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.
- 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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