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“Modern luxury” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

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Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   221 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60601 (Downtown / The Loop)   |  
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Ranked #9 of 178 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Modern luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

Extremely modern hotel with amazing views of parks and the lake! Balconies are truly unique and very nice to have in the summer. Pool is huge and has great deck chairs. I was most impressed with the bathrooms. Separate shower from the bathtub. The bathtub is 6-7 feet long and extremely deep - 3-4 feet. It was impossible not to take a bath in that luxury. The hotel is a few blocks away from the main attractions, but completely worth it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 5, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review! I am thrilled that you had such an enjoyable time at the hotel and that you were able to relax in our extra deep tub! Thanks again; I hope that we see you back at the hotel 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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2,417 reviews from our community

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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 (570)
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

Fab hotel. Located in excellent position.
Rooms of very high standard. Comfortable and well equiped, including free WIFI, i pod docking station and a coffee maker with lovely complimentary coffee. Very modern bathroom with lovely large shower.
Wonderful amenities located on the 3rd floor, large outdoor and indoor pools, hot tubs and running track.
However this is all a little spolit by the unfriendly and unwelcoming staff, offering little or no information on the hotel.
At one point the fire doors on the third floor were all locked.
Another time we found the main hotel door blocked off. No signage on how you leave the hotel or assitance was forecoming.
For two days we had to put up with someone doing maintenace around the outdoor pool area, with a machine making a noise I could only compare with a pneumatic drill.
The outside bar area was closed for two days as the sidewalk was being dug up.
The swimming pool towels is the hotels best kept secret .
Staff need a lot of customer care training. It is my thoughts that they do not care about the individual guess and prefer to concentrate on large parties and groups.
Would I use the hotel again? Doubtful.

Room Tip: You have no say in it. What you get is what you get.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 9, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. I am truly sorry that you experienced some issues on our end during your visit. I assure you I am addressing each of your concerns and am using your comments as a source of training for our team. We care about all of our guests and I cannot apologize enough that we did not do a better job of showing your this during your stay. I sincerely hope that you will give us the opportunity to recoup your confidence in us again in the future. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to improve our operations and guest focus.

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.
CT
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

We stayed one night at this hotel during a 100 degree heat wave. We made excellent use of the outdoor pool. One of the best reasons to stay at this hotel is the outdoor amenities. There is a rooftop running track, a very large seating area, and a rooftop pool with plenty of chairs to lounge on. Seriously, relaxing by the pool surrounded by skyscrapers, with views of Millennium Park one way, and the lake the other- that was pretty cool. I had a "Naturally Cool" room which was gorgeous. They are not huge, but are set up well. The area the hotel is in is a little quieter at night than further North on Magnificent Mile, but we were looking to stay in a different area. The gym is humongous, and the best hotel gym we have ever seen. They were very generous with a late check out time. I plan on staying there again- particularly when it is warm out!

Room Tip: We had a "cheap view" room aka a good rate from Expedia. One of the hotel workers told me...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 3, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review! I am happy that you were able to enjoy our outdoor amenities in this heat wave! I hope that we see you back at the hotel again soon; thanks again!

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.
Burton, Michigan
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

Problems began upon arrival with the poorly marked directions from hotel parking to hotel lobby. Little did we know that this would be the least of our woes. Being early for check-in (12:00pm) thought we would see if there were any rooms ready yet.The desk clerk informed us that they could have a room for my husband and I in 45 minutes and would call us as soon as it was availble. Great! Well 45 turned into 2 and a half hours wasted sticking close by thinking we would be able to get our room quickly. And so commenced our room woes. Small room, poorly designed bathroom (no privacy)with shower water pressure issues, unassessible balcony(no door?!), could not connect to wifi,although staff tried to help, (never had internet!) and had to call for help with safe locking issues (promptly remedied with tech visit).Now here's the kicker, if this wasn't enough, we realized the next day we had a leak right above our toilet !!! Was this toilet water dripping on us ?! Again wasted time waiting for tech to arrive and then switching rooms(two floors lower).this wasn't a new leak either as there was rust on ceiling and ledge behind toilet! On our second morning( of our two night stay) we found a bar tab bill at our door for $74.00. We were never in nor did we order up from the bar! Informed desk staff at check out of all of our problems. Clerk was very apologetic (bar bill was a mistake and taken care of). While we do understand that things like this do happen, this was beyond uncalled for. Our first visit to Chicago won't be our last but our visit to Radisson Blu Aqua will. Feel hotel is over priced and problematic and unfortunatly would not be able to recommend it to anyone.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 2, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am truly sorry that you encountered some shortcomings on our end and for any inconvenience we caused for you. I am looking into your comments regarding the leak, water pressure and internet with our engineering team and the billing issue with our front office team. I would also like to apologize that your room did not have a balcony. Because of the design and architectural features of the outside of the building, only about half of our rooms are able to offer these. I hope that you will give us an opportunity to recoup your confidence in the future; we would really enjoy welcoming you back.

