Fodor's Expert Review Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
71 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, Illinois, 60601, USA See on Map
The former Hotel 71 was rebranded in 2013, just blocks from the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Rooms offer impressive views of the Chicago River and the heart of downtown. Contemporary rooms are decorated in neutral tones. There's also an on-site fitness center. Hoyt's, the hotel restaurant, serves creative, Midwestern-inspired fare sourced from local farms.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests report long waits to retrieve their car from the valet parking (run by a partner company), so be sure to factor that into your time if you plan to book here.
In each room--which is decorated in your standard hotel variety (lots of neutral browns, grays and creams), but spacious in size--is an iPod docking station so you can rock out to your favorite tunes while on the road. Keurig coffee makers allow you to sip coffee in the privacy of your own room before heading out for the day. Junior suites are nearly double in size from Deluxe rooms, with a work area, pull-out sofa in separate sitting area and wet bar.
Request a River View room--trust us, you won't regret it.
Junior Suites and Executive Suites feature a soaking tub, perfect if you're "a bath person." But the rainforest shower heads in all baths are a nice perk, too. Tan walls, ivory-colored countertops and polished-silver fixtures are not necessarily design elements but you can't put a price on a clean, spacious bath, which is what these are.
Neutral colors in the expansive lobby are a calming reboot from the bustling vibe outdoors and there's plenty of room to people-watch passers-by while you wait for your room to be ready, thanks to walls of windows. Gold-trim double doors and glittering tiles flanking the check-in desk are nice accents.
Open 24/7, the fitness center is more than just a bunch of machines. Exercise mats, yoga mats, exercise balls and free weights help you stick to your work-out routine and training regimen.
Hoyt's is the sole dining venue in the hotel, serving a variety of food to please nearly every palate, but if it's a glimpse into Chicago's buzzy culinary scene you crave, you'd be better off heading outside of the hotel. Still, huckleberry pancakes for breakfast, burgers and salads for lunch, and entrees such as sea bass are convenient for late-night arrivals or packed schedules.
During Happy Hour (daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) select drinks are reduced to $3-$5 and apps are half-off.
The tavern-style atmosphere is a great spot to catch up with co-workers over drinks or simply chat with the jovial bartenders. Pretty much any drink you'd like can be made here, from martinis to Bloody Mary.
Parking here is $66 a night, competitive with other Loop hotels, but you'll find that having wheels is more of a hassle than a convenience. The 6 bus stop near the hotel makes a trip to the South Side museums, such as Museum of Science and Industry, painless. The L's State/Lake stop three blocks from the hotel makes traveling around Chicago a breeze. Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers are a common sight in this part of town.
Emerald Loop Bar & Grill (2-minute walk) around the corner from the hotel is a solid option in this part of the Loop, with an outdoor patio that takes advantage of nice weather. Shaw’s Crab House (6-minute walk) across the river is well-recognized for its surf-and-turf fare.
You’ve heard of Billy Goat Tavern (5-minute walk), famous for that Saturday Night Live skit (“Cheezborger!”); drop by for its private-label beer. Check out House of Blues Chicago (6-minute walk) to experience Chicago’s most well-known music style.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Tied to a trustworthy brand, this relatively new hotel is within a short walk of Chicago's top attractions, appealing to both leisure families (especially families) as well as business travelers who yearn to be in the heart of the action. Rooms are large and many boast views of the Chicago River across the street, for a fun peek at Chicago even when you're in your room. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the vibe is casual without losing sight of what you expect at a hotel.
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