The best hotel deal this past week was my stay at the historic Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. Typically, I think of 100-year-old hotels having miniscule rooms where your luggage may have to sleep on the bed with you. Not the case at The Blackstone, a Renaissance brand hotel, where the room I stayed was a spacious 500 sq. ft. Executive Deluxe room with a comfortable layout and modern conveniences.
Renaissance Blackstone was $290 after tax when I booked on Marriott.com. I selected this hotel for Chicago after seeing a high probability for a successful Look No Further best rate guarantee claim based on a competing online travel agency $138 rate at easyclicktravel.com. Marriott reduced the $138 competing rate by 25% and my $290 hotel room rate at The Blackstone dropped to $120.79 after tax.
The Blackstone, a Chicago hotel with history
Chicago has three prominent historic luxury hotels in The Palmer House (1871-73), The Blackstone (1910) and The Drake (1920). Palmer House and The Drake are Hilton brand hotels.
View of Blackstone Beaux-Arts architecture (photo credit: Blackstone Hotel).
The Blackstone is a Marriott Renaissance brand hotel. Both the Blackstone and The Drake were hotels owned by Tracy and John Drake.
The Blackstone is right of the street lamp on South Michigan Avenue. The large building complex directly behind the street lamp is Hilton Chicago, the largest hotel in the world at 3,000 rooms when it opened as The Stevens in 1927. Conrad Hilton purchased The Stevens in 1945. Hilton Chicago now has more than 1,500 rooms. In the 1980s, the Hilton hotel was remodeled and many of the older rooms were doubled in size.
The Blackstone has 332 rooms and Michigan Avenue facing rooms on the upper floors have great views of lake Michigan.
The Blackstone is a Beaux-Arts style hotel named after Timothy Blackstone, President of Central Illinois Railroad, who once had a mansion on the site where the hotel is located.
Elevator floor tile with large B.
From the moment I arrived, I felt the hotel environment was special. The doorman greeted me and carried my luggage up the stairs through the revolving door. Check-in was smooth.
First thing that caught my eye in the lobby reminded me of the playful Aloft hotels, except with a classic formal lobby way-back time twist.
The Blackstone pool table and fireplace in the lobby.
The historic hotel was purchased by Sage Hospitality in 1999 and underwent a $128 million renovation. Today, The Blackstone is one of Chicago’s prominent hotels with a good location for McCormick Place convention center and easy walking distance across Grant Park to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears stadium.
The second floor stairway looking into the lobby.
I stayed on the 11th floor of the 23-floor hotel. My room faced the Hilton Chicago across Balbo Avenue from the front entrance of The Blackstone hotel. Looking east from my room window revealed a view of Adler Planetarium and Lake Michigan beyond Grant Park.
Executive Deluxe room.
The bathroom featured a large open marble-tile shower stall.
The wallpaper in the bathroom is somewhat psychedelic in black and white.
There was only one chair in the room, which was fine since I was a solo traveler.
The large circular mirror is a room piece I adore.
I would request a second chair if I were staying with my wife. The room had space.
I walked from the fitness center 6th floor down the stairway and found each floor with something interesting to view.
Grand Ballroom at The Blackstone.
The Blackstone Chicago is a Marriott Rewards category 7 hotel at 35,000 points per night.