My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.

  • Highlights
  • Lobby
  • Room
  • Hotel Space / Ambiance
  • Food & Drink
  • Fitness
  • Miscellaneous


HIGHLIGHTS: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel

This was an experience to forget, and I won’t be coming back. So many small issues, especially for a Renaissance-class hotel, which I consider part of the medium to higher end Marriott property. Positive highlights include the lobby scent, and that’s about it. Plenty of room issues, disappointing food options in lounge, sad breakfast, and fitness room lacking in weights and functional machines was just offputting. I will be sure to stay elsewhere the next time I am in Chicago.



Entering from the south, you walk past some businesses such as Wow Bao and the Fedex Office they have. Head up the stairs and you’ll enter the Renaissance Chicago’s actual lobby, with check in desks on the left. Nowhere was this made clear so as I’m entering on the basement level corner entrance I was just confused. They were booked up and had no upgrades available, which was another problem. If they know people with status are checking in, they should already have issued upgrades already.



Basic King room, boring street views, low floor. This room does not have a proper desk(!) so I had to cobble some weird table things together to function as such. They do have a refrigerator and coffee maker, but no microwave, which is a $25 extra fee. They don’t have one in the lounge either, for guests to use. Internet was free due to status, but had pesky Hilton-like issues on my devices which kept disconnecting and requiring login. Very frustrating. Bathroom did not drain properly in the shower, either.



There were plenty of business travelers here, being close to the heart of downtown Chicago Loop. It had a very professional vibe in the lobby area.



As I was offered $10 credit or 1,000 points, I took the points, but I did check out the lounge on lobby floor next to the elevators. They serve breakfast at 6:30am, but it wasn’t anything special. Eggs, Bacon, Oatmeal, Cereals, etc. I expected better, usually lounges have more variety or breakfast is at an actual restaurant. They do serve appetizers in the afternoons and evenings, with desserts in the late evenings. The main entrance area also has a bar right inside. I decided to eat outside though, since Chicago is known for such great food.



Gym is located on the fourth floor. Entrance requires your room key, which you can also see the pool area. Either there isn’t a yoga room/free weights area, or it’s locked after certain hours? Either way, pretty stupid. Additionally, at least one of the machines was not on or functioning properly. I only checked two of the cardio machines, but still.



a pizza in a pan

Lou Malnati – Malnati Chicago Classic, Deep Dish

Well, I learned not to trust the Renaissance Chicago so I won’t be staying in this one or any one in the future. I expect a certain standard when staying in hotels, but this one could not even meet those most basic requests. They were apologetic at my checkout, but that does not fix my two nights. Additionally, I would not recommend Midway Airport (sorry Southwest) due to its complete lack of good food. While they are renovating and building new food options, the current ones were just sad. I could not find a deep dish pizza or anything outside of American or a couple token burrito or sushi places. I would recommend Lou Malnati’s for deep dish – it’s something I get every time I am in town.

Lastly, I feel I should note that a manager messaged me later offering points and thanking me for my feedback. But, I would rather not have issues in the first place.




Featured Image of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, good enough for three meals. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

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