The Talbott Hotel Chicago Review

The Talbott Hotel Chicago Review

The Talbott Hotel in Chicago is part of the Joie de Vivre brand recently acquired by Hyatt.  This means, in theory, guests receive the same benefits for Hyatt elite status as they would at any Hyatt property.  I found out, however, that nearly a year after the close of the acquisition, The Talbott Hotel still has some work to do.

The property has been updated and the hard product is very well done.  The service is lacking and I am always frustrated by a property that adds a “Destination Fee”, in this case $17.61 on top of the room rate.

Location

The Talbott hotel is located north of the river in downtown Chicago in a very high end area.  Michigan Avenue (the Miracle Mile) is just a few blocks east of the hotel.  A block down is the Four Seasons and Westin.  The area around the hotel feels very safe and there are a lot of restaurants and shopping nearby.

Check In Confusion

I decided to book The Talbott hotel for my two night stay because of the location and extremely low rates.  For the Thursday and Friday nights I was staying, the non-refundable base room rate was $97 per night, $107 for a room with two beds.  I decided to book through a Privé agent.  The Two Queen Beds room was $126 per night (refundable).  It was supposed to come with a confirmed upgrade, free breakfast for two, and a $50 hotel credit on top of my Explorist benefits.

The lobby is located on the ground floor.  The check in desk is in the back past the elevators and concierge desk.

When I checked in around 3:00pm after finishing my ride on the California Zephyr, neither my Explorist status or my Privé booking was acknowledged.  I was assigned a room on a high floor, so I assumed that the upgrade had gone through.  I was assigned room 1512 (the hotel has a total of 16 floors).  After getting unpacked in the room, I realized that I hadn’t been given any sort of upgrade.

I went back down to the front desk and confirmed that my Privé booking and Explorist status showed up.  The first agent had no idea what I was talking about, and asked the manager of duty to step in.  While he was very nice and apologetic, he said he didn’t know anything about it either but would look into it.  I asked for and was given two bottles of water at least.

Later my Privé agent emailed me to apologize and to confirm that everything had been worked out.  I didn’t feel that the upgrade was important as we were already unpacked.  I assumed we were good to go.

We had breakfast in the restaurant the next day and once again checked in with another staff at the front desk to make sure it was all ironed out.  He said that he did see breakfast and the $50 hotel credit on the account (which he said would be applied to the nightly room rate; clearly incorrect), but then told me breakfast could only be taken through the grab and go service which offered three boxed meals to choose from (all priced under $12).  I explained that I hadn’t been told that and that I hoped he would be able to take the breakfast charge in the restaurant off my bill.  He said he would look into it.

Frustrated I again recontacted to Privé agent (who also was frustrated with the property for getting things so wrong).  Soon I received a voicemail from the hotel manager apologizing and letting me know that yes, I could have breakfast in the restaurant and the $50 credit could be applied to any incidentals.  She also sent up a bottle of wine.

Unfortunately after I checked out and thought everything was worked out, I received a credit card charge for breakfast.

I am not sure if the confusion was with staff training, with the computer system, or all of the above, but it made my stay a bit frustrating

Room

There are two elevators in the building.  Each floor has a total of twelve rooms with a total of 178 rooms in the hotel.

While not an upgrade, I did feel that our room was quite large with more space than some of the photos of rooms on the website.

As you enter the room, the bathroom is on the right.  The rest of the room is a large rectangle with windows along the side.

The beds face the TV and mini bar.  The closet is a clever built in, open rack attached to the wall.  Behind the door by the TV is the iron and ironing board.

A table and two chairs sit in front of the windows.  On the table was a delicious bottle of Cave (Spanish sparkling wine) and a note — I’m guessing either because of my status or Privé reservation despite the confusion.

The room and rest of the property has recently been updated and has a 1920’s vibe to it.  It is upscale and well done.

The view, unfortunately, was of the wall of the building next door.  A glimpse of the neighborhood could be seen at an angle.

Bathroom

The bathroom (and the room itself) were a good size for an older property.  You enter just off the room door.

Double vanity with some counter space are along the wall.  Just past it is the toilet and tub/shower combo.

The bath products are Jonathan Adler branded.  Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion all come in large refillable bottles.  The only single use item is the one bar soap.

Restaurant

We had a breakfast and dinner in the restaurant; 20 East.  I found all of the food to be delicious and moderately priced for a hotel restaurant.

The restaurant has a bar and about 15 tables.

There is additional seating in a room off the lobby where you could take your drink or just relax.

Gym

There is a gym in the basement with various equipment including a Peloton bike.

Overall I really enjoyed the property.  Booking with a Privé agent (I use these guys and found them to be very helpful.  I make no commission if you use them) makes tons of sense at this property assuming that the staff get better trained on what the service offers.  Both times I have used Privé my “destination fee” has been waived despite that not being an advertised benefit.

Considering my entire stay after taxes was $256 for two nights and included breakfast and a $50 credit in the heart of Chicago, I think The Talbott Hotel is a very good option.  I hope the staff become better trained so that this hotel can live up to its potential.

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