after three nights at the peninsula, i ended up staying another night because the weather was crappy, and i have traveled enough times between NYC and chicago to know that any little hiccup in the weather will affect all flights, especially the last one out. as a result, i decided to stay another night, but this time at the four seasons, as i was able to procure a better rate than the peninsula (the peninsula was cheaper with the third night free option, but another night would have resulted in the full rate).
i wish i could say that the four seasons is in the same category, but it isn't. the rooms are smaller (i had an upgraded room at the four seasons, but an entry-level room at the peninsula), though with much better views because of the height of the hotel.
i found the service at the peninsula to be exemplary in every way--the four seasons was not nearly as good. as i write this, it's been 30 minutes since waiting for two bottles of water from housekeeping after missing my turndown service (i had the "privacy please" sign outside the door). i would not be surprised if it took another 30 minutes to get the two complimentary bottles of water. good thing i didn't ask for ice, too.
the rooms are nice enough here, but after three nights at the peninsula, it was a letdown. the rooms here are smaller, and the bathroom is a little too compact. the toilet is right next to the shower/tub, whereas in the peninsula they are in two separate compartments with their own doors.
the design of the shower is not great. the water pressure was much better here than in the peninsula, with much better control over the temperature, but the two doors that kept the water in the shower and off the floor did not serve the purpose well, and you had the floor covered in water. not a big deal, normally, but again, the toilet is right next to the shower, so your feet are covered in cold water as you use the toilet.
also, the TV is much smaller, though most channels are in HD and much better quality than the peninsula, where the TV is larger, but many channels are not HD.
as another reviewer pointed out, the design of this hotel is such that it sways and creaks when you have a windy night (common in chicago). so as i write this review, the building is creaking, and it's hard to tune out. now, i understand the hotel discloses this on some card or correspondence, but i don't see it in the room, and the idea of earplugs, while nice, doesn't help me because i am afraid i would oversleep as a result of them.
the views here are spectacular, though, so that is a plus, and it is still a better hotel than most other places i stayed.
as far as five-star properties in chicago, though, the peninsula is still top in my book. the trump is great as far as facilities, but the whole building is non-smoking, so that's a minus for me. the four seasons and peninsula have smoking rooms, which is nice because sometimes all i wanna do is light up a cigar at the end of the day.
i know the four seasons takes their work seriously, so i do plan to address this with management.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, always a landmark of refined comfort, with unrivaled Lake Michigan and city views, steps from chic North Michigan Avenue shops and minutes from Chicago's business and financial centres. The Hotel offers a fresh, contemporary ambience that remains as inviting as ever. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Four Seasons Chicago
- 4 Seasons Hotel Chicago
- Chicago Four Seasons