Booking & Stay Details
I was looking for a hotel in the downtown area of Chicago as I had to go there for a project. There are quite a few Hyatt’s in Chicago. The one closest to my actual project was sold out and only had limited parking available. I didn’t want to risk running out of parking space. I saw the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop but it was unavailable for my dates when I checked the afternoon before I actually would check-in. Yes, I always book pretty much last minute. I kept checking and it became available when I checked again at night. They only had one room type available for booking the Specialty King (with Sofa Bed).
The Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Getting there was a bit of a hassle. I was driving from Milwaukee where I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee and as I got into downtown Google Maps told me to drive down a small alley between two buildings that was blocked by a parked car. So I cycled around the block and got on one of the streets where you have the metro running one level above the street. GPS reception is already bad in downtown with the tall buildings but then having railroad tracks on top of you, makes it pretty impossible to get good GPS reception. I had to circle the block twice before I found the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop. I was actually able to see the Hyatt logo on the building and pulled up right in front of it. I flipped my warning flashers on and went inside to ask if it was ok to leave the car there while checking in. They told me it’s no problem. I was traveling alone, if you are traveling with someone else you might want to unload your bags while the other person is parking the car.
Parking here at the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop is a whopping $39/night. While checking in, you have to provide your phone number and you will receive a text message with the address of the parking garage as well as a QR code to get you in and out of the garage. The parking garage is located at 230 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60606. It is at the end of the block. Make a right turn onto the oneway street and make a left into the garage entrance with the green sign. You can’t miss it. Once you drive up to the gate, you have to scan your QR code. It’s a bit of a hassle. First I had to increase my display brightness and play with the distance so the reader can read it. I wish I had a paper copy rather than that. If you get lots of messages, the QR code will get buried in your message list as well. The parking garage is a public garage that is open to everyone. It looked like its a safe place to leave your car.
After I pulled up to the main entrance and parked at the curb. I went inside to check-in. It was quite busy with a few groups checking in. Fortunately, they had three people working at the front desk. I only had to wait a little bit before I got checked in. I received my room key as well as the text message and instructions for the parking garage.
I asked if I could leave my car at the curb to unload it and take my bags to the room. The agent said it will be fine for about 10 minutes, which were already over by waiting and checking in. I decided to risk it and unloaded my bags, went upstairs and dropped them off at the room and headed back immediately to park the car. No ticket on my windshield – perfect.
It also depends on who checks you in. I had a follow-up stay at the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop after I had to leave for one night because of another work emergency. I booked a standard King room and hoped I could get an upgrade to a corner room, the most expensive room this hotel offers. After over 4 hours of driving, I was back in Chicago and before I walked into the hotel, I checked if the Corner Room is still available but it didn’t show anymore for my stay details. I asked during check-in if a corner room is still available and the agent was able to accommodate my request. She also told me that I can take two sodas instead of the two complimentary bottles of water every day. Nobody told me that during my first stay.
Specialty King Bed Room (Room 811)
This is one of the better rooms available at the hotel. It was also the only one available to book when I made the reservation for this property. It’s located very close to the elevator. As you step off the elevator you turn right and it’s the room right in front of you.
The room has a pretty long entryway. On the left wall hangs a dressing mirror and a connecting room door is on the left as well. The entryway is tiled while the bedroom area has a carpet.
To the left is a work desk with an office chair. On top of it are a room phone, coffee maker and lamp. There is a shelve to the right below the desk which holds the coffee condiments and an ice bucket. Attached to it is a dresser. The first door holds a small refrigerator followed by three drawers. Next to the dresser is a wardrobe which houses an iron and ironing board as well as the in-room safe. In the same corner of the room is the A/C unit. The controls for it are at the end of the entryway next to the desk.
Over the dresser is a wall-mounted flatscreen TV. This hotel has Chromecast, a feature that lets you stream movies and TV shows straight from your phone to the in-room TV. It’s one of the best features Hyatt offers. Unfortunately, the last guest stole the power adapter for the Chromecast device and probably used it for his/her phone. I called the front desk and they told me they will send up housekeeping with one but they never arrived so I went downstairs and explained it to them and they gave me a power adapter. It was actually for an iPhone but hey, it powers Google as well. 😉
Opposite the TV is the king bed. It comes with small nightstands on either side which are mounted to the headboard. Lamps with power outlets are mounted as well to the headboard on either side.
