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“My new Chitown home” 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 #7 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
California
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“My new Chitown home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Excellent ultra-modern hotel
Very large room with all the modern comforts
Mini bar
large soaking tub/seperate shower in well-lit bathroom
Very good room service food. Especially good in-room continental breakfast ($18)
Quiet
Good views
Valet and self-parking
Friendly Staff
Highly Recommended!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 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, November 19, 2012
Thank you for your review! I couldn't be happier that you had such a nice stay! I am happy that you enjoyed both your room and room service. I hope that we see you back at the hotel soon; Happy Thanksgiving!

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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1,935 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 (516)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

I stayed here for 6 nights for a conference. One of my requests was to be close to the elevator (after walking all day the last thing I want is to have to running down a hall). Pick any room that ends in 18 and you are RIGHT next to the elevator. I personally loved it... the rooms are lovely. Great shower and tub. Would have loved to have a refrigerator separate from the "move it and get charged mini-bar" From check in (Bradford) to concierge (Andrew) to housekeeping, to Gil the waiter in Filini, and the doormen were all lovely. Having complimentary waters was great as well. I'll be back in Chicago in 2014 for the same conference and I plan on staying there again and recommending to my colleagues as well.

Room Tip: Rooms that end in 18 will allow you to practically roll into your room from the elevator (if that...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
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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, November 19, 2012
Thank you for your review! I am happy that you enjoyed your stay and that we were the perfect location for your convention. I am also glad that our front office team was able to meet your room requests! I look forward to seeing you 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.
CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Slightly delayed review from a July trip, but a very enjoyable experience.

The Radisson is in a relatively newly developed part of town, “Lakeshore East,” along the north side of Millenium Park, south of the Chicago River and right along the Lake. There is a lot of new condo construction and it’s not really a neighborhood per se, but it’s very easy to walk to the Loop, Michigan Avenue, and Navy Pier.
The hotel itself is actually a part of a huge condo, which has some pluses and minuses. The first 18 floors of the building are the hotel. The rest of the building is a mix of rentals and condos. Each of the three components has its own entrance, and its own elevators. But the amenities – gym, pool, media room, game room – are shared. Several times, I found myself not being able to find the right elevator from a common area to my room. Since the gym is for the whole building, it was actually the nicest, largest hotel gym I’ve ever seen – the same size as my Crunch in New York, and with its own basketball court. One downside is, as a residential gym, the gym doesn’t have towels, which caught me off guard as I sweatily worked out my first day. One of the nicest features of the Radisson is its “rooftop” pool and garden area with grills. I say rooftop in quotes as its on a third floor roof, so no real views to speak of. It’s a huge pool though, and a pleasant place to relax, though I could imagine it getting a little awkward for residents.
The room was very nice and decently sized. Since the property is less than a year old, the furnishings were unsurprisingly new, modern, and well-maintained. Internet was free – and fast and reliable. The beds were comfy, there were plenty of outlets, and the desk was a nice working area.
A “City View” is really just a view of the building across the way. But if you turned sideways on the balcony, you could make out Lake Michigan through the buildings. A lot of people have noted it’s odd that the hotel has balconies (and charges more for balcony rooms), but doesn’t have any chairs or anything on the balconies. This would matter more if I had had a nice view, as there was no reason to sit on the balcony, but I think the balconies are really just an aesthetic design element for the building as a whole, as they are what gives the building its “wave” appearance.
The only real negatives about the property were the elevator situation and the entry/exit situation. No one explained to us that there are actually two sets of elevators for the hotel, on either end of the lobby. Accordingly, we – and nearly all of the other hotel guests – used one of 2 elevators closer to the entrance. The hotel is too large for two elevators, and, staying on the 17th of 18 floors meant it took us forever to go up and down, and the wait was substantial. Towards the end of our stay, we discovered the second elevator bank, which made things a little better. The other issue is that the main hotel entrance only has one small revolving door. Every time we left the hotel, we had to wait in a line to leave, or walk down the hall to use the accessible entrance.

Overall, though, I would definitely return to this hotel again – particularly in the summer.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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, November 19, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am glad that you remember your stay as being enjoyable, and I really appreciate that you took the time to share your experience. I am also happy that you were able to make use of the gym and outdoor areas! I hope that we 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.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I booked two rooms for guests that were visiting Chicago.

LOCATION & BUILDING
Let me first start by saying, in addition to the location being just blocks from michigan avenue, the lake, grant park, and the Chicago river - the hotel is simply beautiful. Located on Columbus Drive between Wacker and Randolph - the Radisson Blu occupies the first 18 (+/-) floors of the esquisite Aqua building. Equally matching the unique exterior of the Aqua building - the Radisson Blu's lobby is breath taking. A stunning cobalt blue passageway marks the entrance to the hotel. Once inside - to the left is the lobby (modern and luxurious - cast in white), straight ahead is the lounge that evokes a decadent ski lodge (gold chain covered mirrored walls encasing a 30+ foot fireplace, with brick pillars separating the lounge from the restaurant/gallery area). AMAZING!

