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
This is an amazing hotel. The old Blackstone has been renovated. It’s appointments preserved or complimented. The rooms are spacious with large bathrooms and European showers. The rooms are quiet and calm, though one can hear some street noise on a weekend night, it’s not loud and this is downtown Chicago after all :). The lobby is magnificent. Marble. Chandeliers. Wood. A perfect blend of the traditional and modern. The staff are friendly and add to the overall warm and fun atmosphere. I wish they had room service but it still is one of my favorite hotels anywhere.
From the moment we walked into the lobby until we left we were treated like guests, not just customers. The building is one of the few remaining old classic hotels on Michigan Ave., which we got for a steal on a website. The lobby, restaurant, coffee shop and rooms have all kept the old style (the elevators still have floor dials above them for example) while making the expected updates. Our room had a beautiful, huge bathroom, though the room itself was a bit small. But for two of us it was fine.
There is live music in the lobby/bar area some nights, and the new coffee shop has just enough drinks, snacks and breakfast and lunch items to tide you over. (Because if you are in Chicago you are going to eat out, right? Steaks, pizza, Chicago dogs.....)
There is a bus stop right outside the door, many sites are walkable or a short El or bus ride, and the lakefront and Grant Park are across the street.
When we did have a problem with our room the staff, inc. the manager, came to see it, and thanked us for pointing it out (and gave us breakfast.) We will certainly stay here again if we get to come back to Chicago.
This review is about my experience with the staff. My fiancé is staying there to look at wedding venues and they were gracious enough to give her a discount on the room. That was very nice of them but that's not the only thing. I work out the country, so I could not be there with her, so I had called last minute to see if I could do something nice for her since she was doing all of this on her own.
I explained the situaion to the staff and had just asked if I could possibly purchase a nice bottle of wine and have it delivered to her room. I knew she was going to be exhausted by the end of the day. The staff politely told me that they would gladly send a complimentary bottle to the room after her last appointment with a custom note from me! I was able to dictate my message and they said they would deliver to her in the evening.
I was absolutely blown away! I've stayed at a large number of 5 star hotels around the world but that kind of generosity and consideration is hard to come by. It's customer service like this that makes people come back and stay with hotels that thruly treat their customers like guests. When I return we will be staying there again this summer and I cannot wait! Thank you so very much to everyone at The Blackstone! You're the best!
Our son attends college in the neighborhood so we stay 3 to 4 time a year. We have stayed at the "big box" hotel across the street but much prefer the boutique style of The Blackstone. We are recognized by the bell staff and front desk staff when we check in which is always a nice feeling. With our younger son wanting to attend the same college, we very well may up end with 7 straight years of multiple visits per year, and we are fine with that.
Loved the beautiful architecture of this hotel. They’ve done a fabulous job of keeping the beautiful look while updating hotel. Very classy! Staff were impressive willing to help with a smile. I highly recommend this hotel