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“An oasis in the city” 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
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“An oasis in the city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

The WA Chicago is a quiet, friendly, comfortable home base for me when I'm in Chicago. I stayed there for the first time in October 2013, returned in November, and am returning again this December! :)

The location is convenient to so many things - Magnificent Mile shopping is basically outside your door; it's also easy to get to other places around town via a nearby Red Line stop, major bus routes (up and down Michigan Ave., Clark, Dearborn, etc.), and the WA's free house car when available. It's surrounded by hustle and bustle, but once you step inside the little courtyard, it's like you're entering another world of warmth and quiet. (Having the courtyard in front is also very convenient when being dropped off/picked up.)

I've stayed in a Deluxe and Astoria suite and both are very roomy. The bathroom is huge. The shower has great water pressure, and having the separate tub is a nice touch. The gas fireplace makes the living room really cozy. I never thought I cared about having a fireplace, but the one at the WA makes me want to put one in my own apartment. :)

I had learned of the hotel's no-tipping policy before I stayed there and thought it sounded nice, but I didn't realize *how* nice it would be until I actually stayed there. It's so refreshing to be helped by staffers who *never* have their hands out for tips. Staffers are generally very friendly, warm, and attentive to your needs. Having the house cars available is also great.

Is everything 100% perfect? No. The fitness room could be a little bigger and have a few more machines - at times, the treadmills were all in use. I also found it surprising that the housekeeping staff did not always vacuum the carpets each time they cleaned the room (a couple of times, I happened to be in the room doing some work while they came in and cleaned, so I was able to notice they didn't vacuum). The front desk could also be overwhelmed at times - sometimes there was a fairly long line. The bar also could be open later on Sunday nights.
The TV in the bathroom mirrors always took a while to work. At times, it was also confusing as to whether the house car was available or whether a taxi was coming. I also received macarons at turndown the first night and not any other nights - it would be a nice touch to always provide them.

However, overall, this is an incredibly comfortable and delightful hotel to stay at. It's like having your own very stylish apartment with a staff ready to meet your needs. I have felt well cared for both times I've stayed there. I look forward to returning in a few weeks!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Dear thegreatlizby,

Thank you so much for visiting us again and for posting your review of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you enjoy our guest rooms, especially the warmth of the fireplaces, the hotel’s location, and our no tipping policy. Our philosophy of service is to give without expecting anything in return, except our guests’ desire to stay with us again. Thank you also for your kind comments in regard to our service staff, I will share them with the entire team.
We truly appreciate your feedback regarding our fitness center, the hours in our bar Bernard’s, our front desk, our televisions in the bathroom mirrors, and housekeeping. I will bring your concerns to the directors of all the different departments’ attention. We truly value your loyalty and look forward to our next opportunity to properly serve you when your travels next bring you to Chicago.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,253 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
Princeton, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

The hotel was beautiful. from the chandelier in the lobby to the decor in the rooms. The staff was great. I was stranded in Chicago after my flight was cancelled, and they were incredibly kind and helpful with very little notice. The suite was more than comfortable. It's large, and had a gas fireplace, balcony, dressing area and amazing bathroom. I'm only sorry I didn't bring a bathing suit. I heard the pool and spa were worth the trip. It's also located near a lot of restaurants and shopping within walking distance, and not far from the conference center. I will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear ljk413,

Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your suite, with all of its different amenities and the hotel décor and location. I am sorry to hear about your problems with your flight, but I am happy that you were able to enjoy the hotel a little longer and that our team was able to efficiently assist you during this inconvenient process. We truly value your loyalty and will look forward to welcoming you back when your business travels next bring you to Chicago!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarkston, Michigan
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

This hotel definitely lives up to it's positive reviews - it may be the best place I've stayed. The facility is top notch and the staff is the friendliest I've encountered. VERY good service. Our room was a Luxury One Bedroom King Suite and it was large enough for 4. Bathroom included a good sized tub, separate shower and toilet facilities. There was also a half bath located in the hallway, which was convenient for the kids using the sofa bed (they did not have to enter our room). The main living area had a nice fireplace, a refrigerator, microwave and ice maker. There is also a balcony, but this time of year is not the best time to use it. Overall, the room was very quiet as well.

We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant and it was O.K. The fingerling potatos were delicious, but my wife's eggs were not cooked correctly (very under cooked - she ordered over hard and they were pretty runny, which is nearly unedible for her) and I received the wrong order. It was a bit slow as well.

We did not use the exercise facilities, but we did tour them and they were very impressive. They have a 60 foot lap pool as well, a seperate room for yoga and jacuzzi tubs in both the men's and ladies' lockerooms.

