The Crowne Plaza O’Hare
More Pleasure, More Business
In this divided trip report
Part One: The Pleasure
- Part 1
- Two o’clock in the morning. I love this time of day. Honestly.
- The Cathay Pacific, American Airlines Lounges… and a five-hour delay
- AA87 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International (Premium Economy)
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- A photographer’s paradise? The Central Camera Company
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Airplane Art Extra: From the Balcony of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Back to the Bunny, British Airways Lounge
- BA294 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow (World Traveller Plus)
- Wait. My Bag is Re-Flighted???
- Part 2
Getting off the plane at O’Hare, I hurried down to immigration – as I wanted to beat the queues.
Because queues and this airport could mean either a short passenger or the full two-hour special.
Alas, with our plane in at 5:18 pm, the queues were everywhere. Nonetheless, I cleared the biometric passport entry in a hurry (and without the black cross of shame for once).
What did hold me up was luggage delivery, with no one paying attention to priority tagged bags.
Another 30-minute wait and my two bags finally popped out of the carousel. A quick load up, and I was on my way.
US Customs was mostly painless, with me grunted through. A mostly painless experience – if not for the crappy luggage delivery times.
My next stop was getting to the hotel for the night – the Crowne Plaza O’Hare. In retrospect, I should have booked something closer to town – but with it nearly 17:30 and my day in Chicago in the bin, what else could I do at this point?
Again – there’s no point getting angry – it’s time to recover and re-plan.
I took an Uber over from O’Hare to the Crowne Plaza – cheaper than keeping the Chicago Taxi Mafia happy (and dealing with paper money when the only thing I wanted to do was charge my account).
In short order, I made it to the Crowne Plaza – with 6 pm closing in.
Crowne Plaza O’Hare
I went into the hotel and was welcomed by the reception team who happily welcomed me and began the check-in process. My payment was cleared, and I was offered a choice of a drink at the bar, or points.
Considering my IHG points pile is still meagre (compared what it used to be in the past), points are always a good idea.
With a room near a lift and high floor selected, I wheeled my luggage down to the lifts, and up to the room.
So, the room … is a pretty standard room. There’s a king-sized bed to flop out on, a sofa, TV, coffee maker. In fact, all the things that I’m used to in a Crowne Plaza.
And sometimes, having little stable things in like this is welcome. Especially when exhausted from travel.
But after a long flight, long delays and a wait, I did all that I could do. Sat on the sofa in the hotel and collapsed for an hour.
Wi-Fi was provisioned through the hotel. I used the code provided by the reception staff to connect to. Whilst I didn’t speed test it – it seemed like it was working within reasonable tolerances, and I was able to stream
Moving onto the bathroom, whilst the bathroom itself hasn’t changed… the amenities have changed!
These items were pleasant to use and seemed to smell good enough and non-offensive.
Whilst I didn’t stop at the hotel for drinks or dinner, I did wander out to Schiller Park to empty a Walgreens for… stuff, and also to re-plan my next few days.
When your trip is compressed, time limits do focus the mind well, as well as what you want to buy. With some of the bits I need for the weekend obtained (as well as instant noodles… because… well).
With me back at the hotel, I settled in – and dozed off for the night on the sofa watching Cartoon Network. Well, it beats the depressing Brexit arguments and anything on the news networks doesn’t it?
Alas, with my sleep pattern all over the shop, I was out for around 6 to 7 hours. Not ideal, but I felt rested – and ready to deal with a busy day in Chicago.
I stayed in the hotel prepping stuff until about 10:30, before heading to check out.
Check-out was handled quickly and efficiently. With minimal fuss, I was on my way to the next hotel.
Overall: Sometimes when you get off a flight you need a reliable bed and known quantities in a hotel that you can fall into without much thinking. The Crowne Plaza O’Hare has been a favourite crash-pad of mine for some time due to its cost, location and ease of access, as well as consistent experience.
And that’s a winner in my book.
Next: One of my favourite haunts in Chicago – The Central Camera Company.
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