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“Short Stay - Fab Hotel - Great Experience (Coming back for more!)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of W Chicago Lakeshore

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W Chicago Lakeshore
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   644 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)   |  
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Ranked #112 of 169 hotels in Chicago
Keller, TX
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Short Stay - Fab Hotel - Great Experience (Coming back for more!)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Sadly, we were only in Chicago for an overnight business trip so we didn't get much opportunity to explore the hotel and enjoy its amenities. We like what we did see, and will definitely be back for more!

We arrived early and were greeted by a very enthusiastic and friendly desk crew who had us checked into a Spectacular room right away. The lobby was a bit glitzy but comfortable, with some cool artwork. (Granted, that’s subjective. Our cool might be your questionable.) Beaded curtains surrounded several conversation “pods” and, past the desk, the bar and restaurant areas have lots of glass and mirrors reflecting light from the windows facing Lake Shore Drive. There were coffee and cookies to welcome us, along with the helpful concierge who pointed us to a delicious pizza place nearby for a quick lunch, along with directions to the Metro and a couple local destinations.

The room was not large but it was well done: comfortable, functional, clean and sleek, with a spectacular view. The W Signature Bed, as always, was delightfully comfy and we love the Bliss amenities. (Thank you to the desk staff who slipped us some extra lotion!) One of the more unique features is a chaise that extends along two walls, forming an L-shape from the bedside to the window, with a built-in table at the end, beneath a chandelier. This gives you lots of seating, without cluttering the small room. We used it as a luggage rack, a work space, and a place to get a great view of Lake Michigan.

The desk was large and uncluttered – just a telephone and desk lamp – with easily accessible plugs. There were more in the nightstand and easily reachable wall outlets. A large flatscreen was mounted above the desk, so it was unobtrusive and well situated for watching from the bed or chaise. It fit seamlessly with the mirror and artwork along the wall. It’s a very modern design that we absolutely love.

The bathroom was clean and bright but a bit small. A little counter space would be helpful, as would a vanity area separate from the shower/toilet. As in most hotels, ventilation could be better, too. The one sort of odd thing that I've seen people complain about is the window between the bathroom and the rest of the room. Some complain that it’s clear, which ours was not, and that the light from the bathroom shone into the bedroom, which didn't bother us at all. In fact, we generally leave a light on anyway, since it can be disorienting waking in the dark in an unfamiliar place and trying to find a light.

The location is great - on the north side of the Chicago River on Lake Shore Drive. It’s across the street from the lake and a large park with a beach, so it’s nice getting a lake view room. A walking path takes you under the street and continues to the Navy Pier. In the opposite direction, it’s a short walk to Michigan Avenue, and the Red Line is just a few blocks further on. There are plenty of great restaurants, nightlife and landmarks in the vicinity.

We didn't get to stay long enough to enjoy (or even find) the pool or fitness facilities, but we found the rocking chairs on the porch! Since check out was substantially before our flight out, the hotel was kind enough to store our bags (free of charge) while we wrapped up some business. Afterward, we had a few minutes to enjoy the rocking chairs facing Lake Shore Drive. You can’t see much of the lake from that vantage point, but it’s nice to sit outdoors and relax a bit, even if it is facing such a busy street.

All said, we thoroughly enjoyed the W Chicago Lakefront and look forward to a return so we can explore and experience more of the hotel.

Room Tip: Lake view rooms have a spectacular view but overlook Lake Shore Drive. Ask for a higher room for le...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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47 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I have had the chance to stay at the W Chicago Lakeshore multiple times over the past few years. It is in a great location of the city and has a stunning view of Lake Michigan. Waking up to the lake each morning is a treat. Enjoying a lake view from cardio equipment in the gym - awesome. I have to say that I really enjoy the contemporary vibe of the hotel overall, however in our most recent trip I was disappointed with the room renovations. They just aren't functional.

Room pros: Many more outlets which helps when charging multiple phones, computers, etc. The beds are pretty comfortable. The towels are fluffy and things are clean overall.

