Generally speaking, I try to avoid airport hotels. When possible, I’d always prefer to stay within the city center and avoid any additional transportation fees. Being further from the city or town center, I also feel that you often miss out on that immersive experience that stems from “living” in the area that you are visiting.
In an odd turn of events, procrastinating on booking a hotel for our most recent long-weekend in Chicago meant that we were very limited on hotels within our budget. And so we ended up booking two nights at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel.
From beginning to end our stay exceeded expectations. I’d assume it’s not always easy to throw on a cheery face and greet each guest with enthusiasm when it gets to be midnight and check-ins have slowed, but that was exactly what we experienced upon arrival at the Renaissance Chicago. We were offered brochures, guides to local attractions, and a map of the train system, which not only eased our stress after three flight delays, but also showcased the hotel’s hospitality and their employees willingness to ensure we had a excellent trip.
Our interactions with the other teammates at Renaissance Chicago O’Hare followed a similar suit.
While we didn’t fully take in the lavish minimalism of the lobby at first, seeing as were were both ready to knock out, we were able to take it in the following morning on our way out for the day. Complete with wood finishes, a modern fireplace, and a few overhead twinkle lights, this hotel manages to feel modern and warm simultaneously.
Upon entry to our room, we were amazed by the size; pictures did not do these guest rooms justice. We loved how the main section of the room was divided into two segments, one for the beds, and another designed as a sitting area. The television, which sits on an island between the two sections, also spins making it viewable regardless of where you’re relaxing.
The room is pretty simple in terms of design, but the photograph behind the beds which is meant to portray a window overlooking the Chicago skyline added a little something extra.
Having a Starbucks in the hotel lobby, especially one that opens at 5:30AM on weekdays — perfect for those with early flights out – was great, but on our second morning we decided to try out breakfast in the hotel dining room. Guests have the option of either a continental breakfast, a buffet breakfast, or specific entree off of the hotel’s breakfast menu. My boyfriend had sprung for the buffet breakfast, while I went with the crunchy french toast, which is a delicious french toast coated in frosted flakes and topped with bananas and strawberries.
While we both left satisfied, my only caveat is with the value. The continental breakfast runs about $10 per person, while the buffet breakfast runs about $21 a person. While that price isn’t excessive for most buffets, it does seem a bit high for a hotel buffet breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. The food itself was tasty and cooked well, but the price may be a bit steep for larger families and is similar to what may pay per person at a restaurant within the city.
Finally, while the hotel stands on the outskirts of Chicago, it is only a two minute walk from a train station where you can catch the Blue Line directly to the city center and couple of blocks from Millennium Park. According to Apple Maps, the train ride from our hotel to the city should’ve taken approximately 45 minutes. However, we rode the train to-and-from the city two days in a row and the ride never exceeded 25 minutes. So in terms of transportation, being so close to a train station makes travel affordable and convenient.
And let’s not forget that being near the airport can often be an advantage in itself. The Renaissance Chicago O’Hare is one of several hotels that offers complimentary 24-hour shuttle service to-and-from the O’Hare airport, so you won’t have to worry about additional Uber fees.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel. The hospitality, design, and close proximity to public transportation made it a winner for us – and we’d highly recommend it for those who either prefer to be further from the action, or who may be seeking an alternative to city center accommodations.