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“Beautiful Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

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Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   221 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60601   |  
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Ranked #9 of 168 hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Cincinnati
2 reviews
“Beautiful Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

My fiancee' and I stayed at the Blu Aqua for two nights on New Year's weekend, and we were immediately blown away by the decor of the hotel. Check-in on Dec. 30 was smooth... I tried to upgrade to a corner balcony room, but all Naturally Cool rooms with a balcony were taken. Bummer. We were placed on the 12th floor with a Park view and we were still happy with that.

Our room was right near the elevator and it was almost like we had our own personal elevator, which was pretty cool. Our bathroom seemed to be HUGE - with both a tub and a shower.... in a configuration I have not yet seen posted here by other reviewers. We loved it.

We did not eat in the restaurant but did visit Filini Bar. We thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails both nights, which were plenty potent for the price. All of the bar staff were very friendly, engaging, and fun - especially on New Year's Eve. One thing I would change would be the bar menu. Offer a few more bar-friendly food options (and also for room service).

Parking cost way too much but that's pretty much the climate in Chicago. We often ditched taking advantage of the in-and-out privileges we were paying for and took a cab to the places around downtown we wanted to go instead of paying for more parking each time. The hotel is close to everything we we never paid more than $7 one way to get anywhere.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Thank you so much for spending your New Year's celebration with us and for taking the time to leave us such a nice review! I am glad that you enjoyed your stay and that you liked the room (I do apologize that the upgrade was not available though!) I hope that you have a wonderful 2012 and that we see you back again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (452)
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Manchester
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed the first weekend of Dec 2011.

Pros:
- "paperless" hotel + wireless room keys gives the feeling of a modern hotel
- the hotel/room decor and beds are great. They are very modern and stylish.
- the rainfall shower is amazing
- great selection of TV channels including HBO and AMC
- Flexible and accommodating with late check-outs
- Friendly door men

Cons:
- Generally there are still kinks to work out
- We received an automated wake up call at 4:30am that we didn't schedule, and ruining a bad nights sleep is as bad as it can get for a hotel. When we complained in the morning the receptionist checked the system and confirmed we didn't have a schedule wake up call. She also informed us that other guests also either mistakenly received a call or didn't get called when they were supposed to. The receptionist was apologetic but nothing was really done about it for us and we have no idea if the issue would be resolved.
- At check out, we got another receptionist who had no idea what she was doing. She ended up printing the wrong total on the bill three times and needed assistance from another receptionist to finally get it right. When leaving the hotel, I was still worried that our credit card hadn't been charged correctly. In my opinion, the receptionist shouldn't have been learning how to do a check out in front of the customer.
- Wifi was basically unusable. Signal strength was good but web pages would time out most of the time.

Room Tip: Double check a wakeup call is not set for your room or for the person who stayed in the room before...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am very sorry to see that there were some mishaps during your stay with us last month. We have been working diligently to ensure that a similar situation does not happen again and I apologize for any inconvenience we caused for you. I truly hope that we see you back at the hotel again soon so that we have the opportunity to recoup your confidence in us.

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012 via mobile

We loved the modern decor and color scheme. This is a new hotel that shares space with a high rise condo. Great city views and within walking distance to shopping and restaurants. Filini's lounge and restaurant served very good food and had one of the largest bars I've seen in a long time. Exercise facilities were top notch featuring free weights, spinning, treadmills and a basketball half court. Not to mention indoor/outdoor pools and sauna with a nice outdoor running track.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Thank you so much for your review! I am glad that you enjoyed the fitness center, decor, location and Filini! We can't tell you how much we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. I hope to see you back again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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Shelby
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

The rooms are different and modern and great. Quiet and in the center of things. Excellent service. Definitely a good choice.

