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“New Landmark Hotel - Central Location” 4 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
Dorset
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“New Landmark Hotel - Central Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Good centrally located hotel in the modern ‘Aqua’ (2010?) tower block. Ideal for business or a short break, being a couple of minutes walk from The Loop, Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier & Millenium Park.

Facilities typical of this chain brand, modern styling, good bathroom.

Tips for short tourist break:

• Took the CTA Blue Line train in from the Airport to Clarke/Lake (c.10/15 mins walk or short taxi ride from there)
• Stayed Room Only as plenty of good (better priced) eating options nearby.
• Were able to keep the room for a late check out (mid afternoon) at no extra charge.
• Wildberry Pancakes (out the front door, turn left, then right) great for Breakfast or Brunch.
• Chicago Greeter (pre-book) a brilliant way to get a personalised tour of the city – tailored to your interests.
• Hancock tower – great views of the city & lake – beat the queues & take the elevator to the bar/restaurant on the 95th & enjoy a Cocktail – costs no more than the entry to the Observatory, a floor below.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 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, July 16, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am happy that you had such an enjoyable stay with us and that you found our location perfect for a quick break in the city. I hope we have the opportunity to welcome 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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1,926 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 (515)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here recently. The hotel lobby area and check in area flow weird. That's due to the fact that this building was originally built as a condo building. During the real estate crash the bottom 18 floors was converted by radisson into a hotel. That's why the hallways are choppy in their lay out.

Arrived for check-in 4pm. Room was not ready. Had to wait another 45 min for the room. To me that's not acceptable. Room should be ready at check-in. Staff at drink desk was very short staffed. One person was at the desk. She was also answering phone calls as well during check-in . Very poorly run .

Elevators use a swipe key card system to get to room - nice security feature.
I had king size bed room. It was pretty small. Decor was blue , black and trendy .
Bathroom was strange . Sliding door for bathroom, another sliding door that went back and forth Btwn the shower and toilet area. They must have wanted to on space. Concept doesn't give privacy. Plus if you shower and then someone uses the toilet, they need to slide the shower door to the toilet area. The glass drips wet water near the toilet area.

Toilet is straight from Europe . Mounted from the wall with a 2 big buttons to push on the wall for flush. European toilets are annoying .

Bed had nice linens , but the itself was very hard, springy and uncomfortable .

Valet parking overnight is 50-60$ which is standard for overnight parking at hotels in downtown Chicago.

Location is 2 blocks from michigan ave, 1 block from millennium park. Location is ok.

Beware there is a fire station next door. Try not to get a room facing north.

Overall was disappointed. It's a pricey hotel that does not deliver. Would not stay here again. Lots of other hotels to choose from in downtown.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am truly sorry to see that you did not enjoy your experience at the hotel and that you did not find us to be a good value. I am sharing your concerns with our management team, and I apologize that your room was not ready at the standard check in time. I hope that you will reconsider returning in the future so we can recoup your confidence in us.

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.
Arlington, Texas
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013 via mobile

We drove into Chicago on Michigan Avenue, which I strongly advise against if you're in a hurry to get to the hotel. We used the self parking garage which was right by the CVS at the other end of the hotel. The rate we paid was 46 dollars a day but there was a sign stating that rates were going to be increased soon. The hotel did also have valet parking available. The hotel felt very grand when you walked in. You couldn't go up the elevators unless you had a room key as you have to swipe the elevator with your room key and choose your floor. Once off the elevator turning on to our hall the hallway was white with black cityscape. In the room the black sparkled marble floor, aqua carpet and stainless steel looking closet made for a very futuristic feel. The bathroom was amazing but there is not a lot of counter space ladies. There is a partition which serves as the shower door but can also be moved in front of the toilet for privacy. We had a double bedroom which also had a desk in it. There was a mini bar area with wine glasses and a refrigerator, there is a fee per day for the refrigerator. Our patio was very large but had no furniture. We could see the Navy Pier from our balcony. There is a fire department near the hotel however we did not hear it at all. If this is your style, which it is mine I would stay here again in a heartbeat. It was within walking distance to Millennium Park and Wild berry pancakes which I highly suggest for breakfast. We also walked to Giordanos for some Chicago style pizza and to the Willis tower. Hopefully when you go there is not a large convention or big city event. Every place we went seem to have a one and a half to two hour wait. We never once pulled our car out to go anywhere while in Chicago as we walked everywhere even with three small children. The hotel did have a restaurant connected to it and a small bar inside but we never went to either one of them.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your review! I am thrilled that you and your family had such a great visit in the city. I am also glad that you enjoyed the hotel and room designs. I hope that we have the opportunity to welcome 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

I took my fiance on a staycation here over 4th of July weekend.

We had an amazing time!

Decor: Modern,fresh,very chic. We loved it

Bar: Incredible decor and food at Felini (a nuevo Italian bistro) was great but smaller portions

BEST PART OF ALL..... The Service and Pool

Service very attentive and pleasant

The Pool was amazing and by far the best in the city of Chicago.

