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joby

Hotwire Hotel: 3.5* Chicago (Magnificent Mile - River North) Club Quarters Wacker at Michigan

By joby,
in

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Hi,

We (2 adults) will be in Chicago arriving July 26 and departing July 28 (2 Nights). We will be arriving/departing at Union Station. We are going to a White Sox game, shop, eat, go to Chinatown, maybe Lincoln Park zoo and the Notebaert museum. We will have a CTA pass for transportation.

What area would you suggest we stay in? We want to keep the price under $140 on Hotwire or Priceline, the less expensive the better. Price. location and cleanliness are our top needs, anything else is gravy :)

On Betterbidding's Hotwire site I found: 2*-4* and prices between $104-139 for the following ares: Downtown/Mill Park, Mag Mile River N, Mag Mile Water Tower, Loop/Theater. Are these the areas that would work for us the best?

Suggestions?

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Generally, I tend to recommend staying North of the River (Mag Mile/RN, Mag Mile N/WT, Gold Coast) due to the fact that there's more going on later into the evening. The Loop is fine, but it does get quiet later at night, especially the West/South Loop. Additionally, some hotels in the West Loop are a tad out-of-the-way (although there is nearby transit.)

If you are not planning to be out at night much and there's a fairly sizable spread between prices North of the river and South of the river, the Loop can be considered. Additionally, if you are leaving/arriving via Union, then you will be closer to Union when arriving/departing, as the Union's in the West Loop. One suggestion near Union is the French Market in Ogilvie Transit Center (the other large transit station, which is actually a block or two North of Union), including one vendor I particularly like, Wisma (http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/vendor/wisma).

In terms of hotel, would you rather be North of the River (which will take more towards the $105-120 neighborhood for a 4*) or South (which would be cheaper - probably around $80-95.)

There's also the Green City Market next to the South end of the zoo on Wed/Sat (http://www.greencitymarket.org/). I'd recommend the Zoo - it's a really nice zoo (and, unlike just about anything else downtown, free.)

aaronthankouthree

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Thanks for the suggestions, Aaron.

We will probably be out until maybe 10 or 11 pm, nothing later. Doesn't really matter where we stay, just convenience and cost. Less money would be better, but not in exchange for a good location. Would you suggest HOTWIRE or PRICELINE (name your own price)? Whatever might be good for our needs.

What would you suggest?

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AaronJB can confirm and add more information, but generally anywhere in the NMA zone will be convenient, with the Loop zone being a second choice (usually if the NMA zone is prohibitively expensive or there is something much cheaper in the Loop zone).

If you're willing to accept a hotel anywhere in PRICELINE's NMA zone then PRICELINE will usually be a little cheaper than HOTWIRE... if you'd like to have specific amenities, have the added assurance of seeing some user reviews (to know it's one of the better ones in the zone), or to have a guess as to the hotel you may receive, then HOTWIRE will cost a little more give you access to this additional insight.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

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AaronJB can confirm and add more information, but generally anywhere in the NMA zone will be convenient, with the Loop zone being a second choice (usually if the NMA zone is prohibitively expensive or there is something much cheaper in the Loop zone).

If you're willing to accept a hotel anywhere in PRICELINE's NMA zone then PRICELINE will usually be a little cheaper than HOTWIRE... if you'd like to have specific amenities, have the added assurance of seeing some user reviews (to know it's one of the better ones in the zone), or to have a guess as to the hotel you may receive, then HOTWIRE will cost a little more give you access to this additional insight.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

Yes, it would probably worth a few dollars to have a little more assurance that we knew what we were getting, maybe up to $10/night is all though on Hotwire. We really don't need much in the way of amenities, just the location and cost and safety. As I said, anything else would be gravy :)

This is what I found today on Hotwire:

3-star Hotel in Downtown Chicago - Millennium Park - Grant Park $111/night

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Laundry Facilities (self-service)

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Handicapped parking

---------------------------------

2-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile Area - River North $106

Free Parking

Pet friendly

High-Speed Internet Access

-----------------------------------

2-star Hotel in Downtown Chicago - Millennium Park - Grant Park $111

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

-----------------------------------------

2-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile North - Water Tower $129

Free Internet

Pet friendly

Restaurant(s)

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible path

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Handicapped parking

------------------------------------------

4-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile Area - River North $134

Free Internet

Boutique Hotel

Smoke Free Rooms

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the blind

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Wheelchair accessible

Accessible bathroom

Roll-in shower

--------------------------------------------

3-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile Area - River North $135

Fitness Center

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

In-room accessibility

Roll-in shower

------------------------------------------

3-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile North - Water Tower $136

Free Internet

Boutique Hotel

Smoke Free Rooms

Restaurant(s)

High-Speed Internet Access

---------------------------------------------

4-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile North - Water Tower $139

Smoke Free Rooms

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the blind

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Handicapped parking

Roll-in shower

-------------------------------------------

Would any of these be any better than the other as to location versus cost or value?

