The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- Museum-quality art collection of 1,400 works by local artists
- Prime location on the Magnificent Mile across from Millennium Park
- Celebrity chef Jose Garces’s distinctive menu of Catalan-inspired cocktails and dishes at Mercat a la Planxa
What To Know
- Sophisticated atmosphere not ideal for kids
- No spa services, but the front desk offers referrals
- WiFi costs $12.95 a day
- Parking On Site
Since its opening in 1910, this stunning Beaux-Arts grande dame has hosted celebs, sports stars and 12 U.S. presidents. A 2008 reopening brought the design into the new century with avant-garde video installations by Lincoln Schatz and mod chrome lamps that contrast with expertly restored marble floors, gleaming wood-paneled walls and a grand staircase.
Bed & Bath
The rooms are even more contemporary, in a neutral palette of beige, slate and ivory, with pops of crimson. The clean-lined furniture manages to feel indulgent thanks to luxe materials — a marble-topped desk here, a buttery leather armchair there. Spacious marble bathrooms have combo tub-showers, Aveda bath products and funky Rorschach-inspired graphic wallpaper.
Celebrity chef Jose Garces offers a taste of Catalonia with his modern Mediterranean menu at the hotel’s Mercat a la Planxa restaurant. Expect a mix of traditional dishes such as hearty seafood paellas with more modern seasonal dishes such as rabbit agnolotti with truffle chestnut puree, brandied cherries and rosemary brown butter. Chicago’s Art Institute is just down the street, but you only have to take the elevator to the fifth floor Art Hall to see beautiful works by local art students. There’s also a 24/7 fitness center on-site.
In the Area
Deep dish pizza is an institution, so sink your teeth into a cheesy pie at Giordano’s, one of the city’s most famous pizzerias. When you’re ready to get the inside bite on Chicago’s foodie scene, head over to the West Loop’s Girl and the Goat, a 10-minute cab ride from the hotel, for chef Stephanie Izard’s inventive small plates (think escargot ravioli with bacon and tamarind-miso sauce, and roasted beets with green beans, white anchovy and avocado crème fraîche). The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers year-round walking and bus tours and seasonal riverboat tours of the city’s most famous buildings. Speaking of impressive architecture, don’t miss the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano. Across the street from the hotel, Millennium Park, a 24.5-acre urban escape, offers events and activities all year, from concerts in the summer to ice skating in the winter. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, and the Crown Fountain, an art installation featuring two 50-foot towers with moving faces of Chicago residents, are highlights.
How to Get There
Location is so so. Not quite near the more touristy areas and nearby are some rather dodgy areas. So be careful. The Hilton is just opposite the hotel.
Reception staff was ok. I got in late in the evening as my flight was delayed (I took UA from London to Chicago - horrible flight).
The room was minimalistic, and rather drabby if you ask me. There was a rather stale musky smell. I decided not to complain because I was only here for a night, but if I were to stay longer, I would definitely have complained.
The bed was a bit too soft for my liking. The lighting in the room was also rather inadequate. All in all, not at all what I'd like, so I wouldn't stay here again.
Breakfast was nice though. In a mexican restaurant within the hotel. Nicely done food, though too salty.
The Blackstone is conveniently located on Michigan Ave. My room had great views of Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain. The room was spacious and well maintained. I liked that the hotel bathroom had refillable body wash, shampoo and conditioner--much less wasteful than the small bottles. The hotel has limited room service--only from 5pm - 10pm. It's a nice hotel in a great location.
My daughter’s wedding was held in the ballroom and the Art House level. Our planner Ellie did a great job for us and not only listened to my daughter well but executed it all has hoped. Because decor is so bold it took very little decorating on our part and the event was beautiful. Although it was costly it was not out of line with other venues. The food was delicious and the service was very well done. Everyone was very nice.
My wife and I stayed at the Blackstone for 2 nights during the Chicago Marathon weekend. The hotel is perfectly located across from Grant Park where the race starts and ends. The hotel itself is beautiful inside, and the lobby is stylish from the art to the furniture.
Our room was on the 8th floor with a perfect view of the park and Lake Michigan. The room was clean and large for a major downtown city hotel. The bed was comfortable and the room was well appointed. The bathroom was large and had plenty of counter space.
We tried to check in early (around 11) and weren’t expecting our room to be ready. The desk clerk said to give him some time to see what he could do. They recognized our status in the SPG program, took our bags and secured them and told us that they would give us a call when the room was ready. Around 12:30 they called and said that we could come back and check in. I was very impressed that with a sold out weekend, they were able to get us in so quickly and so early. Great service at the front desk.
I spent a few hours in the bar in the lower level one night. It is small, and has the cozy feeling of a speakeasy. The bartender was very friendly, turned the Yankees/Red Sox game on so that I could watch, and made me a few strong drinks to enjoy. He was very nice and I wish that I had gotten his name so that I could recognize him specifically.
On the night before the marathon, the hotel hosted a “make your own” sign event, complete with all of the stencils, glitter and paper needed to cheer on your loved ones. On the day of the marathon, they had snacks and water/Gatorade set up for those coming back to the hotel. These were nice touches that were most appreciated.
I would absolutely recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a great location and outstanding property.
In town for Chicago Marathon. Perfect location: good walk to McCormick Place for package pick-up; start corrals right across Michigan from the hotel. Very good fitness center to refresh tired muscles after travelling. Top quality equipment, well-maintained, clean. Easy walk to shopping district, theatres, Art Institute of Chicago, symphony hall, etc.
Historic hotel, built in early 1900s, and extensively restored, to give the atmosphere of an elegant, old hotel, but with all modern conveniences. My room was very quiet, even though the hotel was full with marathoners and private parties.
Staff is friendly and professional. Reception - Lily and Tekoa; 1600 Club - Carol, Norma and Antonio; Housekeeping - Brittany. 1600 Club offers breakfast, Mon to Fri; "small bites" and dessert at 5 pm, Sun to Thr. Terrific ways to start a day and ease into the evening.
Two negatives: my room, although beautifully appointed, did not have a bureau or cupboard for folded clothes, etc. Lots of good clothes hangers in the closet, but no space for folded clothes. The refrigerator location has been poorly planned.