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“What I expected vs. What I got” 2 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 #7 of 168 hotels in Chicago
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“What I expected vs. What I got”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013 via mobile

My company just landed a corporate account in Chicago, and with a small team we’ll be visiting the city quite often. I’ve been scouting various hotels for our upcoming stays, and was excited to try the Waldorf-Astoria, but I have to say they really blew it. With every place I’ve been in Asia and Europe, they know how to deliver all the details to help make a stay exceptional; but they dropped the ball here like my favorite football team in nearby Buffalo. Upon arrival, I walked up to the front desk and stood there for a minute before the girl raised her head from her computer to acknowledge me. I called the operator to have more towels sent up and she transferred me to have housekeeping do it. When I asked for a cab out front, the doorman didn’t bother to ask where I was going so he could inform the cab driver.

You may think these are silly little oversights, but it’s a dozen things like this that separate a four star hotel from a five star. I have to give this place two stars because for all it claims to be (and Tripadvisor rates it as the only five star in Chicago) this is absolutely NOT a five star hotel. I know five stars, I’ve stayed in five stars, and this place was a slap in the face to all those resorts and lodges from the Seychelles to Singita to Singapore that actually know how to greet a guest at the desk, on the phone, and in the driveway. Maybe this place used to be better, and it must have been once to be rated this high, but laurels aren’t given out to be rested on.

On a side-note, my scouting also took me to the Four Seasons for a two-night stay and I have to admit that was a phenomenal experience. It was everything the Waldorf probably used to be and no longer tries to be. Apparently being #1 for so long got to their head?

The king is dead. Long live the king.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Guest Services at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear BigFish-56,

Thank you so much for your review of your recent stay with us. Your feedback is truly valued for it is one of the best tools we have to continuously improve the quality of our products and services. Unfortunately, these valuable lessons have come at your expense.

It is with great regret and concern that I read that your visit with us was nothing but a disappointment. I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced, especially regarding your check in process, your request for extra towels and the lack of attentive service at the front door.
I would like the opportunity to personally apologize to you and discuss what can be done to have you stay with us again. I can be contacted at chad.gordon@waldorfastoria.com, or alternatively, my direct number is (312) 646-1335.

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

Apologetically,

Chad Gordon
Director of Guest Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,226 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 (228)
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English first
Helsingborg,sweden
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We had the pleasure of being guests of this fine hotel for 4 nights. We were greeted by a very knowledgeable Andrew upon arrival , our suite wasn't quite ready to be checked into, but it was worth the wait since we got a nice upgrade. While waiting we had a lovely brunch, don't miss it. Our suite was very comfortable with great views over the city, we loved the balcony. Suite very spacious with great seating area and the bathroom was awesome. We found the staff very helpful and utilized the house car on several occasions, a great service. Can not say enough good things about this hotel. See you on our next visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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, July 3, 2013
Dear oregongirl62,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback of your most recent visit with us on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that we were able to upgrade your suite and that you enjoyed the various amenities the hotel has to offer, especially our restaurant Balsan and the House Car service. Your loyalty and patronage are highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to our next opportunity to serve you when your travels bring you back our way.

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.
Racine, Wisconsin
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013 via mobile

We loved our stay at the Waldorf Astoria! From the moment we pulled up to the valet, quick check-in, upgraded to a suite, and the serenety of a beautifully designed suite, I knew we'd be very happy there. We had a large porch, fireplace in the living room, very comfortable bedroom, and large marble bathroom with a huge soaking tub. The only problem was we did not have enough time to enjoy this great room. Shopping is right around the corner, along with the great restaurants of Chicago. I was surprised when tips were refused. Our service was always friendly and prompt.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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, July 3, 2013
Dear eieionan,

Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us. It gives me great pleasure to read that you found peace and comfort in your suite and that our service team was able to promptly and efficiently assist you and your family throughout your visit. It is rewarding to read that you enjoyed our no tipping policy. Our team’s philosophy of service is to assist without an expectation of receiving anything in return, except our guest’s desire to visit with us again. We will certainly look forward to welcome you and your family back, hopefully I the not far future.

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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I thought that this hotel was going to be great but it turned out to be just OK. For the price I paid I thought I was going to have a large room, fridge and micro with no fee, working AC. The room was instead small, AC was not cold enough, had to pay a fee for the fridge and micro. Horrible stay. I found cookie crumbs on the floor by the bed base boards. Dirty towels!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

My friends and I were in Chicago for a Girls trip and the Waldorf was the perfect place to stay. The location was excellent, we could walk to some of the best stores and restaurants. The room and service exceeded our expectations. We had the 1200 sq feet suite and it was more than enough room for the three of us. The TV in the bathroom mirror was a great delight and one of the special signatures that sets Waldorf apart from the rest. All the staff was extremely helpful, but Andrew and Earnest were a big help at the front desk when I wanted to extend my stay. Although we didn't get a chance to use the Spa, I was very impressed with the facility and services offered. I am extremely picky, but I can honestly say that this property by far is the BEST of the Best hands down!

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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, July 1, 2013
Dear Krhb,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am truly happy to read that you enjoyed your suite and all of its unique amenities, especially the TV in the mirror. It also gives me great pleasure to read that Andrew and Ernest were able to assist extending your stay with us. Thank you for your kind remarks regarding our Elysian Spa. I truly hope that next time you and your friends visit with us, you have the opportunity to enjoy some of their relaxing treatments. We will look forward to our next opportunity to serve you.

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.
Thunder Bay, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Excellent Hotel Great Staff Great Food Great Fitness and Spa Center Excellent Accommodations and location Close to shopping and restaurants Bathroom spectacular Excellent suites and upgrades Concierge very helpful Did not request tips even when offered

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

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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, July 1, 2013
Dear Frank, Marcel N,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay during your last visit to the Windy City with your family. I am thrilled to read that you enjoyed your suite and the unique amenities the hotel has to offer. It also gives me great pleasure to learn that the Concierge team efficiently assisted you throughout your time with us. We truly value your patronage and can’t wait to welcome you and your family back sometime in the near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

It’s a pretty building in a great location. Our breakfast at Balsan was fine. The lifts were tiny though, and I think only one was working during our stay because the other never opened up.

The problem we had was with Al at the concierge desk. We asked for a nice Italian restaurant nearby and he recommended Spiagga. When we arrived it was very nice indeed until we saw the menus and the prices and realized we were not getting out for less then $500 US. Some may think we were foolish for keeping put, but we had already ordered drinks and been seated; leaving would have been embarrassing. We have no issues spending a lot of money -- heck, we were staying at the Waldorf-Astoria -- so long as it is our choosing, but it was the sour feeling of being duped that turned our stomachs. When we next spoke with Al he claims he told us Café Spiagga which was right next door, but he never said any such thing. Perhaps he gets a kickback from the restaurant for doing what he did? In that case, he found a pair of suckers in us.

Communication is the hallmark of great customer service and we feel like we were fleeced. We are not confrontational types to argue against something that never should have happened in the first place. In reading other reviews, whenever something goes wrong, I see the manager replies with apologetically instead of sincerely. Too late, don’t bother.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 #7 of 168 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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