“The Landmark of Hospitality in Chicago”, the Congress Plaza Hotel, has been giving travellers and businessmen alike the time of their lives with splendid service for more than a century. The hotel’s stunning architecture, gorgeous lakefront views and modern amenities have also delighted guests from another world which have chosen to stay there and made it their home. Classic poltergeist activity has been reported by several guests on many countless occasions.

One of the most haunted hotels in Chicago, The Congress Plaza Hotel has a long history with the paranormal.  There have been a lot of reports of unexplained noises coming from the hotel ballroom. Upon inspection by guards or other members of staff, the room is completely empty and quiet. The hotel’s hallways are a constant source of reported activity. Appliances have been known to turn on and off by themselves. It has also been reported that the hotel’s previous owner, the notorious gangster Al Capone, has made the hotel his permanent residence after death.

Several guests have reported seeing a ghostly gloved hand sticking out of the wall. It has been called the hand of mystery. The hand is supposedly that of a worker who mistakenly got behind drywall during the hotel’s construction phase. A hobo is said to have been killed in the hotel many years ago. The staff calls him Peg Leg Johnny and his ghost has been sighted several times.

See also: The Haunted Places Along Route 66


The Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago was originally constructed in 1893. It was originally called the Auditorium Annex and it opened just in time for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and thousands of people thronged to visit the hotel. R.H. Southgate was the hotel’s developer but the first section of the hotel was designed by Clinton Warren. Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler served as consultants during the building phase. The south tower was constructed between 1902 and 1907, designed by the world-renowned Holabird and Roche.

Over the years, the hotel has been updated by various owners and it has been given a new name, the Congress Plaza Hotel. There were renovations to change lighting and bathroom fixtures. During World War II, the hotel was purchased by the government and used as headquarters. After World War II, the people of Chicago banded together to buy the hotel back from the government and reopened it. After five years, Pick Hotel Corporation bought the property and spent millions of dollars remodeling it. Modernization programs were initiated and new floors were added, new furniture, a new lobby, and new corridors. The Congress Plaza Hotel has successfully blended the old with the new. It still has a unique character that continues to draw thousands of people year after year.


The Congress Plaza Hotel is one piece of Chicago’s history that will bring you back in time every time you step inside it. The hotel’s stunning architecture and impeccable customer service make it the best choice to stay, whenever you are in the Windy City. Guests can explore the rest of the Windy City just by stepping outside the hotel’s doors. The hotel is situated close to Grant Park and it provides easy access to the city’s finest shopping district, as well as a business district.

The Congress Plaza has 871 guest rooms and suites with modern amenities, tasteful furnishings, and elegant designs. The hotel boasts of larger bathrooms, high ceilings, and expansive views, things which you’re not likely to find with most hotel rooms of today. The hotel has 16 hotel suites, 15 of them offering guests with a fabulous view of Lake Michigan. Guests will be delighted with the plethora of Chicago dining options that are available. There is the Gazebo restaurant which offers contemporary American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, as well as dinner. On the other hand, Rafael’s Steakhouse has a Midwestern menu served during dinner. If you would like to unwind with a cocktail, you can go to the Tavern Tap Pub. The hotel is also an ideal venue for weddings, exhibits and business meetings.


  • Premium cable television
  • Coffee makers
  • Hairdryers
  • Room service
  • Fitness facility
  • Dry cleaning/laundry

Things to Do

The Congress Plaza Hotel is located near Chicago’s retail and business districts which make the hotel the ideal location to stay whilst in Chicago. Grant Park is adjacent to the hotel. It is the host to some of the biggest events and festivals in the city of Chicago. Some of the state’s most popular festivals are the Chicago Jazz Fest, Taste of Chicago, Chicago Criterium and Chicago Blues Fest. The Lincoln Statue and Buckingham Fountain are just a few steps away from the hotel. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in these places. If you want to go biking, running or walking, you can do so at the Lakefront Trail. Families can take advantage of the Art Institute, Symphony Center, Shedd Aquarium, Harold Washington Library, Auditorium Theatre, Adler Planetarium and Field Museum. Sports buffs will love the hotel’s proximity to Soldier Field.

Room Tariffs

  • Standard King starts at $160
  • Standard Double starts at $150
  • Lakeview King Starts at $180
  • Lakeview Double starts at $200
  • Family Suites start at $300
  • City View Suites start at $270
  • Standard Lakefront Suites start at $310

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