$125 Avg/night
Rate and special offer based on Check-in: Oct 5, 2014 Check-out: Oct 8, 2014

Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

3 stars
520 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Hotel Overview
Reviewer score
3.3
out of 5
1,097 reviews
good expedience. get what you paid for

The room was clean. The lake view in my room itself was worth half of the money. The staff was... See full review

  • ali mohammad
  • Aug 22, 2014
Convenient Location

The Congress Hotel is in the middle of everywhere. Situated near a huge open park. You couldn't ask... See full review

  • Lazy man's lobster
  • Aug 13, 2014
With its neon-red sign standing out against the Chicago skyline, its vaulted Italianate ceilings, and glimmering 'Gold Room' banquet hall, the Congress Plaza Hotel makes an imposing first impression. Once known as the "Home of Presidents" due to its popularity with both Roosevelt's, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon, it's been operating since 1893. Valet dry-cleaning and barber services of yesteryear sit side-by-side with modern amenities like audiovisual tech for business meetings and a 24-hour fitness center. On-site eating options are globally diverse (Rafael's Steakhouse) and come straight from the griddle in the morning (Gazebo Restaurant). In the evenings, settle into a leather back armchair with a bourbon, or take your shots at the dartboard in the Congress Lounge, where both business users and vacationers gather for some much-needed R&R.
Key facts
  • 871 guestrooms
  • 36 suites
  • 23 meeting/event rooms
  • 2 restaurants: Rafael's Steakhouse, Gazebo Restaurant
  • Congress Lounge & Bar
  • Gift shop
  • Barber shop
  • 24-hour gym
  • Valet dry cleaning/shoeshine
  • Smoking rooms available on request
Neighborhood
Across the street from Grant Park and the famous Buckingham Fountain, Congress Plaza rests on the main thoroughfare and shopping mecca of Michigan Avenue, aka, the Magnificent Mile. The hotel is walking distance from world-renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and the fascinating Field Museum. Found on the banks of Lake Michigan, the Field Museum is the home of "Sue," the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered, as well as a life-size Maori meeting house.
Hints and tips
The Congress is frequently nicknamed 'the most haunted hotel in Chicago,' and budding paranormal detectives should request a room in the oldest part of the building, the South Tower, for the 'highest chance' of ghostly activity.

Be on the lookout for characters like notorious murder victim Peg Leg Johnny, or test your courage near the 12th floor room which was allegedly closed down due to paranormal activity.

This is not a comprehensive list of fees. Any amounts listed above may not include taxes and are subject to change.

Hotel Map

41.8751 -87.6243
Area served
Chicago, IL
Nearby airports
Midway and O'Hare International Airports
Area description
Adjacent to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain. Near Millenium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, Symphony Center, and the Sears Tower.

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Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park Rooms

Lakefront King
Guest room with one king-sized bed. Rooms face Lake Michigan and Buckingham Fountain and can accommodate a maximum of 2 quests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.
Lakefront Suite
Guest room with one king-sized bed. Rooms face Lake Michigan and Buckingham Fountain and can accommodate a maximum of 2 quests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.
Standard Double
Guest room with two double beds and can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.
City View King Suite
Guest room with one king-sized bed. Accommodate a maximum of 2 guests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.
Standard Room - 1 Double Bed
Guest room with one double bed and can accommodate a maximum of two guests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.
Standard King
Guest room with one king-sized bed and can accommodate a maximum of two guests. All rooms have cable satellite T.V., coffee maker, radio and voice mail, high speed internet connection for $9.95 + TAX for 24 hours and Movies on Demand.

