I think 4th of July weekend in Chicago is one of the worst weekends to review a hotel. However, I found myself staying at the InterContinental Chicago on July 6th for my brother’s wedding. My family members stayed for several more nights, but with the $150+ a night price tag (even with the blocked room discount) I decided one night was enough.
The location of the InterContinental is clearly its top selling point. Located on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, the hotel is just steps from shopping, restaurants, the river, and other tourist attractions. However, this also makes the entrance the most congested area imaginable. The number of tourists in Chicago 4th of July weekend was astronomical, and I found myself dodging shopping bags and maneuvering myself around strollers just to get inside the hotel.
The InterContinental has two towers – the historic tower and the new tower. After spending time in both, I think the historic tower should be renamed the old tower. My room was in the new tower and was a good $50 cheaper and much more clean and modern. The historic tower has more suites, but the carpeting and fixtures were clearly more dated. The annoying thing about the two towers was the separate elevator bank. To go from my room in the new tower, to see my parents in the historic tower, it took at least 15 minutes and I had to cut through the lobby. The wait time for an elevator ranged from 5-15 minutes due to the overcrowding of the hotel with 2 weddings at the hotel each night.
Weddings at the InterContinental are classic and conservative. The ballrooms are elegantly decorated with crystal chandeliers and I can see why it’s such a popular location for weddings. I was worried the food was going to boring hotel fare, but I was pleasantly surprised. My dinner consisted of a mushroom consommé, beet salad, and bone marrow crusted filet served with multiple glasses of champagne. There was nothing bland about that!
The rooms at the InterContinental are nothing over the top. I was lucky to have a Michigan Avenue view and two Queen beds for my friends to sit on as the after party moved into my room later that evening. Most guests at the InterContinental won’t be spending much time in the room since there’s so much to do in this amazing city. If I had one suggestion for the InterContinental it would be to increase the level of accessibility for guests using wheelchairs and walkers. It was extremely difficult for one of our family members to get back to his room and enter the restaurant.
If you’re looking for a hotel in the best possible location that’s family-friendly and you don’t mind navigating a crowd, then look no further than Chicago’s InterContinental.
Address: 505 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611