Living the (Un) #SPGLife at The Tremont Hotel in Chicago

By Plush Adventures 

Walking back to the hotel on Friday night, I hear the words I never anticipated, “Can we go home now?”

Rewind 9 hours; having driven in from the suburbs, we are walking towards our hotel for our one night staycation for Memorial Day Weekend. The staycation is action packed with kayaking on the Chicago River with Urban Kayaks, having dinner at Bub City, a new Lettuce Entertain You BBQ restaurant and then rounding out the night with seeing Hangover III.

Walking up to The Tremont Hotel, which is located just off of the north end of the Magnificent Mile, we are impressed. The hotel also has a Mike Ditka’s restaurant attached; we will be having breakfast there in the morning. The hotel is part of the Starwood chain of properties, but is not branded as a Sheraton, Westin or any of the other brands. Was this a “yellow flag” that I should have caught when booking? We have all come to expect a specific level of service when staying at a Sheraton vs. a Westin vs. a Four Points and so on. But, location, location, location was the main driver coupled with price in booking this hotel.

Entering into the lobby, it has a classic feel with wood flooring and a narrow single door entranceway.

A swift check in confirming the $99 rate which included Wi-Fi and continental breakfast at Ditka’s, we are up to our room. If only the elevator ride would have been as swift as the check in.

The hotel has two elevators: one for guests and a service elevator. We quickly learned that the service elevator was faster. Unluckily we were on the 12th floor; so taking the stairs was not going to be a regular option.

Upon entering the room, the lack of maintenance welcomed us quickly. The furniture was damaged and showing sever wear and tear, the paint was peeling from the ceiling, the ceiling fan had been replaced with a different size (and no touch up painting to cover the change had happened) and there was some gunk leaking out of the HVAC vent.


Running late for kayaking, my plan was to deal with this later. Kayaking was amazing but bone chilling. Upon returning to the hotel, it was time for a hot shower.

Lots of hot water, great water pressure and a non-cling shower curtain; what could go wrong…the water doesn’t drain and before I know it, I am up to my ankles in water.

Fast forward and it is now roughly 9 hours after check in and I hear, “Can we go home now?” After a little negotiation, we decide to stay the night. The negotiation included me not saying anything to the front desk about our concerns as I was informed that we were not changing rooms now at 11:30PM.

Wait, the first positive is coming. The bed was amazing!

After a busy day and a good nights rest, we were hungry and looking forward to breakfast at Ditka’s. What football fan wouldn’t like this place?

Surrounded by great football memorabilia, we settled in for our cold continental breakfast. Our room rate included two. In comparison, rooms without breakfast were selling for $89, so $10 for 2 was a good deal considering that the listed price was $9.95 per person.

The choices were limited and tasteless. Investing the additional $10 in going somewhere else would have yielded a better ROI.

Overall, Starwood needs to evaluate the impact that this property is having on brand value. The location is fantastic, the beds are good but everything else associated with this property is challenging. If you are looking to stay at a Starwood property downtown Chicago, they have many wonderful ones to choose from as I have now stayed at all of them.

Has anyone else stayed here?

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