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“Loved the hotel, HATED THE RACIST DOORMAN.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

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Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   401 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)   |  
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Ranked #11 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Francisco, CA
1 review
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Loved the hotel, HATED THE RACIST DOORMAN.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2008

We recently stayed at the Trump hotel in June.
I am originally from Chicago, and we wanted to visit our family who live further north, on Lake Shore Drive. We got a river view suite, and I think it was about $500.00 a night.

I have to say the hotel is STUNNING!!!!!! Our initial room was great, but noisy (there is still ongoing construction). The front desk at the Trump obliged in giving us a new room, and it was breathtaking. Everything is very modern and new (and in keeping with the sleek modernity that you would see at hotels like the Mercer in NYC--sleek, but not overwhelming or intimidating). The room had the BEST Chicago view--Navy Pier and the Chicago River and it was mostly unobstructed and endless. And a real bonus was that the windows open just a bit--we are sticklers for fresh air. That allowed just enough air in without there being a hazard for those of you with small children.

The room (one bedroom apartment?) was clean, and roomy and had everything you could want (we had a suite that had two full baths with absolute top of the line fixtures--amenities like a television in the mirror (I want that for home!), marble showers AND separate baths. There was a full kitchen with top of the line appliances (Miele dishwasher, for example, and also free Nespresso), which would be a real bonus for families for children.

Speaking of children, when we notified the hotel that we would have a baby visiting us for the day, they immediately put not only a great crib in our room, but a high chair, a diaper genie and soap and lotion, etc. for the baby. We really appreciated that gesture.

The swimming pool is also great for kids, and they are very friendly there and will provide swimming noodles and amenities for those with small children. Adjacent to the swimming pool (btw with a breathtaking view), the Spa/Fitness room is absolutely top of the line--brand new and plentiful equipment, Pilates classes, and fresh water (fruit infused and bottled. The last day we were there they replaced the bottled water with Trump Ice water, which had a picture of Donald Trump on it. We thought it very funny!). It is so neat to exercise in a great location (high up overlooking all of Chicago).

The restaurant, however, is a work in progress. The staff was not yet fully trained, the water tasted like chlorine (and they kept trying to fill my glass with it, even though we had bottled water), and the menu was HORRIBLY expensive ($50.00 for an entree), but not inspired. We actually had a hard time trying to figure out what to order, because nothing sounded interesting enough to pay for. Before we were finished, it was clear they wanted us to leave, and started to fold linens in our vicinity, which seems strange when you are paying $400.00 for dinner. But the view is great.

However, the fact that I liked the hotel as much as I did makes me sad to continue this review and end up only giving this hotel 3 stars. The first incident that blew our minds was what will be known in our family as the "racist doorman incident". On the early afternoon of Friday, June 20th, it began to rain, just as my family stopped by to pick us up for lunch. Earlier in the day, I had gone out and it had rained, and I asked for an umbrella at the first counter where the doorpersons are stationed. They happily obliged (one person was a nice older African American woman with braids). I returned the umbrella as we came in, and thought nothing of it.

At about 1p.m., however, when I asked for two umbrellas (we were now a motley group of 4 toddlers, and 6 adults without an umbrella amongst us), the same woman manning the door attempted to go behind the desk and retrieve them, but the man behind the counter, looked at us, stopped her, and said, “We are all out of umbrellas. If you need an umbrella, you will have to go up to your room to get one.”

Fair enough. We understood that if it was raining, umbrellas may be in limited supply. My husband went upstairs to get an umbrella.

But in the meantime, the same man behind the counter took out all these new umbrellas and started unwrapping them! They were there all along!

What was more HUMILIATING was that he came from behind the counter, and gave an umbrella each to two white women who hadn’t even left the lobby, and HADN'T EVEN ASKED FOR THEM YET! I was shocked, but I was actually more humiliated. Both my 4 year old daughter and my 65 year old mother asked me why the man said there were no more umbrellas, when clearly there were. How could I tell my daughter there were no more umbrellas for people like us?! Did he not like us because we were the wrong color, or because he didn't think we were worthy of the hotel? I have my suspicions, but don't you think that was awful??!?

At least the African American co-worker, who was clearly embarrassed, then proceeded to go behind the counter and give us all umbrellas. But he really ruined my day and I felt really low. I thought about why he would do such a thing in front of my family all day.

That same day, at 8:30 I went down to ReBar, their signature bar (that they tout as serving exotic cocktails) for a quick cocktail with my sister. I felt we were both dressed well (she was in a summer dress and I was in a pucci dress). When we sat down, a waitress came to us and said, "I'm sorry, but this table is bottle service only after 9:00pm). My sister responded that it was only 8:30. The waitress served us, but you could tell she wasn't happy about it. I can tell you that we looked like everyone else in the bar (the bar, btw, skews middle-aged and distinctly suburban; I definitely was one of the younger people there). My sister, who already had the "umbrella" incident, started talking about how she felt uncomfortable being there, and so as soon as the drink came, we took it upstairs. But the kicker is that my husband and myself came back an hour and half later, and guess what? The couple now sitting in the same seats we had earlier occupied was just drinking simple cocktails!!!! Where was the bottle service?!?!? Beats me.

