After spending 5 unpleasant nights in the Chicago Marriott on Michigan Avenue, and one night in the Hilton Garden Inn on Grand Ave, I can honestly say, the Hilton Garden Inn won me over, hands down. Why these 2 hotels? Well, the Marriott was selected by Dr Desert Flower's corporate office HQ out of Dallas - they seem to love Marriott, and don't appear to mind that the WiFi is not free, the pool & hot tub are being repaired and are unusable, the rooms are tiny, the beds are uncomfortably squishy, the superfluous bed pillows are strangely shaped and unusable for anything, the rates are exorbitantly expensive ($300 a night), and local calls are not free. Even as Marriott Rewards member, my membership card has no "toll free" number on it for customer service. Seriously, no toll free number? Lame, on all accounts.
The Hilton Garden Inn, we stumbled upon after emerging from the Red Line Grand Ave station, 2 blocks away from the Marriott. As I am a Silver HHonors member, we called them Monday night, and secured a reservation for a $100 less a night than the Marriott where we were staying for our 'extra night' that both DDF and I were taking as vacation. For a $100 less, what did we get? A room that was nearly double in size. A bathroom that was larger than a broom closet - nearly ADA compliant in its spaciousness. Beds that had dual "firmness" controls, for His and Her sides - which helped my lumbar enormously. A bell man who held our bags while we toured the Shedd Aquarium and Millennium Park. A pool that was not under construction. A fitness center that had a doctor's office scale where I could weigh in our checked luggage to make sure it was Just Under 50 lbs. And a location that was adjacent to the Red Line subway station. Excellent on all accounts. Oh, and they provided free cookies at the reception desk, which I abstained from indulging, but it was a nice touch never the less.
I see no reason to ever stay at another Marriott, willingly, again. In my personal perspective, Hilton provides better rooms at lower prices, in Chicago, Hartford Connecticut, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Charleston SC, Greenville SC, Detroit, and Hong Kong (each of which, I have stayed in a Hilton, or Hilton partner AND a Marriott, at one time or another). That's a pretty substantial sample size. I'll go with my gut, and avoid Marriott going forward.
1 year ago