Thanks and I appreciate the help and suggestions.

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4* Mag Mile/RN - likely Felix

4* Mag Mile N/WT - Allerton

2* Downtown/Millennium - Possible Travelodge?

3* Mag Mile N-WT - Tremont

3* Downtown/Millennium - Possible Congress?

2* Mag Mile-RN - Likely the Hojo (Howard Johnson)

3* Mag Mile-RN - Possible Inn of Chicago.

In terms of the Downtown/Millennium hotels, I see a 4* for $107 (the price you see may vary slightly) in the Loop-Theater District Hotel w/:

Pet friendly

Boutique Hotel

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible bathroom

Roll-in shower

That would be a likely match for the Allegro. Not the most convenient property - it's in the West Loop and there's not much around it - but it's the nicest (and cheapest) of the properties in the Downtown/Millennium or Loop-Theater zones. There is public transit right there and it's a very easy walk from there to Union Station.

In terms of 3* Mag Mile-RN, when searching for 2 adults and 2 children, I'm seeing a 3* w/:

Free Internet

Indoor pool(s)

Fitness Center

Pool(s)

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

Laundry Facilities (self-service)

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the blind

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Handicapped parking

Roll-in shower

This would be a possible match for the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, which is not as convenient a location as the Inn of Chicago, but is a nicer hotel and right next to a train station.

Let us know if you have any questions before purchasing.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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Thanks for those guesses--some I guessed the same as you and some not :)

What would you suggest as the best bet in our case? Would you go with Hotwire or would you try Priceline or do you have another suggestion? We're really open to most anything--we just need to keep costs low and convenience higher, in a decently pleasant hotel. As I said we will be using public transportation and walking only.

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The Felix is in a really good location that I like between the River North and North Michigan Ave areas, but it gets noticeably mixed reviews (largely due to small rooms.) The Allegro is a nice, well-reviewed property but not in the most convenient location (although if you don't mind walking and taking public transit, it's fine and will be right near Union.) So, of the 4*'s, it's either a well-reviewed Kimpton boutique in a so-so area or a so-so reviewed boutique in a really good area.

I wouldn't book any of the 2*'s, especially given that there are much higher rated properties for similar prices.

If the idea of staying near Union Station where you are arriving and departing appeals and don't mind somewhat more of a trek to get around, I'd consider the Allegro.

If you are okay with the idea of the Felix, I'd suggest bidding for a 4* in the River North-NMA area and seeing if you could get something for $105-120 range, although I'd start bidding lower - $80 - and moving higher by $5's.

Please let us know if you have any questions before bidding/buying.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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Aaron,

Could you tell me a little more on the Allegro and its location? How far would it be to get the L to say Chinatown or the White Sox game? Is it a far or unsafe walk in the evening say, around 9-10 pm to get from the bus or L and back to the hotel? In my first post I mentioned what we will probably be doing while in Chicago. It would be nice to walk back to the hotel after dinner or shopping and not feel scared or unsafe :) What are your thoughts?

Is $107 for the Allegro a decent price or does it usually go for more or less?

Would we be likely to get the Felix for a fair amount less than the Allegro at around $107 + tax/fees? The only thing that worries me a bit about the Felix are the reviews on the front desk and I read some cleanliness issues too.

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Now it looks like the possible $107 Allegro is gone from HOTWIRE.

This is what I found today:

4-star Hotel in Chicago Loop - Theater District $118

Pet friendly

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

What do you think it might be? Would it be a better option for our stay? What should I do now HOTWIRE, bid on PRICELINE, wait it out a few days and see what happens on HOTWIRE?

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This listing has not yet been ID'd/reported to the board - I'd guess the Palmer House, Hard Rock and possibly W City Center would be possibilities, although the Palmer would probably be the most likely if this is one of those three.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

Your two choices are:

HOTWIRE - somewhat more expensive, but you know what amenities the hotel offers and can make an educated guess as to which hotels are showing. Additionally, there is some benefit that the Michigan Ave. area is split into three (Gold Coast, Mag Mile N-WT, Mag Mile-RN) versus the broader River North-NMA area on PL.

PRICELINE. Cheaper, but you have to be willing to stay anywhere within the selected zone at the selected rating.

Are any of the HOTWIRE possible hotels of interest?

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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Thanks Aaron for the reply.

