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“Chic, trendy hotel in great location” 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 #7 of 169 hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Chic, trendy hotel in great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We stay in the city often but this is our first time at this hotel. We were with our kids and grand-kids, ages two and six. We loved everything about the Radisson Blu - The location is perfect: walking distance to Millenium Park, the Goodman Theatre, the lake shore, the river, great shopping, etc. The huge pool (including kids pool and hot tub) is on the 3rd floor with terrific views of the lake and city- we all enjoyed it! Our rooms had balconies and we could see Navy Pier and the lake - we really enjoyed sitting out there later at night. We really liked the contemporary decor. The beds were comfortable and it was very quiet all night despite the fire station below which the kids loved. I really appreciated the bathroom with the long ledge which easily accommodated all of our toiletries, the make-up mirror, great shower, etc. We did not eat at the restaurant but enjoyed drinks at the upscale bar. The staff were very attentive and helpful. One of our rooms wasn't ready until after 6 pm but they went out of their way to make sure our rooms were next to each other, and gave us a 2 pm check out the next day. We are only sorry we didn't discover this hotel sooner - we will definitely return!

Room Tip: great view from balcony on north side
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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, July 16, 2013
Thank you for your review. I am thrilled that you and your family had such a great stay and that everyone was able to enjoy the pools and balconies. I am also glad that you enjoyed your drinks at the bar. I will share your compliments with our team; I hope to see you again on your next trip to Chicago!

All the best,

Pierre-Louis Giacotto
General Manager
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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 (469)
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Dorset
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
137 reviews 137 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
85 helpful votes 85 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
59 helpful votes 59 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.
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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 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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