Amenities

  • Free internet in room
General
Concierge
Activities
Fitness Center
Dining
Restaurant
Room service
Internet
Free internet in room

Nearby points of interest

  • Auditorium Building: 0.1 mi
  • Harold Washington Library: 0.2 mi
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation: 0.3 mi
  • Buckingham Fountain: 0.3 mi
  • Symphony Center: 0.3 mi
  • Grant Park: 0.3 mi
  • Printers Square: 0.3 mi
  • Art Institute of Chicago: 0.3 mi
  • Crown Fountain: 0.4 mi
  • Bank of America Theatre: 0.4 mi
  • Chicago Board of Trade: 0.5 mi
  • State Street: 0.5 mi
  • Cloud Gate: 0.5 mi
  • Shubert Theatre: 0.5 mi
  • Pritzker Pavilion: 0.6 mi
  • Auditorium Building: 0.1 mi
  • Harold Washington Library: 0.2 mi
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation: 0.3 mi
  • Buckingham Fountain: 0.3 mi
  • Symphony Center: 0.3 mi
  • Grant Park: 0.3 mi
  • Printers Square: 0.3 mi
  • Art Institute of Chicago: 0.3 mi
  • Crown Fountain: 0.4 mi
  • Bank of America Theatre: 0.4 mi
  • Chicago Board of Trade: 0.5 mi
  • State Street: 0.5 mi
  • Cloud Gate: 0.5 mi
  • Shubert Theatre: 0.5 mi
  • Pritzker Pavilion: 0.6 mi
  • Willis Tower (Sears Tower): 0.6 mi
  • Yacht Club: 0.6 mi
  • Chicago Cultural Center: 0.6 mi
  • Macys: 0.6 mi
  • Harris Theater: 0.6 mi
  • Oriental Theatre: 0.7 mi
  • City Hall: 0.7 mi
  • Chicago Theater: 0.7 mi
  • Goodman Theatre: 0.7 mi
  • Prudential Plaza: 0.7 mi
  • Field Museum of Natural History: 0.7 mi
  • Cadillac Palace Theatre: 0.7 mi
  • Shedd Aquarium: 0.8 mi
  • Harold Washington College: 0.8 mi
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange: 0.8 mi
  • Opera House: 0.9 mi
  • Union Station: 0.9 mi
  • Marina City: 0.9 mi
  • Soldier Field: 1 mi
  • Museum of Broadcast Communications: 1 mi
  • Wrigley Building: 1 mi
  • Merchandise Mart: 1 mi
  • Tribune Tower: 1.1 mi
  • Adler Planetarium: 1.1 mi
  • North Michigan Avenue: 1.1 mi
  • Hull House Museum: 1.2 mi
  • Chicago - Mag Mile - Wacker Dr: 1.3 mi
  • Lake Point Tower: 1.3 mi
  • Michigan Avenue South: 1.3 mi
  • Terra Museum of American Art: 1.3 mi

Meeting facilities

Meeting Info
50,000 square feet of meeting space. World renowned gold room

Dining

Gazebo Restaurant
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner served from 6:30am to 10:30pm. Breakfast includes full American Breakfast, lunch- a variety of salads and sandwiches, dinner- chicken, beef, pork and seafood dishes.
Tavern Tap
A relaxed setting to enjoy cocktails or play pool or watch your favorite sports

Hotel Policies

Check-in:
1500
Check-out:
1200

Terms and conditions

Rates quoted in currencies other than the hotel's base currency are subject to the rate of the international exchange. Rate may change throughout stay. Rate may reflect average nightly rate. Extra charges may apply. Incidental charges, such as room service, are not included in the rate.

The amenities and/or facilities may not be located at the hotel, but within a reasonable distance, and additional charges may apply for use.

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Guest Reviews (1097)

Ratings and reviews for Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Overall score

3.3 / 5
5.01.0
1097 out of 1097
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
3.7
Hotel staff:
3.7
Room comfort:
3.4
Location:
4.5
Value:
3.5

72% would recommend to a friend.

