The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place is a wheelchair accessible hotel in Chicago, Illinois, located within walking distance of Soldier Field and the sprawling Museum Campus. Views from the hotel’s upper floors are magnificent, looking out over Lake Michigan and the downtown Chicago skyline.
At the end of August, I stayed for two nights at the Hyatt Regency in a wheelchair accessible hotel room. If you are planning a trip to Chicago, this hotel should definitely be one that you consider. In this post, I’ll take you on a tour of my accessible room and explore some of the benefits of staying in this part of the city.
Reservation & Check-in
I booked my room through the hotel website and secured a nightly rate of $135 USD. I was able to select a wheelchair accessible room with a roll-in shower during booking.
At check-in, the front desk manager offered me a complimentary room upgrade in recognition of my Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program status. I am a Diamond Elite member in this rewards program, which entitles me to a few benefits like free breakfast and an occasional room upgrade.
Since I was staying at the hotel with a friend on our annual “brocation,” the upgrade (to a suite with only one bed) wasn’t going to work. They offered us a roll-away, so I accepted the upgrade.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
Our room was fairly unique. The suite itself didn’t contain a bed, but has a connecting door to two different rooms on either side. So in effect, we had a standard room with a king-size bed, and a connecting suite space. I’ll share the king-size bedroom with you first, which was labeled as room #3302, located on the 33rd (top) floor.
The king-size bed featured all the trimmings of the signature Hyatt Grand Bed. The perfect mix of soft and firm, topped with a comfortable duvet and fluffy feather pillows. You may want to plan an extra day of lounging in this bed – it won’t disappoint.
From an accessibility standpoint: the top of the bed sat at about 30 inches, which could make transfers difficult for some. The platform base also restricts the ability to use most hoyer lifts. Controls for the room’s lighting and automatic window shades (yes!) are located within reach, above the nightstands next to the bed.
Located on the corner of the building, the room offers fantastic views of the city below. This was a complete surprise when I woke up, as I had arrived to the hotel late at night.
A chair and ottoman sits in the window corner of the room, but doesn’t get in the way of the path around the bed.
The second photo above shows the desk area and the hallway leading to the door of the room. A couple things to note: the desk features an abundance of power ports, which you can use to charge all of your mobile and electronic devices. There is a bathroom in this room, but it is not very accessible. The wheelchair accessible bathroom with roll-in shower is located in the suite connector. There are standard, accessible rooms without a suite connector – this was just an upgrade.
Wheelchair Accessible Suite
Let me get the elephant out of the room. Yes, I know I am lucky to have gotten this upgrade. I also know that most of us cannot afford to pay for a suite outright. In spite of the criticism I will undoubtedly receive, I will continue sharing these on the blog. That is because wheelchair accessible suites are rare. Very rare. With the exception of all-suite hotels, I would say that only 5% of hotels have an accessible suite. When I find one, I want to share it, because wheelchair users have honeymoons, anniversaries and romantic evenings, too.
The connecting suite had its own room number, #3303. It is the hotel’s premier or “Grand Suite.” The photograph above should show you why – a large dining table with six chairs, looking out towards the downtown Chicago skyline. My jaw dropped when I saw the view. Between the actual hotel room and the suite connector, I had an entire end of the hotel – two corners!
We asked the hotel to place the roll-away bed in the suite, rather than the hotel room, so that I could get around more easily in my wheelchair. They set it up against the suite’s wet bar area, which includes a sink, coffee/tea maker and small refrigerator.
The suite’s living room area was also a beautiful space. The L-shaped sofa was large and comfortable. It was pointed towards a large wall-mounted television. A/V hook-ups allowed me to streak music from my iPhone, which played on speakers scattered throughout the room.
The large windows looked out to the city skyline, and to the banks of Lake Michigan. I was able to see Soldier Field and the Adler Planetarium from these windows!
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
As I mentioned before, the wheelchair accessible bathroom was located in the suite connector. Let’s take a look, starting with the roll-in shower.
I found the roll-in shower to be relatively accessible. There was no lip or step separating it from the rest of the bathroom. Unfortunately, no shower seat was affixed to the wall, a requirement of the ADA. Instead, a portable shower chair was provided. Portable shower chairs are not always secure or safe, and may not meet the weight-bearing requirements of the ADA, particularly after repeated use and without proper maintenance.
The handheld shower nozzle and water controls were all within easy reach. Grab bars on the wall made transferring from my wheelchair safe and easy. The water drained into the floor well. A shower curtain could be drawn to protect my power wheelchair from the spray of errant water. All-in-all, it worked.
The bathroom toilet was also extremely accessible and ADA-compliant. Multiple grab bars were attached to the surrounding walls, and there was plenty of space to park my wheelchair alongside the toilet. This made side-to-side transfers from my wheelchair possible.
The toilet paper roll was also within reach, so I didn’t have to risk falling off the toilet! Another coll feature, which is becoming standard in most full-service hotels, is a telephone in the bathroom, next to the toilet. For people with disabilities, this could be a life-saver in the event of an emergency.
The bathroom sink, while small, was definitely usable from my wheelchair. I had no issues rolling underneath the countertop, and wasn’t in danger of a collision with my knees. Hyatt Regency provides KenetMD toiletries, which are a giant step above the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner I use at home.
The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place offers several dining options, including Shor, Forno and the M/X Lounge.
I had a fantastic breakfast at Shor, both mornings of my stay. Pictured above is a salmon breakfast option, which was positively delicious. Shor also offers a diverse buffet.
Forno is an Italian cafe-like restaurant, where you’ll be able to order salads, sandwiches, pizza or paninis. I didn’t eat here, but the aromas coming from the kitchen smelled great.
I had drinks one night at M/X, which is a sports bar and lounge. Food is served here, including the American classic, a cheeseburger and french fries.
Location & Transportation
The hotel is located within walking distance of many attractions, including Soldier Field and the Museum Campus. To reach attractions farther afield, you’ll be able to hail a wheelchair accessible taxi or ride public transportation.
The nearest wheelchair accessible L train/metro station is Cermak-McCormick Place, served by the Green Line. This metro station is 0.5 miles from the hotel, and features elevators to the train platform. City bus routes 1, 3, 4 and 21 also have stops within a few blocks of the hotel.
Another option, though less useful for tourists, is the Metra Commuter Rail. The 23rd/McCormick Place station is right next to the hotel and Convention Center. It is wheelchair accessible, and served by the Metra Electric District and South Shore lines.
If you’re planning to visit Chicago, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel would be a great option for your wheelchair accessible accommodation needs. Within striking distance of many of the city’s top attractions, you won’t feel isolated – even at a hotel outside of the true downtown district.
Except when major conferences are in town, the cost of accommodation is quite reasonable, while the accessibility features are excellent. For more information, visit the hotel’s website.