Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Huge, historic hotel in South Loop, across from Grant Park
The Hilton Chicago was built in 1927, and while some parts of the hotel still feel old-world, other parts look like they belong to a massive chain (which, of course, they do). The public spaces — like the huge, grand lobby with dual staircases and the ballroom with stunning chandeliers — are impressive for the most part, but the carpets look like they're from the 1980s, not the 1920s (and they probably are, since the public spaces were majorly restored in 1985). The rooms have high-tech amenities, but the faux old-world decor isn't quite luxurious. This may soon change, however. In 2012, the hotel launched a three year, $150 million renovation of all guestrooms and most public spaces, with the goal to fuse the hotel's old-world vibe with modern decor and amenities. The hotel completed phase one of the renovation in May 2012, introducing a new restauarnt and lounge ot the lobby, as well as a grab-and-go marketplace and additional meeting spaces. Over 450 rooms have also been renovated, receiving streamlined, modern decor.
In the meantime, the hotel remains a good choice in South Loop for guests who appreciate a hotel with a storied past. Numerous presidents have been guests, and the hotel had a major role in the film version of 'The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford (the last 20 minutes of the movie were filmed here).
Across the street from Grant Park, in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood
The Hilton Chicago is located in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, across the street from Grant Park and within walking distance of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Buckingham Fountain. But you'll need to drive or take the subway to see most of the city's other popular tourist sites.
In the process of being renovated, stylish rooms are on their way
Rooms — which are undergoing top-to-bottom renovations over four phases beginning in 2012 — are currently decorated in shades of brown, with gold accents. The design feels relatively sophisticated, for a chain, but definitely not as unique or grand as the public spaces. It would look more luxurious if the wood furniture were of higher quality.
So far, over 450 rooms have been renovated. These spaces offer more streamlined, modern decor without the heavy green and gold drapes and worn furniture of the older rooms. The rooms feature velvets, silks, lacquered wood furniture, leather chairs, bronze accents, rich woods and fine linens. Bathrooms also were included in the renovations and, while still small, are less ornate and offer a more subtle take on luxury with dark woods and white tiling.
Indoor swimming pool and a grand ballroom
An Irish pub and a casual American restaurant
The historic, 1,544-room Hilton Chicago once hosted presidents and dignitaries, but today it's just a massive chain hotel in South Loop, a little far from many popular tourist sites. The grand lobby still impresses, and faux old-world rooms have high-tech amenities (flat-screen TVs, digital concierges). In 2012, the hotel launched a three year, $150 million renovation to all guest rooms and most public spaces with the goal being to meld the traditional flavor of the hotel with more modern decor and amenities.