I hope I have posted this in the correct place. I apologize if I haven't.
We are planning to visit Chicago for the first time with our two children (they will be 4 and 9) in the Spring. We are Gold Members and will be staying on points. Based on the many reviews I have read and also based on location, I believe we have narrowed down our choices to the
Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (on Wacker) or
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown River North (on Dearborn)
We plan to stay for 5 nights/6 days. The properties are quite close to each other so the location is comparable. We plan to explore the whole city, do all of the 'touristy' things with the kids, etc. I was thinking that due to the length of stay we may be more comfortable at a property like the Residence (even though the kids would be sharing a pull-out). The breakfast offered at Residence doesn't really sway me to stay there as we have so many places we'd like to visit/eat at, we'll most likely use the breakfast buffet as a quick morning 'snack' for the kids to hold them over until we get to a restaurant.
Would love to have your thoughts and opinions.
Thank you so much for your time.
Oh! One more question, if you don't mind. After reviewing our school calendar and also the Chicago Convention Calendar, we are thinking of traveling either thru Memorial Day weekend or possibly waiting until the 3rd week in June. Is there a big difference in the two and if so, when would you recommend?
I would choose the Renaissance. Not that we've ever stayed at either property in Chicago. (We live there.)
My choice is two-fold.
One...as a Marriott Rewards "gold" member...there will be certain 'perks' available to you. An example,
we stayed at the Panama Marriott hotel and also the Marriott Hotel in Costa Rica. At both places, we were able to access the Concierge/Executive lounge. This gave us breakfast, snacks and a light dinner. Saved tons of $$$.
And two, any room charges at the Renaissance Hotel will give you 10 points-to $1 spent in Marriott Rewards points. This is not available at the Residence Inn. (And if you have a Marriott Visa card...that's an additional 5 point per $1 spent...it's all about the points.
ericajarret - you might find this discussion helpful:
As you'll see, folks love the Renaissance on the river, and I agree!
And here's some Chicago pics to get the juices flowing: Chicago ... A Photogenic Town...
ericajarret - From my experiences in Chicago, I would recommend the Residence Inn on E. Walton -
This facility is - as described, near the "Magnificent Mile" - and closer to great shopping, the John Hancock Tower, Water Tower, restaurants, along North Michigan Avenue, and parking - if you're driving - is quite easy and probably less expensive. Walton is a less busy street than those other hotels on, or near Wacker Drive.
I'd recommend a car for seeing the sights in Chicago, particularly the Navy Pier (for children) on Lake Shore Drive, and particularly the Science & Industry Museum, south of Chicago, Museum of Natural History, Art Museum Sears Tower, Aquarium, etc.
Oh I stayed at the Renaissance on Wacker and it was one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever been to. Fantastic location, and I got upgraded to a River View room for free and it was AWESOME.
I actually took a time lapse with my GoPro from my room during sunset over a period of 2 and a half hours and crushed into 31 seconds. It's at Time lapse from the Renaissance Chicago downtown - YouTube if you're interested to check out the view.
The Renaissance is very nice. I have stayed there several times. It's got a great CL so you can have breakfast, snacks, and appetizers there. It's far superior to the "lock and load" buffet at a Residence Inn. The Ren is in a great location with easy access to the Loop as well as Michigan Ave. I also love the JW on Adams, but that is probably more business oriented and expensive. Definitely try the Renaissance.
Two answers - Anytime you can get the attention of the members you are in the right place (LOL)
I have a personal policy - always choose the Renaissance when both are available. My theory is they "try harder" (to continually go the extra mile to prove they are better than their "parent").
The only Chicago Ren I have stayed at has been their all suite property on Bryn Mawr. Nice place with (obviously) large rooms.
Have a great trip
I have stayed at the Renaissance many times on my trips and find it to be a really good place, agree with all of the other points expressed. It lounge is really good, and the views are terrific. You can walk on the bridge over the Chicago River to river north and be on the Michigan Ave/Mag mile in 5 minutes. I have not stayed at the RI noted by the original poster, so I cannot comment, but in all of my stays at RI's all over the country, I would prefer a FS Marriott or Renaissance (or JW) to a RI. Up to you on renting a car, UBER and other taxi services all work in Chicago (I am there next week) so if you don't want to drive around and deal with parking, getting post, etc, definitely go the taxi route. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions, all have given you some great advice