CHECKING IN & ROOMS
The check in experience was such a breeze, the associates at the desk were courteous and friendly. Rather than wait until much later in the day, my guests were able to check in early - which was fantastic given the amount of luggage they brought. There were two styles of room decor: one was modern, minimalist and white, the other was sexy, and decadent as the floors shimmered in black granite with flecks of gold. Both rooms offered balconies, giving yet another city element to the rooms - with fantastic views of Grant Park (south) and the Chicago River (north). Both rooms were spacious, with the finest amenities: flat screen tv, mood lighting, spacious bathrooms, and ample storage for clothes and such. The beds were a dream - excellent bedding, soft pillow top mattresses with just the right amount of firmness, and comfortable sleeping pillows.

DRINKS & DINING
Filini bar and restaurant is attached to the hotel. We spent most of our time in the bar area (there's a sit-down restaurant upstairs). There we had the best experience - the same waitress "Laura" waited on us each time. She has a great personality and became our go-to gal because of the excellent service she provided. Highly recommended ...if you havent already checked out Filini to please do!!

OVERALL
At the end of the day, I'd highly recommend this hotel for Chicagoans looking for a weekend getaway or for visitors who want their hotel experience to be just as wonderful as the city of Chicago!

Room Tip: South facing rooms offer great views of Grant Park
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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, November 19, 2012
I can't thank you enough for you wonderful comments! I am thrilled that your guests had a fantastic stay and that you were happy with your decision to both stay and dine with us! I have also shared your compliments with Laura and she was honored to have made an impact on your stay. I appreciate your review and I hope that we see you again soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

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.
Naperville, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to return to this hotel twice in the past week (one time for for fun and the other for business). I am a single parent so I usually do not have a lot of time to devote to writing reviews, but I feel writing about this this hotel is worth the time. My two stays were truly fantastic. The first one needed some special planning around it, and the person I spoke with in the manager's office was very helpful and accurate with my requests. In addition, upon check in there was an emergency I had to deal with and I needed to get to my bank. The front desk staff and concierge quickly found out where the local branch of my bank was in relation to the hotel, called there to make sure they were still open, and then I was able to get everything taken care of. For the second stay there was an accidental ovebooking on my part, and again the front desk staff was helpful and was able to resolve it in a timely manner.

Aside from the logistics of my two stays, the facility itself is very clean, the atmosphere welcoming, and the fitness cetner and other amenities are way above satisfactory. The food in the restarant, Filini, is also very tasty.

Room Tip: if the opportunity presents itself for hotel guests, try to stay on the 17th or 18th floor (business...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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, November 12, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review! I am truly honored by your kind words and happy that you had two memorable experiences with us! I am glad that our facilities worked well for both business and pleasure travel and I hope that you choose us again on your next trip to Chicago.

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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I stay at the hotel 4 nights and the hotel itself is a work of art with beautiful features and extremely clean. I'd stayvat this hotel again. I have two complains about the staffs however. First was my receptionist, he didn't even bother to look up and greet me when I approached his station for check in. But after we started talking, he did welcomed me with a smile so I was willing to over look that. The second incident was with this front desk guy I saw when entering from the side entrance due to the rain. I was confuse as where to go and he asked me all these questions like what are you looking for, what room you are in, do you stay here, are you sure you stay at blu. I answered all his questions without getting help finding the elevator. I finally gave up and walked away being very upset. I'd think hotel as nice as the Blu would train their staff appropriately to at least have a polite conversation with their guest.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, November 12, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience about the hotel. I am happy that you enjoyed your overall stay with us and that you plan to return. However, I cannot apologize enough that our team was not more engaging and helpful during your visit. I assure you, we are working diligently to address the issues you identified, and I am truly sorry for any disappointment or frustration we caused for you.

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.
In Michigan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

The room and view was wonderful! Stepping into the bathroom was like walking into a spa after a long week of work. The tub is perfect for two, or an individual looking to indulge in lavender bath salts and bubbles; just as I did ;). Radisson Blu is the calm after a night out in the heart of the city. Every attendant was polite, personable, and worked to ensure we were having a wonderful experience. We didn't have to worry about catching a cab and by the next day, the bartender did nothing short of having our drink ready by the time we arrived (it felt as though). I can go on and on but to sum it all up, I definitely recommend Raddision Blu. You will relax, and be treated as though you deserve the break! Don't just take my word for it! Enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: When booking the room, I expressed my preference and in turn was very satisfied upon arrival.
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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, November 12, 2012
Thank you for your review! I am honored that you had such a wonderful stay and that we were the perfect end to a hectic day in the city! I have shared your compliments with our front office and Filini team, and everyone was happy to have made such an impact on your stay. We look forward to your next trip to the city!

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 #7 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel 4*
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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