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Offering views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, and proximity to top attractions the city has to offer, the Swissotel Chicago is a great hotel to stay in when visiting Chicago, IL.
It’s again time for my sister Belle to head back to the Philippines. For that, her return flight departs at midnight from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago. We were supposed to just drop her off but in an unexpected turn of events, the weather predicted a snow storm that would make driving back to Indiana a hassle. My husband and I decided to book a night in the city and just head for home the following morning.
It was a last minute booking for the night so we used a third-party app to book our room. We booked one of their Classic Rooms, which can accommodate 2 guests.
There were plenty of rooms and suites to choose from. One particular suite that stood out to me was the Kid-Friendly Suite, which I learn later on needed advanced notice to reserve. It was a great option for those who travel with kids, as Anna, one of the managers explained. According to her, the Kid-Friendly Suite is 2 adjoining rooms with one pre-arranged by housekeeping to have kid-friendly sheets, movies, and toys to cater to their young clients. If you are planning to travel to Chicago with the kids, I recommend looking into this option.
Alternatively, you can also book from Hotels.com where nightly rates can go as low as $103/night. Hotels.com has its own reward points that you could collect towards free nights.
Check-In and Lobby
Just a tip, the easiest way to get to the hotel is to take Michigan Avenue and turn to E Upper Wacker Drive. Otherwise, the GPS will suggest turns that will take you to E Lower Wacker Drive instead, underneath where you want to be. There are multiple levels of roads in Chicago which makes it confusing.
The E Upper Wacker Drive and N Columbus Drive intersection near the hotel is an interesting one since it merges a road coming from the hotel to Wacker going East. It will look like cars are coming at you from the wrong side of the road.
Once you get to the hotel, you have the option to self-park or valet. Valet charges $70 per night with in-and-out privileges. You can check availability and cost to self-park which varies day by day. Another great way to explore parking options nearby is the app Park Whiz. Download the free parking app here.
The lobby is cozy with several seats to lounge about. The concierge can be found here as well as dining options Amuse and The Palm. There is also an escalator going downstairs to Geneva.
The hotel is undergoing renovations including its flagship restaurant The Palm. The management promises rooms and amenities to be all spanking new by April 2018.
Plenty of reception counters are also available for speedy check-in.
We love how they have a mini convenience store called 24/seven. You can buy snacks, drinks, and personal items you may have forgotten to pack like toothbrushes.
Having booked last minute and not reserving the Kid-Friendly Suite ahead, Manager Anna was gracious enough to upgrade us to one of the Premier King Rooms instead. The room is located in the corner giving us great panoramic views of the city and the Chicago River. We can even see the Navy Pier from our room.
The room is perfect to book if you want to watch fireworks during the New Year’s or when they dye the river green for St. Patrick’s.
The room has a lot of space. Since it was not a suite, you’re really only missing sitting areas. There are one comfy king bed, a chair, and an office table.
The bathroom is generous in size too with a bathtub and a glass shower. You can still view the river from here and if you mind on-lookers from the nearby building, there are blinds that you could use for more privacy.
The bathroom did show some need of repairs–cracks in the floor and the broken countertop. Otherwise, the rooms were clean. Housekeeping was responsive to our request for more towels. I’m looking forward to their updates to the rooms.
What comes with the room?
Other features of the room include hair dryer, ironing board and iron, robes, umbrellas, safe, and an empty dorm-size refrigerator.
We did notice that the TV has several input ports too if you are thinking of bringing any of your kids’ (or yours) game console systems or a streaming hardware like Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.
The hotel primarily caters to the business traveler. With that in mind, this hotel also has other amenities that your family can enjoy after exploring the city of Chicago.
Relax and unwind in their spa located on the same floor as the fitness center and pool. They do suggest calling ahead to reserve an appointment.
Indoor Pool + Hot Tub
Swissotel Chicago is one of the few hotels in downtown Chicago that has an indoor pool. This is one of their amenities that attracts the family traveler. The pool starts at 3 feet deep and is 45 feet long. No waddling pads for the tots. There is also a hot tub nearby.
The penthouse fitness center is available for guests for 24 hours. Keep in shape while looking at panoramic city views. You will find an array of fitness activities here and you don’t have to worry about bumping into someone because the place is huge.
HP Business Center
A small nook for your quick business needs like printing.
Again, the hotel caters mainly business travelers, but the convention halls are available to host a variety of events.
The hotel has plenty of selections for having a meal. Dress code is casual.
The Palm Restaurant
This restaurant was closed for renovations when we visited. Will be opened by April 2018. The Palm is known for their tender steaks and Italian cuisine and is located in the lobby.
Located on the lower floor, Geneva Restaurant serves American cuisine. We headed here for breakfast. A buffet is available as well as a la carte.
We had a classic American breakfast. If you want to start the day with eggs, bacon, sausages, corned beef hash, pancakes, toast, muffins, and coffee, Geneva is the place.
You can get your cocktails and small plates at Amuse, located in the lobby.
There were several available seating here that are cozy to share with friends when in town.
Perks of Staying Here
Swissotel Chicago is a great hotel to stay in. It is one of the few hotels in downtown Chicago that has an indoor pool. And with packages like the Kid Suite, Swissotel Chicago is easily one of the most family-friendly hotels in Chicago.
Other details like the availability of a convenience store and even the umbrella make guests feel like they are being catered for. That’s how we felt from their staff even on our short stay. It makes it easy to see past the room damages that you don’t expect in a luxury hotel. We look forward to the improvements and will probably be planning a future stay.
Have you been to Swissotel Chicago? How was your experience?