Suites at Ivy have beautiful sitting areas -- too bad for the fire escape backdrop
Don’t get us wrong: Ivy is a solid and sparkly-new property, it’s just not the high-end luxury boutique we were promised. As far as we could see, there was no iPad check-in, no espresso machine (but instead a Keurig coffee maker) and no Lexus hybrids sitting outside for complimentary drop off service.
The rooftop isn’t finished, there’s no spa, pool or fitness center (though you can pick up a complimentary pass for a nearby health club); we knew this about the hotel prior to the visit, but it bears repeating since these all add to the posh factor.
The room we visited showed wires hanging around the mini bar and under the desk; we also noticed ice machines were only on some floors. A real attention to detail – that glorious high-touch seen at hotels like Waldorf and Trump Chicago – just isn’t there.
Luxury aside, Ivy still offers many noteworthy amenities and comforts. A beautiful modern décor runs throughout Ivy’s rooms and public spaces (the lobby and small restaurant are particularly stunning). We also like the hotel’s high-tech features, including service and “Do Not Disturb” requests via push button, TVs in the mirror bathroom, automatic lights that trigger on when you step out of bed and automatic window curtains. There’s also rainforest shower heads, a big soaking tub with sea salts, a promising rooftop space and an attentive staff.
Props to Ivy's beautiful and cozy lobby resto/bar with great people-watching views of Ontario Street
Ivy deserves acknowledgment for its sustainable, environmentally-friendly design, too, especially in the hotel’s rooms where we found bamboo flooring under thistle rugs, 100% organic and fair-trade towels, and LED lighting.
Hopefully the hotel will work out the kinks soon and we’ll get to see a more polished side once we get around to staying overnight. We seem to recall Ivy is a first for the family-run brand so there’s the learning curve to consider. But even as the hotel muddles through its start and – fingers crossed – eventually smooths out its rough edges, it’s hard to imagine Ivy will ever be the smallest and most luxurious boutique hotel in Chicago.
We found rates for Ivy Hotel starting at $299 for a Studio Queen.
Photos: Nina Kokotas Hahn