Initially, I was willing to believe that these two incidents were an aberration and that there is no pattern. No one wants to accuse a hotel of something like casual racism in this day and age. But after speaking with the manager, I am not so sure. They say all behaviors emanate from the top, and if this is the case, I have to say the manager could do a better job at dispelling my suspicions.

When I wrote the manager about this, both he (T. Colm O’Callaghan) and his assistant manager (Jerome) tried repeatedly to contact me. I assumed that they were contacting me to apologize, but what actually ended up happening is that Mr. O'Callaghan at first apologized, and then tried to intimate that I had misread the situation. He kept trying to tell me that what happened didn't happen!!!! He said they simply ran out of umbrellas! HELLO??!! I was there!!! They NEVER ran out of umbrellas, the guy just didn't want to give us the umbrellas he had! He kept trying to spin it as a misunderstanding, but this guy just didn't want to waste his dwindling resources (umbrellas) on the likes of us.

As for the bar incident, he said that certain areas have bottle service after a certain hour. But when I told him that hour hadn't been reached (she didn't want to serve us at 8:30pm because she said bottle service starts at 9), and when I came back an hour and half later, the people now sitting at the same seats were just having cocktails, he didn't want to talk about it. Weird. Instead of diffusing the situation, he made me feel as if he didn't want to hear what really happened, and that he thought I was a silly deluded person.

So in the end, this hotel gets 3 stars: 5 stars for the hotel, amenities (spa/swimming pool/fitness center), view and most of the staff, and one or none for the racist doorman, waitress (?), and pretty insensitive manager. The restaurant was also not so great.

  • Liked — the view
  • Disliked — racist doorman
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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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English first
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
85 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2008

Great new hotel. Service is first class. Room was very large with a full kitchen. We loved the espresso coffee machine. Enjoyed beverages at Rebar. Bathroom amenities were great and loved the in mirror HD TV. I do prefer totally separate shower and tub but this was a nice design. Comparing to Park Hyatt, we do prefer the Hyatt instead although not taking anything against Trump. It is a great new addition to the luxury hotels in Downtown Chicago.

  • Liked — Kitchen
  • Disliked — View
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2008

Our stay at Trump Chicago started off as one of our favourite Chicago experiences. The room was fantastic and the front line staff exceptional. We were so pleased with the hotel and its facilities that after our second day, we decided we would like to make this our "go to" hotel in Chicago. This all changed on our third day.

While getting ready for dinner, my wife realized that she could not find her new designer shoes that she brought along. She knew exactly where she had left them the night before, however, after a very thorough search, they failed to turn up. We contacted the front desk, and while at dinner, the room was checked again by hotel staff and security without success, and it was determined that her shoes were "removed" from the room while we were out earlier that day.

Although you might think that this in itself was enough to turn us off the hotel, it was how the managment handled (or lack of) the situation. We were told that we would be contacted by the "Director of Front Office" the following morning and he was in a postion to resolve this matter. We waited most of the next morning to be contacted by Paul "S", and after leaving 3 messages for him we were informed by security that he was "too busy to deal with this situation". OK...lets get this straight - the Manager of a five star hotel is too busy to deal with the theft of a guests personal belongings from the room? Are you serious? Motel 6 offers better trained managers (I've never really stayed at Motel 6), and we have yet to hear from anyone regarding this matter.

The Trump Hotel offers guests a fantastic experience and its design and dedication of the front line staff need to be noted. The management however is an embarrasment to the Trump name and should get the "YOUR FIRED!"

  • Liked — Front line staff
  • Disliked — They stole my wifes shoes from the room!!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

After a two-night stay at the Trump to celebrate a special occasion, my wife and I now have a new favorite hotel for our getaways from the suburbs to downtown Chicago.

Over the years we've tried a lot of the major hotels...the Four Seasons, Peninsula, Park Hyatt, Ritz, Sofitel, Drake, and others...and while they're all nice, we think the Trump has the most going for it. First of all, the location is perfect: just a block off of the Magnificent Mile, an easy few blocks to the center of the Loop or to River North galleries and nightlife, and a very nice stroll to Millennium Park or the lakefront. It's in the middle of everything but still above most of the city noise (two sides of the building are more or less bordered by water). The views of the lake, river, and/or city are unbeatable.

Everyone we encountered on the staff was friendly, hospitable, and surprisingly unpretentious...including at the top-notch restaurant Sixteen. For such a classy property, the snoot factor was really low which made it all the more relaxing.

