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“Don't miss this terrific hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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Waldorf Astoria Chicago
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   11 East Walton, Chicago, IL 60611 (Formerly Elysian Hotel Chicago) (Gold Coast)   |  
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Ranked #6 of 169 hotels in Chicago
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Don't miss this terrific hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

My wife and I spent a week visiting Chicago, in a deluxe suite Room 2604, in part based on the excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. The Elysian lived up to those reviews and provided one of the best lodging experiences we have ever enjoyed. We have had the good fortune to stay in some of the finest hotels in our travels. Places like the St. Regis in NYC and the Saint James in Montreal. The Elysian ranks with those kind of properties but provides a contemporary environment.

The hotel's features are well documented in other reviews so I won't repeat them here. The design of the rooms and the amenites are absolutely first class and the small balcony was a welcome feature.

The really impressive thing about the Elysian is the hotel staff. We often read about the quality of hotel staff in reviews and it is usually hard to quantify. Not so at the Elysian. The amazing thing at this hotel is that the staff is largely young adults. The management and owners have clearly developed a training and hiring system that selects extremely well educated and personable individuals. More importantly, the hotel then trains them extensively resulting in the most friendly, helpful, and efficient staff possible. It is a rare thing these days to find an organization that values the quality of it's employees so highly. It is an old fashioned approach to success that is as important as the quality of the product.

The impressive thing about the Elysian is not tv's in mirrors or the no tipping policy. The reason we would return again in a heartbeat is that the ownership and top management have a plan, a very good plan, for delivering great hospitality, in a first class physical plant, employing state of the art design, all based on a foundation of extremely well trained and selected staff.

Room Tip: Make your preferences known to the staff and they will deliver.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (239)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

This hotel is perfect. It's location is just right for a weekend trip to Chicago as it's close to the downtown loop area but also close to Lincoln Park, the Navy Pier, and the lake. It's within blocks of the Hancock Building and Michigan Avenue but not in the super touristy Water Tower Place.

The hotel itself is beautiful...new but with lots of character and interesting touches. It's a modern boutique style but softer and, I think, better done than a W. The room was large and extremely comfortable with great touches and a super comfy bed.

The staff was extremely gracious and upgraded us to a suite when our room wasn't ready upon our arrival (we were a bit early, around 2). And, everyone we encountered on the staff was upbeat and helpful. We would definitely return to this hotel and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Hotel was lovely and friendly. No tipping and very courteous - conceirge service was exceptional and arranged our dinner reservations, looked after mailing our parcels, arranged great baseball tickets for us; took us to the L-train and showed us how to use it (we're not from Chicago). Hotel rooms were very spacious - we had 2 bedroom suite with balconies and 2.5 baths, & 2 living/sitting rooms. Great for 2 couples to share and still have together space/time, and private time/space. 2 issues: Maid came to our door every morning at 9am, and every morning we turned her away -- rather irritating on a holiday. And 1 balcony was dirty with old food during our entire stay - even after mentioning to maid. Expensive so these 2 irritants count against value. Otherwise, near perfection.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Loved everything about this hotel ! The decor is beautiful, the rooms are very comfortable and the location cannot be beat but the most impressive thing about this new hotel is the service- it is top-notch from the doorman, to the front desk, the bar, the maids- everyone is first class and knows what they are doing- they go out of their way to make you enjoy your stay- I have never felt so pampered at a hotel before- it is like a smaller, more relaxed Ritz Carlton- I love it and can't wait to return

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

My husband and I just returned from the most blissful vacation we have ever taken and we have the Elysian to thank for that.

To start with we sent some of our clothes to the hotel via UPS in advance so we could just take carry on luggage with us. The amazing staff at the Elysian called me when our clothes arrived to let me know that a bottle of sunscreen had spilled onto a few items of clothing. But, they were quick to tell me, they had cleaned it off and had the clothes, cleaned, pressed and ready for our stay. When we arrived they were hanging in our closet. Amazing.

When we arrived, the manager had left us a hand written note welcoming us to the hotel. We also received notes each day reminding us of dinner reservations, spa treatments, etc. Every note was handwritten.

The staff is amazing. Apparently the hotel philosophy is that each guest should feel like an honored guest in a friend's home. So, no employee will accept tips (that is already factored into each service), and they are encouraged to connect with guests on a personal level and to try to find ways to amaze and delight the guests. They succeed at every turn.

One thing they thought of is to eliminate ice machines on guest floors because they tend to be loud. Instead, each room has a bar with an ice compartment - they keep it filled with ice for you.

The room service menu is like none I have ever tasted....the food comes from the same kitchen that serves their Michelin 2 star restaurant in the hotel. Especially loved the breakfast and the pasta with bolognese (sp) sauce.

The spa is incredible. Great service and every treatment is a pleasure. I had my hair done 2X by Christina and all I can say is that the next time I go I may not even waste space in my luggage by taking a hair dryer. She made me look and feel like a supermodel.

I could go on an on with examples of Elysian's excellence but you should experience it for yourself. Top quality sheets, towels, and comfortable furniture. Oh, and my favorite was the TV-in-the mirror in the bathroom so you can watch TV while you fix your makeup or from the bathtub. So cool.

One last thing, I have stayed at 5 star hotels all around the US and some globally and the Elysian is, by far, the most luxurious with the best service of all. I love that place and can't wait to go back for my next visit.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Elysian for a long holiday weekend. We were so impressed. Everything about our stay was top notch - suite, staff, location, room service. We would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marin County, CA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Had a tremendous experience here. Everything from start to finish was seamless and exceeded expectations. I booked a discount-rate room off Jetsetter, and STILL they gave me an upgrade to a Gold Coast Suite. The room was modern, sprawling, and was full of positive surprises.

First surprise, looking for the mini-bar drinks, stumbling across the very convenient refrigerated drawer instead!

Next surprise, after being a bit surprised at a lack of TV in the bathroom (and mentally noting that I would call that out in my review!) I notice a remote control on the counter. After a tenative click of the power button, voila, a behind-the-mirror large (for a bathroom) TV set is hidden away!

Next surprise, tried out the gym - what great service, folks bringing water to you while on the cardio machines!

Then, when checking out, the person grabbing the luggage refuses a tip not only during pick-up of the bags from the room, but again when picking up the car from valet. Insanity.

The only nits I can find to pick - the parking rates are very high (but in line for the area), and the new-fangled electronic switching system is a bit slow to respond sometimes (resulting in extra & confusing presses) and also they missed the boat on putting some useful centralized switches near the bed to control night-light/room lights. For the amount they invested in the electrics & automation, this seems like a strange oversight.

The inclusion of a small balcony was nice, as was the fireplace.

But the location rocks (mid-way betwen Gold Coast shopping and Rush Street night-life), the Concierge recommendations were appropriate and not self-serving, the on-site restaurant is awesome.

My new absolutely go-to spot for Chicago.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 (Formerly Elysian Hotel Chicago)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 #6 of 169 hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Chicago 5*
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 188-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; 4,500 square feet of private event space; European-inspired bistro, Balsan; haute bar Bernard's. ... more   less 
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