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“Great choice in Chicago!”
Review of Swissotel Chicago

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Swissotel Chicago
Ranked #64 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Great choice in Chicago!”
Reviewed July 30, 2009

I never seem to be away from the Swissotel Chicago lately! Work keeps bringing me back here, which is absolutely fine by me; I know exactly what to expect, and equally, know that it will be of a high standard.

The hotel is not smack-bang on the Magnificent Mile, so if a super-central location - i.e. one right in the middle of the hustle and bustle - is important to you, then you may wish to try the Marriott or the Intercontinental. However, the Swissotel is so close to all that, but is also nicely removed from it; located closer to Navy Pier, it is quieter and a lot calmer, but still offers easy access to the shopping and attractions of the city. A pleasant stroll along the river brings you out at the end of the Magnificent Mile, where it is also possible to catch a boat trip or join one of the 'hop on, hop off' bus/trolley tours.

I've olny ever stayed in the 'standard' rooms in this property, all of which are spacious and airy, and function well for both business or leisure travellers. There is always a generously-sized workdesk, which would easily accommodate two working on their laptops, (though there is only one chair provided). I have generally had two telephones in the room, (one on the workdesk and another on the coffee table beside the lounge chair), but on this occasion, I only have the one. Not a major issue at all, but worth noting. Similarly, the size of the bathroom on this visit is smaller than usual - but it still has the separate walk-in shower as well as a bath, which is very much appreciated!
Rooms all appear to either look out onto the river and the bustle of Chicago or, on the other side, will face Navy Pier, (an especially great view during the summer months when there are regular firework displays).

The technology in the room is good and up-to-date; a large plasma TV, (I think...I'm not especially up on these things!), is complemented by a handy clock/radio on the nightstand which also allows you to charge your ipod and indeed play music from the ipod through the speakers, which makes a nice touch.

On the negative side, the minibar is one of those nasty move-anything-and-you'll-pay-through-the-nose ones, which I have come to hate with a vengeance! I have in the past called Guest Services for the loan of a mini-fridge which was previously installed in the room with no problem; this time round, I was told there was a flat US$50 fee for this, irrespective of the duration of the stay. Well I'd appreciate this being mentioned in the in-room literature, and don't exactly understand such a hefty charge, (it's not like I'm going to run off with the thing!), especially when I'd be paying the same for less than 24 hours useage as a traveller spending a week here...(needless to say, I didn't pay!) Also worth mentioning is that this can be quite a 'conference' destination which can make things very busy if you are staying during one of these events; service can be slow and erratic, and the wait for elevators can be long and frustrating!

The breakfast buffet in the Geneva restaurant is a highlight and a good start to the day. There is a definite continental twist to the spread on offer, with a lovely birchermusli and lots of cold cuts to accompany the usual American-style fayre. The serving times are generously extended over the weekend so breakfast can quite easily become a leisurely brunch, and it's worth taking your time over the whole thing if you're not in a rush!

An excellent choice when staying in Chicago, but I would recommend trying to get a room on a higher floor if possible to maximise your enjoyment of the views!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alec P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChicago10, Director Marketing Programs & Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, March 1, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.

We value your feedback as it allows us to continuously improve.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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mangomojito
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 30, 2009

I think my title says it all. While there was nothing that I absolutely fell in love with at this hotel, there was also nothing not to like either.

We managed to secure an unbelievable deal very last minute for the Swissotel. It wasn't my first choice to be honest, but it more than lived up to my expectations and superceded what I needed to get out of it.

The location is almost unbeatable for the price. And it does earn cred for being the only triangular shape hotel building in Chicago. It sits right above the river and depending where your room is you'll get unparallelled views of the architecture, two bodies of water and the beautifully lit Navy Pier at night.

We faced the Wrigley building on the 29th floor. It was a bit unnerving to also be facing a busy office building across the street from us especially when it came to changing or just relaxing. But we really did spend very little time in our rooms.When it comes to the rooms, its your standard run of the mill hotel room. Clean, a bit on the small side. We had two doubles and I have to say the room felt a bit cramped. One of the beds were almost up against the wall.

