Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Located along the Magnificent Mile, this Hilton Suites hotel is ideally situated for any visitor interested in exploring the Magnificent Mile/Downtown Chicago area. It boasts great views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding city, newly refurbished suites, and a great location. Here’s my review of my recent stay at the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites Hotel.
If you’re not aware, the “Magnificent Mile” (also called the “Mag Mile”) is a stretch of Michigan Avenue containing a high concentration of upscale department stores, restaurants, luxury retailers, and residential and commercial buildings. If you’re into shopping, people watching, or just want to check out this famous area and join the throngs of tourists roaming the sidewalks, this hotel will put you right in the middle of things.
The hotel is right next door to the John Hancock Center, so if you want to try the Tilt 360 experience, you can easily get there in the morning and beat the lines. Also, due to its location on the Mag Mile, the hotel is close to a number of famous eating spots like Giordanos and Gino’s East (not to mention the over 270 restaurants located in the area).
From the hotel, it’s about a 30 minute walk to Millennium Park (where you’ll find Cloud Gate aka “the Bean”) and to the Art Institute of Chicago. Along the way, you’ll stroll across all of the fine shopping located along the Mag Mile and get to cross the DuSable Bridge over the scenic Chicago River. We did this walk a couple of times and we enjoyed popping in and out of shops like the Nike store, Under Armour, Burberry, etc.
There’s friendly staff awaiting your arrival outside the hotel and they’ll gladly get your luggage situated for your as you proceed to the check-in desk. There’s no decor in the lobby that will blow you away but it is kept up nicely and there’s a small convenience/gift shop located in there as well. Also, every time we passed through the lobby, the lines at the check-in desk were short or non-existent so lines likely won’t be an issue for you.
Check-in was a breeze for us and the staff members working that day were very helpful and nice. Due to our status, they provided us with an upgrade to a lake-view room on the 22nd floor, which we later came to really appreciate (once the sun came out). Another plus were the elevators which were always available, allowing us to get up and down as quickly as needed (just don’t forget to use your room key to activate the elevator).
As Diamond status members, we gained complimentary access to the executive lounge, which was a nice space to wait for our rooms to be ready as we showed up at the hotel a little early. The lounge, located on the second floor, was pretty spacious and there was nobody else in sight in there in the afternoon. There were soft drinks, coffee, and water bottles available as well as granola bars and nuts/pretzels available at all times for snacks.
There were also several televisions located throughout the lounge with some comfortable seating available and outlets located here and there.
Overall, the lounge was nice — nothing extraordinary — but nice and comfortable and pretty much what was expected for a 3 star hotel in a major U.S. city.
Hors d’oeuvres were served from 5pm to 7pm. We only tried them the first evening we were there and they served up some tasty dumplings with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. If we had wanted to we could have scrounged together a dinner with them as they were very filling but we had other dinner plans for the night.
Breakfast in the executive lounge was served from 7am to 10:30 am on weekends and 6:30 to 10:00 am on weekdays. They offered hot eggs and oatmeal along with an array of fruits, croissants, and cereals — basically a continental breakfast (plus). If you’re a Diamond status member, the breakfast is complimentary but if you’re a Gold member, you’ll choose between points or the breakfast. Interestingly, I was told that if you opt for the breakfast instead of the points, you’ll get lounge access for the entire day (even as a Gold member).
Pool and gym
There are some nice facilities in the hotel, including a gym and a swimming pool, which remain open from 5:30 am to 10 pm. The gym and pool are located on the 30th floor (marked “P” on the elevator). Jogging on a treadmill with sweeping views of the Chicago skyline definitely feels refreshing and is a great way to get your day started in the morning. There’s actually two small work out rooms, one that houses ellipticals and a rowing machine and another which houses treadmills and a small section of free weights along with a couple of benches to work out on. Both rooms boast the great city views.
The pool room is nice and clean, with great view of the city as well. It felt like we were inside a greenhouse when we checked it out and it probably would not have been comfortable to spend much time up there unless we were going to take a dip. It may not always feel so muggy in there though, as we caught it right when the morning Sun was shooting straight through the large windows.
We felt that everyone on staff did a good job of being helpful and friendly. The only slight exception would be the attendant who stored our bags before we checked in. He came off about as indifferent as humanly possible but we didn’t have any issues checking our luggage in and out so I don’t have any real complaints there.
We never ordered room service and also did not try the restaurants at the hotel so I can’t comment on them either but if you want, you can read more about the dining options here.
All of the suites at this hotel were just renovated in May 2016, so they’ll definitely feel fresh when you arrive. I liked the look of the “condo-esque suites” and thought the modern furniture and Chicagoan-inspired decor was all nicely put together.
We originally booked the 1 King bedroom suite but as stated, were upgraded to the 1 King bedroom suite with lake view. When we first pulled the curtains back on our window, dark clouds hovered over the lake and it didn’t look too impressive. However, when the morning Sun came out it, we caught our first glimpse of beautiful blue Lake Michigan. This was my first experience at looking out over Lake Michigan, and it was hard to believe that I wasn’t looking out over an ocean.
There’s a sink and mirror area with cabinets below it that contain a microwave and a mini-fridge so you’ll have a place to store any to-go food or delivery orders.
The bed and pillows were extremely soft and comfortable, allowing for me to get some very deep sleep during my stay. Be careful opening up your curtains too wide though because there’s a residential tower right next door, and you might be peering out eye-level at your neighbors.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites Hotel. I loved the location with it being located on the Mag Mile and the views of Lake Michigan from our hotel room and the gym/pool area were exceptional as well. I would definitely not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.