Wednesday 14 September 2011

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Hyatt Regency O'Hare

The meeting point for StarMegaDo3 was Chicago, so we were all responsible for getting ourselves there.  This would be my first time in Chicago, but other than having a little trouble finding where the hotel shuttle would pick me up (here's a hint - walk as far as humanly possible from the terminal, it's right there) everything went very smoothly.  I love that the floors in the parking garage at O'Hare are named after their sports teams.  Somehow it seemed appropriate that the Cubs were the basement floor, but I'm really glad that I didn't need to go to the fourth floor.  I think I would have just turned around and flown home at that point.

The hotel for our first night was the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.  It's got a bit of a funny layout, almost like a castle with four outer walls and a round tower in each corner.  I was placed on the seventh floor of one of the towers.  The room was a reasonable size, although after seeing some of the other rooms I think the rooms in the tower may be a slight bit smaller.  The bed was comfy (I should mention the fact that I was so tired at the end of the day that I actually never peeled back the covers) and the desk was much larger than I've had in other Hyatt properties.  The internet hooked up fine for me and carried a decent speed, even through uploading.  The bathroom, however, would probably be a deal breaker for my wife as there was only a shower.  This wasn't the case in some of the other rooms that I saw though, so I imagine that a request for a room with a tub would solve that problem.

Sure the room location might suck, but if there's a fire, I'm golden!

Hyatt diamond guests always get their choice at check-in of either bonus points or a food and beverage amenity.  I always take the points as the only time an amenity is of equal value is when it includes alcohol, and since I don't drink it makes more sense to just take points.  However for this trip, it was decided that it would be easier for Hyatt to give everybody amenities instead of points (I'm not sure how that's easier, maybe more cost efficient?) so we all had a plate of goodies delivered to our room.

From now on I'm going to tie up all my bread in packs of four too!
The thing on the right looks good doesn't it?  Don't you believe it!  It was some kind of cheese that I sincerely tried to eat, but I just couldn't do it.  I got maybe half way through before I thought it through and wondered why I was forcing myself to eat something I wasn't enjoying.  I wish that the cheese had been labeled so I'd know what to stay away from in the future, but unless there's any cheese experts on here who can identify it from the picture, I guess I'll never know.  The bread and the nuts were really good though.

We had to catch the train across town for a meeting that night, and we were told that the station was just around the corner from the hotel.  Well either we got lost, or somebody can't count corners.  It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk to the station, where you have to buy your ticket from a machine that is cash only and doesn't give change.  There was a lot of passing around of quarters going on (the fare is $2.25) but eventually we all got on and headed in to town.  It's a fairly long ride into downtown Chicago (about 45 minutes) and the train is certainly most people preferred way to travel.  By the time we were getting close to the core of the city, the train was packed.  We were all standing, jammed in pretty tight, but fortunately the gentleman next to me was reading the paper while we traveled, so I had something to take my mind off the density of people in the train.  We pulled up to the next station and despite the laws of physics, three more people shoved their way into the train.  Now it's probably worth noting here that these were three very cute young ladies, so they weren't taking up too much space and we were more than happy to let them in.  We rattled off to the next station where one guy made his way to the door and got off, only to be replaced by two more gorgeous women.  I'm pretty sure the only reason they could fit in the train was that every man on board was sucking his gut in, but they made it and we headed off down the line.  Next station, another possible super-model pushes her way into the car.  At this point I'm considering asking the guy next to me to flip the paper to the classifieds because I need to find a place to live around here.  Alas the next station was our stop, and I was left wondering just what sort of Xanadu is located at the end of the red line in Chicago.

How many beautiful women can you fit in a Chicago train car?
The next morning the Hyatt fed us a good breakfast (That I forgot to take pictures of, so use your imagination.  No pancakes though.  Don't think about those.) and sent us on our way.  Overall it was a pretty nice hotel, and if I was coming in late or leaving early from O'Hare I would definitely book a room here to avoid having to cross the city in the dark.  It also happens to be right beside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, so if you're headed there, this is an ideal place for you.  Unless you're a single guy, then you want to be on the train.