Downtown Chicago is a major city with fun and exciting tourist attractions that draw in people from all over the world. Choosing the right hotel for your stay can be a timely chore that many vacationers devote hours of research to. I hope by sharing our experience of our Staycation at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Chicago located at 511 N. Columbus Drive that it will make your choice an easy one. The Embassy Suites hotel is located close to Lake Michigan and just a few short blocks to Navy Pier and shopping at the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Ave.
We pulled up in the parking garage and unloaded our belongings with the help of a very nice Valet who gave me a few tips. He mentioned that he can park my vehicle for an over night stay and I can go in an out of the garage for a flat rate fee but if I won’t be using my vehicle I can self park right next store for an overnight stay of just $35! We wouldn’t be needing our vehicle so I parked it myself with easy access back up to the hotel lobby by elevator. The valet was kind enough to take our luggage, name and room room and called for a bell hop to bring our luggage up to our room.
To get to the main desk for check in you need to take an elevator up a floor. I found that kinda strange but once I was inside I understood why. The elevator opened to reveal a esthetically pleasing layout, a welcoming front desk, a lounge, a bar and meeting place for the hotel for free cook to order breakfast and the nightly Managers Reception which includes food and drinks.
The front desks was busy with check-ins from the Caterpillar construction, Russian fencing team, and long line of Chinese business guests all waiting to check in. The multilingual receptionist was very impressive as she spoke to each guest and quickly met their needs. The manager greeted me and accommodated us with a room key and directions on how to get up stairs along with pointed out a few things like details about breakfast in the morning, where our room was located and let me know that the I can enjoy the Managers reception that was ending in just 15 minutes. There were lots of hotel guests who were busy relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of the atrium area and comfortable seating near the bar.
The glass elevator to the fifteenth floor offered an incredible mini view of the city. The kids really loved the elevator but once the doors opened to reveal the view of the open floor plan of the hotel the view was breathe taking.
Once the elevator doors open you can walk to the railing and get a beautiful view of the main floor just off the receptionist desk. Here is where they host the complementary free cook to order and buffet breakfast as well as the complementary Managers reception in the early evening.
Our two room suite was complete with a mini refrigerator, microwave and separate sink. The two rooms were separated by a door which was great for the privacy and quiet for those who fell asleep early from the night owl’s like me who stay awake.
You’ll notice that there is a separate area with small kitchen appliance essentials. A refrigerator for keeping drinks cold or storing left overs. A sink to rinse out cups or rinse off plates. Microwave for heating popcorn, or heating up food. The lake front view of Michigan lake from the large picture window was amazing. My children and I couldn’t get enough of the view. I have about 100 more photos similar to this one.
and with adding a bit of zoom on my camera the view gets even better
We loved the layout of the family room with the large screen television and a table for eating or working on projects. The large television was great for the kids and they even had a channel for late night cartoon. Moms and dad’s know how important that it especially when your children are wide awake and still over excited about the days activities.
The couch was comfortable and opened up into a couch bed for more sleeping accommodation. We were able to find extra blankets and sheets in one of the drawers. The beds were comfortable to sleep in and it was great to regulate the room temperature to make sure we all slept comfortable. I loved that there were 4 pillows on each bed. I have to have atleast 2 to sleep well.
No hotel is complete without a swimming pool and the Embassy Suites has a pool located right off the main lobby. We loved being able to relax and splash with the kids until midnight. The kids really enjoyed swimming in the pool and the towels to dry off with after our swim. The bathroom was located just a few feet away which was perfect for my little guy who seems to have to use the washroom atleast once every other hour.
The pool was the perfect size to take a dip after our walk to Navy Pier. There was plenty of room for the guests to spread out and everyone was respectful of others in the pool. The staircase walk in was my 4 yr old’s favorite sit spot. It allowed him to sit in the water without it being to deep for him. He usually won’t get in a deep pool he’s still pretty afraid of the water but it was nice to see him enjoying himself too along with everyone else. The girls were able to swim to the other side of the pool and back. The water was the perfect temperature. Not to warm and not too cold. Located in the same room was a hot tub. Perfect for adults to separate themselves from the kids and just kick back and relax.
The next morning we went down early for a cook to order breakfast. There was a buffet set up and plenty of seating and stations to find different food to suit your needs.
They served everything from donuts, oatmeal, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, pancakes, eggs. Made to order eggs. Omelets, over easy how ever you like them from the spectacular chef and server team. These two had a assembly going that was almost flawless. (Tip: One line jumper messes up everyone’s order).
My omelet was made perfect. The buffet food was warm but there’s nothing that compares to fresh hot food cooked right in front of you just the way you like it. I ordered my omelet with tomatoes and bacon. Yum!!
Of course the real food critic here would be my youngest. He has to have exactly what he wants to eat for breakfast or our whole day is ruined. Today he wanted Fruit Loops cereal. Guess what? Embassy Suites rocked that out of the park. Fruit loops were available along with fresh milk, fruit juice, tea, lemonade and hot coffee and soda, too.
We loved that the hotel accommodates guests with a free Hot breakfast, later pool hours and a later check out time. We think that makes all the difference in a more comfortable stay. There’s also a restaurant located on the main floor and a Dominick’s grocery store right across the street, Movie Theater down the block along with a Walgreen’s not far after that.
We visited the Shed Aquarium, walked to Navy Pier for fireworks (every Wednesday summer night) and the next morning we walked the Magnificent mile in sun showers. We visited the famous Sprinkles cup cakes, Water tower and Walt Disney store as well as seen some pretty incredible window displays. We loved exploring Chicago and staying in a hotel in our own back yard. It made our experience much more enjoyable than a hour ride home.
Sadly my husband was put on the night shift and didn’t get to enjoy the day or stay with us so we’ll have to make a repeat visit really soon. I just know he’s going to love it.
Thank you so much to the Embassy Suites staff for their hospitality and complementary fruit plate sent up by the Manager. We loved our stay and will certainly be returning.
There are over 200+ Embassy Suites Hotels across the America Choose the embassy suites hotel for your next business or vacation destination.
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disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador Program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Embassy Suites Hotels and received a one-night complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites Hotel to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Opinions and photos are my own. I try to take photos that do not include many of the guests in them so protect others privacy. Many photo opportunities were not available due to the amount of guests in attendance.