InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
What We Love
- The ornate indoor junior Olympic swimming pool
- Cheese and chocolate flights with wine pairings at the award-winning Eno tasting room
- The only hotel with a front entrance on Michigan Avenue
What To Know
- The fitness room is open 24 hours
- All rooms feature tea- and coffeemaking facilities
- Valet parking is available for an additional $67 per day
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Originally an elite athletic club dating from 1929, the InterContinental makes quite the first impression, with its marble column–flanked doorway on Michigan Avenue, which leads to a four-story lobby with a grand staircase. The 792 guestrooms feature comfy beds, work desks, minibars and bathrooms stocked with Agraria bath products. Suites also have living rooms separated by French doors, additional flat-screen TVs and bar areas. Head to the hotel’s award-winning Eno bar for a flight of cheeses, cured meats and chocolates paired with wines, or tuck into the hearty fare at Michael Jordan’s steakhouse. Work it all off with a visit to the hotel’s two-level health club and spa, which includes a heated junior Olympic swimming pool.
In the Area
The InterContinental makes a great home base for exploring the Windy City, as it’s the only hotel with a front entrance on Michigan Avenue, which is lined with shops, museums and restaurants. See the city from the water aboard a boat tour or from the seat of a bike, both easily booked at the Navy Pier, a 50-acre landmark featuring parks, gardens, rides and restaurants. Save time for a visit to world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works at the Art Institute of Chicago and, if you’re there on a Sunday, make a reservation for brunch at the museum’s Terzo Piano restaurant, from award-winning chef Tony Mantuano. Back on Michigan Avenue, Manuano also runs Spiagga, a favorite of President Obama’s for its James Beard–nominated Italian fare.
How to Get There
We stayed here in November and found the staff to be very nice. We didn't eat here, but i am told the food is good. The bed was great, the room was clean. We had great internet. The doormen did a great job.
Property proudly displays the AAA 4 diamond plaques in lobby. There appears to be an effort to provide superior service, but not quite there yet. Problems began with check in. No reservation could be found, even with confirmation#, so I had to show the confirmation from my email. desk clerk upgraded my room due to the hassle. Room was adequate, but nothing special. enjoyed a fantastic view of a very nearby brick wall out the room window. I could easily have done better for $200 / night base rate. Breakfast buffet was over-priced at $30+. Room safe was locked shut upon arrival. Coffee service was not refreshed daily. Both these issues seem to reflect poor training. Location is excellent. Staff is courteous and helpful. Historic building has been nicely maintained. Conference food was well above average. Security is sound. cramped lobby bar and inflated prices caused folks to venture offsite for a gathering place. Given the many other great options on or near Michigan avenue, I would likley pass on a return to the Intercontinental.elevators are surprisingly efficient.
Decided on a quick weekend staycation in downtown Chicago. We wanted a good base for walking the downtown shopping and a nice indoor pool for our kids. The Intercontinental surpassed our expectations. From checkin, the customer service was excellent. I was concerned some reviews cited "dated" rooms in the grand tower so we booked in executive tower - that said, we saw suites in both towers and they looked basically the same. Anyway, while not "chic modern", we did not feel the rooms were overly dated and they were very clean as well as common areas. There is a fridge but dominated by mini-bar items - the area for your usage is literally like 6x6 inches :) i.e. don't plan on storing anything in the fridge except very small items.
A main priority was the pool, and the hotel's pool was awesome for older kids. Probably one of the largest indoor hotel pools we've used, also had a very classic look. It is nice and toasty/humid in the lounging area but plenty of seating, and you can order food. One caveat, there is no lifeguard and unlike most newer hotel pools, there is no shallow area (under 4ft IIRC) and there is a legit deep end of 10ft, so your kids actually need to know how to swim and tread water properly. They also play a movie in the area on Saturday nights (it's pretty loud though).
While I didn't use, they have a really nice fitness center, very comprehensive with free weights, smith machine, modern cardio machines and lots of space. Nice locker rooms with showers and a dry sauna as well. No hot tub though. Neither were overly packed during our weekend stay. They have fresh fruit as well.
Location is excellent, you're right on the Magnificent Mile and can walk everywhere quite easily. Hotel cost is a great value IMO even with all the fees at under $275/night; that said, parking was expensive (valet only) at $71/day and make sure you look it up before driving - it's on Lower Michigan Ave which can be confusing if you don't know downtown. The entrance is easy to miss but on Lower Michigan right before hitting Grand Ave - it'll look like a closed garage door (well marked with Intercontinental) but opens automatically as you approach. You can probably save $35/night using Spot Hero or similar app but other garages around can be a pain to work with and this one is secure.
Only "con" I would really say is the street noise level. The window did not have very good sound insulation so you literally just heard the normal flow of traffic coming by, and any loud sirens or horns stood out at night (and we were floor 20). We're used to this having lived or visiting hotels in downtown cities. It's possible a room facing a direction (not Michigan Ave) would be better.
Overall, would definitely come back next time we want to stay downtown.