Arrival/Check-in: I was due at the McCormick Center, so I just wanted to quickly drop my bag at the hotel and be on my way, saving the check-in process for later. Unfortunately, I don’t think the front desk staffer understood my request or my lack of time, so 15 minutes later I was fully checked in and on my way. When I returned later that night, the staff was quick to grab my bag from storage. (26/30)
Guest Quarters: I had a one-bedroom corner suite which offered plenty of space and great views of the surrounding skyline. The front room housed a couch, coffee table, TV, large television stand and a desk. The desk provided ample workspace, and the wireless was complimentary. I only wished the room had better lighting. A short hallway separated the living area and bedroom. The bathroom was off the hallway. It was small but offered enough counter space. The bedroom was as large as the living room, with a king bed, television, nightstands and a large, tucked-away closet area. Windows covered most of the walls in the bedroom area; the view and the sunlight really brightened the room. (27/30)
Services/Amenities: The 40th-floor SKY lounge serves a European continental breakfast in the morning and cocktails and tapas in the evening. I enjoyed a tasty breakfast while savoring the incredible views. Another dining option is Elephant and Castle Restaurant & Pub on the lobby level. It is not owned by the hotel but is popular among guests and locals alike. A seventh-floor fitness center and rooftop pool will interest fitness buffs. You can’t beat the Avenue’s location, just a short walk from the Magnificent Mile and many Chicago landmarks. Business travelers will enjoy the tech rooms, equipped with iMac computers, and families will appreciate the children-themed rooms (these are popular and fill up quickly, so book in advance). Some of the floors of the building are dedicated to outside businesses, including several medical offices, so there is heavy traffic in the lobby and elevator bank area. (38/40)
The Experience: Driftwood Hotels renovated the property and turned it into the Avenue a few years ago. While the age of the property is evident in the guestrooms, my stay was comfortable. The Avenue may not be the swankiest hotel in Chicago, but it offers ample amenities and is an attractive option for business travelers on the go.
Total Score: 91/100
Avenue Hotel Chicago
160 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 787 2900
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