Our Stay At Chicago’s Pet Friendly Hotel Allegro + Sculpture Walk
PET FRIENDLY HOTEL LIFE
Bean & I recently took off to Chicago for the weekend so I could check out the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship at UIC Pavilion. But before we went, I dove into the ever so familiar hours of internet research for the perfect pet friendly hotel. Priceline and Kayak both have a filter on the left side of the page so you can choose “Pets Allowed”, so that’s a big help. The good news is, Chicago has somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 pet friendly hotels. The bad news is most of them have REALLY high pet fees per night or per stay. I’m personally getting a little tired of this. It’s a dog, not a live grenade. People who travel with dogs don’t bring some crazed animal who is going to rip your room apart. A fee should only be charged WHEN something goes wrong, not in case something bad happens even if it doesn’t. But aaaaanyway, I’ve found that when deciding on a hotel, you have to find a balance between room price, pet fee, and parking fee. Maybe one hotel is more expensive, but has no pet fee. Or maybe one has a pet fee but free parking. Just make sure you compare-comepare-compare, and get the best deal for you and your little buddy. This extensive search led me to Hotel Allegro.
Hotel Allegro originally opened in 1926, but was known then as The Bismark Hotel. Thankfully they’ve chosen to hold onto their art deco roots. Hotel Allegro is located in The Loop area of Chicago, and in 2015 it underwent a 6 month, 15 million dollar renovation.
• Hotel Allegro has a daily COMPLIMENTARY happy hour in the bar situated near the main check-in desk. It runs from 5pm to 6pm and you can enjoy beer and wine for FREE. ♥
• By Chicago standards, I’d consider our room huge. We chose the King Premier Room. Tons of space for Bean to play, and a nice sized bathroom, even though most online reviews said the bathrooms were ‘barely big enough for one person’. Also had an awesome tile walk in shower. Yay for no creepy dingy bathtub. Also the room and bathroom were suuuper clean. Didn’t see one thing to complain about. Andddd there are power strips next to the bed, so you can charge like 17 things at once. Never saw this at a hotel before. I appreciated not having to unplug the lamp to charge my phone.
• The mini-bar was awesome. High quality products, and the prices weren’t too bad. It was also packed with razors, and odds and ends in case you forget anything at home.
• The doormen were lovely. Very friendly, funny, and always made cute remarks about my doggie.
• I paid on Priceline a few days before my trip. Upon check in, the girl at the desk asked for my license and credit/debit card. I thought this was just to verify my identity. Once we were in our room, I got an alert from my bank that my account had fallen below $25. Basically she didn’t see that I had already paid, swiped my card, and drained my whole bank account. So there I am in Chicago with half the money I thought I had for the weekend. We all know how reversals go on cards, the money didn’t go back into my account until Monday when I was already home.
• There was a note in the room that said they were repairing the water main in front of the hotel, and water would be off from 3am-5am. We woke up the next day, went to take showers, and no water came out. -_- Long story short, water didn’t come back on until around 4pm Sunday. Had to brush our teeth and give the dog water with bottled water from the mini-bar. Also, that’s roughly 13 hours of not being able to flush the toilet. Nottttt cute.
Upon checking out, I couldn’t help but express my disappointment to the hotel manager. I told him I realized that none of those things that happened were technically his fault, but that I expected more from pretty much the fanciest hotel I’ve ever booked. He was SO understanding and nice, and honestly sounded like he’d been through the weekend from Hell too. He said the entire block had no water in that time. Starbucks, the apartments behind the hotel, everything. He said he would contact Priceline on my behalf, and get one of my two nights refunded. He also gave me his business card, and said to email him once I was home, and he would mail me a voucher for a free night, so we could come back and have a do-over. He gave us bottled waters for our 5 hour car ride home too.
I really feel as though Hotel Allegro cares about its reputation, and the guest experience. Not to mention the place was gorgeous, and couldn’t be in a better location. Bean and I are excited to make our return visit.
CHICAGO SCULPTURES ARE LARGER THAN LIFE (AND WAY LARGER THAN BEAN)
Hotel Allegro is the perfect starting point for an artsy walk. In a matter of blocks, you’ll see historic theaters, famous sculptures, and some really unbelievable architecture. Located across the street and a block down from the Hotel Allegro, you’ll find Monument with Standing Beast by artist Jean Dubuffet. This is one of only 3 sculptures by Dubuffet in the entire United States. Chicago residents lovingly refer to this sculpture as “Snoopy in a blender”.
And just a block over from that on W Washington St, you’ll find the enormous Chicago Picasso. The untitled sculpture by Pablo Picasso was dedicated in 1967. At first, people were mad because most of the public art around Chicago was based on historical figures, also because no one could figure out what the heck it was supposed to be. But over time, people grew to love it, and the sculpture has appeared in such movies as The Blues Brothers, The Fugitive, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Continue on a few more blocks from the Picasso, and you’ll find Millennium Park. The main reason for our visit was to get a picture of my doggie Bean in front of “The Bean”. This giant reflective sculpture is nicknamed “The Bean”, but its real name is Cloud Gate. In 1999, Millennium Park officials and a group of art insiders considered the work of 30 different artists, and narrowed them down to two. Artist Anish Kapoor’s proposal beat out a proposal by the famous Jeff Koons, and Cloud Gate was born.
Get ready for the bummer though; I found out the hard way that Millennium Park doesn’t allow dogs. (super lame) A security lady gave us the business, soooo I pretended to leave. But Millennium Park has several stairways that lead up to Cloud Gate, so I went down one and up another. Thankfully I got my pictures, and we had a nice walk through a little more of the park. I saw one other little dog in there too. So I guess I can’t give you the Paws Buzz Go ahead, we’ll just say enter at your own risk, and good luck. *wink*
CHECK IT ↓
Hotel Allegro • 171 W Randolph St • Chicago, IL 60601 • Hotel Allegro’s website
Hotel Allegro on Instagram • @allegrochicago
Info on the sculptures mentioned, & more! • Chicago Public Art Guide