Embassy Suites Chicago–Two Thumbs Down

Brooke and I have never written a poor hotel review, as we have honestly loved all the places we’ve stayed and have never had any significant negative experiences.  That is until now.

Last weekend, Brooke and I headed into Chicago for our Spring Staycation weekend.  We knew we wanted to bike along the lakefront and visit Navy Pier so we decided to stay at the Embassy Suites on Columbus.  Turns out the location is the only positive aspect of this hotel, and we really tried to remain as positive as possible.  However, here are five reasons we will never stay here again:

  1.  Safety–  The hotel is designed with clear glass walls about three feet high.  If you are on a high floor, as we were, there is a serious risk of falling over.  At first we thought the glass was floor to ceiling and actually leaned forward to take pictures of the street down below.  Brooke realized we were not protected and we immediately jumped back in shock. The couple next to us did not realize this either and were terrified.  The entire perimeter of the atrium is a safety hazard.  I would never recommend bringing young children here–it was scary enough for us.

2.       Outdated Rooms-Upon entering our room, our smiles became as grey as the  decor.  The carpet had to be from 1972. Everything was drab and lifeless. We took no photos because there was nothing appealing to take pictures of.

3. Arachnophobia–If you have a fear of spiders, do not stay here.  I woke up around 5:00 am to try to catch the sunrise from the partial lake view (had an upgrade to a lake view and can’t imagine what the non upgrade would have been).  Still in bed, I leaned over to put my glasses on and looked out the window. There dangling from a massive web was a giant black spider. At first I thought it has to be outside of the window. Wrong!  It was right there on the inside, and it wasn’t your typical daddy long legged fellow. This was a spider with one of those giant bulbous bodies. There was no way I was going to go near this, so watching the sunrise was out of the question. I sat up in bed thinking, this can’t really get any worse–until I saw the second spider.

4.  Breakfast–We were excited about the breakfast because we knew there were two options: a made to order station and a buffet.  There’s nothing like custom made omelettes so I had my heart set on the made to order station–until we arrived and realized 50 other people had the same idea. So buffet it was.  On a positive note, there was a lot of food–pastries, pancakes, hash browns, bacon and scrambled eggs.  However, the eggs were colder than the frigid air conditioning blowing down upon us.  The temperature had to have been intentional to get people to scarf down their food, get out and lessen the enormous line.

5. The Pool– Brooke was looking forward to a relaxing late night swim at the pool so we headed down around 9pm thinking we’d have the pool basically to ourselves.  Upon entering our eyes spied at least 50 screaming kids splashing and flailing violently! It was like Marco Polo on steroids! Where the heck were all of the parents? Did they just drop their children off at the pool and head out for a night on the town?  With the horrible herd of unsupervised children, we did a quick 180 and headed back to our room.

Despite the disappointment of The Embassy Suites, we still had an amazing time in Chicago.  Spring is the ideal time to visit the city. The energy of people finally emerging from winter hibernation, the abundance of tulips blooming and the warmth of the May sunshine on your face makes a weekend in the city a wonderful experience.  Just make sure to conduct thorough research because where you stay really does make or break the experience.

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