Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

  • Room Type : Family Sweet
  • Stay Nights : 2 nights
  • Stay Num : 3 people

I chose "Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago" because it is the closest hotel from Millennium Park. I participate in the Chicago Marathon in October every year since 2012. This hotel is located closest to the Millennium Park, which is the starting venue for the Chicago Marathon, and is a 1-minute walk away. On the morning of the marathon, the roads are closed in various places, and if you stay at a distant hotel, you need to walk a long ways to get to the start. In that respect, if you stay at this hotel you can wait in your room until the marathon starts, and you can save your energy. These are the reasons why I decided to stay at this hotel.

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

The Congress Plaza Hotel was established in 1893 when the Expo in Chicago was held, so it is a well-established hotel which has already been around for over 130 years. Therefore, I can not deny that there are areas in the hotel that are starting to age, but it is maintained in a fine manner so I had no problems staying at the hotel. I think that it can be said that it is a first-class hotel with rare history, tradition and formality in the United States.

The state before the hotel entrance.

The entrance.

The entrance seen form the inside of the hotel.

State of the lobby.

The ceiling height of the lobby is nearly 10 meters, and it produces a luxurious look that resembles the castles in Europe.

The hotel uses indirect lighting as a mechanism, and the front desk, the corridors and the rooms were moderately dim, which created a nice atmosphere. When first entering the hotel, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere.

The front floor corridor. I was staying at this hotel only for the Chicago Marathon, so I wandered around the hotel with a sporty casual outfit, but in reality guests may well better protect their dress code properly.

Front floor elevator hall.

The floor button panel in the elevator.

Room floor elevator hall.

The state before the elevator.

How was the family sweet room?

Room entrance door

View of the entrance door seen from the back of the room. There were two bedrooms in the family sweet. The long-established hotel that has a 130 years of history boasts a heavy atmosphere. The hotel's structure is a luxurious Versailles.

There was one king size bed in the first bedroom. In addition, there was a television and a dresser (storage shelf with a mirror), and etc.

King size bed

Bedside table

The second bedroom door

There were two full size beds (a double size bed in Japan). The size, height and hardness was comfortable and satisfying.  

Aside from the television opposite the bed, there was a table, two tables of chairs, a dresser (storage shelf with a mirror), and etc.

The bedside tables in both bedrooms looked the same.

Both rooms had windows. In this hotel, you can choose between a city view and a lake view when making a reservation. Unfortunately, I was only able to see the back side of a building from the city view, so the view from the window was not very good. I definitely recommend a lake view if you decide to book a room.

Naturally, the reservations for the lake views get fully booked quickly, so I recommend that you make a reservation as soon as possible. If you are lucky and was able to reserve a lake view room, the view of Millennium Park and Michigan Lake from the window is amazing.


There was a bathtub in the bathroom.

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

There was a fixed shower on the top of the wall where the bathtub was installed. The water pressure of the shower was sufficiently strong, and I was not particularly dissatisfied when using it.

There were three kinds of towels (bath towel, face towel, and a hand towel) for the number of people staying. It was clean and was exchanged everyday.

There was no problem with flushing the toilet.

The sink area was lit up brightly, and you can do makeup there with no problem. Amenities were prepared above the sink. Amenities included shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, comb, cotton swab, and etc. which are things that are generally thought to be in a hotel.

There was also a hair dryer beside the sink.

Closet and Safety Deposit Box

Immediately after entering the room there was a closet on the left side. The door of the closet had a whole body mirror. There were also enough hangers prepared inside. There was also a safety box in the closet. It is a type that sets a 4-8 digit pin number and is not that large with just the right size to keep wallets, mobile phones, passports and laptops in it.

Mini bar / cafe

There was a cafe corner on the table in the twin bedroom. There was a coffee maker so I was able to have coffee. The amount of coffee was supplemented the next day by the amount consumed, but the 500 ml water bottle prepared in the room was charged. Also, there was an ice bucket and it seemed that if you ordered ice from room service, they will bring you some. Unfortunately,  they did not have a  mini bar in this room.

Restaurants in the hotel

There were lots of places to eat around the hotel, but we did go to any. In the hotel there were two restaurants and a lounge. It was difficult to enter while casually dressed, because the restaurant and lounge were luxurious.

At the "Gazebo Restaurant" it seems that you can have breakfast from 6.30 am to 11 am every morning.

"Rafael's Restaurant" seems to be able to have traditional American cuisine and chef special season's creative menu.

At the "Congress Lounge" you can enjoy drinks and snacks while playing darts and other things.

There was also a shop on the first floor of the hotel. There were postcards and Chicago's name-added T-shirts and other goods. It seemed like a good shop to  purchase souvenirs.

Facilities in the hotel

There was a business center where personal computers  were installed next to the lobby on the first floor. It was a setting that allows you to do your work.

Hotel surroundings environment

Located in the heart of downtown, you can access the main attractions on foot. Millennium Park is also nearby and is recommended for morning walks. It is also close to Michigan Avenue where luxurious boutiques are lined up. Unfortunately, it is not safe at night. There seems to be a conflict of the gang group recently, and from the night to the morning there are a lot of circumstances that you can hear a police car siren just outside the hotel. When going out at night, we recommend traveling by car so that you do not have to walk outside.

The street in front of the hotel.

Millennium Park which is also the start and the goal point for the Chicago marathon.


Staff & Customers

I interacted with people at the front desk, room service, doorman and the bellboy, and everyone was friendly and courteous. I felt the hospitality suitable for a first class hotels. Everyone was well trained and gave me the impression that they are professionals.

I stayed for the Chicago Marathon this time, so it seems that there were many other marathon-related people staying as well. Of course, many tourists from various countries also stayed as well. I think that this hotel is mainly for adults, so I did not see many children staying.


The hotel is located in the center of downtown, about 30 minutes by taxi from the airport. In the daytime, it is in the range that you can walk to various sightseeing spots, but since it is dangerous at night, I think that it is better not to go out. Souvenir shops and restaurants are also within walking distance and are convenient to get to. For traveling other than walking, car dispatch service was convenient. No matter when you call, you can find a car within 1 minute. I think that it is good for sightseeing.

The Chicago Art Museum

Millennium Park

Cloud Gate


I have been spending the weekend of the second week of October every year in this hotel for six consecutive years. To participate in Chicago’s biggest event called the Chicago Marathon, this hotel is the starting point for runners during this period. Participants staying at other hotels are gathered in the hotel lobby for the time being in the morning of the day. It is a 2 minute walk to the starting point and I think that it is the most recommended hotel for people participating in the Chicago marathon. Although, the hotel is getting old, it is maintained well and I did not have any problems in particular. Even if you stay here at other times, there is no doubt that it is a hotel that is located in a convenient location, and I fully recommend staying here.

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