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“Great hotel, needs sme polish” 4 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
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great hotel, needs sme polish”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Waldorf Chicago (formerly Elysian) for a short weekend away. The hotel is beautiful. The rooms are large and well-appointed and done in a nice style that blends contemporary with traditional. Our had a gas fireplace, which was great. The hotel car is a nice convenience.

Our main nit was the service. Everyone was very friendly and trying hard, but seemed inexperienced -- as if the hotel had just opened and staffed up. We had several strange interactions that would be easily forgotten, but they added up to oddly poor service for such a nice hotel. A few examples:
*When I first checked in, there was one person working at the desk with a line of 4 people waiting. Several staff members were buzzing arounsd, giving tours, addressing other things. It took a good 5 minutes before anyone realized they should put another staff member on the desk.
*Our first morning, we were awoken by a man *in our room* explaining how the lights work. It appears that he had either mistakenly taken a new guest to our room or was training a maid. A hotel manager called a bit later that morning to appologize, but strangely did so only a bit later, on a Saturday morning while we were still in bed.
*On two occasions, housekeeping staff basically pushed past us in the hallways, rather than stepping to the side.
*The room phones have only a single service button. I pressed it and asked who I could speak with about taxis or the hotel car. The person said he could help. I explained that I needed a car in 5 minutes and asked if it was available or if we should call a taxi. The person on the other end then recited the complete hours that the car is available and said he did not know if the car was in use but that taxis would be lined up downstairs. I don't know why he didn't just direct us to someone who knew if the car was out. And upon coming downstairs, we discovered that the valets were having a hard timre getting taxis and we should have called for one with some notice.

This hotel has tremendous potential, but I'm confused why there are so many services glitches.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, Director of Hotel Services at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear AdamCJ,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay during your weekend getaway. It gives me great pleasure to read that you found the hotel’s décor tasteful and the car service convenient.

On the other hand, I am terribly sorry for the different inconsistencies you encountered pertaining service, especially concerning housekeeping and our phone operator.

If it is possible, I would like to speak to you directly to personally apologize and to discuss your experience a little further. I can be contacted at kathryn.m.day@waldorfastoria.com, or alternatively, my direct number is (312) 646-1404.

I look forward to the opportunity to regain your faith in our ability to properly serve you.

Apologetically,

Kathryn Day
Director of Hotel Services
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1,265 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 (240)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Perfect location, the room was incredible.

The only thing that was not ok, was the service. We asked the concierge on different occasions for some advice on where to go, but the were simply not nice. The had a "snob" attitude. The always suggested the same place to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. We wanted him to make reservations at a sports bar to watch the super bowl, but he said everything was full, and didint even try. We searched online and on the firts place we tried we got reservation.

Room Tip: We asked for a suite and it was beautiful.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 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, Director of Hotel Services at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Dolabola,

Thank you so much for your feedback regarding your most recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I am pleased to read that you truly enjoyed your suite and the hotel’s location. However, I am terribly sorry for the disappointing experience you encountered with our concierge team.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience. As part of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago team, I am confident that your experience does not represent our typical level of service.

I would like the opportunity to personally speak to you and discuss what can be done to have you stay with us again in the future. I can be contacted at kathryn.m.day@waldorfastoria.com, or alternatively, my direct number is (312) 646-1404.

I look forward to the opportunity to regain your faith in our ability to properly serve you.

Apologetically,

Kathryn Day
Director of Hotel Services
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We had a winter "stay-cation" in which we started planning our wedding. After staying there for 3 nights, we really never wanted to leave. We hope our June wedding is just as enjoyable as our Jan stay!

Perfect size & location. Impeccable service. Beautiful spa and fitness center. Expensive but not obnoxious. Worth every penny.

Re: the 18%. The no extra tipping was nice (luggage, doormen, etc.). The 18% add-on for food/spa was a little surprising at first but I would tip 20% anyway so no big deal. Only minor complaint - we were at the bar and just had drinks. I loved the wine so I asked for the bottle price. When we were paying our check, she told us it was $60 and I said OK so she brought it over. With tax (I understand) and 18% tip (really? we just paid you), it was over $80. I didn't complain since everything was beautiful but that was a little annoying after I thought about it. I agree with 18% tip for food and spa services but not drinks. I experienced this in South Beach as well and it gets a little ridiculous.

One excellent amenity - take advantage of the car service (during the day when available) - a beautiful Town Car will take you anywhere within 2 miles or so - really anywhere in the immediate city area - and it was included. Great idea!

Best hotel in Chicago, no question, in comparison to Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Peninsula. We are looking forward to our wedding in June!

Room Tip: All rooms had an excellent view as they are higher than any building around it. We were right by th...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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, February 18, 2013
Dear Tobey11,

Thank you for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago to celebrate your wedding. We know it is a once in a lifetime experience and we are much honored to be given the opportunity to host it.