The location is good and I particularly liked the courtyard/ hotel's enterance off of E. Walton - you did not have to hurry getting in and out of your car and they park it on site so you do not have to wait long for the valet to retrieve it.

As I said, the staff was very attentive, professional and friendly and really made the overall experience quite favorable.

I have stayed at many hotels in Chicago (including the Peninsula) and I will definitely return to the Waldorf.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Sammy1006,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your suite, with all of its unique amenities, our Health Club, and the privacy of our courtyard. I regret to learn, however, that breakfast did not meet you expectations. Your concerns have been brought to our Executive Chef and to our Food and Beverage Director’s attention. Feedback like yours enables us to continuously strive for improvement in the quality of our products and services.

Thank you for your kind comments in regard to our service team. We truly value your loyalty and will look forward to our next opportunity to properly serve you when you and your family visit with us again, hopefully in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

This was a beautiful hotel. Charm and decent location.

Although far from museums for the family, the house car ferried us to most destinations conveniently.


Super cozy bar for a late night cocktail and the spa is beautiful.

Room service was pricey but good food and came in a hot box trolley which was nice.

Family note...There are no 2 bedroom suites and the sleeper sofa was not the best for teenage sons. This was our only complaint and the charming room more than made up for it.

Super comfortable for a family weekend and I will return for business as well.

Really my new favorite!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear Amanda42139,

Thank you so much for your review of your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed our hotel’s décor, our Elysian Spa, our In Room Dining service, and our bar Bernard’s.

I regret to learn that the sofa bed in your suite was not the ideal accommodation for your teenage sons. We can offer in the future a combination of two of our suites, which connect and become a large two bedroom suite, to make your stay more comfortable.

We truly value your loyalty and are really excited to learn that we have become your new favorite hotel. We will look forward to welcoming you and your family back in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Look, my go-to hotel in Chicago is the James. Was this better? No...and let me explain.

It's more traditional, old school and, um, upper 1%-er. You can tell by the Wall Street Journals lining the crystal chandelier lit hallways in the AM.

The lobby is awkward. There is no bar or activity in the lobby area. The restaurant/bar are on the second level. The bar, in particular, is small, dark and odd. The rooms are large and nice, but so what? This is my parent's hotel. It's just much too old school traditional for my taste. Back to the my go-to...

Room Tip: all rooms are probably great, if you like a "traditional" property
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Dear m0rrisey,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I am delighted to learn that you find our guest rooms enjoyable; however, I regret to read that the hotel’s décor did not meet your expectations. We will look forward to another opportunity to properly serve you and craft for you a more welcoming and warmer stay when business next brings you back into Chicago.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I wanted to write a review because this hotel deserves to be recognized for its superb customer service, cleanliness, and all around ambiance. It's also warm feeling, verse over pretentious.

I live in Chicago, and my husband and I enjoy luxury get-aways. We will stay here again for another "stay-cation." I'd like to come in the summer, so we could of sat our on the balcony and drink. I do hope they have furniture to do that in the warmer months.

I like that you can stay within the hotel grounds the whole weekend- Beautiful spa, fire place in room to read, and upscale bar. I would like to see a small menu of food at Bernards and/or desserts options. Balsan is a great restaurant for brunch, and we also really enjoyed ordering oysters, cheese and olives there for late night dinner.

I'm hard to impress, and we really loved our entire stay here.

Room Tip: Fire place in the room during the winter was a lot of fun to have.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Dear Jennifer h,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to learn that you enjoy our guest rooms, especially their fireplaces and terraces, our restaurant Balsan, our Spa and our bar Bernard’s. Thank your for your feedback regarding Bernard’s. Our Executive Chef, Herve, and the culinary team have composed an exciting menu of tasteful bites which should go live very soon! Thank you also for your kind comments in regards to our service team. We will look forward to our next opportunity to serve you when you and your husband visit with us again, hopefully in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I want to give a compliment to Al, the concierge at the Waldorf Astoria who made reservations - hard to get - hair salon recommendations and sent off packages - when I tried to tip him he declined as the hotel is non-tipping - I found that most unusual and wanted to say thank you Al for making my stay very enjoyable - Jane King

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Jane K,

Thank you so much for your positive feedback in regards to our concierge Al. He is a great asset to our team. I will definitely share your kind comments with him and the entire staff. Our hotel’s definition of luxury does not include tips but does include welcoming our guests with genuine warmth and desire of being of assistance. Giving without the expectation of receiving is the Waldorf Astoria Chicago way. We will look forward to your next visit, hopefully in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Tel: (312) 646-1300
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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