Would the Palmer, Hard Rock or W City be any better or well located than the Allegro was? Is the $118 price decent for any of those hotels? Overall, do the prices and available hotels look reasonable for our dates?

Sure, any of the other Hotwire hotels would be OK, assuming the location is good and the cost is a good deal.

We're just trying to get the nicest hotel and location for our needs for the least amount. We're open to any suggestions and help :) it would be nice to get our lodging wrapped up sooner versus later. It makes me a bit anxious to wait until the last minute to have something booked.

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Prices look normal for the busier Summer season.

The W would be similarly located to the Allegro, although the Palmer and Hard Rock would be more convenient (as hotels go in the Loop.)

There's a new 3.5* listing tonight for $109 in the Mag Mile/River North area for $109 (the price you see may vary slightly) w/:

3.5-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile Area - River North

This Hotel features the following amenities:

Free Internet

Smoke Free Rooms

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Laundry Facilities (self-service)

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the blind

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Roll-in shower

This listing has not yet been ID'd/reported to the board, but my guess would be a new amenity set for the River Hotel or Club Quarters Wacker/Michigan (which are both effectively the same hotel.) If that listing is one of those properties, those properties provide small rooms (although if you're not going to be in the room much that may not be an issue), but a fantastic, very central/convenient location on the border of the Mag Mile and Loop areas.

I'd say it's between the 3.5* Mag Mile and 4* Loop options in terms of what HOTWIRE has as of this evening that I'm seeing.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBSEP20
(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

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Thanks!

I also now see another 3.5* Mill. park/Grant Park for $107 it has the same amenities as the 3.5* you mentioned, may idea what it might be? . Would it be any better or worse than the others?

To you, would there be a big difference between the $118/ 4* and the $109 3.5* ?

I really appreciate all of your help and suggestions. It can be hard to make an unknown choice in a big city :)

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Unfortunately, the 3.5*'s are gone this morning and the only reasonable downtown HOTWIRE option appears to be the potential Allegro again, now at $112 (when clicking the $118 listing this morning, it shows a change of price on the detail page and the $112 price, with amenities that now again appear to be the Allegro.)

Potential Allegro:

4* Loop/Theater:

Pet friendly

Boutique Hotel

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Business Center

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible bathroom

Roll-in shower

HOWEVER: The Club Quarters Wacker/Michigan is on sale for $125 on Hotels.com, but coupon code WRI10:AH9FU should work for 10% off = $112.50 per night. (make sure that the discount is reflected once the coupon code is entered.)

The Allegro is a nicer 4* Kimpton property (you can read the reviews of both at tripadvisor.com - the CQ rooms are going to be small), but I think the CQ offers a much better location. There are a number of good breakfast options nearby the CQ Wacker/Michigan and the restaurant-heavy River North area is not that far.

The other HOTWIRE 3.5* you mentioned was likely the other Club Quarters property in the Loop (which is also on sale for the same price on Hotels.com.) The Club Quarters Wacker/Michigan offers a much better location.

Let us know if you have any hotel or city questions.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE, Hotels.com or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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It's funny, I couldn't sleep last night and looked again at Hotwire and ALMOST went ahead and booked the $118 new listing but, kept waivering as I wasn't sure of the actual hotel (maybe the Hard Rock etc.). Now, I kind of wished I did it. Oh, well.

I also looked at the hotels.com site you mentioned and also wondered about spending a few dollars extra and booking the CQ REFUNDABLE rate for $125/night as a back up plan.

So, the Allegro is back up today, the 3.5's are gone, as is the 4* $118. I now have lots of background--- thanks Aaron!--. Armed with all of that info, I think I will watch and wait for a LITTLE longer.

Aaron, does this sound like a plan for Hotwire--

-best choice would be the 4*/$118 (Hard Rock, etc)

-second best 3.5*/$108 ( CQ)

-third best 4*/$112 (Allegro)

If you could give me your opinion on the above or make a different order, I would appreciate it. At this point, my head is starting to spin and I just want to know a plan and I will watch for a little while longer and then decide if/when I see the best option for us and book it.

Thanks so much!

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I think it becomes a matter of priorities. If you are not going to be in the room much and want something nice but don't need something ultra-fancy, the Club Quarters works. Rooms are small and the reviews are a tad mixed, but it's in a terrific location right by the Michigan Ave. bridge. If you wanted to book the refundable rate (although I'd highly recommend double checking the fine print) and having that locked in so that you have something if rates go up and inventory continues to move for these date/s (and rates overall do appear trending a bit higher for these date/s), that's certainly not a bad idea.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE, Hotels.com or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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I think it becomes a matter of priorities. If you are not going to be in the room much and want something nice but don't need something ultra-fancy, the Club Quarters works. Rooms are small and the reviews are a tad mixed, but it's in a terrific location right by the Michigan Ave. bridge. If you wanted to book the refundable rate (although I'd highly recommend double checking the fine print) and having that locked in so that you have something if rates go up and inventory continues to move for these date/s (and rates overall do appear trending a bit higher for these date/s), that's certainly not a bad idea.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE, Hotels.com or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

Thanks! Is the hotel.com sale just a 24 hour sale or is it longer?

