On this Labor Day weekend, my husband and I decided on a staycation. With his knee injury that we’ve been nursing all summer, it has definitely made it diffucult for us to indulge in all the usual summer activities.
We had accrued some United Mileage and decided to use it for a close getaway. With the amount we had, we could either spend one night in a Downtown Chicago hotel, or two nights in a O’Hare Airport area hotel. We decided on the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont.
I know what you’re thinking…Rosemont? Really? Out of all the hotels in the area, we chose Crowne Plaza Hotel to check out their updated rooms and value driven amenities. Also, O’Hare area hotels are only a short drive to Chicago and all the activities and neighborhoods it has to offer. It’s a great deal if you have transportation or don’t mind taking the train into the city.
The drive leading to the hotel on River Road may scare the staycationing family. Airport hotels are geared towards business travelers and convention goers. Not to mention the never-ending construction right outside Crowne Plaza that does nothing for the atmosphere.
However, upon entering the hotel, you immediately see the upscale and modern upgrades they have done with sleek furniture. Two things I thought were missing that could’ve helped engage the guests right at entry was a door man, and music in the lobby. The worst part is, I obviously couldn’t carry all of our duffel bags with my husband on crutches. So, when I asked for a Bellman or luggage carts, I was politely told by the front desk that it was “going to take a while” because there was only one Bellman…on Labor Day weekend…in a booked hotel. Not a very good first impression, as my husband and I fumble around duffel bags, baby bags, and three kids up to the 12th floor.
We opted for the standard sized room with a king bed and sofa bed and upgraded to the Club Lounge package. The Club Lounge, conveniently for us, was located on the 12th floor. Guests who opt for this upgrade get VIP access to the lounge that offers free wi-fi, continental breakfast, and dinner snacks, 7 days a week.
The Club Lounge decor is sleek and sexy with blue and brown hues. It had two rooms, one the service area with flat-screen TV, and a table filled with drinks, fresh fruits, and snacks. The other side of the lounge looked equiped for a bartender to be serving cocktails. However, it sat empty, only full of furniture, but not much purpose.
After checking in and peeking in the Club Lounge, the kids could not wait to jump into the indoor pool. The pool, unlike other indoor hotel swimming pools, was airy with floor to ceiling windows and skylights that let enough light in to give me a tan! Really! Over looking the pool was an exercise room with treadmills galore. And the hotel even offered a weight room for those who wanted to keep in line with their exercise regiments, expected amenities for every hotel these days.
The Chicago Fire Grill, the Crowne Plaza’s featured restaurant specialized in brick oven pizzas, which was delicious. I was also very pleasantly surprised to find a small, locally inspired menu showcasing ingredients from local farmers and artisans. The restaurant’s decor was casual, yet elegant and family friendly.
Adjancent from the restaurant was Visibility Bar. For guests who would rather have a cocktail and appetizers and peruse on their laptops, this is a great open air bar that looks over the hotel’s pool.
Crowne Plaza also offers a Business Center with computers for those who want to check emails or just browse through the internet during their stay. The hotel even offers and meeting room for business travelers who would like to squeeze in a meeting with their collegues during their hotel stay. Talk about multi-tasking!
After swimming and dinner, we were all ready to lay in bed and relax. When we pulled out the sofa bed, we realized there were no linens or extra pillows in the room. We quickly called Housekeeping for a set of sheets, blankets and pillows for the kids at around 8:45pm. At almost 10:00 p.m., they finally arrived. When I called to ask where the sheets were and why it was taking them so long, again, I was politely told that there was only one guy.
The service at Crowne Plaza was a very disappointing. My requests were very standard, and simple requests. First for a luggage cart, negative. Second, a set of bed linens and pillows, negative. All I could think of was how irritated I was at this point.
The next day went more smoothly. We swam and stepped out for a visit to our old neighborhood, Lincoln Square. When we arrived the room was clean, and the bed and sofa bed were made, and the carpet appeared to be vaccumed.
Nice and clean hotel. Renovation is great with sleek and modern design.
Adding the Club Lounge as an upgrade didn’t add much value to our stay with an whole empty and unused room in the lounge. No one seemed to maintain the lounge during snack and breakfast hours as the coffee was always luke-warm. I would’ve much rather they waived the parking fee of $23 a day, which is a bit much considering they didn’t offer valet parking.
Having no doorman, only one Bellman, one luggage cart for the ENTIRE hotel is a big negative. Service is slow and there didn’t seem to be any sense of urgency from the staff when a request was made.
Momma Cuisine was NOT paid to review Crowne Plaza Hotels at O’Hare in Chicago.