Le Méridien Chicago – Oak Brook: Perfect, but off-center

End of this business trip in the United States and, as I like to save the best for last, here is this Meridien hotel inaugurated two years ago in one of the most chic suburbs of Chicago, namely Oak Brook, in the North-East of the city.
Before I knew the area, I wondered why locate this chain in the suburbs? Easy: many offices in the area and especially a chic and international clientele. My colleagues are now fans!

Booking

I made the reservation a few days before my arrival on the SPG website. The reason is simple: no previous availability for the lowest category rooms, and last minute cancellations meant that rooms became available.
At $159+tax per night, it’s a bargain, especially considering the rate paid at ALoft Bolingbrook.

Arrival

The hotel is easily accessible, close to I-88.
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The arrival formalities were a bit complicated, again because of my credit card limit problem.
But again, everything was done in a very cordial manner. I paid the first night’s fee in cash, before dealing with my bank the next morning.
As I said, a charming and personalized welcome from the receptionist.
As an SPG Platinum member, I was assigned a Club room and given a welcome letter.
Since the hotel is equipped with a Club Lounge, I will choose the points as a welcome gift for Platinum members.

Room

The room was located on the 7th floor of the hotel, a Club floor, and was really perfect.

The entrance is spacious and bright.
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The sleeping area with its very comfortable bed is well equipped, including a clock radio that can play music from an iPhone.
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The relaxation area is also well equipped, the armchair comfortable and the espresso machine a real plus after 2 weeks of American washing.
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Finally, I will note on the office space several USB plugs, a must today to recharge one’ s numerous devices, and international format plugs that allow to do without converters or adapters.
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The bathroom was also spacious, a little too much so. The shower was nevertheless very pleasant.
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To finish, a virtual visit of the room in video:

Lobby and common areas

The lobby, although quite small, is rather bright. A restaurant is next to it and a nice terrace is available in the summer, as it was during my visit, something quite rare in American hotels.

Public areas such as corridors have been given special attention… The devil is in the details!
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I have not tried the fitness room at this property, but it does have one.

Restaurants

As the hotel has a Club Lounge, this is where I would have my breakfast and a few drinks in the evening.
It is located on the top floor of the hotel and adjoins the hotel’s flagship restaurant/bar.
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The Club Lounge is accessed by simply swiping your room card at the door.
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The place is very successful, very pleasant, on the tones gray, taupe and cream.
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The offer is very qualitative in the evening as well as in the morning, nothing to do with the usual lounges at Sheraton or Westin in North America.
Here, for your information, is an extract of the evening’s selection. Note that the hotel also offers free wine and beer, an unusual practice in US lounges
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And here is my selection that evening:
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Services

I did not use the spa services, but be aware that the hotel promotes them heavily. However, the prices charged and the opening hours seem to me to be incompatible with a clientele that travels mainly for business.
The dry cleaning service I was able to use was of excellent quality and for a very reasonable price.

Departure

The departure formalities were simple: the invoice was both printed and sent by e-mail.

Conclusion

A great experience in this suburban hotel… Who would have thought? This is the establishment I will stay in for sure on my next business trips for this client. And I highly recommend it… Except if you want to visit the city, because it is a bit far and especially located near a very busy highway, which means that the trip to the center can take between 20 minutes and 1h30.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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