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Before the Marriott devaluation of its flight and hotel travel packages, I was able to exchange my Marriott points to Alaska miles and a 7-night hotel certificate. The redemption of the 7-night hotel certificate proved difficult for me because most of my trips are either of short duration or I usually transfer to different hotels in one trip. It was timely that a week-long business trip came along in Chicago before the expiration of this certificate.
I was able to redeem my 7-night travel certificate at Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/ River North for a High Floor Suite Room, which normally costs around 170 USD per night but was a bit more during my stay due to a big conference happening in Chicago at that time. I was not able to redeem this travel certificate over website because of some technical glitch, but the redemption over the phone was a breeze.
The hotel is in a prime location at 410 North Dearborn St and easily accessible from O’hare Airport through the blue “L” trains to downtown Chicago. It is less than a 10-minute walk from Clark/Lake Station. The hotel shares the same building with Springhill Suites. There are a lot of restaurants and shops around the hotel. In fact, I was surprised that a famous restaurant where I will meet some of my colleagues is only across the street.
Room: High Floor Suite Room
The check-in process was easy and I was given a “High Floor Suite” room located on the 21st floor. In my opinion, the room is only a bigger version of a normal deluxe room found at the other hotels, but is equipped with a kitchen and a larger sofa. According to the Marriott website, the hotel was constructed in 2008 and was renovated in 2016. The room is acceptably clean but there are signs that it is an older hotel. The room is ideal for long term stay and also for small families.
The breakfast is basic with cereals, eggs, sausage, bacon, ham and pancakes as expected of hotels in United States. The servers were very attentive to the needs of the guests. When compared to other breakfast menu found in North America, I think their breakfast is above average.
The hotel is equipped with a 24-hour gym facility with fairly decent cardio machines and free weights. This is perfect for those who want to keep active while on business or on vacation.
Pool and Jacuzzi
The pool and jacuzzi are located adjacent to the gym. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to use these facilities so I won’t be able to comment on them. I did notice that the pool and jacuzzi were unoccupied most of the time when I visited the area.
The Residence Inn Downtown Chicago/ River North is in a prime location accessible to most tourist attractions. Although the hotel does not promise a luxury stay, it does provide the basic amenities to make a stay as comfortable as possible for a Residence Inn.
Jayson set his foot on a plane when he was 12 year old and loved it ever since. His ardent wanderlust had helped him explore the world amidst his busy work schedule. He does not mind travelling solo to explore what every city has to offer. Although he was introduced to the world of miles and points on a later time, it did not prevent to learn to use points strategically in his travel. His trips were immediately transformed from economy class and hostels to luxurious first class and hotels, and never looked back.