully lit up reception area.
The reception is on the 17th floor so the rooms are guarentted a great view.
Really clean and friendly.
So good we are staying in the other Holiday inn again in 2 weeks, so we can compare.
Big difference in Holiday inns in America to the ones in Ireland.
Okay but not great
We got a very good deal on the Holiday Inn via their internet site; it was especially low since most of the other hotels had higher prices on the weekend we traveled to Chicago. This hotel was further away from the Magnificent Mile area where I've typically stayed before. It was still very convenient since the El brown line stops right at Merchandise Mart and you can walk through the Mart and across a walkway without ever going outside - great for the Chicago winter.
**However, I unfortunately found out the hard way that the walkway is closed and locked all day Sundays which makes getting to the el more inconvenient to say the least.**
Also, fyi - many of the places we typically go in Chicago are more convenient to the red line which took some juggling to get to from the brown line.
The hotel lobby was very nice and the staff was extremely helpful to us. I also liked having wireless internet available for free in our room. The room was clean and nice, nothing special.
The beds were strangely low to the ground and not comfortable at all. That feeling was shared by each of the others in my party as well - something that was pretty important with all the walking you typically do in Chicago.
I would not go out of my way to stay here again, but I would not dissuade anyone from staying here. It's clean and safe and the location is close to the loop and downtown. Just be aware of the drawbacks this hotel may have over others.
We really liked this hotel!
My friend and I stayed at this hotel this past weekend while we were shopping in Chicago. One of the places we wanted to visit was the One of a Kind Show at the Merchandise Mart so this was a good location for that. We were dissappointed in the show since they had high priced art which is not what we were looking for. We really liked the hotel. The staff was very friendly and helpful and we had no problems getting extra soap and towlels or whatever else we needed. Our room was on the corner facing the east and we had a beautiful view of the city especially at night with the lights.
We had a rate from the Holiday Inn website that included breakfast for 2 for $10. We had the breakfast buffet which would have been $15 each if we would have had to pay for it so this was a good deal. Overall we enjoyed our stay, the room was clean, and beds comfortable and would stay here again.
My girlfriend and I spent the night at this hotel and we very much enjoyed our stay. While it's not on Michigan Avenue, it is conviently located near the "L" (and you can go just about anywhere you want in Chicago from the "L". To get to the "L" you don't even have to go outside, just walk through the Merchandise Mart. From our room, we also had an excellent view of downtown and the Chicago river. We didn't experience some of the problems that others had, we thought the beds were comfortable and the walkway to the Merchandise Mart WAS open on a Sunday. Our only complaint was that the indoor pool was very cold...too cold to swim in. Also, their beakfast was quite pricy (even for a hotel). However, I do recommend staying here when in Chicago. Also be sure to take a walk down the street to Ed Debevics, a fun place to eat!
Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza?
So, I used the "name your own price" option on Priceline because hotels were just out of my budget and I thought I could get a good deal. I have always been pleased when traveling to other places and using that site. However, I am a bit concerened about the hotel that accepted my offer. It's Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza. Can anyone tell me anything about it? It doesnt have to be fancy. I just hope it's clean and in a nicer area.
Also, what would be the easiest way to get to Mag. Mile? I know we're only 0.1 miles from the brown line.
Any suggestions of things to do/see other than the obvious things would be awesome. We'll be there Nov 9- 12.Thanks!
Re: Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza?
We stayed there a year ago in May for a conference (and will be going back again this year.) It is a nice mid-range Holiday Inn located in a highrise building. The hotel I on like the 10-20th floors. The room was nice, nothing fancy, but clean and reasonably well kept. The hotel overlooks the river just north of the loop. Walking toward lake Michigan you will go past the new Trump building. There are several really nice restaraunts in that area. The elevated train line is about a 7 minute walk away on the other side of the merchandise mart building. Going north from the hotel you pass through an urban business and industry area, mixed with new expensive condos and a mixture of restaruants from humble to upscale. Just a couple of blocks toward the river and the neighborhood becomes more upscale. Bottom line, safe area, not the prettyest in town, only a couple of blocks from where you want to be, but if the price is right well worth the couple of blocks walk (or take a taxi.) There should be some tips on my Chicago page.
Let me know if it has changed, we are slated to go back for a conference in May.
Re: Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza?
This hotel is on top of the Sun-Times building connected to the Merchandise Mart. It is in the Northwest side of the loop which means you will be close to both the Sears Tower and to really great restaurants on Randolph Street (market district). You will be able to walk to Michigan Avenue for shopping, etc. but may want to cab it back if you have packages, etc. (20-30 minute walk). You can also hop on the Brown Line El at the Merchandise Mart BUT it won't take you to Michigan Avenue. You can use the Brown line to go up to Lincoln Park, etc. It is a Holiday Inn so it should be clean and safe. Definately better then staying out in the burbs.
Re: Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza?
i would recommend looking up some hostels as well. if you dont care if it's somethign fancy i've seen some nice looking ones in the city. do a search on google for Chicago hostels and a bunch of links should come up.