Hubby and I wanted to watch the Oscar Ceremony in style this year so we booked an overnight stay at the Hotel Arista in Naperville. The hotel has a very snazzy website with great room photos and a spa so that was good enough to entice us out of the house in the snow.
Right from the reservation I made with a super friendly, knowledgeable and fun reservation agent (who really was spectacular), and the amiable greeting of the valet and front desk, it felt like a friendly place for the most part. Now before I go on with some nit picky details, I want to say up front that Hubby and I had a good time and will probably return and recommend it to our friends. The spa and fashionable room décor is worth repeated visits!
Room service guy was gruff (and their practice of adding 20% tip and then leaving a tip line blank should have made him happy -- we mistakenly ended up tipping him $30 on two deliveries!) Their in house restaurant is called Sugar Toad (apparently after a fish?). Sugar Toad staff were definitely not having a good day. You could tell they were miserable and that it was very difficult for them to muster a smile, so who knows what was going on there when we showed up. Service was just sort of take your order, bring your food and bring the bill. We ended up greeting guests from our table as they arrived and saying "they'll be right out", etc. Too funny! People left after waiting a while. The Sugar Toad restaurant was bleak and the tables were overused and really need a resanding/restaining. Their idea of décor was Guinness beer glasses on the table and a framed Guinness beer ad – oh well, it was around St. Pat’s day, I guess. Service was terrible. It took 30 minutes for my husband to get the specialty mimosa they suggested to go with brunch and by that time we were done eating. They could use a couple of paintings in that restaurant and someone to dress the top of the serving station (not just with some poor little blowfish sitting next to three chunks of salt and a completely incongruous ugly venetian glass uglyfish. I get the design scheme but that restaurant was completely lifeless and dull looking compared to the rest of the hotel. But on the good side, we both had a “bento box” bunch plate which had the most delicious duck sausage I ever had (okay I’ve never had duck sausage before but this was incredibly good). The “box” (actually a neat four compartment plate) also had blueberry pancakes (one was totally burnt but the other was pretty good), a neat little individual omlette with some snazzy chutney on top and a frozen, chocolate covered banana – I kid you not. Haha, it was a different treat and although it wasn’t all super delicious was different enough that we were just happy trying it.
We went to watch the Oscars on a nice big screen in-room tv. The TV in the room was very nice but they also had one in the mirror in the bathroom. A neat novelty but unwatchable in our room because it had broken speakers which caused so much distortion it was impossible to watch. We asked the front desk to fix and they said they would send a mechanic up while we were at the spa but it was exactly the same when we returned so I doubt anyone came up. We also felt the price versus the amount of food received on the room service snack menu was absolutely terrible. We ordered 2 orders of popcorn and 1 of chips, 2 waters and 2 ginger ales and the total was like $47. The chips were two of the bags you get at Costco in a pack of like 24 for 8 bucks and the "two orders of popcorn" consisted of the same volume of popcorn you’d find in the contents of a bag of microwave popcorn. Considering we spent over $600 on our overnight stay (with spa, restaurant eating and room service) that really felt like a complete rip off.
The spa was one of the nicest spas we’ve ever been in. Their waiting/relaxation room was off the charts with a huge fireplace, lovely chaise lounges, cucumber and orange water, dried fruits, yogurt covered raisins, and a relaxing floor to ceiling fountain. Hubby and I just wanted to stay there all day! Changing rooms were gorgeous and nicely decorated and because the hotel is owned by a Greek family, there were nice blown up photos of Greece scattered throughout the changing area. A whimsical touch was the painting in the relaxation room. A tourist falling in love with a Grecian Caryatid (that’s one of those columns made to resemble a goddess). What made it whimsical to us was that at the feet of the statue, the tourist had put down his can of Coke (so I guess Belushi was right, it’s always “No pepsi, Coke!” haha).
The couples massage room was gorgeous with twin whirlpool tubs. It was really a great experience and the day we were there, the spa had a special where they allowed us to pick out scents we liked and they custom mixed us the massage oil. When the massage was over, we were given the remaining oil in a bottle with the recipe in case we wanted to recreate it at a later date. Very nice!
The hotel is beautiful and stylish, if a little worn in places and the spa was the best part of the experience. We will probably return because of the spa facilities and the room was very nice. We looked around on tripadvisor at other hotels before booking and the Arista seemed head and shoulders above the others. Hope this helps!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Arista, affiliated with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is the Illinois’ first LEED-certified hotel and serves as the focal point of CityGate Centre, a one-million-square-foot, mixed-use lifestyle center. The hotel features 144 rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a state of the art fitness center and two signature restaurants including SugarToad and CityGate Grille. ... more less
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