Subject: Re[3]: Raphael Hotel, Chicago
Hi Doug, There are a couple issues with renting a car near Hotel Raphael. The hotel is far from many of the rental car pick-up and drop off points...thus more cab rides (with luggage) to and from the car agency. Most rental car drop-offs in Chicago are clustered around central downtown Chicago, near South Michigan Ave and Roosevelt Road (otherwise known as the Loop), which is much closer to Union Station than the Raphael. The Raphael is north of the Loop, on the other side of the river (the North Michigan Ave area or Boul Mich) ...and poorly situated for both car rental and access to Union Station. In which case you might want to look at hotels on South Michigan Ave (500-600 South) closer to Roosevelt (and the Art Institute).....Blackstone and Congress are reputable hotels See: Given your brief stay, I would imagine convenience would be the highest priority. Not only would this make picking up the car easier, but after you drop it off, your cab ride to the Station will be shorter and cheaper.

Raphael may be a charming hotel, but I fear it's location will prove very inconvenient, given your itinerary. If you can pick up a car at Midway, and drop it off somewhere in the Loop, that would be the best solution, but I'd still forgo the trip into the city until you return from Indiana.

Once you determine your itinerary and hotel, let me know and I can recommend several restaurants.

Of course, we each have our priorities, zest for adventure, and tolerance for long cab rides and hours of stop-and-go driving, not to mention, traveller's luck, so, no matter what you decide, may your voyages be bon, and please let us know how it went!! Very best,

Mark McIntyre