Club Quarter’s Chicago Wacker Location Offers Premium Hotel Amenities and Service at a Moderate Price
When the Chicago Marathon coincides with the commencement of a huge international trade show, finding a moderate priced yet centrally located hotel can be a challenge. I finally opted to try the well located Club Quarters on East Wacker, a hotel I had passed numerous times.
Club Quarters is a member hotel the public can book when rooms are available. Many organizations and colleges, including mine, belong and offer discounted rates to members/alumni. Club Quarters has 17 hotels in prime locations in major US cities and London. And, I mean prime. Rockefeller Center, World Trade Center or Wall Street in NYC; Chestnut Street in Philadelphia; Trafalgar Square or Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. The Club Quarters on East Wacker is located in a historic building with an amazing view of the river – probably a better view than the pricier Trump Hotel across the river. There’s another Chicago location in the Central Loop area on West Adams.
Club Quarters shares the building with the River Hotel. The lobby is the same, but the properties are accessed via different elevators. Since I was entertaining clients during the trip, I didn’t get to try the ground floor restaurant, Bella Bacino’s, but it always looked busy. The outdoor seating area with heaters was tempting.
When I began researching rates for the trip my usual moderate hotel, The Monaco, was coming in at $250+, similar to other hotels of its level for my dates. I was able to book a Club Room at Club Quarters for $139.
The Club Room is sort of like being in a dorm or a cabin on a boat, but without the claustrophobic V shape. The room is well designed with a small desk, book shelf and ergonomic chair. I loved my little bed berth, and would even have been fine with the slit of a window with a brick wall view – but I must have been backing the elevator shaft. After returning from my free afternoon exploring Armitage Avenue to relax in my room, I realized the entire wall was vibrating.
The very helpful, friendly staff at the front desk immediately moved me into a Standard Room with an amazing view of the river. This room was more spacious with a table and chair. As I unpacked, I noticed more amenities rarely available in hotels of this price point. A Keurig machine with my favorite Caribou Coffee pods, a simple alarm clock with iPod dock, and plenty of outlets. This Club Quarters even has good sheets; unlike the scratchy sheets I experienced at the Philadelphia Club Quarters, a year earlier.
A purified water station is available on each floor, as is a closet full of extra blankets and other items. Ice is available from a machine in the sub-basement. There’s also a fitness and laundry room.
The Club Living Room features complimentary refreshments Monday through Friday, including biscotti, snack mix, M&Ms and wasabi peas. There’s a coffee machine with a lot of options. Since I was at the Philadelphia Club Quarters on a weekend, I’m not sure if the offerings are standard or vary by location.
The hotel is near many transportation lines, including the rail line to the Convention Center and an O’Hare Blue Line connection via a variety of lines that stop nearby.
Although marketed as a business hotel, the weekend crowd is relatively mixed, but by Monday the families were gone and the clientele was more professional looking.
For business and other travelers who want a comfortable, well-located hotel with great service at a moderate price, it makes sense to check for a Club Quarters in your destination city.
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