  • Stayed December 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.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 6, 2012
Thank you so much for the review! I am very happy to see that you enjoyed your time at the hotel! I am glad that you liked the modern design and that the service was excellent! We hope to see you back again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

The outdoor sun patio is amazing, with BBQ area, fire pits, outdoor & indoor pool, outdoor & indoor hottub. The rooms have awesome decor, and the bathroom is great. Only complaint, is that it takes awhile to get hot water, free wifi in a full service hotel is next to impossible to find (another great feature), free breakfast would have been good, but the hotel is attatched to a CVS, so if you dont want a hot breakfast you can just go there. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this hotel to anyone wanting to stay in downtown Chicago.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 6, 2012
Thank you for the review! I am glad that you had the opportunity to utilize some of our outdoor areas during your visit! We are very excited for warmer weather so that there is more opportunity to use these features! On your next visit, you may want to try upgrading to our Business Class rooms. These rooms feature morning breakfast and evening cocktails and appetizers served in the Business Lounge. Thanks again; we hope to see you again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California City, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

My first time to Chicago, and I must say I was very very impressed. Chicago is such a fantastic city, and the Radisson Blu was the best hotel I have stayed in. From check in to check out, I was super happy. Right when I walked in, I was greeted by Anita who had a smile on her face during the entire check in process. She personalized the check in by introducing the conceirge who we later used, and all the great details of the hotel!!! She was just fabulous!
We were very impressed with the design of the room (it was the room with the carpet). We were dissatified with our view, however. As we were heading downstairs we thought we'd bring it up to the front desk, and Jessica the supervisor. She was the outstanding!! She moved our room immediately without hesitation to a Park View which we were much more satisfied with.
Last but not least we went to the concierge and were asking Ruben what exactly we should do being it was our first time in Chicago, and he made a full schedule of things including Navy Pier, the current shows going on in the city, and also made us dinner reservations. He is very knowledgeable about Chicago. And his accent was very cute!

Great looking staff! Great location! Absolute beautiful design!! I would recommend this hotel to anyone!!!!

  • Stayed December 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 6, 2012
Thank you for the wonderful review! I am honored that you took the time to mention our team by name and have passed your compliments on to Anita, Jessica and Ruben. I couldn't be happier that you enjoyed your stay at the hotel and in our beautiful city! I hope to see you back again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012

We just stayed at the new Radisson Blu for New Years Eve. The hotel is lovely and the rooms new and clean. They are nicely decorated but very small. I asked if we could be upgraded to a better room and was surprised if the room we got was better because it was VERY small and the bathroom didn’t have a tub. The room is decorated in very dark colors of black lacquer, black marble floors, teal carpet. We did look into a corner room that was being cleaned before we left and we were much more impressed. Hardwood floors, light, bright and more earth tones. Corner rooms come with a shower and a tub. We only had a shower in our room; I would have loved a tub. The shower in our room comes with a separate shower wand in addition to the overhead spray, but we could not get it to work, something that no doubt will become a problem in the shower after so many people try to make it work and it will eventually break. There was no information anywhere describing how to use it.

Radisson is going for a new more upscale market with this hotel but I noticed a few things that I think they should consider to help obtain that appeal because after I stayed I ultimately left feeling like I stayed in a Radisson.

1. Have 2 robes in the room; not just one. Also, don't place a cardboard advertisement around the waist...tacky.

2. Have towels outside the sauna and steam room for guests to use. We could not find any. I guess we were supposed to bring them from our room. There was no information on this either. FYI, both the sauna and the steam room are coed. Also if you plan to sit in the sauna or steam the only place to cool off after you are finished would be to take a quick shower in the locker room, the lap pool is on the third floor. It was a real let down not to be able to have the pool there.

3. In regards to food, a few more options would be nice; maybe a few kids meal items. The hotel has one Italian restaurant and a lobby bar that serves upscale pizza and appetizers (sorta like tapas).

It really is a beautiful hotel, in a quiet area of town only a couple blocks off of Michigan Avenue and very close to Navy Pier. Just needs a few adjustments.

Room Tip: Corner Room
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Thank you for spending your New Year's Eve celebration with us and for leaving us a review. I am glad that you enjoyed your overall stay and appreciate your suggestions for improvement. The lighter room design that you mentioned is the Naturally Cool room. These rooms feature the light wood floors and lighter accessories. The room type you stayed in are our Mansion House style which feature black counters and dark carpet. On your next visit, please let the front office team know your preference and they will do their best to accomodate you! Thanks again for leaving us a review; I hope that 2012 is a wonderful year and that we see you again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
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 Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

Address: 221 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 168 hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago is the contemporary debut of Radisson Blu in North America. A true representation of the brand, it is designed to become a destination in itself. Radisson Blu is the luxury division of our global hotel brand, focusing on design, style and attention to detail in every respect. ... more   less 
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