We usually stay at the Peninsula when we visit Chicago, but one of my partners saw the hotel under construction last fall and got a tour and then my son stayed there this summer on business. Based on their recommendations, it was with some trepidation that we made our reservations for the Elysian, forsaking the incredible Peninsula Hotel.
We were upgraded upon registration to a Suite with a fireplace and a tiny balcony (but a balcony, nevertheless!). The staff was outstanding, from the building engineer repairing the fireplace that wouldn't light, to the housekeeper that came by to check to see if everything in the room was fine. When my wife asked for a coffee maker and some decaf coffee, the pot, coffee,and fresh cream were delivered in a matter of a few minutes. We were impressed by the rapid responsiveness of all of the personnel. The individual treatment surpassed the incredible service at the Peninsula, which is hard to do. I was personally escorted to the ATM machine in the business center when I asked for one. I was not about to just be directed there.
The Elysian also has a "no tipping" policy, with the staff politely saying "my pleasure" when offered a tip, and holding their hand to their chest. They mean it when they say no tipping. In addition, the staff seemed less formal but equally professional as compared to the Peninsula. I preferred this attitude, although I am not complaining about the Peninsula staff. My wife said they just seemed more "enthusiastic", whatever that means, but I understood.
I commented that it was absolutely quiet, even though we were on a lower floor (12th). The room was very spacious, well laid out and the bed was exactly what I prefer. The bathroom had a gigantic shower, with a nifty little niche in the wall where you could place your foot so that your leg was at the perfect angle for washing. Amazing attention to detail!
My wife did comment that the absence of hooks for towels and washcloths near the shower was a mild annoyance.
My only complaint was the alarm clock was a elegant old style battery driven clock which could not be seen with the lights off, and no way to see it without turning on a room light.
Each floor of the hotel seems to only have 8 rooms, so it is very quiet. In addition, getting in and out of the hotel and on your way takes about 1 minute, as opposed to the circuitous route to leave the Peninsula, as elegant and interesting as it is.
We didn't sample the restaurants, but we were informed that Via, the main restaurant, just received two Michelin stars in November, not too shabby!
My wife used the Fitness Center and commented that it was the nicest she had ever used. It has a lap pool, sauna, and the latest equipment.
The high speed internet was free (it really irritates me when a luxury hotel charges for internet when the Days Inn across the street gives it to you free) and very easy to log on to.
My compliments to the staff and the management. We will be back!
- 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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