Located right at the heart of The Loop in Chicago is the ever-so-convenient hotel, The Alise Chicago by Staypineapple. This particular location is housed in a National Historic Landmark building, which gives it an antique/boutique feel and vibe from the exterior to the interior – including the main lobby, elevators, hallways, and rooms. The cast iron railings (found in the lobby and elevators), the marbled ceiling in the lobby, the old yellow bicycle that is stationed in the hallway near the lobby, all perfectly complement the aesthetic of the hotel.
My team and I had such a delightful experience at the Alise and we one hundred percent recommend to our readers to stay here – or, for that matter, at any of the locations run by Staypineapple, including Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, and four more in Seattle.
As mentioned, the location of The Alise Chicago is perfect as ‘The Loop’ is Chicago’s fancy term for the downtown core, where visitors can find most of the action and attractions. It is a short five-minute walk from Millennium Park where the Bean (Cloud Gate), Crown Fountain and Maggie Daley Park are located. From our particular room, we could see the famous Chicago Theater, and the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute, and Chicago Riverwalk are also just a few blocks away. Not to mention that the hotel is around the corner from Washington Station, which takes you to straight to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport in approximately 45 minutes. This type of convenience was but one of the reasons my review team and I spent a full weekend at The Alise.
Upon entering The Alise, visitors will discover the Atwood to the left. Atwood is a stylish restaurant serving creative American cuisine and craft cocktails and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The decor is beautiful and the varied menu is moderately priced. My review team and I sampled breakfast at Atwood, including cinnamon rolls and Bloody Mimosas, both of which were heavenly and made me wish we’d had more time to sample lunch and dinner as well. Whether going for a cocktail, a quick sandwich, or for dinner before a show, Atwood is highly recommended.
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the hotel serves up ‘Afternoon Delights‘ which includes free coffee and pineapple cupcakes in the lobby. They also offer pineapple infused water throughout the day. A small bar area is set up in the lobby so guests can enjoy the afternoon ritual.
In addition to an on-site restaurant and complimentary treats, the Alise Chicago offers an array of amenities. First and foremost, free high-speed Wi-Fi. This is especially useful if you are visiting from out of the country and don’t have a large amount of data on your roaming plan. It was easy to use and lived up to our expectations of how fast it was.
On the third floor, guests will find a fitness center so no one has to miss their daily workout. The space is small but clean and features treadmills as well as other standard machines. There is a mezzanine level above the lobby, which is a meeting and event space. There are a few round tables and a large TV screen, perfect for a business conference. The Alise is a smoke-free hotel, which adds to the cleanliness of the place. It is also dog-friendly, but an additional fee applies for such services.
If you ever find yourself at a Staypineapple hotel, we guarantee you will say ‘aww’ and ‘cute’ a lot upon stepping into your room, due to the novelty pineapple theme – from the duvet to the green accent wall in the bathroom to the charging station to the coffee mugs. The rooms are extremely clean so housekeeping staff clearly do a fantastic job along with replenishing all supplies. This would include refilling the bath & body gel, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers that hang in the shower. This is definitely a unique and welcomed idea especially as it takes the place of commonplace toiletries found in a series of plastic mini bottles, many of which end up in the garbage.
We had the pleasure of staying in a Deluxe Double Queen Room. When looking to the left upon entrance, guests will find a standard size bathroom with a tub/shower, single sink and a well-lit mirror. To the right, in the hallway, there is a full-length mirror and a decent size closet equipped with an iron, ironing board, large umbrella, two robes, a hairdryer, a safe and an extra set of bed sheets. Continuing on the right there is a brown leather bench and then a flat screen TV with a unit of drawers on the right and a door that opens to a mini bar fridge on the left. On the opposite side of the room, there are the two beds with a desk in the middle.
Each room has it’s own Keurig machine with custom blended coffee and tea (this is unlimited so you can call to ask for more K-cups). The hotel also supplies two bottles of water, but more can be requested. An iHome Bluetooth docking station with USB charging is located on the desk, along with a cute pineapple docking station featuring 4 USB ports and 2 outlets. You can place unlimited local and long distance phone calls. There are two bright swing arm wall lamps and a lot of pillows. And, as previously mentioned, there is a 50-inch flat screen TV with basic cable and free high-speed Wi-Fi.
All Queen beds come with 2 soft, individually folded duvets so that each person in the bed can ‘snuggle into their own comfort’ as opposed to fighting over just one. We were impressed with this smart and unique option as we have not seen it as yet in other hotels. The double duvet concept is also there to encourage Staypineapple’s Naked Experience campaign that promotes healthy sleeping. As such, their website promises that all linens have been specially laundered for each guest. It also accounts for why this hotel has a unique twist on their ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs, with wording that instead says, “I’m Naked (please go away)“.
Rooms offer spectacular views of the downtown core. Our particular unit was right on the corner of N State St. and E Washington St. Only small drawback exists on this side and that is that the L train is located mere seconds away and with as often as it runs, very light sleepers might find it bothersome.
Room decor is basic black and white with a pop of yellow here and there to enhance the pineapple theme. Wall photos, mainly of Chicago buildings, carry the same color scheme. Overall, rooms are clean and cozy, and simple yet elegant with a novelty twist in the form of pineapples.
PROS: ‘Pineapple People’ are extremely helpful and friendly. Rooms are clean and well stocked. Free Wi-Fi is convenient and fast. Hotel is unique, very different from regular chains. Beds and sheets are comfortable. Large and soft bath towels. Atwood (the attached restaurant) is convenient and the food is tasty.
CONS: In all honesty, we couldn’t find many cons at this hotel. If hard pressed to mention something, they would include only very small, insignificant things such as only basic cable is provided, there are no specialty channels. And the water pressure in the shower is good but there is no handheld nozzle for convenience (which, in all fairness, is absent at many hotels).
Review, Photos, and Tour Video By Marisa Filippo
Lead Photo by Jasmine Chen – My Suitcase Journeys