Earlier this Summer I travelled around the USA with some of my best friends, this is the first post of many giving advice on where to stay, starting with a review of the Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago.
We decided on the Hard Rock Hotel after already considering a few factors we wanted in our accommodation in Chicago. As it was the first stop of our trip and a big city, we we knew we wanted a hotel so started with a simple search on booking.com. *I would really recommend however be sure to look in the fine print for any additional charges attached to booking that aren't included in the initial price. We refined the search through, location, stars and then basically what we thought looked like a good fit for us. When we saw the Hard Rock, we knew the name so could rely to a certain extent and it looked cool as well as labelling itself as a bit of a 'party' hotel based purely on the fact it often hosts live music acts in the lobby bar.
When we arrived the location was even better than I had been able to figure out on google maps. We chose to stay in 'The Loop', the Hard Rock sits right on North Michigan Avenue which is the main street running through the loop so it was a perfect spot. When you first walk in, the lobby is dark but romantically decorated, with a massive nod to rock and roll with a lot of gold, purple and grey which, as much as I would hate to live in it, it makes for a really cool hotel.
We were greeted by the bellmen and taken right to the front desk. The guys at the desk were all really, really fun and helpful and wanted to do anything they could to help us out during our stay and even gave us free wifi codes for the whole stay and as internet people that was the perfect welcome present.
Our room was on the 16th floor, which at first I thought was really high, but be in Chicago a few days and it will feel like the ground floor. We dumped our many, many bags at the door and got exploring and photographing our beautiful room. I have no idea why, but my favourite thing about hotels, well after the crisp white sheets, are the bathrooms. This didn't disappoint, the hotel did a great job of making it feel luxury whilst a little bit edgy to fit with the Hard Rock theme, I loved the granite free standing sink area, I want one for my house.
Speaking of crisp white sheets, oh my goodness these beds. Pictures do not do this area of the room justice, it was so clean and minimalist and the perfect place to rest your head and feet after a long day in the city. Every day the beds were perfect and for America, which famously lacks duvets the duck down comforter definitely felt more than cosy enough.
I fell in love with the view out of our huge window straight away, the building with the American Flag on top is actually the Chicago Tribune building and it has a special place in my heart, I loved waking up to it in the morning and seeing it lit up at night. The river was also in view, along with the busy street below, as you're in the city, that's what it is meant to be like, you can enjoy beach and country views elsewhere.
I will say as two, sometimes three girls staying in a hotel room the large desk area quickly turned into a dumping ground for all things beauty related & honestly we really missed a mirror, but we got over that. Even though we didn't spend that much time in the hotel room, it was nice to have a big TV to relax and get our TLC fix on whilst we were getting ready and especially in those first few jet lagged days and there was lots to watch for free.
In Chicago, it's all about the architecture which I will go into a lot more on my post about the Architectural boat tour coming up. The Hard Rock is in one of many historical and beautiful buildings and you can read about all of them on the plaques on the walls at street level. Even though I love the hotel and the building itself, probably my favourite thing about the Hard Rock was the location, that is probably the main focus the whole time I was searching for accommodation, but we hit the jackpot here, for the middle of a city it was so bright and open and was a great spot for being dropped off and picked up from the airport too.
If you turn left out of the hotel down N Michigan Ave, you will hit the beautiful Public Library, Millennium Park and the Theatre District within a few blocks. If you make a right, you can head to the beautiful views of the Chicago Tribune, the Trump building or take a cruise down the river and beyond that do some great shopping in magnificent mile.
I mentioned at the start that Hard Rock marketed itself as a bit of a party hotel, I would say definitely don't let this put you off. There is amazing live music and a cool bar and patio for you to enjoy it, along with table tennis and other fun things in the lobby, but you can completely avoid this if you chose to and we couldn't hear a peep in the rooms. If you state you are concerned about noise when booking they can put you on a high floor too I'm sure.
I also want to give special mention to the concierge, they were very helpful in any questions we had as we were finding our feet for this trip in the first few days and he even got us some great deals on food and tickets.
Overall I had an amazing time and think that the Hard Rock is an amazing spot to stay in Chicago, I would definitely stay here again.
Location - 5/5
Service - 4/5
Facilities - 3/5
Cleanliness - 5/5