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“So much right, and so much wrong”

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Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Ranked #9 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Don't get me wrong, this is a very good hotel. The big things - room, amenities, ambience - are great. But the service just trips up too many times. A few examples:

1. We asked about ice upon check-in. We were told it was in the room. We looked everywhere; no ice. So we called room service. It didn't arrive for more than half an hour, so we called again. We were told it had been delivered to the wrong room. A little while later a staff member used his key to **enter our suite** while we were in the bedroom and said he'd come to pick up dirty dishes. We sent him away and called again; we were told ice would be sent. It finally arrived a while later, and we were told there was no ice in our room type (a deluxe suite!). A manager called several hours later, while we were out, to apologize for the mixup.

2. The television in the bathroom didn't work (not an important amenity, I know). It took three trips from technicians and removing the mirror to make it work. When an operation this long and intense is required, how about switching us to another room or compensating us another way?

3. The suite's two shower heads continually drooped in their holders, so it was impossible to fix them in place. We asked for a repair; it didn't work. Our room was equipped for handicapped people - imagine if a disabled person had to hold the shower head all the time while washing!

4. There was no lotion in the bathroom. (Upon asking, we received three bottles.)

5. At check-in, we were told that the Sunday New York Times would cost $6. No matter, we were happy with the Chicago Tribune. But on Sunday, the Times arrived anyway. We called down to the desk - another mistake, no charge.

We stayed here before last year, when the hotel was called the Elysian. Then, the management was so mortified that housekeeping had missed a single turn-down service that they gave us a free bottle of wine. Also, the bathroom toiletries were Asprey, not Ferragamo (not as nice now). Staff assured us that the same team was still running the hotel. Did they always make this many little mistakes?

Room Tip: Avoid handicapped rooms if you don't need them.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank FormerNYTHotelCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,872 - 1,878 of 2,392 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2012

Stayed at the hotel this past Thursday to Sunday. Previously stayed there this past summer when it was still the Elysian. There has been no drop off at all. Still the best hotel I've ever stayed at. Check in was a breeze. Service is still amazing. The room was equisite.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank gfai2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

Just returned from a weekend at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago which was the site of a friend's wedding. My guest room was the best hotel room I've ever had. Very large; great wet bar area that included refrigerator, freezer and microwave; fabulous bathroom with separate shower and tub; working gas fireplace; free automatic wi-fi; great "work" area; etc. The hotel also did a great job in hosting the wedding/reception -- for about 200 guests. Great food and great service. Highly recommend.

Room Tip: I doubt that the hotel has a "bad" room.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank joyce h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria to celebrate my & my fiance's birthday's. From the minute we stepped foot into the hotel, we were treated like we were the only guests staying there. We stayed in the King Waldorf Suite, room 2303, which faced the John Hancock building and we were able to see a sliver of the lake. Upon check in, the day captain, Katherine wished us a happy birthday and ensured we were comfortable...she even led us to the elevator & provided directions to our room. The room was beautiful & it was clear that they have paid close attention to detail! Prior to our arrival, I had organized a surprise of balloons, wine, & chocolate covered strawberries and that couldn't have been possible without the help of concierge, Al. In addition to those goodies, Katherine also sent us a personal note attached to some delicious sea salt caramel chocolate that was prepared by the in house pastry chef. She was so thoughtful.

We also had dinner reservations at RIA that evening. As we checked in with the hostess, she immediately wished us a happy birthday. We were led to our table & greeted by our server, John David. Once again he greeted us with birthday wishes. They made every effort to make us feel special on our day and succeeded 100%. John David started us off with champagne and introduced us to the culinary delights of Chef Danny. He emphasized that RIA valued supporting local sources with an emphasis on not being pretentious. Chef Danny & his team have exceeded every expectation and in my opinion deserve 10 Michelin Stars! John David did such an excellent job of explaining the menu and catering to our dietary needs. At the end of our meal he even serenaded us by singing Happy Birthday in French. It was amazing and the entire restaurant was delighted by his talent. Sommelier, Dan truly lived up to his nickname..."Dan the Man". The program that he's built and his knowledge of the wines are demonstrated in the wine list. He recommended an amazing bottle that complimented both our dinner and our pallet's well. Both my fiance and I opted for the Chef's tasting which was absolutely amazing.

