More about InterContinental Chicago O'Hare
Art Lovers delight at a new hotel
We checked in on a Saturday for a one night stay. The hotel is easy to get to, self parking is $22 a day in the attached ramp. We were a bit disappointed that
the attached Capital Grille had not been built yet, but I had already read this online so it was not a surprise. Upon check in, the hotel clerk mentioned the room
was booked on Priceline. We were given a king room and of course everything was new and styled much like what a hotel would look like if Ikea ran a hotel.
The small bar by the lobby was fine and the bartenders were great. The big showcase of the hotel is the "area’s first luxury hotel with its very own art gallery featuring a full-time curator and monthly art exhibitions. The works of Chicago's most intriguing artists are displayed throughout the hotel."
I was excited to find that Chicago's own Jay Ryan was featured there, and that his works were available for purchase in the museum gift shop, as
indicated in the rooms information booklet.
I went to the lobby to ask where the gallery was, to be told that I was in the gallery, and all the works in the lobby were available for purchase.
When I asked where Jay Ryan's works were located, nobody knew who Jay Ryan was. When I went to the small gift shop in the lobby, the
clerk didn't have any Jay Ryan works for sale except for one of his books, but even she did not know who Jay Ryan was. At least there was
a very nice Jay Ryan print on display in every room at the hotel, maybe those are rotated out. The lobby has about a dozen or so works on
display, and throughout the hotel, there appears to be lighting and empty space for more artwork, so perhaps that is what is going to happen.
Across from the fire lane, there is a McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant. We dined there with friends of our who are most certainly NOT
seafood eaters, and even they were satisfied with tasty non-seafood alternatives. Nothing spectacular, but very good for midwest seafood and
The room is very artistically designed with some pros and cons at the expense of looking artsy. The alarm clock is a modern clock radio with
an iPod dock and remote, however the remote had no batteries, and it was quite a feat to figure out how to set the alarm without a manual. Fortunately
I do have some technical background and figured it out after 15 minutes of doodling. And, bring your iPod since the clock radio is very poor at FM reception. I was unable to pick up my favorite Chicago station, XRT. The room had a nice giant (plasma?) screen TV, with a fully
computerized hotel menu system, however the menu does NOT allow you to check out, only review charges. Very odd considering most hotel
TV systems allow in-room checkout. The TV is also capable of High Definition TV and HDMI digital inputs, but guess what? All TV channels are sent via the analog
inputs, making the picture grainy and stretched with interference. This also means there is no program guide or channel information, making finding
you favorite TV shows difficult. I really was miffed by this, wondering how they could get the analog signal to look so crappy with a totally new
installation in a totally new hotel with a brand new TV?
There is a nifty brass/bronze clothes hanger in the room, with bird figurines welded to it, which limits the amount of clothes you can hang on it.
The bathroom has a sliding door, and no active ceiling fan, so venting air quickly out of the bathroom is not an option. The sink is a euro styled
standalone basin which is good for getting your face right down in there for a good scrubbing, but that also means there is no countertop, only the
ledge above it, and the area behind the basin is open wall/floor, which we found got quite messy just during our stay from backsplash and putting things
on the ledge. The shower has a large shower head that hangs out of the ceiling, and the shower stall has no door or curtain, simply a large thick
glass wall and a doorway to enter. Water does splash out, and it also makes the shower stall a bit chilly because it is wide open. I was fine, but
my wife had me turn the room thermostat up for showers.
This is also another luxury hotel that makes money by nickle and diming you to death. The mini bar is booby trapped to charge you for anything you
move, and the is no space for anything else. If you want the mini bar emptied they charge you $30. Wireless internet costs $12.95 which is silly these
days. The ice bucket is pitifully small, so don't even think about DIY drinks. There are no vending machines, and a bottle of Dasani water at the gift shop
will set you back $3.29. I can understand the need to recoup some profit from me when I only paid $60 for the room, but if I paid $100+ I would expect
those for free. For a 4* (four star) hotel, I would expect these gratis plus an in-hotel restaurant (breakfast anyone?) and a pool.
In summary, my wife loved the hotel, I liked it. If you like things more for how they are styled and price and function do not matter, then you will love
Any issues this hotel had upon opening have obviously been remedied!!!
I was a bit apprehensive about staying at this hotel, due to a few bad reviews I have found on-line, but let me tell you, this place was the BEST!!!
Some of the highlights of the room:
1. The room was very modern (Ikea-like)and immaculately clean.
2. The king size bed was decked out in high count cotton sheets with a down comforter and pillows. Super comfy!
3. There was an iPod dock in the clock radio.
4. 42" Aquous plasma TV.
5. Gorgeous bathroom. Very modern.
6. Enormous comfy bathrobes!!
7. Interesting art!
8. In-room safe
We had a free Continental breakfast each day in the club lounge. Aside from the room being really interesting, the breakfast was good and the wait staff were EXCELLENT.
They had an assortment of breakfast cereals, bagels, muffins and pastries each day. Yogurt and fruit were also available. Assorted juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate were available.
