Friday, September 13, 2013

IC Chicago- The Magnificent Mile

     I recently had a memorable stay at the IC Chicago- Magnificent Mile when I was in town for a Cubs game.  I've stayed here a couple of times before, and, to me, this is one of those ICs that I really enjoy despite some serious shortcomings.  The property is divided between the historic tower and the "Grand Tower" a newer addition.  The historic tower originally housed the Medinah Athletic Club (affiliated with the Shriners) in the Thirties.  The typical Shriner stylized "middle eastern" architectural details are present throughout the historic building.  The pool area is particularly amazing in it's ornamentation.

     One high point is that, as an RA, I've received some really great upgrades here when booking the lowest rate available.  Last time I was there, I was upgraded to a one bedroom suite on the 38th floor of the historic tower.  I was hoping for that upgrade again, but I was surprised with a different upgrade to room 4100, a memorable room on the 41st floor of the historic tower.  More accurately, I should say that my room was the 41st floor, since it occupied the entire floor.

Fire Escape Map

   As you can see, the 41st floor is roughly square with a turret in each corner.  The room is essentially split in half by the elevator shaft and stairwell.  My introduction to the room began with the novel experience of the (tiny) elevator opening up to reveal a door immediately outside of the elevator.

There was literally no room outside of the elevator and I inserted my card while still standing inside.  Once inside you are in a short corridor connecting the east and west sides of the room.

     The east side of the floor holds the bedroom and master bath.  There is a flat screen TV and minibar just inside the bedroom door.  However, there's virtually nowhere in the room where the TV is visible, so I'm not sure what the point of it being there is (other than so the hotel can put 2 TVs on the room description)  The bed is to the right, tucked into one of the turrets:
To the left is the master bath, with Agraria toiletries and separate shower and tub:
The master bath is a little claustrophobic due to the absence of any windows and the decor is a bit dated, but it's fine, otherwise.

     On the west side of the floor is a living room/seating area with another TV/minibar set up that 's actually useful.  There are two couches (one of which is a sofabed).
In the southwest turret is a small dining table:
Not pictured is a desk with a flatscreen monitor that's hooked up to the hotel's information system.  It offers internet access, but specifically notes that the free internet benefit does not cover the approx. $18 charge.  Wifi is available in the suite and is free, so I didn't use this service.  Probably the most dramatic element of the room is the large arched window facing roughly west:
   The IC Chicago boasts a solid, if not spectacular, minibar:
Jameson!  Don't see that very often.

The sparkling wine was Gloria Ferrer California, and the wine was something quite forgettable- Woodbrige or the equivalent.  In the unrefrigerated section there was more water, red wine, candies, etc.  (please pardon the blurry picture):

Of course, I always like to check out the price list to see what I'm not paying for:

The free minibar access is, by far, my favorite Royal Ambassador benefit.  In this case, the benefit apparently extends to snacks as well as drinks.  I did open a package of cashews without being charged.  If that's the rule and not the exception, it goes a little way towards making up for the fact that this IC does not have a lounge.

     As you can see from the pictures, the room decor is pretty tired.  I imagine it wouldn't be easy to even get new furniture up to this floor, but it badly needs it.  I'm not sure even Brick Tamland would love this lamp:

      Overall, I would describe the service as "uneven."  I had no trouble getting the minibar restocked and when I called down for ice, they filled both of the ice buckets and also brought up a wine cooler full of ice.  But there was no RA welcome amenity at all.  No fruit, no water, no gift.

     In the end, this was an interesting room to stay in, and would be fabulous with a good refurbishment, but I think I'd avoid it in the future.  The 1 bedroom suites on 38 are superior, in  my opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment