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“Just when I thought the WA Chicago could not possibly get any better… it did!”

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Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Ranked #15 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
106 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Just when I thought the WA Chicago could not possibly get any better… it did!”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I love it that they are not resting on their (well deserved) laurels and are constantly working on the improving the experience for their guests. I stayed here last June and fell completely in love with it. New since my last visit is the personal concierge (a shout out to mine, Andrew F.) that contacts you before your visit for any necessary preparation. You get a fancy personalized folder at check-in and are escorted to your room.

I have stayed at plenty of 5 star hotels (many with a $1000 night rate for a standard room) and none have approached the look, feel, sound of the WA Chicago. There are plenty of hotels out there that look good on the surface, but when you look closer, it’s not so great. On the other hand, the WA Chicago is like the perfect little black dress, it is timeless. The bathroom is stunning. I just realized the faucets are Kallista (the “couture” line for Kohler.) The sleeper sofa is luxurious and comfortable to sit on (a rarity.) Every detail is understated, timeless, sophisticated perfection. I think for the quality, size, location, and service, this hotel is a great value even at the rack rate.

Reservations are already made for my 40th Birthday in April. I’m heartbroken that RIA is closed since I wanted to celebrate my birthday there. A loss for Chicago of an underappreciated 2 Michelin star hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank foodie007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Dear foodie007,

Thank you for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago again as your hotel of stay and for your positive feedback regarding your recent visit with us. I am delighted to learn that you enjoyed again your suite, with its unique amenities and décor and that our team was able to efficiently assist throughout your stay. Thank you for your kind words with regard to Andrew. I will certainly share your remarks with the rest of the team.

RIA is indeed closed, but there are exciting new things to come. We will keep our guests informed.
We truly value your loyalty and can’t wait to welcome you and your family back to celebrate your special birthday in April.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,255 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (348)
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Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Might be my favorite hotel in the US. Had a fantastic time on a mother/daughter weekend trip. Stayed in a suite that was comprised of two adjoining King rooms and it was HUGE! WE probably could had done with just one, considering each room had a queen sofabed. The service was impeccable. Had drinks at both of the hotel bars and they were fantastic... They make a VERY tasty French 75 upon request.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank saraemlem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Dear saraemlem,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago for your mother/daughter weekend getaway and for your positive feedback regarding your stay. I am delighted to learn that you both found comfort in your suite and that you enjoyed the different luscious libations from the bar in our restaurant Balsan and our bar Bernard’s. We will look forward to welcoming you and your mother back, hopefully very soon!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

No tipping! Thank you WA Chicago! The new standard for high end hotels. This policy has been in place since opening as Elysian a few years ago. We like the concept of paying a few $ more per night, and not have to hassle with having the right change on hand for the "proper tip". As you can read in all the reviews, this is the pinnacle.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Jessica B,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor and for your kind comments regarding our no tipping policy. At the Waldorf Astoria Chicago we believe in serving our guests without any expectations of receiving anything in return, except our guests’satisfaction and desire to visit with us again. We will look forward to welcoming you and your travel companion back in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Level Contributor
157 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This hotel was extraordinary for sure! We went for a girl's weekend and left wishing we could stay longer!! Our suite was so beautiful and comfortable. The restaurant was delicious and the service made us feel like we were VIPs. The spa was by far the best I have been to in any 5 star hotel in Chicago. My friend and I both agreed that our services at the spa were just exceptional. Congratulations Waldorf...you deserve to be #1!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank jennlarra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear jennlarra,

Thank you so much for your review of your recent visit with us and for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay for your girl’s weekend. I am delighted to learn that you found comfort in your suite and that you also enjoyed our restaurant Balsan and your treatments at our Elysian Spa. We truly value your patronage and cannot wait to welcome you and your friends back when your travels next bring you to Chicago.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

From the time we arrived until we departed we felt like we were royalty.
Our concierge experience (Timo & Al) were always top notch to make recommendations on food, transportation, sight seeing, etc.

Front desk/doorman, I think his name was Lewis, also did a fine job "showing" us the little tricks to our room.

