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“Almost there” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

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Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   20 East Chestnut St - Downtown, Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)   |  
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Ranked #16 of 169 hotels in Chicago
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Let me preface this review by saying I'm often a business traveler who experiences average and superior hotels all around the world. When I stayed in mid-November for a wedding of a dear friend, I wasn't expecting the Taj Mahal or even the Four Seasons. However, based on the 4 1/2 star rating, I thought it would be more than it was. Even the discounted wedding guest rate was a bit much for what we found. First things first, checking in on a Friday evening was quick and the front desk associate (while not exactly warm) was polite and able to accommodate our request for a semi-high floor (we were on the 21st). The lobby was appropriately moody and the doormen always greeted us when we arrived or left.

It was the room that left a lot to be desired. I felt like I was traveling back to an IKEA showroom via 2002. The room was outfitted in light birch-colored furniture and trim, there's a whole wall of mirrors, and the "desk" is cluttered with a TV. There were very limited power sources, which is essential in 2012 with so many of our technological tools that accompany most travelers. There was nowhere to plug in a computer at the small desk, and phones had to be charged on the floor near the room's door. There was a halogen lamp (!!) in the corner, and a chair that faced the bathroom (basically, you can't sit in the chair if you want to watch TV). While the bed was comfortable and I appreciated the option of pillows, there's NO head board — only (a dated) abstract painting on the wall above the bed. So, if you cared to sit in bed, your head would undoubtedly hit the painting. My travel companion did this several times. The bathroom is a tad dated in decor, but I liked the large walk-in shower. If only the water pressure matched the awesomeness of the shower. Finally, there was peeling wallpaper everywhere in the bathroom and bedroom. I just don't think the decor of such a room is what I would call a 4 1/2 star experience.

Most of the employees I encountered were polite, and I greatly appreciated the young lady who was able to supply me with the name and source of the fig fragrance in the bar sitting area. The caterers who worked our friend's wedding were very rude and kept removing plates and glasses that people weren't even done with (not sure if they were hotel employees or not).

Check out was easy on Sunday morning. There was a valet charge on our bill (we didn't drive or rent a car), but it was removed without question.

The area is great, and there's plenty to see and do around the hotel. If I returned to Chicago, I'd probably consider a less expensive, but more high-end in feeling experience like The Westin.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Your feedback is very valuable as it enables us to continually improve our service and provide a memorable experience to our guests. Please rest assured that your impressions of your room and of the banquet services at the hotel have been shared with our management team. We are glad to know that you enjoyed the excellent location of our hotel, and that you found our staff to be helpful when looking for specific information. We hope that you will present us with the opportunity to welcome you back to our property in the future.
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lillesommerfugl
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The location of the hotel was great! Close to MIchigan Ave.

We were first checked in to one room. The room looked great, but as soon as we stepped into it, we realized it smelled very strange. The cleaning staff had tried their best to deal with it, but it still stunk and the excess of cleaning products made me start to have an allergic reaction immediately. I went downstairs and was immediately and without question transferred to another room.

The second room was wonderful in all ways, and despite being quite close to the elevators we could not hear any noise from the outside.

The bathroom had a separate shower and bathtub, which was very nice.

We greatly appreciated the coffeemaker they brought to our room at no extra cost.

We needed to weigh our luggage as we were flying out that night, and they sent up a bell boy with a luggage weight to weigh it for us, We really appreciated that, as they were heavy bags!

  • Stayed November 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. We are happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are sorry to hear about the unpleasant odor in your first room, but it is reassuring to know that we were able to resolve the issue quickly and find you a room that you enjoyed. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to our property very soon!
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Holmdel, New Jersey, USA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

In planning my trip I was waffling between the Sofitel, the Palomar and the Public in Chicago. I ultimately picked the Sofitel, and having stayed there for a long weekend, I could not have been happier. Having passed both the other choices, I am certain the Sofitel location was best. Near to great shopping, a lively nightlife, but still on a quiet enough street that you are not in the middle of the business district buzz.

The classy lobby has great energy without being too hyped up. If you want a little higher energy there is a great bar right off the lobby. There is also a nicely appointed restaurant to the other side of the main entrance. The best part is that both have very easy access, without feeling like they are creeping into the lobby area.

Check-in/check-out was painless and pleasant ,and the Jr. Suite was really lovely. Great size, floor-to-ceiling windows, and comfortable seating and king bed. Felt like a really getaway, but after just a few hours felt like home as well. A testament to layout and amenities. If I had to be critical about one thing, it has a small tub relative to how large the suite and bathroom were. But that is really a nit-pick.