The next day we enjoyed massages at the spa, which were very relaxing. The spa amenities were great. We also had brunch at Balsan, and once again were blown away.

I can't think of words to express what a wonderful time we had at the Waldorf. The staff, service, food, & accommodations were all top notch. We've dinned and stayed at some very lovely places around the world and this by far ranks number 1 on our list. We found ourselves wishing we didn't have to leave to go back to reality. They made us feel like king and queen for a day...you can't beat that. We're already planning our return...and we live in Chicago!

The Waldorf Astoria gives new meaning to luxury, romance, fine (unpretentious) dinning and most importantly service! Thank You!

Room Tip: Choose a high floor for a somewhat better view. Room 2303 has a minimal lake view
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank shashas0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2012

I'm a Hilton Diamond member and booked two nights on Hilton Honors points with my wife and son. The points required were steep, 70K (vs. 40-50K) at other Hilton upper end properties. The overall hotel is very nice....From check in, the spa, and the restaurant. My problem is for 70,000 points and being Diamond status----I was expecting more than a view of an old brown building with no sun exposure in the room. I almost felt like they stuck us in this room because we were traveling on points. The bathroom was nice....but the two queen beds were just OK. Actually the mattresses on the bed were not as nice as other Hilton properties. As a Diamond member, I am used to great views on a top floor of the hotel, at least free continental breakfast (if not full breakfast) and access to an executive lounge.....even the Embassy Suites has fruit,beverage and a snack waiting for me on my arrival. Although I we did get some comped cookies upon arrival...our only other comp was a 15% discount at the restaurant and two free drink coupons. If this is the best hotel in the Hilton chain.....I just didn't get it. Don't get me wrong, I suppose if I "qualified" for a room with a view, and enjoyed some extra perks that are gratuitous at other Hilton properties...I would have enjoyed my stay more. Overall, the common areas of the hotel are stunning though.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Hotel_0107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2012

We stayed there in March for three nights. The service was outstanding and all staff were helpful. We called ahead to arrange transportation from the airport and some restaurant reservations and everything was handled professionally.

We had a Waldorf Suite which was nicely laid out. As well we never heard anyone on our floor throughout the stay.

It is still a "no-tipping" hotel. While I have no problems either way, not having to worry about having smaller bills or how much to tip is a nice change. They have a courtesy car which was great.... when available. The driver was very knowledgable about the restaurants in the area which helped us out.

As well the gym includes access to the spa. Working out with a chance for steam, sauna, whirlpool and shower options helped motivate me to get there.

You are a 5 minute walk from the Water Tower Mall and even less to Gibson's Steak House or Lou Malnati's Pizza.

The rooms have a small fridge and microwave which is handy with a Walgreen's across the street. Breakfast is pricey. Two oatmeals, one pot of coffee and fruit was over $50 (well...it was room service)

This is not the place if you are on a budget but I will definitely book at the Waldorf for my next trip to Chicago.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nonfiction_diction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2012

I would like to make this a home away from home place to go when we go to Chicago. We stayed for three nights with our family and we had a worthwhile experience. The fireplaces in the rooms did not work or were not available, nor was the DVR to pre tape any movies. We called the front desk and they sent someone up who could not make the DVR work either. My major concern was with the concierge Mark. He was so pompous. We are very relaxed so he treated us like we were impecunious. We asked him to make a dinner suggestion and reservation for a good vegetarian meal, and you would have thought that we were asking for something difficult. He made a big deal about it and sent us to a Middle Eastern restaurant that, when we showed up we were the only people there. It had poor quality and service and we had to travel quite a distance by cab to get there. The women that taught the pool exercise was great to offer many good restaurant choices, besides being a good instructor. Loved the pool and health club area.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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11  Thank ProSpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Address: 11 East Walton, Chicago, IL 60611-1412 (Formerly Elysian Hotel Chicago)
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: $401 - $870 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Chicago 5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AAA Five-Diamond Waldorf Astoria Chicago(formerly The Elysian Hotel)is located in the heart of the prestigious Gold Coast neighborhood amognst the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street famed restaurants, retailers and lakefront. The award-winning 215 room hotel through innovative services and technologies, creates a new experience in luxury – energetic and fashion forward, warm and welcoming, and fresh and engaging. Amenities include a 14,000 square-foot spa & health club; 7,500 square feet of private event space; Bernard's Bar & Restaurant. ... more   less 
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