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jimshep Jul 8th, 2004 05:38 AM

Chicago: Homewood Suites
Later in July we are planning a one-week stay at Homewood Suites, 40 East Grand Avenue, at $149 a night. We like the idea of having a sitting room and breakfast included. Is this a good and convenient place to stay?

defconsult Jul 8th, 2004 05:43 AM

It's a good location, just off Michigan Ave. You can walk easily to Nordstrom, ESPN Zone, Gino's East and any number of other restaurants. It's a bit more of a walk to Navy Pier, but I think there is a bus on Grand to Navy Pier. You're less than a mile from all the shopping on North Michigan Ave. The Loop is also in walking distance.
I think the price is fair-- it's high season in Chicago.

vacationmom Jul 8th, 2004 07:15 AM

Jim, We stayed there last December. It is an excellent choice. A great jump off location to see and do just about everything. Very convenient to all the public transportation stops. Also, besides the breakfast, they have a manager's reception in the evening with very heavy appetizers. One night we were so tired from running around all they we just ate there. They also keep fresh brewed coffee going in the lobby 24 hours a day. I enjoyed that. Lots of nights I ran down to get a cup to enjoy! I think you will be pleased with your choice. Vacationmom

Cerlaurie Jul 8th, 2004 07:28 AM

Homewood Suites is in a great location. Navy Pier is less than a mile away straight up Grand Avenue if you want to walk. However, traffic on Grand goes the opposite way so you need to go over to Illinois (one block south) to catch the trolley. Here is a link for the various trolleys There are alot of great restaurants in the area if you need suggestions.

Lizzy Jul 8th, 2004 07:52 AM


We just stayed there for a week last month. Yes you will love it there, breakfast starts early, so we went down to bet the rush every morning like 8 or 8:30am food for days and it changes like one day pancakes, belgian waffles everyday, but fruit, yogurts, meat, food for miles, chocolate mike, juices, all sorts of breads and in the evening they have something too, but we were always at the cubs games, but also they have a Osco food mart which is an Albertsons and you can fill your kitchen for days. They also have a chili's around the corner too, Now Ocso's food mart is on the same block as Rock Bottom Bar fromthe hotel you can see the bar looking south then take a right and there is the food store. Also, if you don't make it to breakfast you can go on the 12 or 15 the floor and they have muffins, coffee, water and orange juice you can take back to the room. Tell the Hostess Ms. Neck said Hello, they will get a kick out of that. They saw me every morning for a week. Why don't you try calling them direct and see if they would lower your room rate too I paid 119. for a king suite with den and kitchen. Also, when walking towards Michigan Ave. take that first block and go left then right that will take you to Mich. ave. better than walking underneathe the street. Or go through the mall and then you will be on ground level. Have fun.


vickymc Jul 8th, 2004 08:52 AM

It is a great location. We stayed there for 4 nights in June. It is an easy walk to Michigan Avenue and to the trolley stop to Navy Pier. It is very convenient to the El (which we used to go to the Cubs game). It is also an easy walk to the Osco to stock the refrigerator and for snacks. The breakfast was very good--big selection. We ate at the manager's reception each night except for one (we were at the Cubs game that night). Ask for a corner room. We had one and had a view of Grand Ave from the living room and a different view (not sure the name of the street) from the bedroom. With the size of the suites, it is not like being in a hotel room. I would definitely stay there again. Tell the hostess in the dining area that the McDonald's from Louisiana said hello!

obxgirl Jul 8th, 2004 08:57 AM

Another positive vote for Homewood Suites in Chicago. Fantastic location for all the reasons noted above and it's spitting distance from the Grand Ave. subway stop.

I think $149 is a great rate for July, as noted, it's high season. Can't hurt to ask directly for a lower rate.

Lizzy Jul 9th, 2004 06:17 AM


We are from Louisiana too! I just love Chicago, we dream every year as we sit in Wrigley Field watching the cubs play. We say if we ever win the Lottery that we would have a summer home in Chicago and the rest of the year in Louisiana. My husband cannot miss one LSU football game for nothing! And of course the food here is undescribably good!!

jimshep Jul 9th, 2004 07:45 AM

Thank you all for assuring me that Homewood Suites is a good choice in Chicago. We will be in Chicgo for a week, traveling from Seattle via Amtrack's Empire Builder.

vickymc Jul 9th, 2004 11:40 AM

jimshep--You will enjoy the Homewood Suites. We also traveled to Chicago from Jackson, Mississippi via Amtrak.