Yes, while the best thing going for this hotel is the location they do have some negatives too. It's not the hippest or most trendy place. If you're single you're probably not going to have a kickin time here. I saw that it was mostly families, older couples or suited people coming in for conventions.

The staff is friendly enough and check in, check out went smoothly without incident. The rooms were cleaned spic and span every day. The beds were comfortable but it was too soft/plush for me, but that's a matter of personal preference. The mini bar is super annoying as they charge you for just moving things out of place, but it is also a no brainer to rectify the situation at check out. They are probably so used to these types of complaints, they didn't give us a hard time at all.

All in all, I was within a 5-10 min walk to most of the major destinations in downtown. The loop, the red and blue line, the El, millennium park, grant park, lake shore, the boat tours, steps from Michigan Ave and Magnificient Mile, Navy Pier. The convenience factor is unbeatable. There are tons of restaurants within a few block radius. We never ate anything onsite so I can't vouch for the food options immediately avialable. Another thing that was annoying was the fact that they charge for internet, the gym and the pool. But I guess they have to make money somehow since they practically give their rooms away.

It's really a great value for the money and I wouldnt mind to stay here again if I was visiting the city again. And that's saying a lot!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mangomojito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.

Your feedback is valuable as it allows us to continuously improve.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2009

Overall the hotel was pretty good. We were on the 4th floor and it was very quiet and clean. The front desk staff was not mean, but not very informative either. When checking in the lady looked us up and then promptly left saying she would be right back. After 3-4 minutes with no information another lady came back with her and gave us our keys. Nothing to sign, no rate confirmation or directions to our room. We ran into the manager who walked us all the way to our room and was very nice however. We did have a few problems but they were all promptly resolved. The location was also very good although there are a few options closer to the action. We always look for location and cleanliness in a hotel and this one fit both very well. One thing to point out... the elevators get very busy at peak times. They only have 6 for the entire building and there were some times we waited 3-5 minutes for one to open up. Not a big deal but be prepared.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank rjsnau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.

Your feedback is valuable as it allows us to continuously improve.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2009

After I booked this hotel, I was a little worried by some of the reviews on here, so I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. While I agree that the Swissotel is not a super memorable hotel for a 4 star place, it is what it is...basically, a business hotel. Our rate was $209 for a recently renovated queen/queen room on a high floor. We had a wonderful view of the river and the Wrigley building. The room was very clean, the beds were comfortable, and the bathroom was huge (but I think this was because we were in a handicapped accessible room). It was very quiet, even though the hotel was full. The only place I could hear other people was in the bathroom, for some reason. The front desk was very nice about letting us check-in at 12 noon and then storing our bags with the bellman. The desk clerk told us that most days we would have been able to have a room at noon, but that the hotel had been sold out the night before and there were many people still checking out at noon. I had read about the expensive valet parking, so we pulled in, dropped off our bags, and then moved our car to a less expensive garage, saving us $22!

All in all, we had a good experience and, while it might not be my first choice, I would stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KYBetsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2009

I stayed here the week of July 9-14, 2009. Below is my response to the automated message sent by the hotel thanking me for patronage and asking for any feedback. The management response : "Thank you and your feedback is very helpful! I will be sure to pass along to our management team for review and corrective action. Thank you again and have a great week."
===========
Hello,

We did enjoy Chicago and may visit again. I was visiting on business so I am not sure I would stay at your hotel again. Your prices are prohibitive for a personal visit, and I was actually a little surprised at all the extra charges. My husband and I travel extensively and this was our first Swissotel. We were so disappointed to find every amenity was an extra charge. $11.00 for a bottle of water, a gym use charge, and the wireless was charged per laptop! That was truly a first for us. Many families now have multiple laptops and this will be one of my main warnings in my reviews.

We stay in Klimpton Hotels, Omni’s, Sofitel’s as well as Hilton’s and Marriott’s and I believe all of them offer complimentary wireless (though some require a free signup for their member services). Even if they don’t offer it in the room, the lobby has complimentary wireless. You can see this is critical for us, and I suspect, for many who travel on a regular basis.

