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“Nice hotel with room to improve” 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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Special Offer
Suite Savings - 15% off
Ranked #4 of 177 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Nice hotel with room to improve”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

I stayed here with my family over Labor Day weekend for a short break in Chicago. We selected this hotel having seen that it came first in a US hotel ranking in one of the major travel magazines and that intrigued us. To and from the airport we utilized the hotel's limo provider. Sure it was pricey versus a taxi but with a late arrival and plenty of luggage to us it was worth the assistance for a pleasurable start to our trip. As usual we opted for a suite which in this case was on the 21st floor with great views of the city plus a balcony. The rooms were attractive and spacious even with two children in tow. Each day we ordered room service breakfasts and thought they were excellent. On a more general level the public areas of the hotel are stylish though relatively small given that the hotel is a esentially a narrow tower. We didn't dine in the restaurant but I took a look in and it looked pretty inviting in a dim light bistro kind of way. An interesting feature of the hotel is the fact that it has a no tipping policy. It takes a little adjusting to (and testing it a few times, each time turned down) but was rather pleasant assuming base salaries are higher.

So now for the irritants... The main one was the fact that I wasn't entirely comfortable with some of the windows in the room at the floor level which opened inwards and a toddler in the room. I asked if there was the possibility for some kind of child proofing on the latches both by calling reception and then to the conceige on the way out of the hotel, in neither case did we see any evidence of follow up. In the end we just blocked off access to the windows ourselves. Perhaps we were being paranoid raising it but a little more engagement on the topic would have been appreciated. Secondly, after a pleasant dinner at the excellent H2O we returned to the hotel on a Sunday evening at perhaps 10pm to find the bar closed. I understand it was a Sunday but I expect a little more...

All-in-all its a fine hotel with a certain elegance but best in the USA? Not in our opinion. Its in the details.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Dear PADILL,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago for your short break with your family over Labor Day weekend. Thank you for your positive comments with regard to our In Room Dining service and your suite. I am delighted to read that you found comfort in your room and you enjoyed our no tipping policy. On the other hand, I would like to apologize for the lack of follow up from our Concierge and our Guest Services team and for your disappointment caused by the hours of operation of our restaurant Balsan. I have shared your concerns with the directors of the appropriate areas for internal review. I hope that you can give us another opportunity to properly serve you when your travels next bring you back to Chicago. We will look forward to welcoming you back.

Sincerely,

Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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1,505 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (273)
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English first
Farmington Hills, MI
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

The staff at the hotel truly help to make the experience at the property memorable with the personal touches and professionalism that you exude every day. It may seem like a simple thing, but for someone who travels so often, being able to have a “life” somewhere outside of the comfort of one’s home is nearly an impossible thing. Yet, somehow I tend to feel more at home when I’m in Chicago more often than Michigan sometimes! Hilton has done a tremendous job continuing the excellence and quality throughout the transition from the Elysian Hotel and it is evident in the resulting product today.

  • Stayed September 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

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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, September 30, 2013
Dear vsarafa,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive feedback pertaining to your stays at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. We are delighted to welcome you back every time you visit with us, and we are truly excited to read that you have found in our hotel a home away from home. Your patronage and loyalty are tremendously 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.
Cleveland, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

This property is truly a gem to be found in Chicago. Fantastic service and wonderful amenities made for a great weekend. If you are looking to be pampered look no further than the Waldorf in Chicago. Tucked away off Rush Street, you are still and soul of all that the Gold Coast can offer.

  • Stayed September 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

Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

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, October 4, 2013
Dear Craig B,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback of your most recent stay on TripAdvisor. I am truly pleased to read that you enjoyed the various amenities the hotel has to offer and its location. Thank you also for your positive remarks pertaining to our service team. We will look forward to welcoming you and your travel companion back, hopefully in 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.
Ashburn, Va
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a weekend get away to celebrate my birthday. He booked a package deal on Expedia, so I figured we were not going to get a room with a view- and of course, I was correct! At check in, the clerk made mention of the fact we booked on Expedia and I felt as though there was an undertone present.
That said, the room was large and very modern in design. I agree with another reviewer, the lighting( or lack thereof) in the bathroom is annoying. My other criticism is the quality of the mattress and the sheets. If you are going to charge over $500.00 per night then you should have high quality, high thread count(Egyptian) cotton sheets on the bed and a pillow top mattress.
The sheets were scratchy and the mattress was hard. Very disappointing!

The location of the hotel is great- within walking distance to all of the high end shops, Rush Street restaurants, Hancock building, and Michigan Avenue.
My husband and I were able to walk everywhere- never took a cab once!
We used the concierge several times and always felt like they were pushing us to certain restaurants on Rush Street. When we asked for restaurant suggestions, we were told to go out and come back once we decided what type of food we wanted to eat. Really?

