Review of the InterContinental Chicago

As I posted about last month, I took a trip to Chicago this past weekend. I’ll have a separate post with a mini trip report, but I’ll stick to a review of the InterContinental Chicago for this post.

Just to provide some background, comped one night for me. I had booked a Historic Tower King room for around $350 all-in (there were cheaper room types available), and used a buy one get one free certificate the second night. My out of pocket cost was virtually zero, which was pretty neat.

I got to the hotel at around 11AM and was helped by a very friendly and funny check-in agent. First she said “wow, you’re a Royal Ambassador, you must travel a lot,” and then she said “if I were a Royal Ambassador I’d be drunk most of the time with all of those free drinks. I don’t know how you guys do it.” We both chuckled and hit it off well (as I try to do when the room is in the hands of the agent and they have some discretion in what they give me.;))

She asked if I was only staying for one night, and I mentioned I was on two separate reservations for two nights. She said “oh,” and asked me to wait for a second as she talked to the guest relations manager. She came back and said that I had actually been upgraded three levels to a “pullman suite” because that’s the room that was available for two nights, but told me not to always expect that on future stays. I said I wouldn’t and headed off towards the Historic Tower.

Exterior of the hotel


Entrance to the hotel


My room was on the 38th floor, the highest floor accessible by the main elevator (there was another elevator on the 38th floor which went up to the 41st floor, where I assume the presidential suite is). The 38th floor only had three rooms, and my room took up about half of it.

Elevators on the 38th floor

My suite was a combination of rooms 3801 and 3802, which I assume were separate rooms at one time.

The doors to rooms 3801 and 3802, both of which I’d be staying in

The room had an “L” shaped hallway as I entered, with the first full bathroom on the right side, which then led to the living room.

First part of the hallway

First shower

First bathtub and toilet

Hallway to the living room

Living room

View from the living room

View from the other side of the living room

The minibar

Contents of the (very nice) minibar

The snacks (which are not free for Royal Ambassadors)

I thought the living room was very nice. It has a great plasma TV, a nice couch, a great seat, and a very functional desk with plenty of power outlets. The minibar was very well stocked, which is always nice as a Royal Ambassador. Usually I prefer modern hotels over “ancient” ones, but I found the decor to be very nice. The view over Michigan Avenue was also great, although the windows were pretty dirty.

I then checked out the bedroom, which was nice. It had a great bed, yet another desk, and another comfortable chair, along with yet another minibar and plasma TV!


Bedroom, looking towards the living room

Plasma TV

Great pillows/bedding

Second bathroom

From the other side

GREAT toiletries!

The Royal Ambassador welcome gift consisted of a bottle of naive, eh, Evian water, a basket of fruit, a small box of chocolates, and a note from the GM. I got the same gift again the second night, which I assume was a mix up due to me being on two separate reservations.

Welcome gift

Both nights they had turndown service, including placing a bathrobe with two chocolates on the bed.


I was extremely pleased with my stay. All of the staff I interacted with were extremely friendly and helpful, the room was great, the hotel is in immaculate condition, the location is ideal on Michigan Avenue in the center of all the action, and my upgrade couldn’t have been better.

I’d definitely return if I were in Chicago.

Filed Under: Priority Club
  1. Nice review.

    Would you give more info on What is the point of using it, and do you still gain the benefits, point accrual, and stay credit of the various hotel brands? Is pricing the same as on other websites?

    How do they benefit, etc.

    And, how did you get involved with them?



  2. How was a $350 a night room free? Did they give you the bogo off of the freebie? I think you confused me re the two reservations made.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys! 🙂

    David– I posted a lot of info about here:

    Basically, it’s a booking engine much like Expedia, Priceline, etc., through which you can book hotels. They have their own loyalty program which is pretty cool, through which you get cash back as well as other benefits. I’ve actually found their rates to often be lower than booking through the hotel directly, which is rare.

    Despite booking through them I still received all benefits, including points, upgrades, etc.

    Much like other booking sites I assume they earn a commission, which is what’s in it for them. I got involved in that they emailed me making me an offer for free accomodations, which I couldn’t turn down.

    Pat– Sorry, I should have been more clear. Hotel Club comped the first night for me (so I booked it for $350 and they refunded me through Paypal), and I used my BOGO for the second night. So it didn’t cost me anything (at least not money).

  4. Thanks for the great review, Lucky. It was one of the few that I could find regarding the Chicago IC before my recent stay there. I was going to attach some pics to my flyertalk review, but looking at this one again, I was booked into the same room. By the way, they’ve cleaned the windows!

  5. I stayed at this hotel in April this year and was upgraded to the 41st floor. My partner couldn’t agree with me but I felt incredibly uneasy staying up there. I wanted to change rooms, he didn’t. Nice rooms but I couldn’t shake the vibe that we weren’t alone up there. I was pretty happy when we checked out. Great location and hotel otherwise.

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