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“Great Stay!” 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
Dayton, Ohio
1 review
“Great Stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We are staying at Radisson Blu Aqua for two days...its a very new very beautiful hotel! Very clean, spotless... Room is ultramodern that meets all your needs. Great shower, a very modern bathroom styling...very clean towels. Even the TV in room is a good quality plasma with wall mount. Room also has a balcony that will allow you to step out and look at the tall buildings around. The hotel for sure adds to the charm of downtown Chicago and offers a place to relax when you visit this beautiful windy city! The restaurant had great breakfast buffet. Helpful and nice people at front desk. Self parking was reasonable (its downtown Chicago lol)....The stay at Blu Aqua was fantastic and I highly recommend it ....and thanks travelzoo for the deal that had included free breakfast :)!! I will stay here in my future trips!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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 10, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am thrilled that you had such a wonderful time and that all of the amenities exceeded your expectations. I am also glad that you were able to take advantage of our promotion and enjoyed the breakfast service. I hope 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.
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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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Moscow, Russia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Perfect new modern and stylish hotel is located right near the Millenium Park, very close to Magnificient mile and in walking distance from Navy Pier in Chicago. Very convenient, full of air and light rooms rather in European style. Some of rooms with park view.Personnel is frendly and helpful. Lovely restaurant on the ground flour completes the overall very positive impression of the hotel.

  • 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
    • 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 10, 2012
Thank you for your kind words. I am pleased that you enjoyed your experience at the hotel including our restaurant and views. I have also shared your compliments with our team. I hope that we see you again on your next trip to Chicago; 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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

The Blu Aqua was full of intentional and unique design and attention to detail. As structural engineer, I have had my eye on this building since it's concrete floor design (which forms the balconies) appeared in a trade magazine. I was pleasantly surprised that the interior had as much thought put into it as the exterior, both from a functional and form standpoint.

The chic sitting lounge included a linear fireplace (must be 40'+ long) and reflective disks on the north wall. The room I stayed in was a nice break from "everycolor" carpet and standard features. There was plenty of indirect lighting including gooseneck reading lights. The floor was hardwood, but didn't strike me as cold, and again was a welcome change from carpet. The shower and toilet stall were open to the room's "hallway", concealed only by sliding frosted glass doors. Maybe I didn't look hard enough for a concealed door.The tub was separate and with sharp looking tile. There was complementary water, coffee, blueberry tea with a single cup brewer. The hotel is close to Wacker Drive and within walking distance to Lake Michigan. I could see the Wrigley Building and Pier Park from my 8th floor room. One caution: the adjacent undulating balconies, while necessary I'm sure to avoid disruption of the flowing lines of the exterior, are separated only by 3’-6” railing, so lock the sliding door. The price was decent for a downtown hotel, $60 less than others nearby. The staff was pleasant. The elevator is secured floor-to-floor by key card as long as someone doesn't trail you.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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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 10, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. I am happy that you had such a great stay with us and that you were intrigued by the building even during its construction stage. I am glad that you found the interior to be equally as beautiful as the exterior. Thank you again, we hope to welcome you back on your next trip to Chicago.

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.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Went into town for the Dave Matthews Band concert. The hotel was spectacular. After having seen some of it on "Flipping Out", we were excited to check it out for ourselves. The view of Navy Pier from our 16th floor balcony was amazing and the location was perfect for walking up Michigan Ave. All of the staff we dealt with was very polite, friendly, and very helpful. Will definitely be staying here again in the future.

Room Tip: Definitely worth the extra price for the higher floors. Try to get a room with a balcony on the wes...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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, December 7, 2012
Thank you for your review! I am happy that you had such a nice time and that you enjoyed the view from your room. I have also shared your compliments with our team. We 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

I like my room, it was very differant to a normal hotel room in terms of the decor. The balcony was nice. Room was a little small, but I was on business and didnt really need the space. The only real problem is parking, the hotel parking is madly expensive and the nearest free on road, overnight parking is 15 mins walk away! i wont stay there again because of the parking issue, however if you dont have a car then it is a fantastic hotel just a bit dull and boring lobby!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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, December 7, 2012
Thank you for leaving us a review. I am glad that you enjoyed the design of your room. I would, however, like to apologize that you were not aware of the cost of parking. I assure you, we work diligently with our parking company to provide prices that are less than or equal to that of our competitors. I am truly sorry for any disappointment this caused for you. I hope you will reconsider returning in the future.

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.
Kenosha, WI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
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
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, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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