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“Excellent location, superb decor and impeccable service” 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 169 Hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent location, superb decor and impeccable service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

I was lucky enough to stay in this hotel on a recent business trip to Chicago. From the moment we arrived, we were warmly greeted and the service continued that way for the duration of our stay. The room I stayed in had stunning turquoise carpet and what I can only describe as a 'disco decor' bathroom! And I needn't have even brought my IPad with me as the room I stayed in had one already :-) (though I would never leave my IPad at home of course, even if returning to this hotel!). We had drinks in the bar both nights; the atmosphere was great, really buzzy, again with excellent service. I guess being from London, I had expected a buffet for breakfast, but it was a la carte and it didn't matter at all as I had some of the yummiest French toast ever! In terms of location, it is literally a hop, skip and a jump down to Michigan Ave or heading out the other direction just a couple of blocks, Macy's and some fabulous restaurants. I'd highly recommend visiting one of the restaurants we ate in, it was called The Gage, really immaculately presented food which tasted as good as it looked. Additionally in the other direction, on the other side of the river was a fabulous, new tapas place called Tavernitas...again, highly recommended. So suffice to say, when I go back to Chicago, I won't hesitate in going back to Aqua each and every time :-)

Room Tip: Go for the higher floors overlooking the city and lake if possible!
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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
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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 26, 2012
Thank you for your comments and for spending your vacation with us! I am thrilled that you had such a nice stay at the hotel and throughout our city. I have shared your compliments with our team, and look forward to welcoming you back 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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1,593 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (478)
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English first
Oxford, Michigan
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Nice place. We had a good time and would stay there again. Close to Michigan Ave and the river.

Are you kidding me? A 200 word minimum? I don't have time for this, my time is my most valuable and limited commodity. If you expect a minimum word count in my review then I expect to be compensated for my time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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 21, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. We appreciate the time that you took and hope to see you back at the hotel soon. Thanks again!

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.
Tampa, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I was in Chicago for a conference at the Swissotel and decided to stay at Blu Auqa instead of the Swiss. The hotel is connected to the Swiss and the Fairmont hotel via tunnel. I had a corner suite on the 15th floor facing Lake Michigan. Beautiful room and view. New and very nice - even had a balcony off the room - although too chilly to use. Hotel staff service was excellent. I booked the AAA rate which included breakfast in the restaurant - which was ok. Beware that they add a $4 tip to your room for the breakfast buffet - even though I left a cash tip on the table when I dined. I stayed several days and the waiter never bothered to tell me I was tipping twice. Wait staff at the buffet did not seem very motivated, unlike the front desk staff and others in the hotel. Regardless, it was an excellent place to stay and I will do so again next year. Much nicer and newer than the Swissotel - but just as convenient when attending a conference there thanks to the "Pedway".

Room Tip: Corner room with Lake Michigan view is the best.
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  • Stayed October 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
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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 21, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. I am happy that you enjoyed your time at the hotel and that the location and amenities were perfect for your needs. I would, however, like to apologize that there was an error with your room charges and Filini tip. I am looking into this with our team and am truly sorry for any frustration this caused for you. 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.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

From the moment we walked in we knew it was going to be an unbelievable experience. The decor was breathtaking and the front desk service at check in was superior. I was greeted by a professional and extremely friendly Ashley Barda at the front desk. When she noticed our disappointed faces that we were booked on only the 4th floor, she said "no problem!" and immediately suggested an upgrade to the TOP floor of the hotel at a reasonable discount. We were elated with the service and WOWED by the room. Two balconies with excellent views of the south loop and the loop, it was very modern, spacious, and had all the amenities I could have wanted. The VIP lounge for the top 5 floors had an amazing breakfast spread and was gorgeous. It was CLASS all the way. We went to Fillini for dinner and stopped at the bar for cocktails first and were again wowed by the service. We were greeted by manager Nolan Sanchez, who had a million-dollar smile and made us feel like we were the most important guests in the restaurant. He made it a point to check in with us halfway through dinner- even though he was stationed at the bar. Upon learning it was our anniversary, he personally brought up a bottle of champagne to our room that we did not expect or request. I couldn't have asked for a better stay. It is my new hotel of choice in Chicago and I HIGHLY recommend it!

Room Tip: Corner suites have two balconies and amazing views on upper floors!
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  • Stayed November 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 21, 2012
I can't thank you enough for spending your anniversary with us or for your review! I am thrilled that you had sucha wonderful stay and that our team was so helpful in exceeding your expectations. I have shared your compliments with Ashley and Nolan. I hope that we see you again on your next trip to Chicago! Happy Anniversary and 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.
California
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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 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
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 169 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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