Tuesday night I had the opportunity to head downtown for an overnight stay at the Essex Inn and check out their Chicago Field Trip Package! I've probably never told you, but when I was a teenager living in Louisville I volunteered at the Louisville Science Center for about 6 years. I did everything from run the gift shop, to giving science demonstrations to training new volunteens. It was a blast! So I'm always thrilled to hit up one of the big museums downtown. This made the offer of a free night at the Essex + Field tickets a no-brainer decision!!
Flash to Tuesday night, Susie caught a stomach bug and couldn't go with me. The Aunt couldn't go as her yoga teacher was moving (lame excuse) but luckily my new BF was available. So down to the city we headed. I didn't leave as early as I'd have liked, but traffic wasn't awful heading down. The Essex Inn is located at 800 S Michigan Avenue which is just a couple blocks from the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium or across the street from Grant Park. My package included free parking, which rocked as parking can be an arm and a leg in downtown Chicago.
Checking in was a breeze! The staff only required a form of ID and a credit card to get my room ready. The Essex has 15 floors including a rooftop pool if you're so inclined during your stay. They also have smoking and non-smoking rooms. Not that I smoke, but I thought all hotels were smoke-free? So if you're a smoker and visiting the Chicago area, this is the hotel for you.
My room was fairly nice. Since Susie had planned on going with me, I had a room with two double beds. I quite like the orange decor, but as you know we're partial to orange. Also in the room was a working mini-fridge and a safe for your valuables. I was concerned the room wouldn't be warm with a wall of windows, but it was toasty all night long.
My bf ended up with a work emergency and had to leave shortly after we got some dinner. Once again, I was all alone at the Essex. But that's okay because sometimes you just need to relax and recharge alone. I woke up to an absolutely gorgeous view of the Field museum! I'm sure some of y'all saw it on my social media channels.
While breakfast wasn't included with my stay, Brasserie by LM is attached to the hotel and the front desk gave me 15% off my breakfast. I had some pretty darn good pancakes with blueberries and coffee.
Then it was time to hit the Field! The Essex Inn provides morning shuttle service to the museum complex or you can choose to walk the 7 blocks if you're feeling ambitious. As it's winter and was kinda windy Wednesday morning, I opted for the shuttle. It was a quick trip and they dropped us off right at the Field's doors.
As always the Field is a wonderful experience in and of itself. Seeing Sue is mind-blowing every single time! For me the Ancient Egyptian exhibit brings back memories of museum lock-ins during my volunteen years. All the cool kids chose to spend the night in the mummies tomb at the Louisville Science Center. Not that we did a lot of sleeping during those lock-ins! I'm kinda sad the museum has since been remodeled and the mummies tomb is no longer something visitors can experience.
Being so close to the holidays, the Field actually wasn't that crowded and I was able to wander around and take some photos of things that caught my eye. Then it was back to the Essex to pick up my bag before heading home. Another cool thing about the Essex is that they'll watch your bags after you've checked out but still want to enjoy the city.
All in all the Essex Inn is in a fantastic location for those wanting a great escape from everyday life.