All staff we interacted with were wonderful. There is a button you push on the phone if you need ANYTHING AT ALL. They are there to greet you by name and help. The concierge woman in the lobby was simply wonderful. So helpful and caring!
The artwork throughout the downstairs is amazing. If you have a chance, take a stroll!
We had no problems whatsoever hooking up to the wireless internet in the room. I called the instant help person to find out how and was on-line in a matter of seconds.
**The ONLY problem I had with this hotel was that the gorgeous 42" plasma TV was hooked up via a regular coaxial cable. The picture was fine, but NOT NEAR what it could/should have been on that TV!!! People who are not tech snobs probably wouldn't even notice! ha ha!
BEST Hotel at O'Hare
WOW! What an amazing hotel!! Finally an O'Hare property that brings the city to the suburbs. From the original artwork on the first floor to the friendly, efficient staff, I can't say enough wonderful things about my recent stay. With so many tired, worn out hotels in the O'Hare area, its a pleasure to step into this very new, very clean, beautiful property. The bed was a dream. The glass encased shower was amazing after a very stressful business day. The fitness room had enough equipment and variety so that I didn't have to wait when the room was full. I can't wait to come back again when Wildfire and Capital Grill open. I found a new home when I travel to Chicago.
A great place to stay!
I just recently stayed at the new Intercontinental O Hare for a business trip. The hotel was beautiful and very unique! The first thing I noticed when entering was the artwork. The hotel is a full working art gallery as well.
The staff at the hotel made me feel very welcome. After check in, I was addressed by name for the rest of the visit by at least 5 staff members that I had interacted with. Very impressive.
My room was great as well. The bed was very comfortable and I loved the hotel's decor. The bathroom made me feel like I was at a spa. I even had a great view of downtown Chicago.
Thank you for everything!
Loved the brand new Intercontinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel
I had an incredible stay at the brand new Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel. It was nice to arrive to a smiling face at the front desk. The customer service was amazing. The sleeping rooms are spacious. The beds are comfortable. I ordered room service 3 nights each night was a great experience. They have a “club room” which was a nominal free for all day use. The room serves 4 light meals and drinks. I loved their coffee machine in the club room I went back several times for refills. The internet is included in the club room which allowed me to check email before starting my work day. I attended a reception at the Ice Bar. They serve cocktails in a glass made of ice (in a plastic stand). It was a unique experience. The bar stools even look like they are made out of ice. They have a venue on site that will have comedians and musicians that gives us something to do without leaving the hotel. They also have a working art gallery all the art is for sale. The art collection was incredible from paintings to sculpture very special works. I enjoyed working out in their work out room. I loved the location too right behind the front desk on the first floor. They have a great selection of weight equipment, cardio machines and free weights. I enjoyed having dinner at McCormick & Schmidt‘s one evening. The restaurant was beautiful and the food was great. Soon the Intercontinental will have a Wild Fire and a Capitol Grille on site as well. The first night we had a banquet dinner in one of the conference rooms. The ceiling was what impressed me the most. The light look like roses in a ivory color very classy. The food was delicious. The desert tray was filled with so many tasty choices it was hard to pick just one so I had two. The attention to detail was above and beyond every hotel experience I’ve had in my past. I travel about 12 times per year. I highly recommend this property. If you have meetings downtown, as I did, they offer a free shuttle that takes you to the “L” train which is the best way to travel to the city. I am looking forward to my next trip to Chicago so that I can experience the Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare again.
Good Hotel but don't expect the Club Lounge to be open
I booked this for one night to start a romantic weekend and tick off another InterContinental off the list. I landed at 1730 and waited for 15 minutes for the shuttle bus, which duly arrived and parked up for 10 minutes! So I arrived at the Hotel at 1820 eventually. They do offer you a bottle of water in the bus if you dig that sort of thing.
I was impressed with the structure and being recently constructed it was well designed and the check in was seamless and friendly. It was at this point the communication strated to break down. I had paid for an Executive Club room as my companion I hadn't seen for two months and I thought the Club Lounge would be an Oasis away from the bar and McCormick and Schmidts over the road where we could be far from the madding crowd.
Alas! I was informed that the Lounge is not open! No call for it I was informed, later on, not at check in or at any other time. So basically I had paid extra but didn't get the facilities I expected. This is not posted on the website or communicated back to me when I emailed the Hotel to ask whether I should check in the Lounge as quite often this is the norm (as happened at Park Lane, Malta, Downtown etc)
The Rooms were well appointed and the Bathroom was well equipped. There were two Large flat screen TV's one in the lounge area and one in the bedroom. The socket under the mirror didn't work so Mr. Coffee had to be plugged in on the desk. Note : lift up the plastic flap on the desk for plug sockets which is good for a workstation.
I spoke to the concierge about the Lounge issue and he said he would get the manager to explain the situation to me, I waited for 10 minutes for the manager to acknowledge my presence and he asked "Well what didn't the Hotel provide?" so why did you spend 5 minutes talking to the Concierge then? So we got a comped cold breakfast which was average.