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It doesn't note a specific time frame.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

Thanks again. I'm kind of thinking I should just go ahead and book the CQ on Wacker and get it over with. What to do......

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Well, I finally made up my mind after seeing this come up on Hotwire again this evening:) You were correct, Aaron. Thanks so much for your help and suggestions, very much appreciated! It sounds like it will work well for our stay and needs.

Club Quarters Wacker Dr., ---$108/night-- July 26-28, 2013

3.5-star Hotel in Magnificent Mile Area - River North

Free Internet

Smoke Free Rooms

Fitness Center

Restaurant(s)

Laundry Facilities (self-service)

High-Speed Internet Access

Accessible for the blind

Accessible for the deaf

Accessible path of travel

In-room accessibility

Accessible bathroom

Roll-in shower

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Congratulations on your success!

Glad to see you received the hotel you were hoping for and are pleased with the results.

Thank you for sharing your win with the board and helping us confirm this new amenity set for this property in the Hotwire Hotel List.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

Enjoy your weekend in Chicago.

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Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Again, do expect small rooms at this property. However, I think this property is perfect in terms of location - it's right by the Michigan Ave bridge. Cross over the bridge going to the North and you're in the Michigan Ave area. Go South on Michigan Ave from that point and you're soon at Millennium Park and the Art Institute. You're also not that far from many River North restaurants.

There are a number of breakfast options within decent walking distance, some particularly close. The trio that come to mind would be Wildberry (newer and very popular - http://www.yelp.com/biz/wildberry-cafe-chicago), the Pittsfield Cafe (an old-school Chicago diner in the Pittsfield building - cash only http://www.yelp.com/biz/pittsfield-cafe-chicago) or the Rick Bayless casual offering Xoco (http://www.yelp.com/biz/xoco-chicago).

If you are looking for a breakfast treat, somewhat further West (although not that bad of a walk) is the Doughnut Vault (http://thedoughnutvault.tumblr.com/), but that is cash only and they sell until they run out.

If you plan on the LP Zoo and the Notaebert, I'd definitely recommend it, as well, although I'd also suggest browsing the nearby Old Town area, which includes one of my favorite stores, the Spice House (http://www.thespicehouse.com/info/chicago-spice-store.html)

If you need other restaurant recommendations, please let me know more about what you are looking for (style, etc.) Please also let me know if you have any questions regarding directions.

Thank you for using the board's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

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Thanks so much again, Aaron! I don't really think the small rooms will be much of a negative for us this trip, location and cost I think is more important.

I have never heard of the spice shop--it looks interesting. I also don't know much about Old Town.

For eateries, I usually use this website http://www.lthforum.com/bb/index.php I find it lists and reviews some lesser known places that are usually really good finds.

I also have, in the past, used the CTA's trip planner http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/trip_planner.aspx for directions for bus and train travel. Is it still a good site to use?

Itinerary wise, we were kind of thinking of, not in any particular day or order:

1 day going window shopping at some of the high end name stores, LP Zoo, Notebaert museum and dinner someplace in that area or on the way back to the hotel

1 day going to Chinatown browsing, dinner in Chinatown (maybe Lao Sze Chuan), and seeing the White Sox game

Sunday maybe shopping, strolling, Millennium Park, and a late lunch

Maybe fireworks at Navy Pier

We also thought it might be a good idea to have a plan B in case of rain for some of our activities.

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The CTA's trip planner still works well and there are some good apps if you are carrying around a smartphone, including CTA tracker, which highlights a bus route and then shows on the map where the buses on that route are at the present time. That app also offers directions.

Do note that the Red Line South of the city is under construction, so trains are being re-routed, with the green line as an alternative. This link provides a trip planner that considers the work going on.

http://www.transitchicago.com/news_initiatives/projects/redsouth/tripplanner.aspx

If you've never been to the Art Institute, I'd highly recommend it - that's an incredible museum and a very easy walk from your hotel. The Field Museum or Shedd Aquarium (or both) would be a good rain-out alternative to the Lincoln Park Zoo (although I do hope you get to the Zoo - it's a very nice zoo and free is always a plus.)

If you are up for a loooong walk through Lincoln Park, through the zoo and back to Michigan Ave, let me know and I'd be happy to detail it.

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