by Julie Bielenberg
This is a historic Chicago classic hotel built in 1927. Al Capone’s brother once ran a casino on the Penthouse Floor, and in the ’70s, it had a stint as the Playboy Towers. The Windy City landmark has 306 guestrooms and suites and meeting space, including the iconic Crystal Ballroom, complete with illuminated dance floor and gold-gilded domed ceiling. (This is worth of peek, even if you aren’t there for an event).
There is farm-to-table cuisine at NiX onsite. The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago is located at the start of the Magnificent Mile and an easy walk to 360 Chicago and the museum of Contemporary Art. There is the standard king and double bed rooms, all the way up to studios and suites.
Our Editor Loves
- Location in downtown Chicago
- Historic building and decor
- Onsite dining options
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Check in process was tedious. Hotel was just okay. Room was definitely tired. Would rate 3.5 stars if not for incident with valet. Upon check out, a bystander pointed out a large gouge in the wall of my passenger side front tire that caused it to split. The tire was still inflated but was damaged severe enough that it shouldn’t be driven on. Upon bringing it to the attention of valet, they immediately said it must’ve already been like that. The assistant manager came out and talked to valet. After about 10 minutes, he told me that the damage was noted on the valet inspection when I turned in my car the previous night. When asked why I wasn’t notified, he became defensive. Any hotel with a $70 valet should have staff trained enough that if a vehicle is turned in with damage, especially making it undriveable, they would notify the guest right away. The assistant manager said the valet staff was busy so they didn’t notify me. Unacceptable. He had me fill out an insurance claim form and told me I’d hear in a couple weeks. I eventually got an email that my insurance claim was denied. I’m not even angry about the damage. It’s possible I damaged it driving through Chicago. I’m upset how the valet and hotel management handled this situation. If the valet notified me the night before of the damage they supposedly found, I could’ve arranged for the tire to be replaced that evening or first thing the next morning. Instead I had to delay my trip home and arrange for an emergency repair. Fortunately I was able to limp the car to the BMW dealer down the road. If not, the repair could’ve set me back even longer than it already did. And to top it all off, the hotel still charged me for the valet. At minimum, the valet should have been refunded in full and likely an additional discount on my room for inconvenience. Very poorly handled situation by management of this hotel. With so many options in the area, do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else.
I stayed at this hotel because it was the venue for a forum I was attending. The forum was conducted on the 14th floor with one hall for the meeting, another for breaks and the corridor in between for registration and table top shows. I give the hotel very good marks on hosting this event.
I didn’t arrive as early as I expected due to flight delay. Still, I made it before the hotel’s official check in time. I appreciated the fact that they found a room for me at that time. Beyond that, the actual check in was far from satisfactory. I will forget it with the hope that this was an isolated happening. The hotel should be able to do better.
The room assigned to me was small but the bed was comfortable. The bathroom, again small, had good amenities including rain shower. Water pressure was not strong but it could probably be on purpose not to waste water.
Check out was much better than check in.
My appreciation for Candice who handled my pre arrival request and Geri who straightened out an issue post departure. Both were efficient and patient.
I had a good dining experience at the hotel’s Nix Restaurant which I will review separately.
The location of this historic hotel--only half a block from North Michigan Avenue and near the lakeshore--is attractive and practical.