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“Not as Expected”
Review of Swissotel Chicago

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Swissotel Chicago
Ranked #62 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 24, 2007

Was expecting big things from this hotel based on previous reviews, price and stature..... It was a good hotel, the rooms were clean and there were little things like dressing gowns that were a nice touch but other everyday things let the hotel down. The bell service at the front door was nice, opening the door of the cab when we arrived and always saying hello when we were entering or leaving the hotel but the reception and concierge service was not as polite, often making us feel like we were troubling them for recommendations or when asking about buses and maps. Our room was comfortable although the pillows were very lumpy. They did give us an extra bed for our little girl after we requested it but having stayed in the hampton inn and suites, milwaukee the days before, i have to say the service was poorer. Our room overlooked the construction but we were hardly in the room and so this didnt really matter and it is not the hotel's fault. Watch out on check out oo as they made a charge for the mini bar of $22 when we hadnt even opened
it, they did remove this when we questioned it.

The location is good but you could stay nearer all the restaurants for a similar price or a little more. We got a great deal from ebookers.com $200 per night but wish we had stayed with the hilton group for our stay in chicago s they seem to be more reasonably priced and more customer service based.

Chicago is fantastic and i would recommend giordinos pizza (they are dotted throughout the city), we also did the chicago bus co tour, we paid fpr a 3 day pass which was worth the money because it is a hop on and off service and can be used to save your legs when you start to get tired. Watch out for shoe shine men, we saw them charging someone a fortune $20 to clean their shoes after they had started without permission so just keep walking if they approach you. Navy pier is good for the fireworks on wed and sat nights which you could see from our hotel too. Sears tower view is amazing but a little steep at $12.50 per person (no pun intended). If you love shopping look out for filennes basement, they ahve the designers at outlet prices in the city, there is one at the top end of michigan ave (mag mile) and one on state street near the body shop. Got some great bargains there! If you are travelling with children make sure you visit the children's museum (free on thurs eve 5-8pm) and the rainforest cafe where the rain forest comes to life while you eat with elephants, rhinos, frogs, crocdiles and more.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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Thank theharrisons04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,938 - 3,944 of 4,378 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2007

I stayed in Chicago for the first time and this hotel met my needs.
I booked my room early - Travelzoo promotion for $109 per night.
The room was quiet and spacious, especially the bathroom and
I got a nice view of the Chicago River. The room itself had worn carpets, some scratched furniture and leaky showerhead, but
the maid service was generally prompt and efficient. My room was
ready no later than the late morning/ early aftermoon.

You might want to request a quiet room because there is construction occurring on the south side of the hotel during
normal business hours. I was fortunate not to get a room
on that side.

You can also pull the dark shades all the way across the window and avoid the morning sunshine. I was able to sleep late until 9-930am which was a plus for me.

My room had standard cable TV channels and was cool and comfortable. I did not touch the mini-bar per previous reviews.
The pillow top mattresses were comfortable enough for me.

I decided to eat at the Palm hotel restaurant. We had violent thunderstorms moving through the area one night. I was delighted as the waiters were very friendly and the seafood was delicious. I paid $60 total for my meal (without dessert) but understood it was realistic given my vacation destination and location.

There are plenty of restaurants and bakeries nearby to eat if you are on a budget or want a cheap breakfast. The Corner Bakery Cafe and Houlihans are a couple of nearby places on East Wacker. I attended during a part of the work week and avoided
long lines.

I've read some concerns about the distance to subway stations.
This really wasn't a problem for me, I timed the walk generally 13-15 minutes to State Station. It wasn't too far to get anywhere
really. The Navy pier was about 25-30 minutes away and the subways and buses take you so many places if you're tired of
walking. Consider buying a 3 day visitors CTA pass for $12.
You get unlimited subway and bus rides. The visitor center is
close by on Randolph street. You can also walk down the stairs to the canal and take an architectural tour down the Chicago River
which is informative and I would recommend.

You can watch the Navy Pier fireworks from the hotel Wednesday and Saturday evenings weather permitting.

Consider flying into Midway Airport instead of O'Hare...only a 30 minute subway ride to Randolph/Lake orange line station and vice versa and no transfers. I've heard the blue line to O'Hare can take up to 90 minutes. You can also avoid taxi fare.

I didn't bring a car, so no comment on parking expenses.

Overall I had a pleasant stay at the Swissotel. I had a lot of fun exploring Chicago.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
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2  Thank love2travel546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2007

I must have stayed somewhere completely different from the last review. I've stayed in a number of Chicago hotels, and this one was very nice. Our room and bathroom were both spotless. Our room was the largest room we've ever had in Chicago. We had a king bed with a desk, dresser, etc., and a very nice marble bathroom. We thought the bed was very comfortable and the linens were crisp and clean. The shower was spotless, as was the rest of the bathroom. We liked the separate shower and bathtub.
Check-in and check-out were a breeze (on a Saturday and Sunday), and the staff was just fine. Not snooty at all, just adequately friendly.
There is a taxi stand right outside the hotel which is a bonus.
It is just at the bridge at the Chicago River, so you are not at all far from Michigan Ave. Getting to Navy Pier, however, is tricky because you have to go down a bunch of staircases and make your way through various streets to get there (it's easier from Mich. Ave).
There is a public parking lot just down the street and on the left (parking at the hotel is $45 per night, which is a downer). And for breakfast there is a Corner Bakery right down the street as well.
If you book here, ask for a view of Navy Pier if you can. It's a nice view. We had a view of the river, which was nice as well, but not as nice as the lake and Navy Pier.
All in all I have no complaints and would stay again.