Lizzy--where are you from in Louisiana? We live in North Louisiana. We are Cub fans and this was our first time to Wrigley Field and we are already looking forward to going again. It was great just to sit in the stadium and walk around the area. We are also LSU fans. We usually try to get to at least one game each year. Our son is graduating from college in August and is moving to Oxford, Mississippi for a job. We have already told him that he will have to hide his Purple and Gold when he gets there!


dgruzew Jul 9th, 2004 12:15 PM

I live int chicago - I am glad you guys like visting here. I am a big cubs fan, how did you guys in the south become cubs fans?

Coinsidently I am going to new orleans this august for my birthday - never been yet

vickymc Jul 9th, 2004 03:13 PM

We became Cubs fans because we get them on WGN. We've been watching them for about 25 years. This was our first trip to Chicago and Wrigley Field. We went to three games (when they played the cardinals). I hope you enjoy New Orleans as much as we did Chicago. We go to New Orleans each year in December for the high school state championship games for football. Our son will graduate in August in Occupational Therapy and he had to do a semester at Tulane Medical School so he lived down there for 5 months. New Orleans is so dirty compared to Chicago. We were surprised at how clean Chicago was. Our favorite places to eat are Mulates (they have cajun music), Gumbo Shop (gotta try the gumbo), Mike Andersons's. Don't miss Cafe Du Monde at Jackson Square. Also, last February they opened a Krispy Kreme down by Jackson Square. Hope your not on any kind of diet when you go to New Orleans. It will be a good place to celebrate your birthday.


arjay Jul 11th, 2004 05:45 PM

Original poster: Hope you'll enjoy Chicago. Don't forget to post a trip report on your train ride. I've been wishing we could take it the opposite direction - from WI to the W. Coast...

finnertyn Jul 11th, 2004 05:57 PM

Jimshep & Lizzy
We called them directly and booked a 4 night stay @ Homewood Suites for this coming weekend (7/16-7/21)about a month and 1/2 ago.

The rates we were quoted were $233 for F-Sat nights and $189 for Sun-M nights, and that's the AARP rate! (we're bringing mom along)

I'm going to call the hotel directly to ask for a better rate, but was wondering...did you guys book through an online service, i.e. Travelocity or the like? Or did you call hotel directly, if so how long ago?
Just want to have some ammo for my call to them.

jimshep Jul 11th, 2004 06:05 PM

I booked a couple weeks ago. We have a 7-14 day rate which will be more if we don't stay 7 nights. The rate when I checked yesterday was $229 a night for the period I booked.

finnertyn Jul 11th, 2004 07:40 PM

To JimShep
I hadn't thought of the 7-14 day rate stipulation. Thanks for the response though, it makes me feel a little better.
I am planning to call about the rate just the same and to ask for a corner room and to confirm our early check-in
Thanks again.

finnertyn Jul 13th, 2004 03:32 PM

To Jimshep-and others
Just FYI. I called HW Suites
yesterday and asked to speak with a manger in reservations.

When I told her about seeing the huge discrepancies in rates, she lower our rate from $233 to $117 for F-Sat nights.
Amazing huh? (We're still paying $189 for Su-M nights though. )

The old adage has never held firmer
"The sqeaky wheel gets..."

Looking forward our trip!

jimshep Jul 20th, 2004 07:05 AM

Thank you all for your encouragement. I will give a report on Homewood Suites when I return.

jimshep Aug 1st, 2004 08:42 AM

We were delighted with Homewood Suites and its hot breakfast. Many families took advantage of the meal served on Monday-Thursday which one night consisted of salad, hot dogs, chips and salsa, dessert, and beverages.

When we informed the desk that a friend would sleep on the sofa in our sitting room on Saturday night, they gave him breakfast privileges, a room key, and did not bill an additional charge for his stay.

We had several excellent meals and especially recommend Cyrano's and Vong which are both near the hotel.

The combination lunch at Vong is a particular value. Include a wide noodle dish and the passion fruit soufflé among your choices.

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