1710 Orrington Ave, (formerly Omni Orrington), Evanston, Illinois, 60201, United States
A handsome old gal with few imperfections
My wife and I searched the online travel services thoroughly prior to our trip to the Chicagoland area. We've been away for about 12 years but had lived in the city proper for over 30 years, so we were well acquainted with the quality and location of most of the establishments in the lists presented to us. Most of our friends, family and acquaintances live in the city itself or the collar suburbs so an outlying (and cheaper) accommodation choice was impossible, while we rented a car, the travel times commuting between the suburban locales are just a waste of precious time. I found it strange that the online Hotel Orrington price was about the same as a "budget" class motel located in Rodgers Park on the far northern end of the city so we happily chose Hotel Orrington.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and the place looked to be "up for grabs". They had several wedding parties arriving and all the hubbub was simply amazing. It appeared that the volume was a little more than the staff could handle at that particular point in time. I didn't want to pay $20.00 (and all the tips) for valet parking so we pulled to the outside of the driveway and schlepped our bags to the sidewalk, I assumed I would be approached by a member of the staff but was not, so my wife went in and got things moving "in our direction". Check-in was handled masterfully by their staff, we asked for a small fridge and it was delivered almost immediately, the staff brought us ice as well, so far so good.
Their available selection of television channels is very very poor, much less than basic cable although you can view movies on demand &c.
The room itself is nicely appointed with shutters as opposed to smelly draperies. There's a flat screen TV which sits upon a closet/credenza piece of furniture, a desk, a comfortable chair and ottoman, the requisite clock radio also played CDs. Someone had left their Frank Sinatra CD within the player in our room 438.
A four dollar bottle of water rested upon the desk and expensive snacks were stored within a drawer of the credenza, we were given a key to the mini-bar but never even opened their "treasure chest".
The room looked out west/northwest above the roof of other parts of the hotel. Large commercial HVAC units which occupied the roof space, hummed and droned incessantly and disturbed any quietude that might be desired. This brings me to the A/C unit in the room which is controlled via a thermostat by the room's door. THE AIR CONDITIONER WAS TOO FREAKING LOUD! So loud you had to turn up the volume of the television to almost unacceptable levels, so loud it woke me up when it came on at night so we had to resort to tuning it off each evening, UGH!
There was a weird configuration of pillows on the large comfortable bed which was accompanied by a bolster of sorts. A comforter was sandwiched between two sheets served as one's top sheet, which was almost too hot, especially when the air conditioner was turned off.
While the room itself was larger than expected, the bathroom (especially the sink) was smaller than I thought it would be. The accompanying Aveda toiletries were a treat as their scent didn't affect my breathing. The quality of towels and their number was great. No dirt was found on the bottom of my socks after walking through the room for hours in my white stocking feet.
The staff were friendly for the most part except for one brief moment of indifference when my wife attempted to reolve a billing error. Housekeeping forgot to clean our room during the last day of our stay but wanted to interrupt our packing efforts to do so late in the day which we disallowed. They made a half hearted effort at cleaning it while we were gone later in the evening.
We parked in the public lots a couple of blocks away from the hotel instead of paying $140.00 to valet park for seven days, we saved at least half that price. Parking overnight on downtown Evanston streets is prohibited and is enforced as I saw many cars receive tickets.
Unique Quality: Aveda toiletries
Shutters instead of draperies
Directions: Downtown Evanston
Yes, I stayed in the Orrington before it had its $32 million face-lift. And I also lived across the street from the hotel for 2 years and attended many, many corporate recruiting events there while attending Kellogg (we also considered The Huddle bar to be our second home).
While the hotel has now acheived historic landmark status, the hotel has been renovated (and renamed) so that I hardly recognize it.
Unique Quality: On the third floor is a complimentary fitness center, complete with towels, a water cooler, and fresh fruit. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to a nearby athletic club, where guests can buy a daily or weekly pass to utilize a wide range of fitness resources, including aerobics classes, a climbing wall, a swimming pool, and strength-training equipment.
A restaurant featuring chef Jackie Pluton is supposed to open in Spring 2005.
Directions: Downtown Evanston (between Church and Clark Streets)
If taking the El or Metra, use the Davis Street stop.
The hotel also has valet parking.
More about Hotel Orrington
Great hotel - location - price
I stayed at the Hotel Orrington on business in April and found it to be a great little hotel. Keep in mind that it is an older/historic property that has recently been renovated, and you will love it. It is conveniently located next to Northwestern Univ, within 3 blocks of the lake and the train. While my room and bathroom were on the small side, they were wonderfully appointed. Also, all carpeting, bedding, furniture, etc. is new. I just felt that it was cozy and comfortable, and very welcoming compared to the giant mega-hotels. Free Internet access made it great for work, and their meeting space on the top floor is terrific. Also, it is in a great area for walking to other shops/restaurants, but they have a casual cafe and a fine-dining restaurant onsite, so you don't really have to go out. Compared to downtown Chicago hotels, it is a bargain and I would definitely go back.
Not worth it!
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Orrington for a friend's wedding. We were extremely disappointed with the size of our room. You could not look in the bathroom mirror without standig/kneeling on the toilet. At check in, we were given incorrect information, which led to incorrect charges on our credit card which took time/money to correct. The hotel did not admit it's mistake. Additionally, the bride had reserved a suite from Tuesday-Saturday and was called by the front desk just minutes before she needed to leave for the ceremony and was told that she needed to vacate her suite immediately, because it had been sold for that night. They acknowleged that she had a confirmation number and reservation for the suite until Saturday, however, that did not "confirm that she actually had the room". It was unimaginable! I would not recommend the Hotel Orrington to anyone who is looking to "let your troubles melt away" as they claim!