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
jamieromance
Terre Haute, IN
Sep 2, 2014

Not Bad but Not Great

The service and the staff were nice, the room was clean enough but the hotel itself is a bit run down. Great location for sight seeing though.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
4
Room comfort:
2
Location:
4
Value:
3
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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

1
5.01.0
nan traveler
Houston, TX
Sep 2, 2014

Chicago flop house

Although this place was in an excellent location, it was like staying at a youth hostel. Lobby hot and full of teens. Rooms very old and not very clean. Beds very hard and full sized, not queen. Elevators slow and was almost impossible to leave with luggage last day. Would not recommend this hotel to anyone. Asked concierge to help me with restaurant reservation. They gave me phone number of the restaurant to make my own call instead. Wireless was slow, slow and often terminated. Had to ask friend back home to look up events for me since it was so difficult.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
1
Room cleanliness:
2
Hotel staff:
1
Room comfort:
1
Location:
5
Value:
2
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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
katechild
Minnesota
Sep 1, 2014

concert weekend

Overall, the Congress Plaza Hotel was a great choice for our weekend in Chicago. We drove down for a concert at Soldier Field and it was close enough that we could easily walk to and from the venue, as well as check out the many parks and sights in downtown Chicago. Parking was a bit annoying, charging a large sum a night with no discount for staying at the hotel, but I suppose that's downtown Chicago for you. The staff was really friendly and pointed out some of the best pizza we've ever had (and that's really saying something in the Windy City) and gave us lots of options for things to do before and after the concert without a fuss.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Sightseeing tip: Short walk from hotel

This is a great place to stay if you are planning on going to a game, concert, etc. at Soldier Field. About a 20-25 minute walk from the field, the path is clearly marked and is a fantastic alternative to busy traffic in the area!

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
dkopek
Rochester hills, MI
Sep 1, 2014

Great night stay.

The hotel has a great location in Grant Park and right off Michigan Ave. Easy walk to all the cool tourist sites. Great value hotel but it is over 100 years old. The room was a little musty and the lighting wasn't great. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive room, walking distance to everything this place is recommended.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
3
Location:
5
Value:
5
Dining tip: Long walk from hotel

Italian village was delicious as well as Lou Maltini's pizza.

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
DJH in Mpls
Minneapolis, MN
Aug 31, 2014

A Piece Of History

I choose the Congress Plaza because of the convenient location and view. As I read up on it, I saw it was one of the most haunted in Chicago. That sparked my interest. It's a beautiful, well preserved, well maintained building. The staff was marvelous. Upon check in, we were given a room on the 14th floor, which I thought would be a great view....it was a view of the middle of the north and south buildings (fire escape included). After seeing the view, I went to the desk and asked for a different view. She put us on the 9th floor, lake view! I loved it. It could have been better with a continental breakfast. As for ghosts.... They disappeared.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
5
Room comfort:
5
Location:
5
Value:
5
Sightseeing tip: Long walk from hotel

Go to Navy Pier and take an Architecture Tour by boat. There are many different type and prices.

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
Amoney
Fishers, IN
Aug 31, 2014

Quick weekend stay

Stayed here for one night and overall our stay was great. The lobby is beautiful. The rooms were nice but you could see some damage to the walls and the doors. Big comfortable bed with a great view!

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
3
Room comfort:
3
Location:
5
Value:
3
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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

3
5.01.0
AlisonLovesFlowers
Twin Cities, MN
Aug 31, 2014

Past grandeur

The location was fantastic. The hotel was so-so, and for the chance to stay in a great location for a price I could manage, it was fine with me. The Congress Plaza clearly was a showplace, and not surprisingly the choice of presidents staying Chicago. That said, from what I read, the last one to stay there was FDR. The rooms were clean and very large. The halls, dated and worn but adequate. The Congress Plaza was as expected, not 5 star, but not 5 star prices either.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
2
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
3
Room comfort:
4
Location:
4
Value:
3
Sightseeing tip: Not Applicable

The GoChicago 3-Day Pass was a good deal for us because we like to be on the move. We saw many attractions and didn't feel obligated to stay a long time at any of them, which we would have if we had paid full price at a museum. It was an intense and fun 3 days.