Service is Sofitel. Every one was extremely pleasant and by the 2nd day the bellman and staff made you feel like a resident in a luxury apartment building. Requests were quickly dispatched, room service was efficient and quite good, and many extra niceties were sent our way. Example: the room service delivery person asked if there was anything else we might like. I mentioned that my girlfriend loved the welcome macaroons. She offered to bring a few more,and returned within minutes with both those and some chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Wish i had more time to describe the other little niceties. All I can say is that I do not know how someone could be disappointed with this hotel. Classy, well-placed, and a good value for the level of accommodation and service. Stay here next time you are in Chicago!

  • Stayed November 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.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. We are thrilled to know that you enjoyed your stay and that you found the Junior Suite to be lovely. Excellent service is what we strive to be known for, so we are delighted that our staff was able to make you feel at home, while pampering you a bit as well with our delicious macarons and chocolate-covered strawberries! We look forward to welcoming you back to our property in the future!
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012 via mobile

I've always wanted to stay here. The hotel is in the Gold Coast area of Chicago, which is great. You're in the heart of the best the City has to offer. Our room was good. Not too small. Great view. I ordered room service at around 1am. A croque monsieur which was meh. The inroom breakfast was delicious though. We came in pretty late from a party (Just Married!) so we didn't really get a chance to do much exploring. The bed was like a cloud that you sank into your little bit of heaven in. Stay here if you get a chance and have time and some $$$ to spend on enjoying the good life in Chicago. You will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay, and we would like to congratulate you on your marriage! Thank you for pointing out our excellent Gold Coast location, which is close to the best shopping, dining and Chicago landmarks. Please rest assured that we have shared your feedback about your in-room dining with our Executive Chef. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to our property in the very near future!
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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I stayed at this Hotel and was promised Virtuoso amenities - free Wifi, free American breakfast and a welcome amenity. The Wifi worked OK - there was no arrival amenity but breakfast was another story altogether. I have to say I wasn't too worried about the lack of a welcoming amenity as the Front Desk staff when we arrived were pretty good. However it all went progressively down hill from then. When I arrived for breakfast I told them what I had in my booking - they said fine - what i should do is to select from the breakfast menu food up to a value of $20. The waiter told me that if I went a little over $20 it would 'probably be OK'. Unconcerned I ordered my breakfast and went on my way - the same approach was taken on the second morning of my stay. When I checked out I had breakfast on my bill. I raised the issue - and on request showed the information I had been provided when the booking was made for me. After a little time the front desk person went to speak with her Manager. That took some time but again I thought nothing of it. She came back to tell me that I had to pay the full amount. I then asked to speak with the Guest relations Manager, Carrie [-]. Again the front desk person checked and she came back to tell me she was too busy to see me - that I had to pay and it would be followed up with Sales and they would revert to me. What could I do but depart but I asked that my concern about the 'Guest Relations Manager being too busy to speak with a guest' be passed on. It was hardly the front desk person's fault. A week later I still wait for a response. Interestingly I have been hassled twice to fill in a feedback form - so they can do that but do not have time to address guest concerns. Attitude kills hospitality businesses - and it has certainly ensured I will not stay in a Sofitel in the USA again.
Another smaller issue I did find the bed quite 'noisy' to sleep on - it was a sound like a plastic sheet was on the bed.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Please allow us to express our very sincere apologies for your experience during check out. Unfortunately there was a miscommunication of the breakfast package that your rate included. Although this was fixed immediately after your departure, we are very sorry that a manager was not available to speak with you before you left the hotel. Please rest assured that we have addressed your comments with our entire team, as your feedback helps us to continually improve our service and provide a memorable experience to our guests. We hope that you will present us with the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Just returned from a wonderful stay at the Sofitel for a mother daughter birthday celebration. We were in room 3202, which has an amazing city view day and night. The rooms were beautiful and very well maintained. My only very minor complaint would be the lack of an in room coffee maker. Besides that, perfect.

The trip was highlighted by the wonderful staff. One person was nicer than the next. My daughter enjoyed talking to them all, especially Peter the concierge who even sent a birthday treat to our room. They really helped make our stay special.

The location of the hotel is ideal and in walking distance to about anything you would want to do. I would highly recommend this hotel and look forward to another stay soon.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicolas_Pesty_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your stay at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and that you found our staff to be 'delightful' and helpful in making your mother-daughter trip memorable. We do have coffee makers available, and we would be happy to place one in your room prior to your next arrival. I have sent you a private message so that we can update your preference in our system. Thank you again for your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!
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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 Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

Address: 20 East Chestnut St - Downtown, Chicago, IL 60611
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Chicago
#10 Business Hotel in Chicago
#11 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#14 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#14 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sofitel Chicago Water Tower 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower bids you welcome with world-class downtown Chicago hotel accommodations - minutes from the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute, and trendy boutiques. Designed by the French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, our downtown Chicago Illinois hotel is a 32-floor prism of glass, boasting 415 rooms, including 33 luxurious suites. Embrace modern design and rich architectural legacy at this luxury hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel Chicago
Sofitel Chicago Water Hotel
Sofitel Water Tower Hotel Chicago
Chicago Sofitel

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