Next to the bed, towards the inside of the room is an L-shaped sofabed. There is a small separator between the sofabed and the bed. In the same corner is also a wall-mounted lamp above the sofabed. In front of the sofa bed is a small ottoman.
The bathroom is located actually behind the bed. You will walk through another small entryway between the windows and the bed. It’s a pretty spacious bathroom and separated. The first part consists of two separate vanities with a single sink and mirror each. Followed by that are the toilet and a walk-in shower with glass walls. A sliding door separates the toilet and shower from the rest of the bathroom.
The room itself has very large windows. Almost all the way to the ceiling from the floor. It has multiple sections and the last section has frosted glass to give you some privacy while in the bathroom area. However, this is not enough. At least two of the window sections should be frosted. Luckily there are roll-up solar shades and black-out shades for the different sections of the windows. One of them covers the last two sections of the windows to give you more privacy in the bathroom. You actually want that, as there is an office building right across a small alley and you have a good view of them, as well as they do of your room.
Otherwise, the views are not very special from that room. As the room is located so far back from Franklin Street most of the windows face the neighboring office building. There is some view of the road below but not much of a view.
Corner View King with Sofabed (Room 1108)
This is the most expensive room you can book at this hotel. But to be honest, I think I will never go for this one again. More about that later. First of all, this room is located on the southeast side of the building. It’s a quick and easy walk from the elevator to get to the room door.
As you enter the room, you have the bathroom on your right. It gets separated from the rest of the room by a sliding door of frosted glass for privacy but still lets light in from the outside. The knob to actually lock the sliding door was missing, not that I needed it but it would be nice if maintenance would keep up with issues like that. Inside the bathroom, you find the vanity to your right, consisting of a single sink setup and a large wall-mounted mirror with lighted edges. Next to the vanity is the toilet. Nothing special, just a regular toilet but spaced well enough for comfortable use. At the far end, across the bathroom is the walk-in shower. With two glass sliding doors.
But here is the first issue. If you didn’t lower the blackout shades or solar shades, you can be seen by everyone from the office building right across Franklin Street. So you wanna make sure, that the bathroom’s sliding door is at least closed or lower the blackout curtain for maximum privacy. There is no frosted glass at these windows compared to the Specialty King room, where they at least put some kind of frosted glass windows near the bathroom area.
After the short entryway to the room, you get into the main section of the room. to your right is an L-shaped sofabed with an ottoman seat. In the corner is a wall-mounted lamp. Next to the sofabed are the A/C controls as well as the light switches for the entryway and the lamp in the corner.
A small divider separates the sofabed from the King Bed. On either side of the King Bed is a nightstand, which is mounted to the headboard. The headboard also comes with a lamp on either side of the bed which has power outlets to charge your devices. Next to the bed is the A/C unit.
Opposite the bed is, unfortunately, a wardrobe that houses the in-room safe as well. To the left of the closet is a dresser, which houses the refrigerator besides some drawers for your stuff. On top of that is a flatscreen TV. The TV is offset to the left from the bed and it would be nice if it would be directly opposite the bed. The TV swivels and you can still have a good view from the bed, but it’s just easier to look straight ahead. At least this time, Chromecast was working and nobody stole the power supply for the Chromecast device.
Next to the dresser is a work desk with an office chair. On top of the desk are the room phone, coffee maker and a lamp. The right leg of the desk has two shelves that hold the coffee condiments as well as an ice bucket.
In the outside corner of the room is a large structural column that blocks part of the view of the windows in that area of the room. Both outside walls have large windows. Most of the windows are floor-to-ceiling windows. Only a partial section behind the desk and dresser have smaller windows. There is one section of the window which you can open by hand and fold out. This section is located at the window right next to the A/C unit in the corner of the room. All the windows have solar shades and blackout shades. Or at least are supposed to. One double window is missing the solar shade completely, it’s the big one facing down Franklin Street. The big window behind the wardrobe has a solar shade but it won’t lift or lower when you pull on the chain. None of the black-out shades run in their rails as they are supposed to. They still work but it’s the love for details a hotel has or in this case, has not.
The room has a pretty nice view down Franklin Street but all the big glass windows are also a concern if it comes to privacy. People from one of the neighboring buildings will be able to look into your room. This will be especially an issue at night when you have your lights on. Because of the view, this room type is often seen in Hyatt ads.
