Swissotel Chicago Hates One of My Kids Right Now, But All of Them If I Have Three or More

So the wife decided to make plans for a nice weekend in Chicago on a weekend in December. Museums, the Christmas lights, windows, Michigan Avenue, some fine food, etc. I had stayed at the Swissotel before for business and had a good experience. I am staying there later in December to visit Carl and got a nice rate of $99 per night.

I began to noodle around their site and came up with the following rate for 2 adults and 2 kids, staying two nights. $306/night if you pay ahead of time, $339/night for the regular rate (plus tax of course).

Knowing that I just got a room for $99 I started scratching my head a bit and looked at the different rooms, etc. Couldn’t figure it out. Maybe it was because this particular weekend was in high demand.

For kicks I took the kids out of the equation. Lo and behold the rate for two adults: $117 advance payment, $129 standard rate.

How about if we just bring one kid: $117 advance, $129 standard.

What if we adopt a kid before then, making it two adults and three kids: “We’re sorry, but no rooms are available for your specified date range. Please modify your search criteria and try again.”

16 thoughts on “Swissotel Chicago Hates One of My Kids Right Now, But All of Them If I Have Three or More”

  1. A few years ago Forbes Magazine ran an article on hotel rates and the bottom line – was that there were a tiered level of about 10 rates – starting at the top, the published rate.

    I’ll bet if you called them explaining that you have stayed there on business they would like your children more ;=)

    I have only been to Chicago a few times each in my life – maybe 3-4? But each time with a great story starting with my drive to school in VA and my hot 67 Camaro breaking down – and a dealer – City Chevrolet (are they still around?) trying to rip me off. If anyone’s curious I’ll relate that story.

    But I did visit my sister who at the time lived in Homewood – visited in Dec and aside from freezing my @#$% off (particularly when crossing some downtown street that ran perpendicular to the Lake) – well, I loved Chicago and the Berghoff restaurant.

    Bill (incognito)

  2. When I visit with kids (The was a while ago) we stayed out south in a cheap hotel, close to family. When my mother was alive and living on South Shore Drive, she would check into a big downtown hotel with the one kid who was visiting her to shop and see the sights. They used to compete to see who went. That, of course , was 30 years ago. Maybe children are more trouble for hotels now.

  3. Parking is the chronic problem in Chicago. We stayed at the Drake a couple of years ago. They charged something like $50/night for parking. I found a garage a couple of blocks away that “only” charged $25/night.

    BTW. The Drake is such a great hotel. Try it some time.

  4. Many years ago, when my mother was alive, I was going to buy her a condo on south Michigan. It was a 1 bedroom condo for $60,000 with a nice view (the undesirable one) to the south where she used to live. For another $10,000, I could buy a parking space. She wouldn’t let me do it, Her excuse was that she would die and I would be stuck with it. She lived another 25 years (to 103).

  5. Michael – I have read that these parking spaces for sale (mostly from Chicago east) have taken on a value all their own and many have appreciated many times (not even following the equivalent condo prices).

    In other words the parking spaces have proven to be a far better investment that condos


  6. Magnolia Bakery (NY chain for cupcakes and cakes) has a new store on State….near all the lovely Christmas window displays. A nice place to take the kids. Plus, the Disney Store and that cool Barnes and Noble attached to the DePaul loop campus building. If you all meet for cupcakes, I might show up. Because, yum, it’s C-A-K-E! :)

    I love the arty studenty vibe of that corner of Chicago.

    (On Magnolia Bakery, I confess that I didn’t really care for the famous buttercream frosting. I scraped it off and ate the cake underneath, though. Yummy :) )

    – Madhu

  7. A cheap classic: the two dog special at Gold Coast Dogs on Wabash.

    The kids like the Billy Goat, which is also cheap. If the kids are young and cute enough they get paper hats like the cooks have.

    I work downtown but I almost always skip lunch, and for dinner down here I usually go to Chipotle because it is close by.

    I can’t really recommend good restaurants down here since I don’t go to them — one exception is Shaw’s Crab House, which I was recently taken to, and it was as good as I remembered it being.

  8. We might go to Ed’s too – the kids have never been in an insulting atmosphere such as that and I am sure they would get a kick out of the waiter/waitress making fun of my bald head.

  9. The food is actually good at Ed Debevic’s. I got the pot roast there once and it was good. The chili was good, too.

  10. The following is not really useful for visitors, but the Blick Art Store near that end of State street is really fun – if you need art supplies or just like looking at art supplies. I buy canvases once in a while intending to paint something but then never do paint. Oh well!

    *My Magnolia Bakery joke didn’t really work, did it? The joke being that I’d be around the bakery at all times because I like sweets Didn’t work because I don’t actualy have much of a sweet tooth and also, on rereading, it didn’t make sense as written. Like when I make jokes in a student lecture and the jokes fall flat. Except, the students laugh to humor you which is nice :)

    **I realized this weekend as I ran around the art store that my baseline is student or college life because I grew up in a college town. I instinctively feel at home around campuses and urban campuses are the most fun, I think.

    ***I used to love Portillo’s hot dogs, but I don’t eat beef anymore. Not for religious reasons, I just didn’t feel like it anymore. I liked the idea of having a food restriction and the discipline of such a restriction….

    Done rambling now.

    – Madhu

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