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“A Real Gem!” 5 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) (Near North Side)   |  
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Suite Savings - 15% off
Ranked #6 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A Real Gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2010

My fiance and I married at the courthouse on a Friday and decided to have a mini-honeymoon the rest of the weekend at a luxury hotel in town. I do a great deal of event planning with hotels in my job and wanted to stay away from any hotel that made me feel like I was working. I wanted a smaller, boutique-type hotel. I had heard of the Elysian when it was featured on the 190 North TV program and that it had been the site for Jennifer Hudson's Christmas special, so I decided to check it out.

It's just beautiful! A mix of contemporary artfulness and classic elegance. The courtyard makes you feel like your pulling up to a small European chateau and the lobby is gorgeous with beautful light fixtures and cool art. The service was superbe, with a courteous and attentive staff greeting you as if you were royalty. I booked a king size room based on an internet special of $345 per night; and for a stay of more than one night, the hotel provided a $100 credit! So we stayed two nights.

Prior to our arrival, the hotel called to ask if there was anything special we needed for our stay. I explained we were to be married. They automatically upgraded us to a suite and provided a complimentary plate of first quality charcuterie and cheese as a welcome. The suite had a gas fireplace, two flatscreen TVs, a spacious carrera marble bathroom with a huge shower and soaking tub, lush bathrobes and plenty of closet and drawer space. The best part was the amazing B&W ipod station that is one of the best sound systems I ever heard. Thankfully the rooms were soundproof because we used the ipod station to its (almost) full capacity.

The service was impeccable. When the pilot light when out in the fireplace, an engineer was up within a few minutes of the call to fix it. The maid did not take the tip we left the first night. I had read on Trip Advisor that the Elysian has a no-tip policy (beyond gratuities already included), but nothing was said to us about that.

We enjoyed a drink at the bar, Bernard. My husband inquired about the ginger beer he enjoyed in the room but was not on the bar menu. The server without skipping a beat got him the beer. Nice touch! The health club is immaculate and has a separate, full pilates workout room! I've never seen that in a hotel before.

The Elysian is perfectly located within short walking distances from some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Chicago. With the exception of an evening of live jazz music two blocks away at The Backroom and dinner across the street at the fabulous Le Colonial, we barely left our room. It was the perfect choice for our mini-honeymoon. I'm thrilled we chose the Elysian.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,376 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (258)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

The Elysian is by far the most exquisite hotel we have ever visited, including Four Seasons, Trump Tower, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and other leading hotels in the U.S. and Europe. If I ever moved to Chicago, I would want to live in this building. It is grand in its finishes, amenities and service. We expected luxury when we made our reservations, but luxury, service and comfort do not always coincide to such high levels. Every aspect of the hotel was meticulously maintained. The other positive reviews on this website are accurate to date, as are the photos on the hotel's website.

Our wonderful experience far outweighs any minor weakness that we encountered (yes, they need cotton swabs and shower caps in the bathroom). The soundproofing in our standard king room on the nineteenth floor provided protection from city and guest noises like we were sleeping in our own bedroom. If you have never slept in a bed with perfectly pressed linens, you are in for a real treat. The free wireless internet access was lightning fast and allowed me to work easily from anywhere in our room. The food and service at both restaurants was the best we experienced during our five-night stay. When the chef learned that we did not eat pork sausage, he ordered chicken sausage for our next breakfast.

Mark was the most helpful and proactive concierge that we have ever encountered. He left nothing to chance and followed up on every detail. We visited the spa three times during our stay and each had a 60-minute massage. The spa areas, exercise room and lap pool were open to hotel guests for use without reservation. My wife is a swimmer and enjoyed swimming in the warm salt water of the elegantly tiled lap pool. The staff of the Elysian routinely greeted us by name as if we were residents.

The location of the hotel is next to Bloomingdale's and the Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton; and two blocks from the Hancock Tower and Water Tower Place mall on Michigan Avenue. Even in the 20-degree weather, we enjoyed the short walks to shopping. The circular vehicle entry courtyard is unique and works well with its doorman and bell staff who jumped to offer assistance each time we arrived.

When we requested help with our boarding passes for our return flight, the staff printed and delivered them to our room in about 10 minutes. The phones had one button for any service need. Whoever answered, helped with any request. We were never placed on hold or asked to wait.

There is more to say, but I suggest that you stay at the Elysian and discover it for yourself.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2010

The Elysian is unbelievable. My boyfriend took me here as a surprise on valentine's day and I was blown away by the beauty and elegance of this hotel. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were treated like royalty.

The fireplace was so romantic. The towels and bathrobes were plush and comfortable (and I am picky when it comes to this). The soaking tub and gigantic shower were fabulous. The bed was like sleeping on a cloud... I could go on and on.

We've stayed at most of the top hotels in Chicago (James, Sofitel, Conrad, etc.) and this is my absolute favorite! I did not want to leave and I cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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.
chicago IL
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2010

I surpised my husband with a Valentine's Day overnight and wish we could have stayed longer. What a beautiful hotel---huge dreamy bathroom with tons of room, tons of carrara marble and bizzaza tiles, separate tub, toilet,and shower.

Lovely fireplace. There's plenty of closets, a great bed, plush towels and the push button room controls are easy to use. The only gaffes were no cotton, qtips or shower cap in the bathroom, constant knocking on the door from housekeeping (a no no). Room service forgot one of the items ordered.

But the kinks will probably be ironed out soon as its brand new.
We had dinner at Balsan which we truly enjoyed. The food and service were terrific. Bernard's Bar was cozy but not enough selections by the glass.

The work out facility is a mini East Bank. I've seen lots of luxury hotels but this tops them for this.
Spa looks small but upscale. Can't wait to come back.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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columbus,ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2010

We have been coming to Chicago for the past 20 years and have never, ever stayed at a hotel that could rival The Elysian. From the first moment we arrived to the time we left we were treated better than the Queen of England. First class does not describe this hotel. Everyone knew not only your name but the fact that it was both our birthdays was not overlooked. The room was outstanding. The restaurants served the most incredible delicacies. We were even privileged to go into the kitchen after dinner in the Ria and meet the chef. He is incredible talented! The entire staff was first class. I kept waiting for there to be something I could complain about, no place could be this wonderful without a flaw.... I was wrong. We will never ever stay at another hotel in Chicago again. It was the most incredible experience we had had anywhere.... Period

  • Stayed February 2010, 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.
Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2010

We had 8 rooms for our family over the weekend of 1/22, and staying at this hotel really added to our experience in Chicago. Not only are the rooms absolutely beautiful (with a fireplace in each room), the bathrooms and all of the amenities are fantastic too. The spa is gorgeous. The gym has all of the best equipment. It is really hard to find something that was forgotten here! The staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. None of us wanted to go home and we all want to stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

We took a flier on this newly opened hotel and are so happy we did. It is a beautiful building - no expense was spared in the public or private spaces. The spa is beautiful, top quality fitness equipment and stunning pool and hot tub/steam room facilities.

The hotel staff are extremely service oriented and the no-tipping policy really makes you feel like a welcomed guest.

We ate twice at Balsan and loved it - great food and service at reasonable prices.

The only bad thing about our trip is that we are ruined for future trips - no place will ever equal the Elysian.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 > 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 174 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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