And our room was extremely comfortable. Lots of elbow room, high ceilings, huge windows, a great bed, and unbelievably, every room has at least a small kitchen; ours had a fridge/freezer/ice maker, sink, dishwasher, microwave, and cooktop. Our bellman said that some guests actually do bring in food and cook in, a touch of home that we did not take advantage of but if we had kids with us that kitchen could have come in very handy.

Although the building construction is continuing way above the hotel space, you really couldn't tell; the only things that gave it away were the scaffolding over the front entrance and the occasional lifting or lowering of building materials way up on the ~90th floor. (At one point we saw a construction Porta Potty being hoisted past our 20th floor window which was a little disconcerting, but that's it.)

We had a perfect getaway and will definitely look forward to returning to the Trump. But for now it's back to real life...

  • Liked — Location, quality
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Paul, MN
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
261 helpful votes 261 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2008

I wanted to try this new luxury property in Chicago. I've stayed at the Peninsula, the Four Seasons, and the Park Hyatt (and other lesser rated properties) and I was looking forward to comparing the Trump to these fine accommodations.

First, the good. Location, location, location! By far the best feature of the hotel is its scenic perch on the river, close to the Michigan Avenue scene AND the loop stuff like Millenium Park and the Art Institute. Right now it is a bit tough to find and walk around because of ongoing construction, but this should be no problem when it is finished.

Second, even the standard rooms are huge. I was on the 24th floor in a 'city view' deluxe room. The view was forgettable, but the quality of the interior was impressive. I especially liked the high end ktichenette with a microwave, SubZero fridge, Meile stove, etc. There are even cooking utensils, pans, and dishes!

Now, the not so good. Even though the room is large and luxurious, I found it a bit sterile. The slate color scheme should be brightened up a bit with a dash of red roses or something else to break up the slate monotony. The duvet on the bed was very thick and the a/c didn't seem to work so well so it was a bit stuffy.

I took a tour of the spa and fitness center, but didn't partake of any service or activity. I had no meals at the hotel either.

The one downside of my stay was the construction noise that started early in the morning. I know that I paid a soft opening rate of $347 because of the construction, but I had hoped that there would be a minimal amount of noise. Not so -- they were pumping concrete up to the 90th floor and there was a 5 second interval pounding in the core of the hotel that did not stop. When I checked out, I told the front desk person about this, and she apologized. I actually checked out early because the pounding was so annoying.

All in all, the Trump is a fine choice for Chicago, but if you are looking for lavish, extensive public areas and a bit of warmth in the guest rooms, I'd suggest the Four Seasons or Peninsula.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Color scheme in guest room
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Charlotte, NC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

My husband and I just stayed 3 nights at the Trump International and as many have said, it did NOT disappoint. Although the first room we were in had quite a bit of construction noise, I asked if there were anything else, and they immediately moved us to the opposite side of the hotel where we had a wonderful river view. We had a Deluxe river room which was lovely. My husband said that he was "in trouble" because I was so spoiled by the ammenities and service, that I will never be satisfied with a "regular" hotel again.

The staff were wonderful. Unobtrusive but able to quickly answer any question we had. They ALWAYS had doors open for us when we were coming and going. One thing that set this hotel apart was that we always felt that we were given individual service as opposed to "what's best for the masses".

Can't wait to return! I hope we can afford it after it is completed!

Stayed June 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Address: 401 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Chicago
#7 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#8 Business Hotel in Chicago
#10 Green Hotel in Chicago
#11 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#12 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago 5*
Number of rooms: 339
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Poised along the Chicago River at the juncture of the Loop and North Michigan Avenue, Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago is downtown’s most enviable address. The Chicago boutique hotel joins a list of landmarks, including the Magnificent Mile, Chicago River and Millennium Park. Soaring 92 stories, the structure of polished stainless steel and iridescent-tinted glass is a showcase of bold style and engaging design. Inside this luxurious hotel, impeccable style and spectacular four star services define the experience. Guests will enjoy a higher level of luxury with unrivalled hospitality and detail-oriented amenities, including personal attaché service. 339 graciously appointed guestrooms and suites await, with custom designed furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows and fully equipped kitchens. Our signature, Michelin rated restaurant, Sixteen, features elegant, modern-American cuisine, complemented by sweeping lake, river, and city views. For an important occasion, the sophisticated surroundings of the Grand Ballroom or Conference Rooms will offer the perfect venue to make a lasting impression. The 23,000 sq. ft. Spa at Trump features an array of four star services with treatment rooms and spa hotel suites overlooking the Chicago skyline. All within walking distance to the best of downtown Chicago, from the exclusive shops on Michigan Avenue to the historic sites along the Riverwalk. An icon of definitive luxurious style, the Trump Chicago Hotel® brings sophistication and elegance to the heart of Chicagoland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Trump International Hotel And Tower Chicago
Trump International Hotel Chicago
Trump International Chicago

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