Stayed: July 2007
Thank Les68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2007

I stayed at the Swissotel for a conference July 8-13. We added a couple days to the stay after the conference so we could enjoy time with family flying in to join us. I have a little different perspective on the stay because I stayed across the street at the Fairmont on July 6 & 7 so I have a comparison. I absolutely love the look of the Swissotel. Our rooms were nice and didn't look worn or old. In fact, I have no complaints except for the building noise outside the hotel which isn't their fault. Our grandchildren enjoyed the nice indoor pool and we appreciated no extra charge for using it. My biggest complaint is I got used to the Fairmont's treatment, the staff is very well trained to meet your every need and are over accomodating. The Swissotel has very ordinary concierges that aren't overly friendly like the Fairmonts and their front desk didn't say "Welcome to Swissotel, how can I assist you, it was basically - next?" The Fairmont welcomes you, asks if they can assist you further, etc, etc. My conference rate was higher at the Swissotel than the Fairmont. The rooms were comparable but I have to admit I loved the Fairmont service, especially the bellhops and front desk. Swissotel needs some training on customer service. Often times there appears to be a manager waiting as you come through the door but never once did he say a thing so I assume the help gets their training from people like him, sad because I think the hotel architecture is fabulous.

I do recommend while in Chicago go eat deep dish pizza at Giordanos and get Oprah's favorite carmelcorn at Garrett's Popcorn. All of us enjoyed the Field Museum and if you have children, take them to the Navy Pier (fireworks Wed and Sun visible from hotel) and go to the Children's Museum. It is free Thursdays from 5pm-8pm. There is a deli/store very close to the hotel called Bockwinkles. The sandwiches are great, $3.99 freshly made. We stocked up on soda, water and snacks there. I loved Chicago and plan to return again. Will I stay at Swissotel, probably not.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank GrammyBecky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2007

This hotel is not worth the price on all fronts. The rooms are in pretty shabby condition, but they are clean. They need a remodel badly. The furniture is scratched and scuffed, the carpet is peeling up in places, the walls are paper thin, and the beds are awful. The location is good for the view, but that's about it. It is too far from the train stops and really everything else is a bit out of the way. If it were just a block closer to Michigan Ave. it would be great! I guess the thing that bothers me most is that from the lobby decor and staff attitudes, this hotel is trying to be very snooty but then you go to your room and it is a piece of junk! I have stayed at many other Chicago hotels and like them a lot more and they are cheaper! I am in Chicago for a conference and this is the host hotel...what can I do?!

Stayed: July 2007
Thank frqnt_trvlrSt.Louis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2007

I stayed at the Swissotel the weekend of 7/6 - 7/8 for The Taste and The Color Purple. While the rooms are a bit dated, the location is great. From our room Navy Pier, Michigan Ave, and The Taste was in walking distance. Literally if you looked out my window you could see the Taste and just a few feet from my room to the elevator you saw Navy Pier. The Cadillac Palace is less than a mile away as well (This where the Color Purple is). We were also only a $5 cab ride from Rush St.

The bad side is that the rooms are dated and in need of some upgrades, but for $109 a night through Travelocity it was great. The front desk was helpful with switching my room to a King Bed. Another ding against the hotel is that they charge for everything! A simply local call for 1 minute cost a $1.28. If you pick up anything in the mini bar you were charged. To use the gym area you have to pay. There is a nice restaurant (The Palms) in the hotel, but be prepared to spend about $100 for 2. Everything is a la carte.

I would definitely recommend this hotel for someone just wanting location and would not be in the room alot, but if you are going to relax in your room, this is not the place for you. The walls are kind of thin and if you are one of the lucky ones you will get a great view of the construction they are doing outside.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank edub02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2007

The hotel was in a great location, right on the water and close enough to the Mag. Mile, Navy Pier, and Millenium Park. Also, the concierge was very good at giving us recommendations on restaurants and jazz clubs. Unfortunately the room was nothing special. I was disappointed that we were given two double beds instead of a queen or king and the view (towards construction) was lacking. Since we were staying during busy Memorial weekend all the good rooms filled up quickly. They offered to let us upgrade for $30.00 extra per night but we declined, as we weren't planning on spending our time in the room anyway. So, the hotel was fine but a little dated.

As for Chicago--here are some recommendations:
Volare--nice Italian restaurant off Mag. mile with traditional Italian food and a great atmosphere. Definitely make a reservation.
Eno-A wine, chocolate, and cheese bar on Mag. Mile. Very romantic.

We enjoyed the following sights: Lincoln park zoo (free), Buckingham Fountain, Top of hancock building (better than Sears tower), Architectural boat tour, ride on ferris wheel at Navy Pier, Art institute, etc.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank jaltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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
#37 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#42 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#57 Business Hotel in Chicago
#67 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $131 - $484 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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