In October 2011 I was lucky enough to attend the Chicago Seminars.  I didn’t initially book in time to get a room at the host hotel, the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village, but at the last minute I was lucky enough to be able to pick up the reservation from someone else who decided to stay at a different chain.  I was thrilled to be in the host hotel and not have to deal with driving in from another hotel or taking the shuttle bus from the overflow hotel.  For me, every single minute counts, so being able to walk right down the hall and be at the Seminars was a huge gift.

The Hotel Main Areas:

The Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village has a shuttle bus that takes you to and from O’Hare Airport between the hours of 6AM to 10.30PM.  I didn’t time it, but I think the ride was in the 12-15 minute range.  The hotel is located a bit further away from the airport than most airport hotels I have stayed at, but it isn’t too terribly far away.  If you do choose to drive the hotel does offer complimentary parking and seemed to have ample parking spaces.  Even though the Seminars had virtually taken over the hotel, I found the staff that I interacted with to be extremely nice and accommodating.  More on that in a minute. 

Here is a shot of the main lobby as you walk in.  It’s not a “fancy” hotel, but it is certainly a very clean and comfortable hotel.  Notice The Frugal Travel Guy in his Hawaiian shirt at the front desk. The doors off to the right in the photo take you to a restaurant/bar within the restaurant.  I had a few drinks and a meal in there and found it to be totally acceptable for a hotel restaurant.  Can’t beat the convenience!

While I didn’t bring my kiddo along on this trip, I did like that the hotel had a good size indoor pool.  If you veered left a bit when you walked in the hotel, you would be able to see the pool.  It is right in the middle of the action at the hotel, which I also like.  I hate it when you have to go on a scavenger hunt just to find a small pool tucked off in the corner of the hotel.  I didn’t use this pool, but I was glad it was there in case I ever do return with my family.  Which is a possibility for the Seminars this year. 

The Room:

I had a room on the first floor with two double beds.  The double bed was plenty adequate for just me, but if my husband had been with me we would have had to have slept in separate beds because that just isn’t enough sleeping room for us!

The room was also plenty big for just me, but would have felt a bit tight if my husband and daughter had both been with me.  If that had been the case I would have booked one of their larger King Suite rooms.  Those rooms are typically only slightly more expensive at this hotel.  In fact, rates at this hotel are often under $100, so it is not a hotel I would really recommend using points at (unless it turns up on the Priority Club 5,000 points Point Breaks list).  Generally, I would save your points for more expensive hotels, and use cash for affordable hotels such as this one.

Since I always look at things from the point of view of a family traveler, I very much appreciated the in-room mini-fridge and microwave.  Very handy to keep some snacks and light meals on hand for a snacking toddler.  Or hey, it’s super handy for keeping some beer cold, too.  ;)

 

My only real issue with the room was all of the screaming that I heard in the hallway one night.  It was like I was on some sort of Spring-Break-gone-wrong type of adventure.  Between the hours of about 2AM-4AM I heard crying, yelling, door slamming, banging on doors, etc… I just assumed it was from a wedding party I had seen at the hotel earlier in the night, but I have no idea.  There was some sort of Jersey Shore-style drama going on for sure.  I should have called the front desk, but I was so tired and just kept hoping it would stop.  I’m not sure if the doors and walls were kinda thin, or if this group was just really loud, but it was intense.  Thankfully that only happened one of the nights I was there.

The Bathroom:

The bathroom was pretty small, but functional.  It was nothing to get excited about, but it had a tub/shower combo and did the trick.

The Main Reason I Think This Hotel is Awesome:

I mentioned earlier that I really thought the service at this hotel was phenomenal, but here is why.  About an hour after I left the hotel, I was at O’Hare and had an “Oh $h!t” moment.  I realized that I had no memory of packing either my portable keyboard, or more importantly, my pearl necklace that I wear all the time.  I dug through my bags at the airport and indeed neither of those items were accounted for.  I quickly called the hotel who said they would send housekeeping to the room to see if the items were there.  Within minutes they called back and said they had located both items and were holding them for me.

I then called my friend Daraius, aka Million Mile Secrets, who I thought to still be at the Seminars, and arranged for him to get the items from the hotel.  I was so impressed that the hotel got the items back for me – we all know that doesn’t always happen, especially with something like jewelry.  I was also so grateful to Daraius for getting the items and then expertly packing and mailing the items back to me.  He wouldn’t even let me pay him back for shipping!  I still owe him for that.  ;)

Overall I definitely recommend this hotel for family travel if you are in the O’Hare area.  It is clean, functional, affordable, and has great employees who seem to really care about the guests that come through the doors.  When I checked just then (Friday night), there were still double bed rooms available for the 2012 Chicago Seminars.

Have you stayed at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village?  What did you think?  Are you going to be staying there for the Seminars this year?

Posted by mommypoints | 23 Comments

23 Responses to “Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village (Chicago)”

  1. Jared says:

    Of course Daraius won’t let you pay him back for shipping…he probably was excited to get the chance to use one of his new credit cards and meet a minimum spend. ;)

  2. sil says:

    Thanks to you , I booked my hotel room as soon as I read about the availability of the room. When will the registration show up? Also, do you think there will be cheap airfares from lax to ord later on in the year?

    I can use my Southwest points but it only goes to midway (?) and don’t want to bother with transportation to hotel from the other airport.

