It’s been a fairly busy year in travel for me. I’ll hit 120,000 miles flown next week, and after a while travel can be a bit of a drag, especially when you’re not going somewhere exciting. So, when I had a pop-up trip to Chicago, I was a bit more excited since I knew I could grab a good meal at one of my favorite Chicago restaurants. There are so many great places to dine in Chicago, it’s definitely one of my favorite towns.
Then, I realized the meeting wasn’t actually in Chicago. Maybe out at O’Hare? No, not so much. Oakbrook. Nothing wrong with Oakbrook, but a bit disappointing to be that close to a city I enjoy dining in (not to mention the Park Hyatt Chicago to stay).
I figured I would at least get to try a new property, but most of the Hyatt’s and Starwood properties in the area were fully booked. At the last minute, a room popped up at the Hyatt Lodge, a property located on McDonald’s campus. There was no doubt this property was influenced by McDonald’s, made pretty obvious in the drive up to the property.
There were also numerous visual indications of the golden arch influence.
I’m not very religious, but some do think of McDonald’s as something of a temple.
The burger art aside, the service at this property was impressive and the facilities very comfortable. You can tell the property was built in a different era, but the physical plant is in a greatstate of repair. Because everyone was sold out, the only room I could get was one with 2 double beds. Traveling on my own, this didn’t concern me that much. The room was a decent size and came with the standard flat screen and functional work area you would expect from a new hotel.
A sizable bathroom with a separate large walk-in shower, all modern finishes.
I was blown away by the exercise facilities. Not only did this property have over 30 pieces of modern exercise equipment to workout on, there was a huge lap pool and two hot tubs in a very peaceful setting surrounded by woods.
The restaurant and bar are not only nicely appointed but sport a very respectable wine list.
Hyatt Diamond members will enjoy free breakfast in an adjacent space where you can order anything off the a la carte menu. As far as breakfast benefits go, one of the more generous ones in the Hyatt system (though not at the level of Andaz 5th avenue, where room service is free as well).
This property has a dedicated path to “Hamburger University”, and it’s clear it’s set up as something of a dorm for that facility. But, this hotel is impeccably maintained and offers a ton of benefits, definitely at the top of the competitive set for Oakbrook. Hyatt has other nice properties in the area, like the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. So, I wouldn’t necessarily drive out of my way to stay here. But, if I was in Oakbrook again, I wouldn’t hesitate to take a drive up to “Burger U”.