We took a quick weekend trip to visit our son in Chicago recently and wanted to compare 2 different hotels that were located near him. We booked our second night at the Thompson Chicago. Thompson is part of the Boundless Collection of hotels under the Hyatt properties umbrella.
I would describe this hotel as a Luxury Midcentury Modern hotel and could imagine the cast of Mad Men seated in the Lobby with a cocktail (and a cigarette, lol). This vibe really appealed to me when I was choosing the hotels for our stay.
The Thompson is a Category 4 Hyatt property with award stays listed from 15,000 – 18,000 points per night. Since it was the more expensive of the 2 hotels for our weekend, we opted to use a Hyatt Free Night Certificate to book our stay. This saved us $440 for the room rate, numerous different taxes, and a $17 Amenities Fee.
The Amenities Fee includes:
- High-Speed Internet and WIFI
- Local Newspapers
- 24/7 Access to Hotel Fitness Center
The Thompson is located at 21 E. Bellevue Place in Chicago’s luxurious Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel is walkable to many shops, restaurants, and transit options.
Arriving at the Hotel
From the moment you approach this hotel, it is visually pleasing. A team of Valets are quick to assist with parking your car, which is $75 per night. The Lobby is large and impressive with a busy hub of activity all around, The Osteria Nico is immediately to your right, the Salon Nico Bar is straight ahead past a grand stairway and the Front Desk is to the left.
Although this hotel is beautiful, I didn’t feel it was quite as warm and welcoming as the Hotel Lincoln where we had stayed the previous night. As World of Hyatt members with status, the Front Desk Agent offered us a 2pm late check-out, but we were not offered bottled water or a complimentary room upgrade. I checked the website and there were better rooms available.
Because this was a fast and furious 2-day trip, we did not find an opportunity to try either of the dining options at the hotel.
Salone Nico – Touts itself as a midcentury modern wine and cocktail bar with rustic Italian fare. It is located beyond the grand stairway inside the hotel Lobby. They offer an interesting selection of cocktails, several beer options, access to the exceptional Osteria Nico wine list, and a variety of Bar Bites.
- Smash Burgers
- Marinated Olives
Nico Osteria is an upscale Italian restaurant located in the Lobby and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The chef-driven menu specializes in fresh, sustainable seafood, house-made pasta, and whole-grilled branzino.
We booked a King room with a City View. The room was big, open, and very modern. The room was so big it felt like we could have done some ballroom dancing in the center. A huge difference from the very compact Hotel Lincoln that we had stayed at the night before.
The bed was incredibly comfortable with plenty of fluffy pillows. We also had a large sectional with a coffee table, a mini fridge, an espresso machine, and a wall-mounted TV. The TV and refrigerator cabinet seemed oddly small in proportion to the room and were located pretty far away from everything else.
The Espresso machine. I was so excited to try out this gadget. Although I followed the instructions to a tee, after 5 attempts with only hot water in my cup to show for it, I gave up. We ended up getting coffee from Nico Osteria in the Lobby.
The bathroom was fresh and modern with white subway tiles all around. The shower was enormous and equipped with large refillable pumps of Bowmakers bath products. It had a large rainshower head with amazing water pressure as well as a handheld shower wand. There was 1 rough and scratchy bathrobe and an adequate supply of fluffy bath towels.
There was plenty of space on the vanity for 2 people to spread out their toiletries as well as shelving below to stow away any larger items. I can’t find any fault in this bathroom except that the lighting was awful for putting on makeup so I ended up using a mirror located outside of the bathroom.
The closet contained all the usual goodies like ironing supplies, a luggage jack, and a safe. There was also a large umbrella which was a thoughtful touch!
Here is a peek at the view from our wall-to-wall windows. Blackout panels can be drawn at night to keep the morning sun at bay if you are inclined to sleep in.
The Thompson is a beautiful hotel with a great location. Our room was spacious, comfortable, and well-appointed. The bed was super comfortable and the bathroom was perfect (except for the dim lighting). Based on the room alone, I wouldn’t hesitate to book future stays there.
But it is on the pricey side, so had we not used a Hyatt Free Night Certificate, our one-night stay would have cost us around $550 with the Amenities Fee and Valet Parking. To make future stays at this hotel affordable, I would either book with Hyatt points or a Free Night Certificate and would probably look into alternative parking options.
They lost me at check-in. There were 3 Desk Agents on duty and there was nobody else waiting when we approached. The Desk Agent was not at all cheerful or welcoming, seemed to want to rush us through the process, and didn’t offer us any information about the hotel or dining options. I am not trying to be an entitled snob, but she also missed the mark and did not provide us with some of the perks that we should have received with our Hyatt status. We jump through a lot of hoops to earn those benefits.
So would I stay here again?
There are a lot of hotels available in Chicago which is why we wanted to compare a few for future trips. Even though our room was pretty small, Hotel Lincoln won this round, by being sincerely friendly and very helpful.
But I would give The Thompson another shot. I would like to think that our meh check-in experience was the exception and not the norm. The hotel location is fantastic, within walking distance of where our son lives, and we really did enjoy our room.