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
NOPARKING39NIGHTLY
Business
FL
Aug 28, 2014

Good Stay

Comfortable. HORABLE BEWARE....$89 TO PARK OVERNIGHT FOR 2 DAYS!!!!

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
3
Room cleanliness:
3
Hotel staff:
3
Room comfort:
4
Location:
4
Value:
2
Trip purpose:

Business

Sightseeing tip: Long walk from hotel

NO PARKING

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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
clancy02
Nebraska
Aug 28, 2014

BIRTHDAY GETAWAY

it was to high to park your car each day at 44.00 per day...

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
4
Hotel staff:
3
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
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Review of Congress Plaza Hotel at Grant Park

Reviewer score

4
5.01.0
junkfoodbattery
Traverse City, MI
Aug 27, 2014

Great Value in the art district

My roommate and I booked this hotel for two nights while we stayed in Chicago to see a concert at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra opera house, which is only 3 blocks from this hotel location. The nightly rate is moderately priced, and compared to most of the other hotels in the area, one would either have to pay quite a bit more per night, or stay in a hotel of significantly lower quality. The front desk staff is easily the weakest link of the entire operation, from what I could see. We made our reservations on this site a couple of weeks in advance, and printed off the confirmation email that we brought with us. When we tried to check in to our hotel, the woman working at the front desk asked us for the card we reserved rooms with, then ran it, gave it back and asked for a different card because that one was declined. Neither of us had any cards with money/credit on them, because we had planned to use cash for the entire trip. When we asked her why she was trying to charge my roommate's card, she told us we had to pay a $50 security deposit for the room, which wasn't mentioned at any point online, at their website, or in the confirmation email. We told her we only had cash so she put a $25 pending charge on his card and accepted the other half of the deposit in cash. Then she told us only 1 night had been paid for, even though we had a receipt showing we paid for 2 nights. She quickly realized this was an error, but was still pretty curt with us for the entire check in process. The woman who returned our cash deposit upon checkout wasn't much friendlier. However, the bell hops were very friendly and helpful with finding us a cab to our bus station after checkout. The housekeepers were friendly but seemed disorganized. During our first night in the room we put a Do Not Disturb sign on our door. We left our room for a few hours, came back and found the sign was missing from the door and housekeeping had been in to make the bed and bring more towels. This was fine, but we were left without a sign after that, and about 30 minutes after this happened, housekeeping knocked again, and when we didn't reply right away they just let themselves in, which was a bit awkward. Shortly after that we had a message on our room phone from housekeeping saying they had noticed we didn't have a Do Not Disturb sign on our door, so if we needed anything please let them know. I didn't know they checked rooms at 5 in the afternoon, thankfully we were both fully clothed at the time they decided to just let themselves in after taking away our sign. Other than that, the room was immaculate, we had a great view from our window, high ceilings, an elevator that was almost *too* fast, and lots of friendly little amenities for the bathroom and otherwise. Typical things like an iron/board, mini safe, flatscreen TV with cable, coffee/maker, overpriced room service, etc. The location was the biggest perk though. We were within walking distance from several restaurants and bars in widely varying price ranges and didn't have to use a taxi or public transit for anything except getting to Chicago and back from Michigan.

Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Amenities:
4
Room cleanliness:
5
Hotel staff:
2
Room comfort:
4
Location:
5
Value:
4
Shopping tip: Short walk from hotel

We were only a short walk from Artist & Craftsman Supply, which is a fantastic 2-floor little art supply shop on South Wabash. Very reasonable prices on a large variety of art supplies and fun novelty items. The cashier recommended us to Reckless Records on East Madison, also a short walk away and a small shop with a large selection of old, new, popular, obscure & everything between vinyls, CDs, DVDs and even some video games.

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