Despite the great traits this hotel has going for it - location, architecture, pool, etc. (see below), this hotel is a bit of a let-down overall. It is more expensive than, say, the Knickerbocker, service is not nearly as good, the rooms are smaller and less well-appointed, and the beds far inferior. It is also "cold" in the sense of being impersonal, with staff that seems efficient enough but not friendly are helpful. I note that, although I generally like handling my bags myself and am quite capable of so doing, and although we have two kids and lots of bags, not one person even came to help as or ask for help as we arrived at the hotel. We were simply ignored. The room was fine but a bit cramped and had minimal view. They have also replaced the original lobby by, as has annoyingly been done at some other grand old hotels I have seen (like one in Portland, Oregon) turned the lovely, uniquely designed lobby into a restaurant and making the lobby in the new section of the hotel. That lobby is large and "grand" but it's a bland cookie-cutter mediocrity, a typical modern mass-produced version of fancy - all flash but no character, uniqueness, or style. This also ruins the original feel and flow of the building, something I can't stand.
It seems that this place mostly caters to business people and not to people seeking a personal, charming stay. It was full of people who seemed like lawyers, businessmen, and other here for conferences and the like (all using the ubiquitous and characterless gym/health club instead of using the magnificent pool, which we made a point of using).
That said, it does have a lovely pool and great location, and it is efficiently run and clean. In the end analysis, though, I firmly feel that the only reason to choose this place over, say, the Knickerbocker, is the pool.
Unique Quality: This hotel has a fabulous location, right on the Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Ave in the North Loop, just north of the Chicago River and Wrigley Building. This gives great access to the area, downtown Loop, L stops, as well as nice views.
It is also an interesting and magnificent building in parts and has a magnificent swimming pool.
Directions: On the Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Ave in the North Loop, just north of the Chicago River and Wrigley Building.