When you want to have a quiet chat and drink you have to tolerate a bunch of loud drunk Quincy MD's on a pathologist convention, so we went over the road where we had a quiet drink until the loudest birthday party turned up. So all plans scuppered! Timing is everything I think and I am not a killjoy but it just got a little much. So the stay was fine but I would not stay again unless is was on Business.
A truly WEIRD oversight, but still great!
This hotel is beautiful and I loved my one-night stay on a recent business trip. I must say, however, it must be the nicest business hotel in America WITHOUT remembering a pool! Obviously, they don't believe business travelers know how to swim, but this oversight puts a slight taint on an otherwise amazing stay!
To give you an idea of some of this hotels many fine qualities:
-Robes and slippers provided for you at no additional cost.
-FANTASTIC design of bathrooms, with great furnishings, amenities and comfort level.
-Great lighting in rooms, and beautiful artwork in each room, which is truly unexpected in a hotel.
-Quiet as a mouse in hallways. Great sound insulation, with even the ice machine having doors around it to block sound.
-Aquos televisions, multiple phones, and wonderful coffee makers with high-quality coffee and tea.
-Excellent restaurants connected to hotel. Be aware, though, as there are NO inexpensive options near hotel. A McDonalds more than a mile away would be nearest cheap option.
-Fitness room is WAY underequipped, but has great quality treadmills. It needs fitness balls, yoga mats and a few more free weights to be properly equipped.
While I'm not a fan of the pricey parking for self-park, the charges for internet service, or the mystifying idea of no pool in a hotel of this stature, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love my stay and look forward to my next experience at this fine hotel.
Frustrating - They Missed The Mark
The Intercontinental O'Hare has many small frustrations that show either a lack of eye for detail, or kinks that come from being new, or simply signs of being designed for form over function.
I gritted my teeth when I found that:
* The hotel is truly isolated - you cannot walk more than 20 feet down the street before the sidewalk ends. You cannot walk anywhere.
* There are a grand total of 2 food options - the Capital Grille, and some kind of in-house bar whose menu doubles for room service, with just 3 lunch/dinner sandwich options and 3 entrees. After 2 days marooned at the hotel, you could starve. How about a small coffee shop, or a sundries shop?
* I know this is a high-end hotel, but.... $5 for a 10-oz. bottle of soda? Actually, it's $5 plus the $3 delivery fee plus the 22% service fee. Am I nuts, or is this a new low in the insanity of hotel food pricing?
* The shower has no.... door. I think it's by design, to look "modern." Actually, it's just silly.
* The sink is some sort of ultra-hip design too, rendering it awkward to use. There is no lip whatsoever on which to rest toiletries.
* The TV looks nice when off, but after you turn it on, you realize the reception is not in HD - every channel is analog.
* Rooms are stocked with a Keurig coffee maker (nice!), but the only caffeinated flavor is "Gloria Jean Sleigh Ride??" It smelled and tasted like potpourri. And the coffee machine itself is stored in a little table that slides into a cabinet, which is heavy enough that it's difficult to remove the machine and set it up.
* The desk has just two power outlets. With my laptop, cell charger, and the coffee machine.... two isn't enough.
* Some of the staff seem to suffer from "standing around" disease. When I arrived late on a cold night, the doorman literally watched me unload my bags from the taxi but never made a move or offered a greeting. Odd? On several occasions, I encountered groups of staff members in the lobby chit-chatting among themselves and ignoring guests.
I'm a frequent business traveler so I'm used to a few nitpicks. But they come so fast and furious at the Intercontinental, that after awhile it grates on your nerves. Next time get thee to a Courtyard Marriott.
It was nice - not great - but nice.
I stayed for 2 nights on business. It was clean and comfortable - but nothing special. The fitness facility was more than adequate. The business center was helpful. Breakfast was good. When I stayed, there was only one restaurant within walking distance. It certainly is not close or convenient to restaurants or shops.
Best airport hotel ever
I travel a fair amount for business, and sometimes I need a hotel close to the airport to make an early flight or because a client is located outside of the city.
This usually involves a compromise of some kind due to the location (e.g., poor service, design, rooms, etc.)
This hotel was great even for non-airport hotel standards! Beautifully designed and furnished, both rooms and public spaces were eye-poppingly well done. I walked around in amazement at the art gallery on site, very expensive furniture and top notch service. Everyone I encountered was friendly, professional and helpful.
The hotel does not have a lot within walking distance, but neither do other airport hotels at O'Hare. That comes along with the territory. The food onsite was pretty good, and there are restaurants onsite that are not affiliated with the hotel.
The only complaint I can make (which was rectified) had to do with needing to move my room as it was right next to one of their "galleries" which was being used for a private party. The sound carried WAY too much through the adjoining door and I requested to be moved immediately which was accommodated without issue.
If anything, this felt better than many of the in-town Intercontinental hotels I have stayed at in that the design aesthetic was very modern and forward which is just what I like.