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.
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

For this couple, this hotel had it all. The decor was modern and minimalist in design -- our favorite. On the hot days, lemonade and water were available in the lobby. Our room had a king bed, overlooked the park, and was amazing -- first time ever in the US that our hotel room had wood floors. Lovely, giving us the feeling of it being both very clean and green. Our view from the 14th floor was awesome, with Navy Pier and the Lake in the near distance. While there is construction going on at a property close by, it was only loud by the pool. And this is something you just deal with when you're at a city hotel. The pool was clean, and we LOVED the cabanas that were available (free of charge, first come first serve). Towels are available poolside (ask, as we never would have found them on our own).

Hotel Bar did a great job of keeping us happy with excellent mixed drinks; they are happy to put drinks in paper cups for you to take with you to the pool.

Bathroom was clean, white and huge. Large soaking tub, excellent soaps, and GROHE fixtures -- what's not to love?

Tip -- one day during our stay our room was not ever cleaned; we left the room at 8 and returned at 2; we had the unavailable sign on the door from 2 - 5. While we get that we had the sign on for a while, we didn't have any service when we returned again after 11. I'm sure we could have called when we left at 5, but it seemed that this was an ongoing issue at the hotel (the cleaning staff had to call us after prepping the room for our arrival as they were "running behind") -- something minor, and perhaps a kink still to be worked out in the hotel. It didn't matter to us, but could matter to you.

Tip #2 -- this hotel is right across from the Fairmont, so between the proximity of these 2 hotels, taxis are quite prevalent and there's hardly ever a wait.

Room Tip: We had room 1425 -- it was beautiful!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 2, 2012
Thank you for your review! I couldn't be happier that you had such an enjoyable stay and that you loved the design of the rooms. I have shared your compliments with our entire team, including our bartenders! I am also looking into your comments regarding the housekeeping service. I am glad that this did not impact your stay, but would still like to apologize for any diappointment this caused for you. We look forward to seeing 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.
DETROIT
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

If I didn't love it, I wouldn't be returning. Room was awesome. Gym and Sauna was terrific, great to have for how much food I consume each and everytime I'm in Chicago LOL. Can't wait to check in on Wednesday.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 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.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, July 2, 2012
We are thrilled that you are returning to the hotel and look forward to seeing you again soon! I appreciate you taking the time to leave a review for us and am honored that you had such an enjoyable first stay! I have shared your comments with our team. See you Wednesday!

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.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

We were excited about our stay at the Blu Aqua. A new hotel in downtown Chicago. It's architecturally stunning and has generally good reviews on TripAdvisor. The look and feel of the place is great, the room was nice and the views are excellent. However, the problems mounted as are stay progressed. Here are the negatives:

- I booked a balcony suite. We got a suite but a balcony was unavailable.
- There are only 2 elevators servicing the hotel. Often there were very long wait times
- One reason we chose the property was the outdoor pool. The pool was over crowded. There were no loungers available, no towel service offered and no food or beverage service at the pool.
- Room service got our order wrong for breakfast.
- The modern furniture is great but impossible for two people to enjoy a meal.

I may have overlooked any one of these issues. But, the totality ofthem resulted in a disappointing stay.

Room Tip: Ask for Park View for the best views
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, June 29, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am truly sorry that you had a disappointing stay with us. I am addressing your comments regarding your room service order and room availability with our team and I assure you we are working diligently to correct our shortcomings. We do offer four elevators that serve guest room floors (2 on each end of the fireplace) and also offer drink service at the outdoor pool during the weekends. I apologize that this was not better explained during your visit. Thanks again; I hope that you will return to the hotel and allow us to recoup your confidence in the future.

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 > Downtown / The Loop
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 178 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 334
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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