Check it Out! “The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center” Explicit Review

I decided to stay at "Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago" because it is the closest hotel to Millennium Park. I have participated in the Chicago marathon every October since 2012. This hotel is closest to Millennium Park, the starting point for the Chicago Marathon, and is a 1-minute walk away. On the morning of the marathon day, the roads in the city are closed in various places, and if you stay at a distant hotel, you need to walk a long ways in order to get to the start point. In that respect, if you stay at this hotel, you can wait in your room until just before the start, and keep your strength. I decided to stay at this hotel for these reasons.

What is the appearance of the hotel? Check the entrance and reception

The Congress Plaza Hotel was founded in 1893 when the Chicago Expo was held, so it is a hotel that has been standing for over 130 years. Therefore, the hotel is a little old, but it is a first-class hotel with a rare history and tradition that is unusual in America.

In front of the entrance.


The entrance seen from the lobby.


The ceiling was over 10 meters high and it was like a European castle.

Indirect lighting was used, and the hallways and rooms are moderately dimmed, including the reception, creating a good atmosphere.

Front floor hallway. This time I stayed for the Chicago marathon, so I walked around the hotel with sporty casual clothes, but it might be better for the guests to keep the dress code.

First floor elevator hall.

Elevator floor number panel.

Guest room floor elevator hall.

In front of the elevator.

What is the Family Suite like?

Guest room entrance door.

The entrance seen from the room. The Family Sweet had two bedrooms. The structure of the hotel is a luxurious.

The first bedroom had a king size bed. In addition, there was a TV and a dresser.

King size bed.

Bedside table.

There were two full size beds in the second room. The hight and size was just right, and it was a comfortable bed.

There was a TV, a table, two chairs and a dresser on the other side of the bed.

Bedside tables look the same in both rooms.

Both rooms had windows. At this hotel, guests can choose between city view and lake view when making a reservation. Unfortunately, the city view only overlooks the back of a building and the view from the windows were not very good. I definitely recommend the lake view. The lake room is popular, so it is better to book a room as early as possible.


There was a bathtub in the room.

The size of the bathtub was big enough for one adult to lie down and relax. There was a waterproof shower curtain.

A shower was attached to the wall above the bathtub. The water pressure of the shower was strong enough.

There were 3 kinds of towels (bath towel, face towel and hand towel) prepared for the number of people staying. It was clean and replaced everyday.


The sink area is bright and I think you can do makeup easily. Amenities was prepared above the sink. There were shampoos, conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, combs and cotton swabs.

There was also a hair dryer.

Closet and safe

There was a closet on the left side immediately after entering the room. The door of the closet was a full length mirror. There were enough hangers hanging. There was also a safe in this closet. It is a type that sets a 4-8 digit code number, and it is not so big, but it is big enough for storing wallets, mobile phones, passports, and laptops.

Mini bar and cafe

There was a cafe corner on the twin bedroom table. There was a coffee maker, so I could have some coffee. The amount of coffee consumed was replenished the next day, but the 500 ml plastic bottle provided in the room was charged. There is also an ice bucket and if you ask the staffs, they will bring you ice. There was no refrigerator.

Shops in the hotel

There was a shop on the first floor of the hotel. Post cards, Chicago T-shirts and other goodies were being sold.

Facilities in the hotel

There was a business center on the first floor next to the lobby which had computers. It is a space that allows you to do work.

Environment around the hotel

The hotel located in the central of downtown means that you can walk to major attractions. Millennium Park is near, too and is recommended for morning walks. It is also close to Michigan Avenue where luxury boutiques are lined up. On the other hand, the city is not safe at night. Recently there has been a gang issues, and there are many times when police car sirens can be heard just outside the hotel from night to morning. If you are going out at night, I recommend that you drive or take a taxi.

Street in front of the hotel.

Millennium Park which is also the Chicago Marathon’s start and end point.


Staff and customer base

I was involved with the staffs at the front desk, room service, doormen, bellboy and so on, and they were all kind and polite, and I felt that the hospitality is suitable for a high class hotel. Everyone was well trained and professional.

There were many marathon related customers. Of course, many tourists from different countries were staying as well. I did not see many children in the hotel this time.


The hotel is in the heart of downtown and it takes about 30 minutes by taxi from the airport. In the daytime you can walk to various tourist spots, but I think that it is best not to go out at night, because the area is unsafe. There are many souvenir shops and restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. As for transportation other than walking, car dispatch services was convenient.

Chicago Museum.

Millennium Park.

Cloud Gate.


The purpose of visiting was to participate in Chicago’s largest event, the Chicago Marathon. The starting point is a 2-minute walk away, and I think it is the most convenient hotel to stay at if you are planning on participating in the Chicago Marathon. The hotel its self is a little old, but I did not feel any inconveniences at all. The hotel is also recombined for those who want to go sightseeing, because it has easy access to many tourist destinations in the Chicago.

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