Review : EMC2 Chicago, Autograph Collection

After a very good, but too short stay at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, this is now the main hotel of the stay, the EMC2. Having the highest Marriott ratings in the Windy City, I had high expectations at this hotel in the Streeterville neighborhood near Michigan Avenue. My expectations were not met, to say the least!

Booking

I booked this hotel a few months before my stay. Due to the Memorial Day weekend, prices were very high in the city, and the EMC2 seemed to be the best deal, with its perfect location and its very design rooms, for about $200 a night, plus taxes.

So I proceeded to book this hotel via the Marriott Bonvoy app.

As my stay approached, I did my online check-in in the application, without any mention of an upgrade. Wait and see.

Arrival

I arrive at EMC2 by Uber from the Ritz-Carlton (yes, I know, it’s less than a 10 minute walk but I’m heavily loaded). No doorman, but I’m used to that in the States.

It is with all my gear that I go to the reception. About an hour before, I received a notification that my room was ready, but asked me to go to the reception to get my passport validated. Upon receiving the notification, I see that there is no upgrade.

When I arrive at the reception, my room key is indeed ready, and the formalities are done. I ask that my Ambassador benefit be in the form of a free breakfast for two, which is much more advantageous than the 1000 points otherwise awarded.

Fake library in the lobby
Rather nice staircase in the lobby

On the other hand, I ask about the view from my room, a must in Chicago. The receptionist tells me that this room unfortunately does not have a view, which is very disappointing. He tells me (after a very, too quick check on his computer…) that there is no room with a view available, but that I could possibly change the next day… No one will come back to me during the stay.

Waiting area in the lobby

Room

My room was located on the 21st floor of the property, and indeed had no view.

An already futuristic elevator
Doormat in the elevator

On the other hand, I am a big fan of the decoration.

A natural speaker to amplify music

The room is not particularly large. After a small entrance, the bathroom is available on the right. It is not really separated from the room, so it is not easy to have privacy if you are not with your partner. At least, something rare in the United States, the toilets are separated and well separated… It is a blessing in disguise.

The entrance, oversized compared to the rest of the room
The shower… And its view of the bed
Very nice decoration of the bathroom
High-quality facilities
Little welcome gift

Then the bedroom, equipped with a large desk and a comfortable king-size bed. No closets either.

King-size bed in the bedroom

The service in this hotel is divided between a classic housekeeping and a service of butlers by robots, which I am a big fan!

You can follow the arrival of your robot on your TV screen

And the visit in video…

Hotel facilities

The hotel does not offer a spa, but a rather well-equipped gym that is a decent size for the number of rooms in the hotel.

The gym wedged between the rooms on the 4th floor
There is no staff… But users will find everything they need to sweat well
There is even a punching bag… To let off steam after an bad restaurant experience?
The tread mills are very close the one from another.

There’s no view.

Catering

The hotel’s restaurant seemed very attractive at first, and we were eager to have, at least, breakfast there.

The reception of the restaurant, rather tempting

The first day, we went there around 8am, but due to a technical problem, we were told to come back half an hour later, which we did.

The bar, really nice

We were seated immediately, and after more than 20 minutes, our order was taken. No gluten-free bread available, even though it is now an international standard.

Another 10 minutes of waiting before having our coffee (not good) then another 10 minutes before receiving our order. If I had to go to work, I’m already late. I always prefer to order à la carte because it’s usually better than a buffet, but you have to be responsive…

Until the disaster…

Precisely, the food arrives and… It’s a disaster! It looks like the omelet was cooked in the microwave, and folded and then bacon bits and plastic cheese were put in the fold.

Ignoble breakfast

It’s a shame!

We talk about it to our waitress… Who brings us a business card with 10% discount for the next visit (cards that are available to all at the entrance of the restaurant …)

In other words, we will not go there again, and we will lose the 36$ benefit per day, which we will spend outside for excellent breakfasts!

Pathetic. And we will never get any response to our claim.

Departure

The departure formalities were simple since there were none, I used the mobile check-out. In fact, the staff didn’t really give any desire for further interactions, not even deigning to say hello to the guests who passed in front of the reception…

Bottom line

A very nice hotel, but a very bad customer experience… I won’t return.

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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