Room cons: There are multiple...
- The bathrooms are super small. I think they made them smaller than they were before in order to fit the weird wrap around couch thing in the main part of the room. This made sitting on the toilet super awkward as your body was smashed against the glass shower wall.
- The frosted window from the bathroom into the bedroom makes it impossible to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or get up early without waking up everyone else in the room. A set of blinds along the interior would help.
- The mirror in the bathroom is extremely high on the wall. I am 5'5'' and I could barely see anything below my chin in the mirror which made putting on make-up and getting ready difficult.
- There is no vanity in the bathroom and the thin rim around the sink is simply not enough space to get ready in the morning.
- There is only one towel hook in the bathroom and no towel bars so you have to layer your multiple wet towels on top of each other on the single hook. As a result, they never get dry and you have to keep using new towels. Not very sustainable. It also made using the provided robes impossible as there was no place to put them when they were wet.
- There were unfinished edges around the walls and what looked like mold in the lower corner of the shower which by the way, is exactly the same on the interior. The only difference with the shower is that they replaced the old shower configuration that leaked water all over the place which is good.
- The main area has this huge wrap around sitting area that takes up loads of space in the room making it feel cramped. In addition, it takes up so much space around the windows that it is hard to enjoy the view of the lake.
- Horrible configuration of the wrap around sitting area in relation to the windows. Getting to the curtains is next to impossible without climbing up on the couch. In addition, you can never get a good seal around the curtain so once the sun comes up, the room is lit up like there are no curtains drawn. I think this is partially a problem because the curtains no longer go all the way to the floor. They stop at the top of the couch thing so the break in the curtain is eye level which allows the light to fill out into the room instead of being pushed onto the lower carpet area when you have full length drapes.
- The sitting area wrap-around thing also makes it hard to find a place to put your suitcase.

The whole room feels like the room designer never thought about function and only thought about the look of the room. I love a cool room design, but not when it compromises function and this reno was definitely two steps backwards in creating a more pleasant guest experience. Perhaps if you never stayed here before the reno you won't notice the imperfections quite as much?

Don't get me wrong, I will stay here again. I love the feel of the hotel and the location on the lake. I will just know what to expect and will bring a sleep mask so that I can sleep through any unexpected bathroom lights that get turned on in the middle of the night and the sun rising each morning.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This was a business trip and I could have stayed at the Fairmont for the same hotel rate. I chose the W due to the Starwood program and specifically the cobranded program with Delta. The front desk was chaotic with three people who did not know what they were doing. The person who checked me in knew nothing about the program with Delta. I received my answer only after I asked for clarification three times. To my knowledge I have not received any Delta points for my stay. Then I had to visit the front desk three times to gain access to my room. The second time the front desk clerk made sure my key worked in the elevator but did not take me all the way to the room. Arrived to the room and the keys still did not work so I went downstairs again. A business associate and I were going out to dinner and were looking for a recommendation from the concierge. It was 6:30pm and I was told the concierge was on his dinner break. I asked for recommendations from the front desk clerk and was told she was new to the area and did not have recommendations. She asked the manager - no recommendations. At this price point I fully expect a higher end level of service at the front desk. I will not stay at this W again - I will skip the Starwood program and head back to the Fairmont, Blu Radisson or Fairmont. On a positive note - my room was very spacious, clean and the bed was quite comfortable.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WChicagoLakeshore, Manager at W Chicago Lakeshore, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am disappointed to learn of your experience and would like to have an opportunity to connect with you and make amends.

Please contact me direct at alejandra.romero@whotels.com

Alejandra R
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, ON
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Great hotel and location! The staff and Ramon the concierge were very helpful! Rooms were nice, clean, and modern! The living room in the lobby was great, with excellent views! The only drawbacks were that you had to pay for wifi in your room and pay to use the business Center.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WChicagoLakeshore, Manager at W Chicago Lakeshore, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Thank you for your review! I am glad ot hear you enjoyed your overall experience and that Ramon was great help! We will make sure to recognize his efforts!