We have stayed in at least 6 different hotels in Chicago and I would say this one is not on our list to return to.
I was on the fence between rating this 3 or 4 circles and am giving it 4 due to location and the size of the room.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 Guest Services at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, September 26, 2013
Dear wifeylovestotravel,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago for your weekend getaway with your husband to celebrate your birthday. I know it was a very special celebration and I regret to learn that we failed to deliver the True Waldorf Service you were to receive.

I am sorry to read that the view from your room was disappointing. The process of assigning rooms to our guests is based upon availability. All our guests are equally important to us so I sincerely apologize if anybody in our team made you feel otherwise. I also regret to read that the quality of the sheets and mattress in your room were disappointing and about your interaction with our Concierge team. I have discussed your concerns with our Director of Housekeeping and Guest Services for immediate internal action. 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

The Waldorf positions itself in the same class as nearby Peninsula, Ritz Carlton and Trump hotels. Although the building is lovely and the staff eager, too many misses knock it down a notch in the super luxury hotel category.

Room appointments are lovely but flawed. Great bedding and furnishings in my suite did not make up for a surprising lack of natural light and poor attention to detail. Unfinished paint work (see photo), a complicated and mislabeled lighting system and a bathroom TV remote with no bathroom TV. The ice maker in the room was a great idea, except that the ice had all congealed into a solid mass. I requested some ice I could use, but nobody every showed. Housekeeping and minibar stockists never bothered with it.

That leads to service, where I experienced some serious misses.

The biggest was an unwanted 5AM wake-up call on my first day.

Sure, it's a mistake but how it was handled was telling. There was no call or apology. Later that day, I mentioned it to someone in guest services. That prompted a belated apology voice message from a service manager who offered to make it up to me by booking a restaurant reservation for me nearby. Wait a second - don't do they do that anyway? Somehow the service apology fell flat.

I did get a chance to spend an afternoon at the Elysian Spa. The massage was one of the very best I've ever had, although also the priciest (and I'm no stranger to high end spas). The facility was predictably nice, although the workout equipment was not my favorite. All off-brand and not state-of-the-art as you'd find at the Peninsula, Conrad or even the Drake.

Can't say I'll be back. Beautiful but not worth the money, at least until they are able to get service up to par. I agree that these issues all sound like minor concerns but for world class level service, there's just no room for error. There are too many other great choices in Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, September 26, 2013
Dear allanplatt,

Thank you so much for your candid feedback pertaining to your most recent visit. I am delighted to read that you found our property beautiful; however, I am terribly disappointed to learn that the rest of your experience fell far below your expectations.

I regret to learn about the series of inconveniences you encountered throughout your visit, especially with regards to In Room Dining service, the unfortunate 5 am phone call and the various malfunctioning components of your suite. All of your concerns have been brought to the attention of the heads of the appropriate departments for immediate action. I am terribly sorry that these valuable lessons have come at your expense.

I would like the opportunity to personally apologize to you and discuss what we can do to amend our mistakes and have you visit 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

I stayed in WA in July 2013. For the money paid it was the worst hotel experience ever. The overall decor is not very inviting, but this could be the matter of taste. The suite we had was not updated for many many years, lots of dents in so-called kitchen area, one of the drawers was completely broken, and it looked and felt much smaller than the description. The housekeeping is somewhat sketchy at best, used glassware was NEVER replaced. The lighting in the bathrooms is so bad, you can not see the reflection of your face in the mirror. The sofa in the living room is worst than in the college dorm. The view is not existing, overlooking the condo building about 6 feet from your balcony.The pool is a joke. The staff is not very courteous, and the valet manager is extremely rude, the encounter with this person made my stay very unpleasant. Making the story short I do not want to waste about $600.00 per night for such a bad experience. If your company is paying for your stay go for it, but for the regular rate it is nothing but a waste.

Room Tip: None of the rooms have good views. And all of them are expensive. Not worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

One of my favorite things to do is to stay at wonderful hotels. The Waldorf Chicago is my favorite hotel in Chicago, and one of my favorite hotels in the world--a real treat! Rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed.

Room Tip: Splurge for a suite with a balcony and fireplace--you won't want to leave
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 7
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, September 24, 2013
Dear MimiKlk,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your candid feedback of your most recent stay with us on TripAdvisor. I am thrilled to learn that we have become your favorite hotel in the Windy City. Your patronage and loyalty are highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to welcoming you back, hopefully in the not far 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.
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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 177 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Chicago 5*
Number of rooms: 188
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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