Chicago - Dec. 12, 2017
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Random Motel/Hotel Review: Residence Inn O'Hare

Residence Inn O'Hare.

HOTEL OR MOTEL: I could never get to the bottom of this. I finally spied "hotel" on the website, but I believe that the word is couched for a reason (I'm sorry, but this place feels more like a motel and I think they know it). Also, it is an "extended stay" hotel. "We thrive on long stays."

VENDING: Nonexistent in the traditional sense! This is my beef and part of the whole "extended stay" thing, in that it is almost more like a large apartment complex with an unattached front desk. The only goodies and pops and even the "business area" (lol; it's 2015, the sad monster desktops sit in a hall by the requisite hall bathrooms) cannot be accessed from each room! NO! One must go in bad "I'm tired and thought I was in for the night" clothes and bad hair for a long walk outside through the parking lot that circles the building to that front area. I drove! (Note: less fun to stay in hotels by O'Hare in late December). A knockoff try at assorted sundries and toiletries and a cold case for pops and such does exist by the front desk in the "lobby."

LOBBY: I must say that do like the faux hand-carved (looks like it should be outside a Cracker Barrel) bench that sits outside the front door so welcomingly, though we all know it's for the smokers, don't we? You can smell the smoke.

Once inside: very small. A lone employee is moving at the speed of sound to do about 75,000 things while the phone rings off the hook and another slew of O'Hare expatriates lean over the desk vying to be next in line. Okay, not always a line, but one can safely say this place is understaffed.

There is a crackling fake gas fire roaring, though, a few feet from the desk in a thing, near a tiny set of soft benches. Beyond that, a room full of tables, rife for the nightly specialty events: 6 - 9 p.m. Monday - "Come down for a drink and snacks and have fun! Get to know residents"! Tuesday, it's free dinner! Chicken wings and veggie burgers (OMG, they really did have veggie burgers; dry, and also, those fall-apart buns, but GD bless them!) Wednesday night is "International Night" and I didn't even really want to know. But the staff was the sweetest - they mingled and poured beer! Someone's preteens were all up in the specialty night coolers, taking as much free stuff as possible. Seriously, did those boys really want all that yogurt?

Also, a few of those hide-away from everyone (yay) booths with flat-screen TVs while you eat alone and check your phone and pretend to be having fun meeting neighbors.

BED: 3 stars! King-sized (I think; I've never had a real bed). Comfy; a bit on the soft side, but i'm quite dandy alone in it. Also I'm all about white linens - particularly ones that don't smell too perfumey. These were more on the chloriney side in terms of scent, but they were fine.Pretty and a nice warm extra fleecy backup blanket, too.

Oh, and rockin' down pillows! Four of them. I'm even allergic to down but couldn't get enough of the most perfectly firm/soft moldy pillows in the world.

After my first night and an allergy event, I did call the desk to see if any non-feather pillows existed. They sent up a foam pillow that was like a superball, so that was out. So in the end, I think their feather pillows have been my favorite pillows in all my life.

BATHROOM: Okay, here's the thing: with progress comes loss. I guess because bathrooms are now built to be wheelchair accessible, it's just all different and not cozy; a great big room with ugly cold tile floor and nothing but the toilet. I mean the tub, yeah, but the sink is like a week away outside the door.

towels.JPG But the real issue was that damn exhaust vent. First, you can't turn the light on without the loudest-ass exhaust fan going on with the light. You're just stuck hearing it. And, say, you want to relax and take a bath. Yeah.

And the other thing is, all the neighbors' to-do's coming through that bathroom ceiling vent. Like stinky. Like weed. So, yes, the place is nonsmoking. In theory.

But best maintenance man, ever! When I asked him if all the rooms were truly nonsmoking, he offered to put a new filter in the furnace! (Furnace?! Honest to GD, I thought that was an inaccessible porch behind that door. No, I did! I only knew that door had a keyhole, was locked and there was no key.)

VIEW: Beyond the pines, a great view of the back of Target (the Target semi-trucks line up and pull in for your viewing pleasure, and only use their loud semi-truck horns once in awhile). Beyond that is Allstate Arena, which you can't see too well, but you could run into backed-up traffic from hell if it's a wintry night when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is there. Like tonight.

LIM.JPG TV CHAINED TO DESK? No! Best TV ever! Made for the elderly or people with bad vision. Huge.

(Watching Long Island Medium on a massive HD flat-screen when I've never had cable? Priceless.)

EMERGENCY EXIT CARD ON INSIDE OF DOOR? Yes.

SPECIAL FEATURES: So many! The good behind the "extended stay" is that this place is really like having your own studio apartment. It has it's own kitchenette! A full adult kitchen - more adult than I've had in apartments (because microwave and also complete dishes, cookware, dishwasher, sink, large (ugly) stainless steel fridge but a big fridge nonetheless! Coffeemaker. (Most important!) And all the little condiment helpers. Even dishwashing powder (Do you call it that? I have never used dishwashers). Even an electric stovetop! (I made tomato soup! I microwaved Amy's organic meals (there's some irony there). I made a kickass fancy salad with a knife that was actually sharp (my knives are always dull) . . . for a dinner party!

I replaced the weak pouch complimentary coffee with my fancy coffee and fancy creamer and fancy honey because . . . I'm fancy? But seriously, so cute they give you regular and decaf pouch coffees. (They are cute.).

Did I mention I like having a kitchen? It could make me want to cook. It's not as cozy all open with the bed not too too far away, but still.



ONE GRIPE: The floors are too thin. Who builds hotels? Like, who would do that? I have a loudwalker with a dog above. I can just tell it's a "he".



PERKS: Because a lot of people stay here extendedly, there are no early morning vacuums and minimal housekeeper action to wake you up early when you don't have to wake up early. Also, a "complimentary" (it means tip them!) shuttle to O'Hare and a straight shot to the Blue Line that way, baby. It was weird being alone on the shuttle and I got a talker from Homewood-Flossmoor who hates Chicago. Hates Chicago. He was slightly crabby but in a funny way, and he can't wait to move to Orlando, near where his parents moved. That's right. But I digress.

LUCK: I wasn't near an elevator (they're loud). Also, the inn was not very full of customers in my wing. Sweet.

WEIRD: To smell the neighbors' dinner cooking coming in through the bath vent.

WOULD I RETURN? Yes.

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Send us your random review, hotel/motel or not.

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Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on January 5, 2016


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - An Odd Call From Bermuda.
SPORTS - All Is Not Forgiven, Bears.

BOOKS - Turning Points Of The Civil War.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Baxter's IV Bag Shortages.


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