My husband and I just stayed at the Radisson Blu Aqua (our first visit) on 12/1/12, to celebrate our 9th anniversary. I was emailed a deal through Travelzoo and am SO glad we tried this place out! First of all, this hotel has a wonderful location: close to MIllenium Park, Michican Ave, the river areas and, of course, Lake Michigan. All the staff were very attentive (doormen, front desk, etc.) and they made us feel special. The woman at the front desk (Nedzma? -sorry if it is spelled incorrectly), congratulated us on our anniversary, and seeing that we had booked two double beds (which was all that was left when we booked the deal), she upgraded our room to a King room and to business class on the 17th floor. We were very surprised and touched by the nice gesture! She was very professional and efficient, yet personable.
The whole hotel is very trendy/classy/modern, but we especially loved our room! Great wood (laminate?) floors, dark charcoal and orange accents, a huge, very comfortable bed firm core with a soft upper), all wooden cabinets/closets, and a huge, airy modern bathroom that had a rainshower and a big tub. The bathrooms were all white porcelin with light aqua accents and walls. Great smelling shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The bedside table had a clock/speaker with an iPod/iPhone docking station. There is an ipad on the desk for your use (mainly acting as the hotel guide and communication center with the staff). The complimentary sewing kit really came in handy, as my husband's vest lost a button!
Our room on the 17th floor had a city view, but we could look to the right and see the lake. The 17th floor are the business class rooms, so we had access to the "lounge", which offered hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, etc. in the evenings and a great breakfast spread in the morning. We didn't get to try the lounge in the evening, but the breakfast was wonderful!! My husband said it was the best oatmeal he had ever had, and they had tons of other great foods, fancy bottled drinks and nice coffee/espresso options. I tried the Nespresso machine and made myself an espresso that was very creamy and delicous (paired perfectly with my semiseweet dark chocolate crossant)! The attendant in the lounge that morning was very attentive and tried to anticipate out needs.
We ended up making reservations at the hotel's restaurant: Filini. We were sat right away at one of the large plush, yet intimate, booths overlooking the street. Our waiter, Gil, greeted us immediately with two glasses of complimentary champagne, wishing us a happy anniversary. Gil was VERY well-versed in the menu and he was able to answer our many questions, in great detail about the food items/origins of items. He made some great recommendations to us, too! As we typically split meals when dining out (portions are usually huge at restaurants), we asked about splitting the Chef's Tasting Menu, that was special that day. We offered to share one plate in the middle of the table, and use our side plates, but Gil checked with the Chef, who, hearing it was our anniversary, offered to graciously split the Tasting Menu, and make two plate presentations for each course. This was above and beyond what they needed to do, and was, again, a very nice gesture. We had an amazing meal at Filini; the Tasting Menu was perfect! Every course was a delight; cooked and presented wonderfully, and the flavors were fresh and creative. The Chef also did little upgrades throughout the meal as a gift (adding the foie gras on the angus steak, using the truffle salt or oil on dishes, verses the olive oil, etc.). The courses came perfectly timed to our pace, and the meal ended right in time for us to catch a cab to a show were were attending. Much thanks to Gil and the Chef for an amazing anniversary dinner!
The only hiccup we had was my husband NOT reading the well posted sign on the refrigerator in our room! LOL. The sign states that the fridge is monitored by motion; i.e., if you remove something from it, you will be automatically charged. He had wanted to store some leftover lunch in the fridge, and since it isn't designed for that (it's small), he had to remove some items and put them on the top of the fridge. I saw our bill in the morning (slipped under the door, per most hotels), and had seen extra charges on there. When I looked at the fridge I saw the sign and figured what had happened. Now we were in a fix, as we wanted to get the leftovers out, but knew we would trip the motion sensor again. My husband went down to the desk to explain our predicament (he was fine to pay the slight charge for his mistake), and the front desk automatically removed the charge for him and set everything for us to remove his food (which we threw away anyway... haha!).
We had a wonderful anniversary stay here at the Radisson Blu Aqua! A huge thank you to all the staff who helped make our stay extra special. We are telling all our friends about this wonderful place, and we definitely will choose to stay here for our future Chicago visits!