Hope you were able to enjoy our complimentary WiFi in the Living Room!

See you next time!

Alejandra R
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

My husband and I stayed at the W Hotel about a year ago after our wedding. Last night we revisited the W for our anniversary. The hotel atmosphere has a fun/modern vibe that has been enhanced by its furniture and lighting throughout the building.

Upon arriving, a staff member noticed that we had been waiting behind a previous costumer (less than a few minutes) to check in. They immediately opened a new check in desk and proceeded with our check-in. We were upgraded to a lovely room with a view of the city, and were given a complimentary bottle of champagne and a thoughtful note wishing us a happy anniversary from Daniel at the front desk. The room was extremely clean, the bed was comfortable and the toiletries were blissful!

Throughout the next day, every staff member that we came in contact with from the bellmen to the building manager came across as extremely kind and eager to help out. Even when we didn't find that many vegetarian options on the menu for lunch, we were directed to several fabulous restaurants nearby.We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Not just in part because of the hotels amenities, but more-so because of the staff's attention to detail and willingness to go out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. We will definitely be back again.

Room Tip: Select a room with a view of Lake Michigan during the summer months. During the winter, the view is...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
W Chicago L, Manager at W Chicago Lakeshore, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Hi there,

What amazingly kind words! We're so happy to hear that Daniel and the rest of our staff made your return anniversary stay fabulous. Can't wait to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

W Hotels of Chicago Reviews Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The bedroom sheets were unclean when we arrived; The switch from a regular room to a "water view" was quite pricey, when in reality it wasn't a "water view" that caught your eye as you opened the curtains-, it was the myriad of spiders decorating the windows all over; The room had a restroom door that slides, but doesn't lock; the shower window is see through to the bedroom; and as for the kind valet asking to park our cars when we arrived, we were surprised when we checked out only to learn the valet wasn't even free.. but no one decided to mention that when we checked in. I'm starting to believe the "W" in "W hotels" stands for "Whatever it takes to get your money!"

Room Tip: don't believe the pictures online. the pool it's smaller than an average comfort inn hotel...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
W Chicago L, Manager at W Chicago Lakeshore, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Hi Karen,

We apologize for all of the troubles you experienced throughout your stay with us. We certainly care about all of our guests so we are disappointed to hear your stay was not up to par. We hope that your next trip to Chicago brings you back to W Lakeshore so that we can wow you a second time around!

Sincerely,

W Hotels of Chicago Reviews Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Troy, Michigan
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I've stayed at this property many times over the past 10 years, and had started to get disappointed over the past year as it declined in service and needed updates.

I recently stayed overnight and was happy to see the renovations are completed and the lobby looks much more modern, as did the suite I stayed in. I didn't get a chance to see the gym or pool (although they have always been in good shape).

Only downside on this trip is that the lobby was VERY crowded. They need to find a way of funneling guests away from the elevators and check-in area...otherwise, it's hard to navigate from the front door to the check-in and then back to the elevators. Also, they need to work the queue at the front desk to make it clear as to where the SPG Preferred line is and ensure their most valued guests can check-in easily.

Room Tip: Make sure to get a room with a view of the lake. If you have to pay a little extra, it's worth...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
W Chicago L, Manager at W Chicago Lakeshore, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Hi Scott,

We're happy to hear you have been a loyal guest and approve of our recent restyle! Your feedback means so much to us, so we will ensure that our staff is practiced and prepared at the Welcome Desk. We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,

W Hotels of Chicago Reviews Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about W Chicago Lakeshore

Address: 644 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#49 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — W Chicago Lakeshore 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
W Chicago - Lakeshore, the only hotel overlooking Lake Michigan is a short walk from Navy Pier. Onsite we have flexible event space, perfect for both business meetings and lavish weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Chicago Lakeshore Hotel Chicago
w Hotels Chicago

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