Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North

 Below is my review from June of 2017!

 

Farther down you will see my 2016 review of this hotel.  That was such a bad experience, I posted on this website.  But I feel one quick to criticize should be equally as quick to compliment.  And after my bashing of this hotel regarding my June 2016 stay, I feel it is only fair to now share the other side.

I travel to this area of Chicago once a year.  To say my experience in June of 2017 as compared to my experience in 2016 was different, is a complete understatement.  In fact, a total 180 degrees.  As a frequent, Marriott  dedicated, traveler, I’m not sure I was ever as mad leaving a property in 2016,  And I let everyone from Mr. Marriott (jk) on down know about it.  This year,  What an Outstanding stay!  Seems  the franchisor (WL) made some much needed changes in their management team.  It showed in so many positive ways, including upbeat employee attitudes!

From the pre-arrival email, to my actual arrival on Dearborn street, to the front desk, to the room, to my check out  It was all perfect.  My compliments to all the staff, with a special Kudos to Matt.

Again, I could not be happier with the changes made at this property.  And I look forward to my arrival next year.

I (NOW) HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL!

John

 

Below is my review from June of 2016!

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Please note, what follows is my personal opinion based on my first-hand experience.

 

As such, in my opinion, the worst run Marriott property I have ever stayed at.

Let me start by saying, I love Marriott properties.  In fact, unless forced to (like my trips to Noida, India), I ONLY use Marriott.  Out of all of them, Residence Inn is my favorite “brand”.  Let me also say my time is very valuable, and normally I would never take the time to write such a review as this.  But today, I will make an exception.

On June 11th ,2016 I “checked in”, a day in advance, using my Marriott app to the Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North .  Once done I received a confirmation that I was good to go, arrival time, 2 PM, the next day, June 12th.  On June 12th, I arrived at the hotel around 2:15.  Now before I proceed, let me put this into perspective, with a huge trade show in town, THIS IS THE SINGLE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR AT THIS HOTEL (as I was told).  But guess what, even though I had “checked in” already, even though I received email confirmation, no rooms available at 2:15.  What shocked me was why?  The housekeepers didn’t start till 9:30 AM.  Now I am not a housekeeper, nor am I in hotel management, but I do have some common sense.  And that common sense would tell me that on the busiest day of the year maybe a good idea to start the housekeeping staff earlier?  You know for a fact that at least 10% of the people checked out before 8 AM, if not 20%.  Staff could have been cleaning those rooms.  Or how about having extra housekeeping staff on hand.  Some call in sick?  Call a sister property, ask them to send some staff over.

Of course this is something a good manager would have thought of in advance.  Or at least in hindsight, oops I made a mistake, let me fix it immediately.  Maybe they would have except one problem.  The manager took the day off.  Yes, that is correct.  THE SINGLE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR, THE MANAGER IS OFF.

Well, stuff happens, so you would assume the Assistant Manager would step in and fix, right? Oh wait, I’m sorry, the Assistant Manager is off today also.  Yes, this is also correct.  THE SINGLE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR, THE ASSISTANT MANAGER IS OFF PROPERTY.

Okay, well thankfully the Front Office Manager, the third person in charge at this hotel I’m told, is able to handle.  Right?  Oh wait, I’m sorry, even the Front Office Manager is off today.  Yes, this is also correct.  THE SINGLE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR, THE FRONT DESK MANAGER IS ALSO OFF.

So in case your counting (or still reading) THE SINGLE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR, THE TOP THREE MANAGERS ARE NOT ON PROPERTY.  Did I mention that I think this is the worst run Residence Inn in America?

So I am asked to wait to check in.  “It could be 4:00 or 5:00 sir”.  When I mention that I am a Platinum member of Marriott, I am told by Ta—–, verbatim “almost everyone is a platinum member sir”.  I had no idea that gaining platinum status was so easy.  Here I thought that the 75 days per year I sleep at a Marriott property meant something.  Sadly she gave me the impression it doesn’t.

At 3:15 I asked for an update, “sir, you are on page 8 of my list, we are only on page 4”.

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Bags – waiting for a room!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did my room at 4:20 from Ka______.  She had quite an attitude, though in her defense, I am sure in part due to everyone dumping their frustration on her. And really I was grateful to get into my room then, unlike the people in these photos.  Who were still standing in line to get their room at 6:10 PM when I snapped this photo.  Amazing the level of incompetence, in my opinion.

 waiting for a room!!!

And more bags, waiting for a room!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at this long, long

Look at this long line waiting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could give 10 more examples of how this terrible situation could have been handled better (like why was a housekeeper dusting in the lobby while rooms still needed to be cleaned), but I will stop here.  Guessing I’ve said enough.

Bottom line, if this was my management team, I would be issuing pink slips.  The gross negligence of the staff is incredible, again, in my opinion. I only hope that someone cares enough about the Marriott brand, as I do, to make a change.

On the positive side, the room is very nice.  Location is great.  Some of the staff, like Felipe, who handled my bags, were very nice.  Elydia at checkout was helpful.  I really felt bad as they were the ones who got the brunt of the poor planning the management team made.

In my opinion, no reason whatsoever for such a gross neglect of job responsibilities.

In my opinion, the worst run Marriott property I have ever stayed at.

 

Again, this is my personal opinion.