Cass Hotel

Sep 21st, 2005, 09:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Cass Hotel

My husband and I have reserved 4 nights at the Cass Hotel in Chicago beginning October30. We were infuenced by its Fodor Choice designation and the price. Should we reconsider? If you have stayed there recently, would you share your thoughts on your visit?
josiegator is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,986
I have not stayed there, and walking by it scares me a bit, but it does get favorable reviews at, as long as you realize that it's a bargain-basement type of place. The general consensus is that the location is good, and it's clean with friendly people, but that's about all you're going to get there.

I can't say either way whether you should reconsider, but there may be better options. Two come to mind:

1) The Best Western River North (especially if you're driving in). They are showing rates of $116/night with AAA or senior discount, or $129 without. They offer free parking, and the location is good in River North.

2) Priceline - If you are not particular about amenities (and I'd guess not, if you're considering the Cass) and location, you may be able to get a 3* or 4* hotel for around $70/night. Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to try, as long as your plans are certain since you cannot cancel. You can read more about priceline and bidding strategies at and, but the basics would be that bidding 4* in the Michigan Ave or Loop zones would be fine. 3* gets a bit trickier, but can work also, especially if location isn't super important to you. You can continue to place new bids every 72 hours up until the day you leave, so don't hurry to bid too high too soon. And, definitely make a back-up reservation (at Cass or elsewhere) that can be fully cancelled if you get something on priceline.

Have fun in Chicago!
jlm_mi is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 915
The Best Western River North is a dump and the service is lousy. Although the location is good, you can do much better, believe me.

We stayed there about 4 years ago and swore we would never go back. I was talking to a guy this past July in Mike Ditka's. He was staying there and said the same thing, so it hasn't changed.

Curious is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,106
The Holiday Inn City Center, Palmer House or the Fairfield Inn Downtown are under $140 a night and significantly nicer than the Cass.
patg is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Keeping in mind that the Cass is offering $69 during that time, I was guessing $140 was out of the desired price range.

Curious - It's interesting you say that about the Best Western. I've seen it get consistently decent reviews (considering it is a low- to mid-range chain and not a 4* hotel) on trip advisor, and have seen it recommended here and elsewhere. Were there specific things you didn't like about it, or were you just looking for a higher-end experience? It's a place I've considered staying on future trips, so just looking to gather as much info as possible.
jlm_mi is offline  
Sep 27th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 915
jlm mi,

I can't remember anything too specific about the hotel other than the lousy service and attitude of the staff. I do know this, however, I was dissatisfied enough that I wrote a letter to Best Western Headquarters with specific complaints about the room and the service. One thing I do remember (there were several): I left a note for the maid regarding coffee preferences and something else. Apparently nobody spoke English or botherd to take it to someone who did. I called the desk and they said to come down to get it!! I received a simple "sorry" letter from the River North. I have stayed at a lot of Best Western in the US and Europe. This was the absolute pits. There are other Best Western's in Chicago that I'm sure are much better.

Curious is offline  
Sep 27th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 836
We've done 2.5* Priceline hotels in most downtown Chicago locations (including N. Michigan Avenue) and have had only good experiences. And you should be able to get a 2.5* for under $70 (unless there's some big goings-on in the city those dates). Unless the Cass has had some remarkable re-doing in recent years, you are well warned to steer clear.

Incidentally, since Oct. 30 is a Sunday, you might want to try bidding for that separately, as Sunday nites are the very best bargain nites! You have to realize that if you break up your dates and bid Sunday separate from your next three, you will pay two P'line service charges, and you might have to change hotels...but - it's not unrealistic to think you could get Sunday for $35-40. (We once got the S. Michigan Ave Hilton for $25).
tuckerdc is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,167
Yikes! No -- I wouldn't stay at the Cass. I think you'll be depressed from the first moment you see it, and am afraid the depression won't lift for your entire trip. If you and your husband are fairly comfortable with walking, buses and subways, I would recommend staying in Lincoln Park 2 miles north of gold coast/mag mile. There are smaller hotels like the Days Inn Lincoln Park North at Diversey & Clark or the Days Inn at 1816 N. Clark or the Inn at Lincon Park (601 W. Diversey) that look very clean and nice, and should offer decent rates. The two at Diversey are on a really convenient street in so far's as there's a Panera Bread, Starbucks, Chipotle, Stone Cold Creamery, LOTS and LOTS of smaller, family-run restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and lots of shopping (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Shoe Stores, clothing, jewelry). The park, North Pond, Lincoln Park zoo and the path to Lake Michigan is directly east. I'd really encourage you to take a look at those hotels. I ride the buses downtown everyday from these areas, and they are very frequent. You're right in the heart of Chicago at that point. Anyway, I hope you have a nice time here!
ChgoGal is offline  

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