  3. Gene says:

    Why don’t they have the seminars at a better hotel?

  4. Gary says:

    @Jared or he just stuck a track-it-back sticker on the package? :p

  5. The Wanderer says:

    Thanks for the review. It’s nice to see the place I’ll be staying. I really can’t wait for October.

  6. Carl says:

    @Gene – the price is right and they do not require a huge guarantee. The event is not a business venture and is a volunteer effort by the hosts.

    @Mommy Points – the hotel worked out perfectly for the event and your review was spot on. Rooms were clean and comfortable, the food was good, and the staff was awesome. Certainly not a vacation destination, but seemed to be a good fit for the seminar.

  7. Acker says:

    I was also really impressed with the hotel staff. They handled 450+ people who are used to upgrades, special perks, deals, etc. without missing a beat. It was funny at check in – after giving each person their key the front-desk clerk directed them to the pantry for their free snack/H20 because of course (almost)everyone had status!

  8. Rick i says:

    gene: frugal travel guy here. it is a food and beverage issue along with the guarantee issue. At other hotels the price for lunch is $44 plus tip (18%) plus tax, plus the cost of the cofee breaks. we can’t keep registration under $100 at those kinds of prices.

  9. Silver springer says:

    I agree that the holiday inn is a very accommodating hotel. After the seminar last year we piggybacked a trip to Guatemala on a mistake fare. They held our extra bags while were gonr and were very nice.

  10. gpapadop says:

    Having stayed at this hotel for two years now I must admit your review is right on! Bravo to the staff, they deserve it. So far I am not on for number 3…it may change:-)

  11. Miles says:

    Thank you for the good review, MommyPoints. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the hotel is very close to a Starbucks, an office supply store and 2 fast-food joints.

    At the most recent Chicago Seminars the spa was out of service, I hope that changes by this coming October.

  12. kitty B says:

    I was a little upset @ the booking the only way I could get 2 breakfast coupons was to book two double beds. My husband and I will have to sleep in separate beds. I called the hotel and they said they can change it the day we check in, but my guess is the place will be sold out and it won’t be possible for us to change these arrangements.

  13. sil says:

    I have points to go to Midway from lax to midway, chicago or else pay out of my pocket for lax to Ohare airport.

    Would it be a pain to take a shuttle from Midway to Ohare then free shuttle from Ohare to Elk Hotel?

    Best to use points or pay for ticket which is about $390 RT right now.

  14. mommypoints says:

    Glad to hear that others who have stayed at the hotel more or less agree with my review. ;)

    @kitty B, I would check with them periodically between now and then. There is no doubt the hotel will be 100% full. Congrats on getting into the host hotel though!

    @Sil, personally I would want to fly into ORD for simplicity’s sake, but I am sure there is some sort of service that you can take from one hotel to the other. You could also always take Super Shuttle from Midway to the host hotel. If it was me, I would just keep an eye on fares then make a decision as you get closer to the event.

  15. Bryce says:

    Agreed about the convenience thing…
    I am not elite with Priority Club, so I stayed about 10 minutes away during the seminars last year. I realized too late that it would be really handy to walk out of my room and be right there, especially when I forgot something and had to drive back to my hotel.
    So, I just booked a room here for the upcoming Chicago seminars.

  16. toomanybooks says:

    There is a shuttle from MDW to/from ORD (Google for that). There may be someone willing to give you a lift. You can rent a car. Or you can take the Orange Line into town, the Blue Line out to ORD, and the hotel shuttle. The latter would take probably over 2 hours.

  17. mommypoints says:

    @Bryce, totally hear where you are coming from there! Congrats on getting a room at the host hotel for this year!

    @toomanybooks, thanks for sharing that info!

  18. sil says:

    Toomanybooks- I thought about maybe using my points for lax to midway and then buying one way ticket from ord to lax..

    Kitty- Is your room non-smoking?

  19. Susan says:

    I think this is a great little hotel for all of the reasons stated. The staff goes above and beyond to try to accommodate the guests. It is clean and has recently undergone renovations. The attached restaurant/bar is a definitenplus! I would choose it for regular stayovers in Chicago were it not just a wee bit too far from the airport itself. I am happy that they will be hosting us again this year!

  20. Susan says:

    I think this is a great little hotel for all of the reasons stated. The staff goes above and beyond to try to accommodate the guests. It is clean and has recently undergone renovations. The attached restaurant/bar is a definitenplus! I would choose it for regular stayovers in Chicago were it not just a wee bit too far from the airport itself. I am happy that they will be hosting us again this year! My room is booked!

  21. Katie says:

    Do you know if many people shared rooms last year? I was able to book Friday night, but not Saturday night. I am looking at staying down the street for the second night. I know sharing isn’t appealing for most, but I am an easy going gal who doesn’t snore and takes really fast showers. :)

  22. mommypoints says:

    @Katie, I really don’t know for sure. The rate is so cheap that most probably got their own rooms, but I bet some might have shared – I would post on Milepoint or Flyertalk in the relevant thread and you may have a taker.

  23. [...] in transcon in coach. The same holds true for hotel experiences. Mommy Points wrote a review of the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village, which in my opinion is your average 2.5-3 star property. No frills, no lounge, nothing fancy, but [...]

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