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“Best Hotel EVER” 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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Ranked #6 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Chicago, IL
1 review
“Best Hotel EVER”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2011

My fiance surprised me with a night away from reality for our anniversary in January. The hotel is amazing - the exterior is kind of French Provincial; the rooms are lovely, including the bathrooms with the large walk-in showers and deep soaker tubs; the doors use proximity sensors; and the light switches include any and ever setting you could possible need and with labels, so you know what you're doing.

The hotel ordered a cab and gave the directions for our dinner without my ever knowing where we off to. The staff are exemplary. When we returned from dinner, the hotel manager sent up champagne and a very nice card.

I have stayed at other top 10 Chicago hotels, and the Elysian is far ahead of any of the others.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
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1,378 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (259)
Date | Rating
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English first
Pasadena, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

All of the positive reviews about this hotel are absolutely true. This place is fabulous. It is not huge and does not have a big lobby but if you enjoy a discreet private hotel than this is for you. The staff was very pleasant and made you feel very welcome. This hotel has a no-tipping policy and they really mean it. We used the car service to go out to dinner and the driver did not even accept a tip. The car was great as well, a new Lexus LS460 to drive you around a two mile radius in Chicago. Fantastic! The room was great as well. You felt as if it was your private residence. The rooms are done up in black and white and grey with some color in the pictures if this turns you off then maybe this hotel is not for you. Everything was new and sparkling clean with Italian cotton sheets on the bed. The bed was extremely cozy and comfortable. The only problem we encountered was a slight natural gas smell when the fireplace was turned on. Management says they are working on it. Parking is $50.00 per night but it is worth it considering everything else that they hotel offers complimentary. If you are going to Chicago stay here you will not be disappointed. The area where the hotel is located is the nicest area in downtown and the best shops and restaurants are all within walking distance. 900 N Michigan Ave where Bloomingdales is located is right next door, and Water Tower Place is just across Michigan Ave. We will only stay here in Chicago. Oh and the hotel bar is small but it has a great atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

Absolutely phenomenal place. I felt like I was staying in a friend's mansion rather than at a hotel. Room was incredible - fireplace, newer furniture, incredible bath/shower. Service is over the top responsive but also friendly - sometimes at other hotels there is an air of snobbery with the staff. This is NOT the case at Elysian although the place is certainly luxurious to warrant it. They upgraded our room and provided all kinds of extras (teddy bear for our baby, extra bottled water, champagne/chocolates on arrival for our anniversary, etc., etc) There were even hand written notes from hotel managers welcoming us. Best hotel experience I have ever had - HIGHLY recommended.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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La Grange Park, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

Travel is extremely important to me and my husband, and when we couldn't take the time off from work to get away for a much-needed long weekend, we decided to stay local and try the Elysian, based on the recommendations in Conde Nast Traveler magazine. We were not disappointed. We spent two nights there this weekend and the room, service, amenities, and general attitude of the hotel were exactly what I would expect from a high-end hotel. The rooms were gorgeous and spotless, the staff was friendly and effective (scoring a prime dinner reservation with only one day's notice) and the health club was much larger than I would have expected for the size of the hotel. We plan on staying here at least annually and will recommend this hotel to all of our friends.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2011

My wife and I were stuck in Chicago for "Thundersnow", the 2011 blizzard in Chicago. We stayed at the Elysian and have not had a better experience at a hotel. Ever. First, the design of the hotel is beautiful. The architecture is majestic outside, with a cool roundabout courtyard that you won't see anywhere else in Chicago. Inside, the feel is chic, accessible, and comfortable. The staff is exceptionally welcoming, calling me by name from the first check in, and happily accomodating any request I had. The room was large, with a nice sitting area, bathroom, and bedroom. There is ample closet space and I wish I could take that showerhead home with me. It was what a high-end hotel should be--it has the best of everything and a fantastic, accomodating staff.
Also, both of the restaurants in the hotel are fantastic, the Michelin two-star Ria, and Balsan. I even had food in the room and it arrived hot and perfectly cooked. Go to this hotel, you won't regret splurging here!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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Hinsdale, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Let me start with the positive, which is pretty much everything. The room was very nice, the on-premises food was fantastic, and service was great. Our room, although 16 stories up could hear a fire engine roaring at 3:30 AM, but to some degree, that's what happens when you stay in a large city.

