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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicago, Illinois / ORD airport -- Crowne Plaza

Status perks
I was told I had been given an upgrade to a suite when I checked in. The agent also provided a beverage coupon with my already prepared key packet. I asked if my room was on the executive floor, and he said that there were not any suites available on that floor. He said that the suite I had been assigned was a better room, and that he would code my key for access to the club lounge. He also said I would receive free Internet, and that the parking fee would only be $10 per night instead of the normal $23.

from entrance; bedroom on left
Room
looking toward kitchen area & bedroom door
view from the bedroom door
The room was fabulous! The living area contained a couch, soft chair, tall pub style table with two backless chairs, long desk with chair, large coffee table, flat screen TV, and a kitchenette. There was a sink, fridge, and microwave in the kitchen area with plenty of counter space. A large safe in the room was big enough to hold a laptop. A second flat screen TV, soft chair, dresser, night stands, and king size bed were in the large and separate bedroom. The bedding and pillows were plush and comfortable. I think this was the most deluxe bedding I have experienced at a Crowne Plaza. It was impressive and I slept well. The large tile bathroom contained a walk in shower, and tub. The bathroom vanity was the length of the wall with plenty of counter space. My room was a handicap suite on the 6th floor. I don't usually care for the handicap rooms because of the bars and higher toilets; however, I was glad to have a suite. The guestroom door from the hall was not very soundproof, and I could easily hear noise coming from the hall. I think this would have kept me up at night, except that the suite had a bedroom door, which I was also able to close. The walls between the rooms were soundproof; just not the guestroom doors. I could not hear any of my neighbors from inside the room, although I could hear voices through the doors from rooms when I was in the hall. The airplane noise was minimal.
vanity and walk-in shower

Food & Beverage
There was plenty of comfortable seating in the lounge, with posted daily specials. There was a beverage and food item on special both nights of my stay. The service was good, and the salmon dinner entree I had the first evening was excellent. I had calamari the second evening, which I would not order again. I inquired about the preparation of the calamari, and the bartender told me it was flash fried. It was greasier than I expected.

Club lounge/executive floor
This is only the second Crowne Plaza I have stayed in that did not have an executive lounge with snacks, bottled water, etc. during the week. The front desk agent did code my key for lounge access after I inquired about the lounge; however, after checking the room out, I learned why he said the suite I had been given on a lower floor was better than a regular room on the executive floor. I did not see the guestrooms on floor 12, although I did visit the club lounge (as it's called at this hotel). The room was not staffed, and did not have any amenities--not even water or coffee. There was a copy machine, although I could not get it to work. There was plenty of comfortable seating and tables in the room. If you are traveling with colleagues and need a place to get together without the need for a large private room, this would be a great room for that.

Business center
The business center consisted of several office machines (computers, printer, copy machine) in an open area across from the lounge. All of the machines required payment for use. I was able to get a few copies from the front desk after I was unable to get the machine in the club lounge to work. There was a locked business center room adjacent to the business center with a note on the window. It appeared that the closed room was available to rent. 

Fitness center
The fitness center was located in the pool area with several cardio machines with cardio theater. Sani-wipes, towels, and water were available. There was a separate weight room with several weight machines and hand weights. The posted hours said that the rooms did not open until 6 AM; however, my key worked before 6:00, and I was not the only guest using the fitness center before this. I was happy with the equipment, although the cardio room got a little warm after 1/2 hour. This room was in the pool area--in its own room; however, you had to walk through the pool area to get to it. The weight room was located in the hall before the pool room. I observed a microwave in the hall outside the weight room. I wondered if this was for guests to use. There was not any seating nearby.

Overall
I was very happy at this hotel and would choose it again. The bed was superb, and the service was great. There was a fresh water machine in the vending area on floor 6 for no charge. Chilled water was available 24 hours a day!