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.
- 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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