Fodor's Expert Review Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile
511 N. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60611, USA See on Map
Every one of the 455 suite-sized accommodations features a separate bedroom and living area, as well as a view of either Lake Michigan or the Chicago skyline. The sleek glass atrium bustles in the morning with the complimentary breakfast buffet and in the evening during the manager's reception, when free drinks and snacks are served. A bonus for families is the fact that it's within walking distance of Navy Pier, Lake Michigan beaches, and North Michigan Avenue. The indoor pool is a huge perk.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Internet is not included in standard rates and requires an additional fee.
Families and extended-stay guests love the suite-sized accommodations: the sleeping and living areas are separate (and easily divided via a door), with a sofa sleeper to further spread out, plus a microwave, refrigerator and two television. Free hot daily breakfast is included in all rates--as well as a hosted evening reception with free drinks. Working while on the road? The desk and task chair in each room are perfectly set up for that.
Need even more room? Upgrade to Premium-level accommodations--for an average of only $15-$30 more per night--which give you and the room's occupants access to a refreshment center stocked with fresh fruit, snacks, coffee and sodas. A coffeemaker is also included in the room.
The bathroom in each room is bright and fresh, with black-granite vanity countertops, white walls and a piece of modern art hung on the wall. A typical shower/tub combo is what you get with all accommmodations.
With a living wall of greenery, and plush furnishings in teal and tan hues, the lobby is very inviting. Check-in is behind a back-lit long desk with an orchid plant.
Leave the car at home (or don't feel like you need to rent one). Overnight parking runs $65/night, considered high for a downtown-Chicago hotel, and the good news is that everywhere you'll want to go is within a short walk or quick car ride. Public-transit options are plentiful here, too. Grand is the nearest L stop, an 8-minute walk away at Grand Avenue and State Street. To reach the Loop and areas south of here, but still in downtown Chicago, hop the 124 bus at North Columbus Drive and East Illinois Street.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria dishes up Chicago's famous deep-dish-style pizza. The nearest location is near the hotel, at North Wells Street and West Illinois Street, a 17-minute walk. Big Bowl (7-minute walk) is a family-friendly spot well versed in casual Asian fare.
Like craft beer? Howells & Hood (6-minute walk) hosts one of Chicago's widest selections of beers on tap, clocking in at about 100. Bonus: there's an awesome patio that's open on warm days and nights. For a killer margarita, head to Mercadito's (16-minute walk), which also serves a full food menu.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Usually for rooms of this size you'd have to flee to the 'burbs, or at least leave the downtown area. Not only do you get sizable accommodations that can comfortably house your family or a group of friends, or even two couples, a free daily hot breakfast is included, and access to an indoor pool is included in your room rate, too.
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