You want to take your signifacnt other on a lazy summer staycation this is the place to be

Thanks to the staff at Aqua for a great stay!

Room Tip: any view will be great. I wish we upgraded to the lake view deluxe suite. Maybe next time
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, 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, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your review! I could not be happier that you had such an enjoyable experience and that the pool was perfect for a staycation in the city! I will be sure to share your compliments with our team. I 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.
Indianapolis
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Thumbs up: the lobby and bar area are really nice, modern rooms, good location to walk around Chicago, the balcony was nice with a good view

Thumbs down: temperature control in the room, one couple did not have balcony access from their room and were told they would, elevators seemed slow

We did call the front desk to see if someone could do something about the air conditioning in our room since it wasn't cooling properly and they did send someone up, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference, which really affected my sleep and my husband's. The bed itself was comfortable, but I don't sleep well in a warm room. The building itself looks really cool when it is lit up blue at night. While I did like the hotel, I'm still up in the air about whether or not I would stay there again. There are lots of options in Chicago!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, July 15, 2013
Thank you for the review. I am happy that you enjoyed the design details during your stay. I would, however, like to apologize that your room was too warm and that our engineering team was unable to correct this unit. I am truly sorry for any frustration this caused and hope that you will still return 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Really clean and modern, with great rooms - particularly the bathroom which verges on 5*. Staff at the front desk all perfect, very welcoming and nothing too much. Really comfortable bed and great TV.

Best feature of the hotel was the pools and fitness centre - exceeds the standard of most fitness clubs! Very quiet too so no issues getting the kit you want or a lane in the pool. Restaurant/bar all sound.

Only couple of niggles which didn't really drag the visit down were long waits for the 2 elevators at busy times (lots more available for the rental units though), and a bit of a walk to the metro stations (though there is a bus and lots of taxis).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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, July 11, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am glad that you had such a great experience at the hotel and that you were able to enjoy the fitness center and pool. I will be sure to share your compliments with our team. I hope we have the opportunity to welcome 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

So, it’s 11:00 on a Sunday night and we are checking in to the hotel at the front desk. While not hostile, the check-in guy is rather…sedate. He says hi. We say we have a reservation. He asks for the name and procedes to check us in, hands us the keys and we are escorted to the room by a valet. Fine, I guess.

Yeah, except that we are standing the in front of this dork glowing, bubbly, and barely able to contain ourselves and IN FULL WEDDING REGALIA! I have on a beautiful wedding gown and my new husband is wearing a suit, tie, boutonniere, and pocket square. In fact, we look rather dashing. We’ve just come from the best, most fun wedding ever and are so excited to be newly married.

Seriously, the dork at the desk killed the high. And I wondered WHO THE HELL checked in just before us that we were no big deal? As we walked to the elevator I craned my neck trying to get a glimpse around the (relatively empty) sitting area to see if the Queen of England happened to be fumbling in her handbag or something.

We actually got more excitement over the phone from the front desk girl in the morning. I called down to ask if we could get an extra half hour beyond checkout time because we got a late start having just gotten married last night. She was all excited, told us no problem, and asked if we needed anything else. How nice—and I wasn’t even standing in front of her in a wedding dress.

The room was okay. The view was okay. I dunno—it’s my fault—I had to, had to, HAD TO have a downtown hotel for my wedding night. A waste of money in hindsight. We left the next day for 3 weeks in Italy to stay at a variety of hotels for half the cost of this one and this was by far the LEAST FAVORITE hotel we stayed in on our honeymoon. Even though other Italian hotels didn’t have sumptuous beds or downtown views, they were all friendly and many were excited we were on our honeymoon. Even without standing in front of the check-in guy wearing a wedding dress.

I’ll also add that despite the ridiculously overpriced accommodation, the parking was an extra $50. Really??? $300 for the room wasn’t enough?

My advice—skip the hoo-hah of a downtown hotel. We got married out in Glenview and could have stayed at a nice Wyndham Suites 5 minutes away from our reception for half the price, but instead we drove all the way into the city to stay here. We travel internationally A LOT and never stay in fancy hotels, so I guess this first time ever splurge staying in a fancy-pants place I was expecting…I dunno…something special. Or at least as special as our wedding day had been.

My wedding was so lovely that this hotel is the ONLY thing I would have done differently!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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, July 11, 2013
Congratulations on your recent wedding! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the hotel. I am truly sorry that your check in agent did not do a better job in acknowledging your special day and that he did not share in your excitement. We are honored that you spent such a special occasion with us, and I cannot apologize enough that we did not share in your joy. I am also sorry that you were not aware of the cost of parking. Unfortunately, like most hotels in the city, we do not own the parking garage and the rates are actually charged to a different parking company. I assure you, we work diligently with them to ensure our rates are lower than our competitors. I apologize again for the disappointment and hope that you will return in the future so we can recoup your confidence in us.

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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