The bad: when I booked, it appeared that my room was a smaller suite with breakfast and a $25 credit included. However, when I went to the confirmation page, the breakfast and credit were nowhere to be found. In the "special inquiries" or the equivalent area, I asked for confirmation that same was included. Of course, when I went to check out, they said it was not. For 5 minutes, it was clear I was not going to get any relief, but this was $75, so I was not simply going to go away, especially since I felt I was right, and they never responded to my request. Finally, the woman gave me a $50 credit. While that was nice, I believe the website was unclear, and the fact I attempted to make it clear should not require me to haggle for a final bill in a hotel such as this one. Once I made my explanation (and she could see my booking, I assume), it should have been a quick apology, a reduction in the bill, and a note that perhaps I misunderstood, but they'd make an exception this one time, but with no further issues.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElysianHotel, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, February 7, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Elysian Hotel Chicago and thank you also for your positive comments and favorable rating regarding your stay with us. I will be certain to share your feedback with our staff.

I know you’ve also written about a negative experience surrounding your departure experience. These comments, while painful to read, are also beneficial to ensuring we build upon guest satisfaction and they also help us make corrections and modify service behaviors. Let me apologize for the lack of clarity in our package listing and for the missed opportunities to reconfirm the package inclusions. You are quite right that haggling upon departure diminishes our service promise to you and should not have occurred.

I hope you will allow me to connect with you privately to discuss this matter. If your leisure or business plans bring you back to Chicago, I hope you’ll once again choose Elysian and allow me to meet and thank you in person.

Regards,
Kevin Robinson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

From reading all the reviews on TA, my expectations were quite high, and Elysian didn't disappoint. The hotel is just beautiful...lovely courtyard/driveway, sparkling lobby, dark and cozy bar, gorgeous guest rooms with fireplaces. I prepaid online $195 for a deluxe King room (600+ square feet), and we were offered an upgrade to an 1100 sq ft 1-bedroom suite with an extra half bath and balcony for an additional $55 per night. I had to pinch myself when I saw the suite we paid only $240 a night for. Peaks at the lake, balcony, tasteful and comfortable furnishings, soothing palette of taupes, grays, black, white and cream, working fireplace and gorgeous carrara marble bathroom with awesome soaking tub and Asprey bath products, a quite impressive B&W sound system, and some of the most beautiful linens I have seen anywhere.

Service was attentive and friendly. When we checked in, we asked if my husband's black driving moccasins with white top stitching could be polished. After half a winter in the mid-west, they looked like they had had a salt bath. (I had taken them to a local shoe repair place where we live, and they just couldn't do it without turning all the stitching black and "it would take at least 2 days to get the salt out"). Elysian returned his shoes within hours, looking almost brand new, top-stitching still white, and NO CHARGE. I kid you not!

We stopped by Bernard's, the hotel bar, for cocktails before a late dinner reservation, and it's a total departure from the rest of the hotel: very dimly lit; cozy and masculine. Exactly how a bar should be...I felt like I was in the men's bar of a country club that had been there forever. The bartender was very busy whipping up some pretty elaborate cocktails for diners in one of the restaurants, but he still made time to chat with us. Very pleasant, friendly guy. They serve wonderful homemade potato chips and mixed nuts too.

We didn't visit the spa or exercise area but we saw the spa lobby....also lovely. We also didn't visit the restaurants.

The only thing that fell just a bit short was in-room dining. The menu in the room has a limited dinner selection, but when we called we were told that we could order anything from Balsan's menu which we had to look up online. I'm sure they would have brought one to the room if we had asked, but it would have been nice if one was already there. Maybe it changes too often to put in each room. My starving husband ordered Pasta Bolognese and for $20, he received about 1 1/2 cups of penne with sauce. He complained, ordered a burger (awesome), and the hotel took the pasta off the tab. I had the chicken club which was also great. They sent a bread basket up that had some of the best bread I've had, ah divine!

I only have two very minor suggestions based on our stay: (1) I would increase the portion size or take the pasta off the menu; I've since seen other reviews that mention this. (2) I would have bath salts by the tub when guests arrive. (I asked for more conditioner and they brought salts as well.)

Our check-out experience was terrible...only because we had to leave. My husband and I live about 3 hours from Chicago and visit often. We've stayed in most of the hotels in the Gold Coast. Not one of them even comes close to the Elysian. I HIGHLY recommend you book your stay in Chicago here.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElysianHotel, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, February 7, 2011
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your kind and thorough review of your recent stay with us. I am pleased to read the rooms design was to your liking and the service we provided exceeded your expectations. Our guestrooms and Bernard’s bar are indeed unique and I am thankful for your generous comments on your experience with us. The Elysian team will be happy to learn of your kind words and I will share your recognition of their efforts.

I am concerned to see that you did have a minor setback during your stay with in-room dining. Your notes and suggestions in reference to the differentiating menus, portion size and restroom amenities will be addressed directly and help us to shape and strengthen our current initiatives.

When your travel plans bring you back Chicago I look forward to welcoming you to Elysian.
Please contact me directly at 312-646-1352 as I would like to personally say hello to you and and assist in your reservation.
Regards,
Kevin Robinson
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 > 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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