Average at Best
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Orrington for a wedding in June. The location is wonderful and you can walk to many interesting restaurants in Evanston. The bed is very comfortable, however the walls are extremely thin and the staff doesn’t act like they work at a 4 star hotel. Since we were there for a wedding we saw many different rooms, and the size of rooms very quite a bit but all have thin walls. Most are very small and the bathrooms are completely inadequate in size, only one person can get ready at a time. We were part of the wedding party and called ahead to see if we could get early check in. They said to call back on the day of check in and they would see what they could do. I went to the front desk around 11 am, and they said to check back later. I went around 1 pm to see if the room was ready, they said I would have to wait until the regular 3 pm check in time. I didn’t have a problem with this but I am accustomed to 4 star hotels being more customer focused. I would say they have a long way to go before I would ever recommend staying there or recommend anyone having a wedding there.
The food at the wedding was also average but the ballroom was beautiful.
I was happy to hear of the opening of the Hotel Orrington since I feel the north suburbs of Chicago could stand to have some more hotels. The location is excellent, right in downtown Evanston, one can walk to numerous shops, restaurants, cafes, the lake and Northwestern U. The El and Metra are a little further afield but still accessible on foot. Architecturally the exterior of the hotel is unmemorable, and the lobby was decorated in modern style but cramped. There's a bar and restaurant, not many other amenities. Staff, however, was pleasant and attentive. The hallways on the floors are dark, somewhat dingy. My biggest complaint was with my room, it was cramped, painted badly and decorated with mismatched modernist furniture. The bathroom was very small with a tiny sink. The packed closet had no door, only a curtain. The bed was fine. There is no central air conditioning, so I had a very noisy wall unit on all night which was not conducive to a good night's rest. Overall, I think the hotel needs a few more updates before I would call it luxurious. Perhaps I would consider a stay at $100/night, but not $200.
extremely convenient and lovely
I really liked this hotel. The room was very large. The only problem is that the bathroom
was extremely tiny. I was in town to take my son over to Northwestern which is at the
end of the street. This was quite convenient. I would not have had a car if I had known
that it is very possible to just walk around the campus and the hotel and find many shops
and great places to eat.We were able to take a cab to chicago for $60 round trip which
was well worth it because it is $20/day to valet a car at this hotel and then to park it
in chicago would have been at least another $25-$30/day plus the hassle.
The food at the hotel was good as well. We had lunch at one of the restaurants and
everything was delicious. The service at the hotel seemed low key, but yet o.k.
I would definitely stay at this hotel again if I go to evanton again.
Gorgeous, but lacking
From the looks of it, this should be a fabulous hotel. But we both got a horrible night's sleep due to all of the noise - from the street, the hallways, and the adjacent rooms. The walls are paper thin and they completely forgot about soundproofing when they built this hotel. The other major problem we had with the room was the complete lack of Internet access - wired or wireless, free or fee based. We would gladly pay $10 for Internet access in our room, but the only way to get on the Internet is in the business center on the second floor. The Panera around the corner has free Internet, so we ended up going there. The Aveda toiletries in the bathroom were a treat, but we weren't given any shampoo either night we were there. The maid's cart was parked outside our room one morning and I didn't see any on the cart so maybe the hotel was out of shampoo? If you are parking overnight - arriving in the evening and leaving in the morning - you can use the library lot across the street to sidestep the valet parking charges.
Beware!!! Terrible Hotel Experience
I have written several positive reviews on hotels on this web site. This review is the first negative I have written becayse I feel I must warn others about this hotel. There were many deficiencies but the most blatant are:
1. The room was very small and the bathroom was minute...two people could not fit in the bathroom at the same time. The room had been recently redone, but the closet was so small and there was a wool curtain for a door....really odd. We had a window air conditioner that cycled on and off all night and was so noisey we did not sleep well at all. We called for turn down service, but the first night the new towels were thrown on the bathroom floor and the second night it was not done at all.
2. This hotel allows dogs in the rooms in the third floor rooms. If you do not want to sleep in a kennel, then do not under any circumstances take a room on this floor. We did not realize this until we were walking back to our room after dinner, and the dogs started barking and howling as we walked down the corridor to our room We asked to be changed to another floor, but were told they were no other rooms available. The front desk person was not sympathetic nor apologetic. They should have asked us when we checked in if we objected to being on the "dog floor"....my husband is allergic to dogs, and we would never had taken this room.
3. The staff were surly and not helpful, especially the reception desk and the reservations staff.
4. The service elevator was not working, and many times we rode in the elevator with larg bags of smelly of garbage! The housekeeper said they had been waiting for a part for the broken service elevator for a week. The garbage should have been taken down either late at night or very early in the morning when the elevators were not busy with guests.
These are just some of the problems with this hotel. I am a retired travel agent and have traveled all over the world staying at all kinds of hotels. This was one of the worst hotels I have every experienced. How can this be a 4 star hotel??? Take my advice and stay anywhere but the Orrington.
Dog Gone Worst Experience
This hotel is for the dogs literally. Heard dog barking all night on the 4th floor. Room not ready till 6PM, Never made up room, employees uninformed and inexperienced, only star for location in Evanston.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Hilton Orrington Hotel Evanston
Address: 1710 Orrington Ave, (formerly Omni Orrington), Evanston, Illinois, 60201, United States