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“Very Average” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Drake Hotel

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The Drake Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   140 E. Walton Place, Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)   |  
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Room & A View - from $219
Ranked #54 of 167 hotels in Chicago
A TripAdvisor Member
“Very Average”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2004

We were extremely disappointed with our stay this past weekend. Upon check-in, we were greeted by a shoe-box sized room. I understand that with the older downtown hotels, room size varies considerably, however at a rate of $300 / night I at least expect a queen sized bed. The thermostat did not work and the heat never shut-off. In fact, I would estimate our average room temp at 85 for the stay. The shower / tub did not drain properly. The actual tub was knee high with water by the time I finished a 5 minute shower. The building is historic and the location is great, however based on our experience, this is lucky to be a 3 star hotel.

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Ottawa, Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2004

We were hugely disappointed with The Drake. We stayed 3 nights in a junior suite at The Peninsula, but wanted to try the "venerable" Drake Hotel, with its Sinatra/Princess Diana/Heads of State history, and were looking forward to old-fashioned grace and luxury in place of the modern luxury of The Peninsula. Instead we just found the place old and tired. Our "suite" was clean, of course, but a bit of a bowling alley, long and sparsely furnished. Drapes on all six windows constantly fouled and wouldn't open properly, light in mini-bar closet was out and the carpet (and mini-bar itself) was installed so poorly it was embarrassing. Worst of all, however, was the hot water. It took literally 15-20 minutes of running the shower on full hot before the water was slightly warm, same with the bath. Someone appeared both times we complained but their answer was just that "it's an old hotel, sir. Best to just let the water run and let the hotel pay for it till it gets warm." Practical advice, certainly, but not helpful, and a disgrace in a room for which they charge $515 per night (plus $38 valet parking, plus taxes, etc.) We commented more than once how our one-night stay at a Hampton Suites on the road passing through Ann Arbor MI was superior to The Drake in every way, for less than 20% of the cost.

Our "lake view" suite was on the second floor - not much of a lake view from there, through the trees. Save your money and take a city view room, especially with the unco-operative drapes.

The service was as good as you would expect, no better, no worse. Reservation staff was friendly and helpful, two concierges were excellent, one was just showing up. As this is written ( a week later), I have received no reply from the hotel to my comments which they invited. The Cape Cod Room restaurant was OK as well, but only as a late-night last-minute choice in a city full of fine restaurants. The "Executive Lounge" on the top floor was OK as well, but not even as big as our room.

Unfortunately, The Drake's best days are long behind it (kind of pathetic, the fancy bound history of the hotel they leave in each room, highlighting its past glory that it can only dream of now.) Don't be fooled by the website photos of Princess Diana, etc. - now it's just an old run-down relic.

The Drake could take lessons from The Royal York Hotel in Toronto on how to keep a grand old hotel grand. You want to stay in a first-class Chicago hotel, forget The Drake, stay at The Peninsula.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2004

The hotel is clean and quaint in that it has a lot of history BUT the service is terrible.

We called down for items several times and nothing was ever delivered. We were promised a lake front view and got a view of the building across the street. We were promised two queen beds and got ONE queen bed and a cot. Luckily the serviceman got us a second cot. They didn't even bless us with blankets for the cots!

Did I mention the service is terrible?

I'm sure you could find a less expensive AND friendler place with the same kind of proximity to everything. I wouldn't stay again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2004

I took my mom to Chicago for a Christmas concert and shopping and had high hopes that the Drake would be the perfect hotel.

Instead, they were changing the carpet in the lobby, so it was in disarray, the service in the cocktail lounge off the lobby was cold at best, the closet in our room had a scary hole (2 ft. x 2 ft) into some air vent exposed. The next morning, our breakfast service was spotty, the food was cold and there were crumbs all over my seat when we arrived. Yick. Other than a great location, I have few other reasons to return.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2004

Hi all, I stayed at the Drake for 5 days and didnt like it. This is an old hotel with good history as Princess Diana stayed here and other royalties. It was built around 1930s so its old. Apart from that I didnt like the bed...always had a back ache after a night sleep. Room is adequate but the lighting is yellow lights so its kinda eeerie. If you're after an old hotel with european ambiance then its worth a try but if you are looking for more of a modern hotel there are others...I transfered to Wyndham and am happy (no more back aches) about it.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2004

I hosted a group at the Drake in August. The funny part was that it was 10 people. The hotel staff were very rude with the exception of the valet staff, however I was double billed every day for parking. My group did not receive the correct food that we contracted each day. Nobody was around on the weekend to correct the problem so you were left hanging. I was charged for audio visual items that I never ordered. I complained to management only to receive a letter defending items that were never mentioned in my original letter. Also have left SEVERAL messages for the sales department, almost 30 days later no call back. I would steer very clear of this hotel for any group functions. They are VERY unorganized. The Westin across the street is ten times better.

  • Stayed January 2005, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2004

My husband and I recently stayed at the Drake for our 2 year anniversary. I could not have asked for a better place to stay. All the staff were extremely helpful and kind. We had a traditional kg. room, and it was very nice and spaceous. We were treated very well and would definately go back again.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Drake Hotel

Address: 140 E. Walton Place, Magnificent Mile, 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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#40 Family Hotel in Chicago
#44 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#54 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Drake Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No other Chicago hotel has inspired more legendary acclaim on par with The Drake. This timeless property affords guests easy access to the city's most exclusive shopping, nightlife and dining.A fully equipped fitness/wellness center, business center and meeting rooms are available (surcharge). The stunning Gold Coast Room can accommodate 600 guests.Afternoon Tea at The Drake Hotel is as Chicago as a hot dog at Wrigley Field or a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. High society has always recognized The Drake Hotel as the quintessential social hotspot. Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth and the Empress of Japan have all been seen in the Palm Court.Though The Drake has progressed both architecturally and technologically over the past 93 years, the roots of The Drake Hotel run deep beneath Lake Shore Drive into Real Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Drake Hotel Chicago
Hilton Hotels Chicago
Chicago Drake Hotel
Drake Hotel Chicago

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