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The Wheeler Mansion

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

I live near McCormick Place and was looking for a place to stay in the neighborhood for the dates of February 12th, 13th, and then February 20th-25th while I was having renovations completed on my condo. Within a six block radius I had six choices of where to stay - The Hilton Garden Inn, The Hampton Inn, Homes2 Suites, Marriott Marquis Chicago, Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Wheeler Mansion. After collecting quotes for a room with a king bed I chose the Wheeler mansion as the owner offered me a neighbor price of $135 a day and with my own place being within two blocks I could run down and get my mail as well as check in on the work in progress. The Wheeler Mansion is a stately mansion and I was given room 22 which is in the front of the Mansion facing east. The building itself is clean and beautifully furnished with antique furnishings and European Art. It is important to note that the mansion is not ADA compliant and there are stairs to climb to get from the outside to the main level and then each floor has a set of stairs a landing and then another set of stairs. There is no elevator or ramp to get into the building or up any of the stairs. I had the owners’ phone number and she met me at 3:15 as agreed with the key to the back door and our room. At that time we were the only ones staying at the place as far as I could tell. My husband and I never saw or heard any other guests in the home. The owner gave me her phone number and advised me to call or email if I needed anything. After picking up the keys I left to go to an appointment and then out to dinner. My husband and I returned with our luggage at 8:45 pm. We parked in the back of the house walked through the snow and ice covered yard to get to the back steps which were coated with ice. Our key worked in the door and we went to our room. In Chicago the night of February 12th the wind gusts were up to 44 miles an hour, the temperature was 23 degrees outside with a wind chill of 8 degrees. The windows in room 22 are large and old and even with the shades pulled down they did not protect from the cold winds coming in. There was no phone in the room or from what I could see there was no available phone on either the first or second floor of the house. Other rooms were locked so there may have been a phone that we did not have access to. I was not getting cell reception that night as there was an ice storm. The internet was not working. There was one light blanket in the cabinet, no blanket on the bed only a sheet and the combination of the two was insufficient to keep us warm. We slept with our coats, clothes and socks on. The floors in the bathroom are stone and were freezing making the shower and the tub unuseable for bathing. We had no slippers. The internet did not work so I could not make a wifi call or email the owner. The next day when I got a cell signal I notified the owner and when I returned the night of February 13th there was a heavy duvet on the bed but the room was still well below 65 degrees that was with the small basket gas fireplace running so again I did not shower. I checked out on the 14th as planned, returned the key and received an email statement the same day with the charge of $1,109.43 which was the agreed upon rate times 7 days. We had only stayed two days and I had not signed a credit card statement for that amount. Nor had I agreed to pre-pay the five days. We were not scheduled to stay the second part of our stay until February 20th but she billed the whole amount on February 14th . I contacted the owner the same day on February 14th and told her I would not be returning for the February 20th-25th portion of my stay because of the freezing room, the inability to be comfortable enough to take a shower in the bathroom as it was so cold, no internet, no elevator and there were several other small problems. The room was not set up for comfort. The TV was in a large cabinet that was next to the side of the bed. So one could not sit in bed and watch TV without having to turn your head totally sideways. There were limited TV channels. Comfort is important for a long stay and overall we were not comfortable so I contacted the other hotels in the area and set up a stay at Hilton Home 2 Suites for February 20-25th. After some discussion the owner issued a credit of $416.17 charging us $693.26 for a two night stay which is $346.63 a night. This was much more than the $135 a day plus tax she quoted and well above the rates of other hotels in the area. Her defense of this higher rate was that she discounted the rate because we were originally going to stay two blocks of dates which totaled 7 days but only ended up staying two nights and not returning for the other five days. Prior to our stay she had not communicated that the rate was based on the length of stay. We notified her on February 14th that we would not stay February 20th – 25th and our reasons were valid. If the room was comfortable and not cold and if we had internet as promised we would have stayed the additional five nights. It is unfair that the owner decided to charge us $346.63 a night after we agreed to $135 a night plus tax which is $158.44. She increased the agreed upon rate by $188.19 per night or 118% increase in price per night. This was billed to my credit card without me knowing or expecting it. There was no prior discussion it just showed up on my credit card. Subsequent efforts to reach out to the owner have been fruitless. I did end up with bronchitis two days after staying in room 22 which was freezing and am currently on a Z-pack and other medications so I definitely made the right choice by not returning. We checked into the Hilton on February 20th where I am very comfortable. The Hilton Home 2 Suites at 123 E. Cermak Rd. adjoins Mc Cormick Place and is really nice. I wish I would have booked there from the start and not have had to go through all this with my credit card. Citibank has been good about handling the dispute which is ongoing. For anyone who wants the experience of staying in an older mansion, you might enjoy The Wheeler Mansion if the weather is reasonable. I am not sure if the air conditioning in the summer can cool the room since it could not adequately heat the room we were in. I can say from experience I would not recommend booking this place in the winter. I am really disappointed in the owner and the way I have been treated. There are a lot of hotel choices in the area and the way she chooses to operate is not going to serve her well in the long run. Public trust is important and how the owner chose to handle my credit card, increased my room rate per night 118% from $135 a night plus tax to 346.63 a night after the fact and without my knowledge gives me pause for concern.

