PHOTO: http://www.hotelblake.com/en-us/photos

Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Blake

500 S. Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois, 60605, USA See on Map

A multimillion-dollar renovation a few years back updated this spacious landmark in Chicago's historic Printer's Row neighborhood. The lobby is dark, but welcoming, and the rooms, in a mix of browns, reds, and creams, are very large considering the urban location. Choose a suite and you'll have a condo-size spread with fantastic downtown views. The hotel's ideal for business travelers who want to be near the financial district, yet close enough to Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other museums to have touristic appeal.

room

With seven room categories, there are lots of options in this 162-room hotel, from a Standard Queen to the 900-square-foot King Bedroom Parlor Suite, with a living area and dining area in addition to the bedroom. All are large in size for a Loop hotel. Rooms feature cherry-red, chocolate-brown and ivory hues and down comforters on the beds. Wake up to fresh-brewed coffee thanks to a coffee maker and Lavazza grounds.

If booking a Standard or Premium King room, ask for one with a view of the Printer's Row neighborhood--or just go with the Corner King (all boast a stellar view).

bathroom

In the King Parlor Suite is a deep soaking tub. All rooms feature a rainfall shower-head plus eco-friendly Ayo-brand toiletries for a spa-like experience.

lobby

The tiled flooring and bright-red armchairs are inviting, with a mirrored wall and wood columns evoking an apartment building's entry.

gym

For a hotel of this size, the fitness center is spacious and stocked with state-of-the-art equipment (including treadmills), plus free weights, exercise mats, balls and foam rollers.

dining

The bright and airy Meli Cafe, adjoining the hotel, specializes in a mix of good-for-you and comfort-foods fare for breakfast and dinner, from chicken and waffles to a grilled-salmon salad. Mediterranean selections like saganaki and calamari dominate the dinner menu, but there are burgers, salads and surf-and-turf entrees, too.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Because Meli Cafe is under separate management of the hotel, don't expect special service just because you're a hotel guest.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Valet overnight parking with in-and-out privileges runs $55 a night but in this part of town the auto congestion is so heavy and there's really nowhere to park so you're better off using public transit or walking. For example, reaching the Museum Campus (home to the Field Museum) is an 18-minute ride on the 146 bus, which you'll catch on Michigan Avenue. Uber and Lyft drivers are prominent in the area.

Restaurants

Chicago's famous deep-dish style pizza is at Gino's East in the Loop (1-minute walk), across the street from the hotel. And while this part of Chicago is loaded with chains, a great indie, old-school option for brunch exists at Eleven City Diner (12-minute walk)--banana Nutella French toast, anyone?

Bars

Franklin Tap (9-minute walk) is a solid craft-beer destination in the Loop and the patio's open on warm days. The nearby Brando's Speakeasy (3-minute walk) is a delightful little haunt channeling the Prohibition era.

WHY WE LIKE IT

For a hotel in Printer's Row you're simply not going to find larger rooms at this price point. While the property lacks amenities such as a restaurant, spa, pool, etc., that other area hotels might offer, you're probably not in Chicago to hang out in your room. For travelers who don't want to spend an arm and a leg on a hotel room but don't want to give up comfort and style, this is your place.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Central
Local Flavor
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 312-986–1234;888-999–3223

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