The room was nice and large and I assume I was given a handicap room (though we do not have disabilities) because of the conference rate. A heads up by the front desk about this would have been nice, though I suspect this explains the reason the room was so spacious. The tub though did look a little hospital like with the bars and the drippy faucet staining the porcelain. We should have reported the drip, but we were kidding that we might get charged for it :)

Some of the concierge staff were abit chilly at times, but the housekeeping service staff were extremely friendly and cheerful. Too bad on several days, they were not able to service the room until late afternoon. Another surprise when we wanted to take at nap at 4:30pm and the room was still not cleaned. We did appreciate the promptness of any requests we made (e.g. wakeup calls, non-allergen pillows, shampoo) That said, we were again surprised that we had to request shampoo! On the second day we finally realized, nope, it wasn’t a mistake, they just don’t provide it.

However, as we didn’t bring any extra in our packing, we called and, as noted, it was promptly delivered.

I appreciate your follow-up email and hope this feedback is helpful.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank txorig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.


Your feedback is very helpful as it allows us to continuously improve.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Park, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2009

Pros: very comfortable beds, nice rooms, excellent views
Cons: They nickel-and-dime you to death! Parking for hotel guests is $52! That's crazy. There is a $15 fee to use the pool, sauna or fitness center. An order of bacon for breakfast is $9. The mini bar is unheated and a small bottle of water costs $9. There is no mini fridge in the room and the little extras like shampoo bottles and hand soap are miniscule and there are few of them. The tv channels available are fewer than I get at home with basic cable. And there were only two people at the front desk checking in guests. One of them was ignoring guests while she typed on her computer, so there was effectively only one person checking guests in - and this was on a Saturday! He was not particularly gracious. Both of the them seemed slightly annoyed at having to do their job. This is supposed to be an upscale hotel but it is a poor value for the money and definitely not worth the price.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 13ellezee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.


We value your feedback as it allows us to continuously improve.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hopewell, NJ
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed July 23, 2009

I stayed at the Swissotel Chicago over 4th of July weekend. What a great place to stay—especially if you are partaking in the city’s festivities. A very short walk brought me to Grant Park where they had fireworks on the 3rd. And afterwards, since the hotel is just slightly off the main drag of Michigan Ave, I was able to retreat quickly back to my room and enjoy the peace and quiet rather than all the noise from everyone walking around. And the view from my room—spectacular! I couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic picture of Chicago right outside my window. The room was quite spacious and very clean. The bed was so comfortable I felt like I was sleeping at home. The hotel was a bit busy during this weekend, but the staff did a great job of helping me with whatever I needed. I would definitely recommend Swissotel as the place to stay when visiting Chicago.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VisitNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwissotelChi, Director Marketing Programs and Public Relations at Swissotel Chicago, responded to this review, August 7, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay at Swissotel Chicago.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Kindly,
Swissotel Chicago Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swissotel Chicago

Property: Swissotel Chicago
Address: 323 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601-5282
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Green Hotel in Chicago
#20 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#38 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#42 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#57 Business Hotel in Chicago
#67 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Swissotel Chicago 4.5*
Number of rooms: 661
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfort and productivity come together where the river meets the lake at Swissôtel Chicago. Swissôtel Chicago is graced with European style and contemporary Swiss elegance. The luxury experience includes award-winning hospitality, well-appointed accommodations and breathtaking views. Housed in a distinctive glass triangle structure, our hotel stands out for its international style, downtown sophistication and central location to signature sights. Find peace of mind and productivity in our recently upgraded 661 guest rooms or 40 luxury suites. Our business-friendly amenities make travel simple and seamless and our 65,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art meeting rooms, ballrooms and special venue space excel as an efficient place to meet, connect, celebrate and do business. We also have three on-site restaurants and hotel bar, a penthouse fitness center and 45-foot indoor pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swissotel Chicago Hotel Chicago
Swissotel Hotel Chicago
Chicago Swissotel Hotel

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