I booked a room at the Wheeler Mansion for tonight for my daughter, who was going to be working tonight and tomorrow at a convention at the nearby McCormick Place. The room was booked through Expedia. I was excited for her because of the attractive but non-refundable price (the price had dropped significantly yesterday from the Wheeler Mansion's normal rate), the included parking and breakfast, the interesting looking property, and the proximity to McCormick Place. We understood that it is not a conventional hotel, but rather a converted mansion. I pointed out to my daughter that she would have to be there before 7 pm, as the front desk is only open from 7 am to 7 pm. She contacted me at 4:25 pm Chicago time to tell me she was at the Wheeler Mansion, but that Wheeler Mansion was not answering its phone, nor was the front door open, nor was there any response to knocking at the door. She found a number to call in case of emergencies, but that number was disconnected. There were some lights on in the building, but no sign of anyone present. Over the next 45 minutes, my daughter and I, and eventually Expedia, called the Mansion repeatedly trying to get through, but there was no response. I could understand if the person at the desk had to leave the desk for a moment, but when it is impossible to get through over 45 minutes during prime afternoon check-in time, the only conclusion possible is that nobody is there. Meanwhile, the minutes were ticking down until my daughter was due at McCormick Place, and she needed to change clothes and organize herself for the evening convention work. Fortunately, although it took some time to accomplish, Expedia came to the rescue and was able to book her in an alternate nearby hotel. Needless to say, this experience with Wheeler Mansion was very disappointing, and truly unacceptable. My daughter eventually made it to McCormick Place on time after checking into the other hotel, with little time to spare, but the added stress on the both of us was significant. I could not possibly recommend the Wheeler Mansion unless there is some explanation of what the heck happened.

Originally built in 1870, the Wheeler-Kohn Mansion is one of the last remaining stately survivors of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The residence was among one of the earliest constructed in the South Prairie Avenue neighborhood, home to Chicago's early mercantile and industrial barons and Chicago's first "Gold Coast" during the last quarter of the 19th century. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1998 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Today, the house serves as one of Chicago's few intimated bed and breakfast hotels, operating as the Wheeler Mansion. Located at 2020 South Calumet Avenue, the ornate mansion is a reflection of the opulence that abounded in Chicago during the late 1800s as the city transformed from a frontier city to an internationally recognized manufacturing and production giant. Calvin T. Wheeler, a successful banker and President of the Chicago Board of Trade, commissioned the house to be built by a local architect, Otis Wheelock. It was inspired by French architecture of the 19th century. Wheeler sold the house in 1874 to Joseph Kohn, a successful clothing wholesaler, who maintained its luxurious status for 34 more years. Later, the house was sold to a publishing company, then to the Murphy Butter and Egg Company in 1944 for use as a warehouse. Finally, in 1997, just as the property was about to be torn down to make way for a parking lot, it was purchased by Manor Home LLC. After two years of extensive renovation and restoration, the Wheeler Mansion opened as a bed and breakfast in 1999 in all of its new and reflective elegant glory.

My husband and I stayed here while visiting a friend in chicago, the place is really nice and very welcoming , the service is really great. The staffs are very accommodating and friendly. The manager, cecil is so nice and very approachable you can call her anytime if you need something and she will give you the specific location when you ask about directions. We really had a great stay, the place is near downtown too so its so convenient.

