The Elysian sets the standard for which all other hotels should aspire. It is, quite simply, among the elite hotels not only in Chicago but in the world. My wife, myself and our three boys (8, 5 and 3) stayed 4 nights in a deluxe suite while I was in Chicago on business. We arrived at the hotel at 1:30 a.m. and were promptly met and assisted by no less than 4 members of the incredible staff. Within 5 minutes we were checked in and in the suite with the sofa bed already made up, a roll-away set up, a handwritten welcome note from the general manager and stuffed monkeys on the beds for the kids. There was also a bottle of Evian next to each of our beds (including the kids) which was a very nice touch. The suite was exquisite. The color scheme is dark gray and white and is very elegant but exceedingly comfortable. The suite was about 1200 sq. ft. with a living room with working fire place, sofa bed, desk and small dining table and wet bar. There is also a 42" tv over the fireplace. There was also a balcony off the living room. There was a powder room off the hall and then master bedroom. The master bedroom has two very large closets, a set off drawers, and very comfortable bed and a chair. There is a 42" plasma tv on the wall and plenty of space for luggage and storage. There is also an ipod docking station on the dresser. The master bathroom is huge. Separate tub and walk-in shower (the shower is huge), separate toilet room and a dual vanity sink with an LCD TV built into the mirror. There were plenty of towels and the generous sized Asprey amenities were great. The room was very quite and one could control all the lights from various panels as well as request privacy and that the room could be made up. There was also a large closet at the entry. Our view was o.k.--not great--but from the living room one could look straight towards the Hancock Tower. The furniture was also substantial and very comfortable. The room had free Wi-Fi which was had both a strong signal and fast (unlike many hotels) and did not require logging in each time. Everything worked and it was truly spotless. Dirt, dust and fingerprints were simply not tolerated as every day when we returned to the room it was spotless. While the rooms are incredible, it is really the service that sets the Elysian apart from its competitors. Having had the privilege to have stayed at various Four Seasons, Ritz-Carltons, Mandarins and Peninsulas, I found the service at the Elysian to be the most genuine service anywhere. The staff strike a perfect balance between being helpful but not intrusive. The service is not obsequious like it is in some Far Eastern Hotels nor formulaic as you sometimes get in the bigger chains. Every single interaction we had with members of the staff--whether it was check-in, check-out, room-service, the spa, the concierge or getting a taxi was memorable for one reason or another. The no-tipping policy is real--every time a tip was offered it was politely but firmly refused. (The only exception was in the restaurants and in-room dining where an 18% tip was automatically added. While some reviewers did not like this practice, we thought it was great and, based on our experience, totally warranted since the service was always excellent.) The staff were wonderful with the kids and really went the extra effort to make them feel welcomes--whether it was the stuffed monkeys on the bed, crayons and cards to color in the restaurant or simply holding the door and letting them enter while mom and dad still scrambled to get out of the taxi they really treated them as guests in their own right--to me this says something about how the hotel values all of their guests no matter how old or, in this case, young. I could go on and on about this hotel. Suffice it to stay, we have found our new hotel in Chicago and recommend it to everyone. While the hotel is not inexpensive, it is a great value. The location is perfect and it provides a great base from which to enjoy Chicago. It is an elegant, genuine, gracious, stylish and perfect hotel in Chicago.
- 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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