Public Areas & Amenities
The lobby itself is not very big at this property. Real estate is expensive in downtown Chicago. It mainly consists of the front desk and the immediate area surrounding it. They had a Christmas decoration setup including a Christmas tree near the entrance. There was some limited seating in the lobby but there is more available in the restaurant area of the hotel.
The business center is located at the far end of the lobby, behind a wall that separates it from the rest of the lobby. This gives you a bit more privacy. There are three workstations and a printer. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.
The fitness center is located on the third floor of the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop. It’s located in a corner of the building and offers a pretty decent view. Overall it is well equipped and good for a workout. It is open 24 hours a day.
The indoor pool is located on the second floor of the hotel. It’s on the same floor which also houses the meeting rooms. Unfortunately, the pool was closed during my stay for maintenance. I took a few pictures of what it would look like.
The guest laundry is located on the third floor near the fitness center. Unfortunately, they only provide one washer and one dryer. So you have to get lucky to get a chance to use it. Inside the guest laundry room, you find also a dispenser for laundry detergent. The laundry dispenser and machines are old-school coin-operated machines.
The breakfast here is rather subpar. The Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop offers a “hot plate” which is already pre-packed and you can grab it to go. It’s the same style as in many other Hyatt Places at the moment. However, the mix here is very strange. The chef must be a big carnivore and must love bacon. Because that’s the scheme here. Bacon + Waffles, Bacon + Pancake, Bacon + French Toast and every now and then you get Bacon + Scrambled Eggs. That’s something new. During the last few days of my stay, they changed it up a bit and instead of Bacon now used Sausage but the sides were still the same. Besides that specialty hot plate, you get muffins, yogurts bagels, cereals and some fruits. The coffee station is at the back of the divider wall with the TV in the breakfast area. I wasn’t very impressed at all with the offered breakfast. I expected better, especially for a hotel at this location.
Breakfast is every day from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
Even with their breakfast not starting officially until 7 a.m. you can almost every day get something to eat already around 6:30 a.m. One day the hot plate was already slightly cold when they put out the first pieces of the day. Strange.
Lobby Bar & Restaurant
The restaurant is still closed. However, the lobby bar is open until 11 p.m. for social drinks but they don’t serve any kind of food or snacks. It seems the hotel has staffing issues to get personal to run the bar and restaurant at night. Therefore room service is also suspended. Luckily there are plenty of food choices in the near vicinity of the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop. All within walking distance.
Delivery Apps Drop-Off
If you order your favorite food to be delivered to the hotel, they won’t bring it up to your room door as they have no room key to activate the elevator and it would also take too long for them to park their car out front. There is a drop-off table in the lobby, right across from the front desk. Check your app and either meet your delivery person outside or pick it up in the lobby once dropped off. It’s also great if you add these instructions to your delivery instructions in the app. This makes it also easier for the delivery person.
The Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop is a great spot to stay while exploring Chicago. It’s close to many of the important sights and has easy access to public transportation. The closest Metro station is just one block away. Besides that, there are many restaurants, shops and stores in the near vicinity of the hotel. There is a 7eleven and CVS just one block down, next to the Metro station. There you can get the essentials for your stay and save money by not buying beverages and snacks from the front desk. None of the rooms have a microwave. If you need a microwave you could probably ask the front desk if they would heat it up for you but that’s about it. I think they will honor your request but I haven’t tried it myself.
This hotel is a good place to stay and the price was just right during my visit. Many other hotels in the city/ The Loop, sometimes don’t even have parking available or only very very expensive valet parking options. There are definitely better hotels in the city, even better Hyatt hotels. But this is probably the best one if it comes to price and parking. Not bringing a car opens up your options a lot. You don’t even need a car to explore Chicago. I explored everything on foot or by public transportation. It’s easy to get around in Chicago. I needed my car only for work to take my gear back and forth.
It’s also weird that maintenance and housekeeping miss larger damages and issues in rooms. Heck in their most expensive room, one complete solar shade is missing. The toilet doorknob was missing and lots of other issues. This makes me believe upkeep is not the biggest priority. Housekeeping is also limited and only on every fourth day of a stay. When they actually come in, it seems they only clean the bathroom and take out the trash. They never touched my bed. I tried to opt-out from housekeeping at all, but none of the rooms I stayed in had the private sign, you can put on the doorknob to let housekeeping know.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.