My friend and I recently stayed here. We made a reservation prior to staying. We stayed in a room on the main floor. Our room was incredibly dusty. So dusty that dust balls were hanging off the lampshades. The beautiful wood floors had dust balls moving around the floor when we would walk. I’m sure I don’t even need to describe the dust on the curtains and shades as we tried to let the light in our room. It looked as though no one has cleaned that room in quite some time. There is no denying that this place is a beautiful place. However, with all the places there are to stay in Chicago, you would think that every single place would do their very best to make your stay the best it could be. I feel that the room we stayed in has been neglected for a very long time. I guess we will have to find a different place to stay on our next visit.

This place gets all the big things right. This is really a perfect location- and a very unique one- if you are in town for a game or concert at Soldier field (walking distance) or a trade show at McCormick place. It’s a very cool and well restored mansion left over from when this neighborhood was the original “Gold Coast”. There are a handful of other surviving mansions around, but none you can stay in. I think the building itself is perfect, and the price was reasonable. In the morning, it’s an easy walk over the bridge for a nice run or bike ride along the lake. They even have bikes available at this B&B. But, the reason we gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because of a few of the smaller details as previous posters mentioned. A simple change would be to offer eggs cooked to order in the morning. That would cost like $5. They had an attendant there, but she said they had no eggs available except the scrambled ones they had made 2 hours earlier. Or, just someone who knows a bit about the areas to recommend a good restaurant, or tell us how to get on the lake path, or simply have the bikes ready and clean and pumped up. Even conditioner in the shower would be a simple improvement. If there had been an actual owner or manager present at the facility during our stay, I’m guessing these smaller details would have been handled more professionally. Instead, they seem to have gone with the model to have lower paid and less trained staff handling the day to day, and the two we met seemed weak and confused. Again, they did the big things well, and the hardest part I’m sure was the big investment they put into remodeling the mansion. Too bad they don’t spend a bit more each year on hiring 5 star staff to keep it going.

We stayed here in June for the Shake Lake Country music festival. Nice cozy feel. Private backyard- patio to have BYOB cocktails. Sat on rod iron chairs and sipped drinks and brought cheese and crackers pre- festival fun. This hotel does not have a bar or restaurant so be prepared with your own provisions. Which was fine for us. Walked few blocks to the festival grounds. Nice safe and scenic stroll.

We stayed at this beauty of a place in October. The neighborhood is conveniently located by the convention center. It was beautiful antique furniture inside and well decorated. The beds were comfortable and the place was clean. It's right next to a well kept dog park. Quiet and peaceful. Breakfast was great. I would stay here again.

Do not let this B&B fool you, the rooms are infested with spiders and furniture that is in disrepair. The description online described a plentiful breakfast, but instead I was met with cold eggs, cold sausages, and customer service that did not remedy any of the issues we had during our stay. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!

Fabulously decorated in period antiques, each room is an adventure of its own. This historic hotel books fast, has few rooms, and is in a quiet residential neighborhood only a six-minute walk from McCormick Place. You'll find excellent breakfasts (cooked on-site), and the quiet enjoyment of a terrace and two lovely gardens (in the warmer months). This is an experience you'll surely cherish for many years!

2020 South Calumet Avenue Chicago IL

Hotel highlights

  • Walking distance to McCormick Place and Soldier Field
  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking

Located in South Loop, The Wheeler Mansion is within a 5-minute walk of McCormick Place and within 15 minutes of other popular attractions like Wintrust Arena. This 4-star hotel has 11 rooms and welcomes guests with free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking.


Dining

Free buffet breakfast is served each morning from 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM. At the end of the day, relax with a drink at the bar/lounge.


Rooms

Guests can enjoy a flat-screen TV and stay connected with free WiFi. Pillowtop beds sport premium bedding and the bathroom offers a hair dryer and designer toiletries. Other standard amenities include a private yard, an ironing board, and a desk.


Property features

The Wheeler Mansion features free WiFi in public areas, conference space, and coffee in a common area. Free parking is included with your stay. Front-desk staff can assist with securing valuables, tours or tickets, and dry cleaning/laundry. Other amenities at this luxury hotel include an arcade/game room, a library, and a terrace.

Room options

Luxury Suite, 1 Bedroom

Twin 1 | Sleeps 2

Luxury Room

Queen 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

70.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 121 reviews