Thank you also for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am pleased to learn that you and your future spouse enjoy the hotel’s location, our Elysian Spa and Fitness Club, our house car service, and that our level of service met your expectations. Your loyalty and patronage is highly valued and appreciated. We can’t wait to welcome you back in June to celebrate such a memorable moment in your lives.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I can't say enough good things about this hotel. After having a very mediocre experience at The Sofitel (another luxury hotel just down the street), I was hoping that my experience at the Waldorf Astoria would prove to be more positive. Indeed it was! This is probably one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at. The location is very convenient. The exterior of the building looks more traditional, but the inside of the hotel is ultra modern and chic. All the employees from the valet to the bell hop to the front desk people were all incredibly nice and professional. Room service was outstanding and they had a gorgeous spa on the 4th floor. Lastly, when I checked in they upgraded my room, so I got really lucky and ended up with the largest suite (one grade below the presidential suite)! Next time I ever go to Chicago I will definitely be staying here again!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 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, February 11, 2013
Dear MariaLuvsNOLA,

Thank you for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay during your last visit to the Windy City. I am sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience in your last hotel stay in the city; however, I am delighted to read that we provided you with a positive memorable visit.

Thank you for your kind comments regarding our service team. Feedback like yours truly inspires our continuous pursuit of Excellence in everything we do. Your loyalty is truly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to personalizing your next visit when your travels bring you back into Chicago!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

When can I move in??? I loved my stay at this hotel!!! As a Chicago native, I have stayed at many downtown hotels while spending a night on the town, and this was BY FAR the best. The suite we stayed in was very elegantly and tastefully furnished (I find overly oppulent design to be gaudy). This was the perfect mix of elegance and simplicity. I absolutely adored sitting in front of the fireplace (I want my fireplace at home to have the same wrought iron now) and the bed, couches, etc. were so comfy. The bathroom - I don't think I have ever been in a deeper bathtub in my life. You could easily fit 2+ people in this bathtub. My husdand could not get me out of the bathtub, and you can watch TV from the bathtub (TV in the mirror). I was a little sad this wasn't an air bath, but was relieved this was not a jetted tub (jetted tubs gross me out from all the bacteria that grow in the jets). Overall, the deepness of the bathtub more than made up for the lack of the air bath (and there was plenty of hot water). The separate shower was also absolutely huge. Put it this way, I could have spent my entire stay in the bathroom and been perfectly happy. The suite was also very quiet. I was a bit worried when I initially walked down the hall as I noticed there was some overly excited teenagers on our floor (possible hotel party?). However, once I walked into the room I didn't hear a peep and everything was perfectly quiet. Also, the balcony is very large for a Chicago hotel. Some furniture would have been nice to have outside (it was the winter though, maybe there is outdoor furniture in the summer). The bed was also very very comfy (there could have been a few more pillows, but I am a freak that likes to sleep on at least 4 pillows every night, so most people would probably find the number of pillows sufficient). Another nice touch was the bathrobe. Also, the location of this hotel is the BEST in Chicago. It is perfectly located on the gold coast close to restraunts/nightlife near Rush/Division, my favorite shops at your doorstep (this area has even better shops than Michigan Ave, imo), short walk to Michigan Ave., and short walk to downtown beaches in the summer). Also, brunch was soooo good (get the eggs benedict), and the service was at the restaurant was great!! Finally, I think the best part of the hotel is that the room, hotel, etc. fits Chicago. I have been to many 5 star resorts/hotels throughout the world, and the best ones are the places that fit the locale (if you put this hotel in Fiji, it would not fit; however, if you put a Fijian Bure in Chicago, that also would not fit). Overall Review: Stay here if you can afford it.

Room Tip: Stay in a suite!
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 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, February 11, 2013
Dear Liz M,

Thank you so much for such positive feedback regarding your recent stay with us. I am delighted to read that you found at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago your “home away from home.” Thank you for your gracious comments regarding our guest rooms and all their unique amenities, the hotel location and the food and service in our restaurant Balsan. Please next time you visit with us, do not hesitate requesting more pillows for your bed. We will be delighted to provide you as many as you need.

We truly value and appreciate your patronage and can’t wait to welcome you and your travel companion back in the very near future!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

No lapse in stellar service here! From our arrival to departure, exemplary service prevailed. Usually you'll experience ONE stand-out employee that makes your visit a pleasant one, with it lacking in other service areas. Here, at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago, all staff employees, from doorman, to front staff, to housekeeping, to account manager, we're dedicated professionals, providing "above and beyond," service! I was able to quickly unwind and feel at ease by the first couple of minutes in our suite. Usually I'm tearing the beds apart and checking bathrooms to find something that needs to be cleaned properly....oh no, not here. The room was perfection, and everything was immaculate. This is somthingI've never experienced during any of my travels around the world....a rarity, indeed. I was happy to relay to staff that I would be spreading the word of my of-so-exceptional visit to their superior hotel. Walfdorf-Astoria Chicago has gained a loyal customer!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a luxury suite.....you will not be disappointed!
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 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, February 13, 2013
Dear Dee A,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am truly delighted to learn that you found comfort in your suite and that our service team was able to graciously assist you throughout your visit. Thank you so much for recommending the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Your patronage and loyalty are highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to our next opportunity to serve you!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Easily the best place to stay in Chicago. Great location and amazing staff. Beautiful hotel! Rooms have great amenities and very nice balconies which you dont see too often. There is no decision, stay here! Oh and the spa is absolutely beyond words.....great gym and indoor pool too.

  • 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 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, February 5, 2013
Dear CSCFBahamas88,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your last experience at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to learn that you and your family enjoyed your room, with its unique amenities, especially its balcony, and our Elysian Spa and Fitness Club. Thank you as well for your kind words regarding our service team and for recommending the hotel. Your patronage is highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to welcoming you and your family back soon!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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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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