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“A wonderful anniversary!” 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
Kenosha, WI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“A wonderful anniversary!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

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!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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, December 6, 2012
Happy Anniversary! I am truly honored that you had such a wonderful anniversary stay and that our team helped you celebrate! I have shared your compliments with Nezma, Gil and Chef William and very much appreciate you giving me the opportunity to reward them for a job well done. Thanks again; we look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to Chicago!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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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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Lisbon, Portugal
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

I've spent an extended weekend at the Radisson Blu Aqua. Impressive architecture, not so impressive interiors, although some effort was clearly put in the design of the lobby and rooms. The lobby is unattended, and serves as an over the top waiting room. Not really my idea of a lobby, but it was comfortable and had an inviting fireplace. The bar and restaurant is across the hall should you want something to drink or eat. Regular food, decently priced, nice-ish design.

I got a somewhat small standard room, comfortable and practical, but nothing special. The sparkling floor and countertops were a bit disturbing, as they produced a "disco ball" effect on the walls. The closet, in all its shiny silver glory was way too small. Great bed though.

Service was average throughout, with the exception of the doormen, who didn't greet or respond to greetings, and pretty much just hanged around the door.
There was a nice little executive lounge which resembled a dentists waiting room, probably the liveliest place in the property.
To sum it up, hospitality wise the experience is as bland as you can imagine, and If the building wasn't the architectural gem it is, the entire hotel would define the word banal.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, December 4, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am glad that you enjoyed the architecture of the hotel, but I am truly sorry that the service and design did not meet your expectations. I am addressing your concerns with our entire team, and I apologize that our lobby staff was not more engaging throughout your stay. Also, we have another room design that may be more to your taste. The "Natrurally Cool" rooms feature light wood floors and lighter accents. I hope that you will consider returning on your next trip to Chicago.

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Beautiful place, very inviting. Staff was extremely helpful and the bar food was fantastic. The only downside I would have to say is there was no refrigerator in the room for any leftovers or to put beverages in. Beds were very comfortable and the pilliow were great, and that is my biggest pet peave at most hotels. Slept very comortabley due to this. The shampoos, soaps and incidentals were great.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 30, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience with us on Trip Advisor. I am happy that you and your friends had a great girls getaway with us and that you enjoyed your time at the hotel. I have shared your compliments with our staff at the bar. Also, we do have refridgerators available upon request for a small delivery fee. I am truly sorry that this was not explained during your visit. I hope we see you again soon!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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Fort Lauderdale
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I agree with many of the positive comments that others have made about the staff and hotel in general. I was given a nice corner room with a lake view. It had a nice layout with a desk facing a wall of windows overlooking the lake, a large bath with walk in shower and a very nice comfortable bed. There were two things from a structural standpoint that seemed odd. The closet was what I would call a standard size closet for a business hotel. Unfortunately however, it contained a series of drawers that came up to waist high and prevented any pants, suit coats or dress shirts from hanging free. The other side of the closet was large enough to accomodate my clothes only because I was traveling alone and because I took out the ironing board to make room for them. The other odd item was the placement of the faucets in the shower. My room had a rain shower (good), but the faucet was on the back wall and it was impossible to reach it without getting hit with cold water (bad). I would prefer not to get wet while I am adjusting the water temperature. I stayed at the hotel because that was where the convention was held. I considered it a good value at the convention rate.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the hotel. I am happy that you enjoyed your stay and that you felt we were a good value throughout your events. I would also like to thank you for the ideas you suggested for improvement. Unforturantely the showerhead is not something that we are able to change in the short term, but I will share your concerns with our design team. I hope that we see you again on your next trip to the city!

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.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Spent a couple of days in Chicago at this new hotel and was very happy with the experience. Since it's also a residence, the hotel lobby is small in favor of a large restaurant and bar. Parking was a bit confusing and we ended up having a hard time finding the car both times we used it during our stay, so the extra $10/day for valet is worth it. The room was stylish: tile in the bathroom sparkled, lighting was colorful (blue) but subtle and the bed was very comfortable. On the downside: shower pressure could have been better and the shared walls were thin. The maid service was also lacking - had to repeatedly ask for shampoo and coffee to be restocked. Lastly, if you're looking for a good workout during your trip, then look no further. This hotel has the BEST gym I have ever seen during my extensive travels...even has a basketball court and outdoor track with a view of the lake.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 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 29, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. I am happy that you enjoyed your overall experience at the hotel, and that our gym and outdoor running track exceeded your expectations. I would, however, like to apologize that items such a shampoo and coffee were not properly replenished. I am truly sorry for any frustraiton this caused for you. I hope that we see you again on your next trip to the city!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I had a really great stay, the hotel public areas and the rooms were really cool. Not cool in a dark, I cant read then room numbers on the door kind of way but in a modern up to date way. My room was spacious , we laid out , comfortable beds ... it was all good.
The in house restaurant is Italianish, "mostly italian" is the way they describe it. The food was great, came out quickly and the service was friendly and informative without being overbearing.
The Gym was a real treat, probably because there are up market residential apartments above the hotel levels, it had half court basket ball court , PT room, all the machines free weights and doohdads you could want, again, clean, slick, modern is the feel.
Definitely would recommend

  • Stayed September 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.
Radissonbluaqua, General Manager at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you for your review! I am glad that you liked the clean modern design of the hotel public space and guestrooms. I am also happy that you were able to utilize our fitness center and that it had all of the equipment you needed. I hope we see you again on your next visit to Chicago!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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!
See more room tips
  • 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
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
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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