We loved using the Waldorf's car when it was available. They will "drop you off" anywhere within a 2 mile radius. But when we asked about the Willis Tower, which is a little over 2 miles, the concierge immediately said, "would you like us to take you there in the car?" It was music to my ears! They use the car during the day (Lexus LS600HL) and the SUV and night (Lexus LX570) since night typically has larger parties (I assume?).

From the fireplace (a must) to the TV in the bathroom mirror, it's all done quite nicely. The windows and door (if you get a balcony) are so thick you don't hear much of anything of the outside world. Now we were on the 17th floor so that may have also helped.

My only complaint, and this is probably more of just a preference, were the pillows on the bed. They were so soft, that after about 15 minutes there wasn't anymore support from it. If you try using 2, it was just to uncomfortable on your shoulders. Well, after 5 nights of this, I was really looking forward to by own bed b/c I didn't exactly sleep like a baby. Even my wife, who is a very sound sleeper and typically doesn't wake during the night was tossing and turning. Maybe we should've asked for a different styple of pillow? I never really thought of that until now ......

The lighting system is cool ....... and a pain ....... all in one. It's neat b/c you can set the lights to 'low', or 'medium', or even 'high'. But in the bedroom, it's either 'on' or 'off'. If you desire to have the lights on low, you have to manually turn the knob on each light to get the mood you desire. Again, cool at times, a pain as well.

The bath tub is great for soaking after walking. It allows you to pretty much submerse you entire body, just the way we like it.

I was offered an upgrade for $50 more a night from a standard room to a suite. I knew this must come with some kind of catch ....... it did. The room was an "accessible" room. Which meant every time we took a shower, half the bathroom floor had water on it since the shower doesn't have a lip to contain the water. Yes there's a shower curtain, but a shower curtain can't hold in water when the floor of the shower isn't sloped ...... duh. We laughed at this problem each and every time and simply decided to look past it. I mean c'mon, there's a lot more that could be a 'real' issue than some water on the floor right? So each time we had a shower, we would take one of the large towels, and the two floor towels, and try our best to soak up what we could.

We're not mad or upset, we just don't sweat the little things in life. But I did want to at least give you fellow trip advisor readers an idea of what could be instore for you post-shower should you get room 1710.

The balcony was great. Even thought is was Christmas (never more than 35 degrees plus wind) we would still go out just to look around. It's also nice to have so you can get an idea of what to wear when going out. But I guess you could also do the same by opening the window ......... lol.

Overall, you'll love this place. But it will set you back some serious cash. Parking is another $52 a day ....... but c'mon man, it's the Waldorf!

Last thing: There's so many great places to eat within a 5 minute walk. Breakfast: Hash House a Go Go, Pancake House.

Pizza: Pizanos, Lou Malnatis.

And if you want to eat at an iconic Chicago restaurant, you must go to the Pump Room. We went for Christmas dinner ...... oh man ...... let's just say it's awesome ......... trust me ....... you need to, no you deserve to experience their food. And it took us all of 6 minutes to walk there!

Room Tip: We were facing Walton Ln (north) and didn't have any noise issues. Room 1710. We were upgrade...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Matt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear Matt H,

Thank you so much for your feedback regarding your recent stay with us, for comments like yours are a valuable tool for our continued pursuit of excellence. I am delighted to learn that you found our House Car Service convenient, and that you found your suite enjoyable, especially your balcony and the fireplace. I regret, however, to learn the inconveniences you experienced throughout your visit, especially with regard to your pillows, your bathroom, and the lighting system. I have brought your concerns to our Director of Hotel Services’ attention for immediate review.
Thank you for your kind comments regarding our team members, Al, Timo and Luis. They are a great asset to our team. I will certainly share your remarks with the rest of the staff. We will look forward to our next opportunity to properly serve you, hopefully in the very near future!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Level Contributor
81 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

When it comes to hotels, I am very big on value (what experience I get per dollar basis). By nature, I tend to stay away from 5 star hotels because I cannot justify the premium I have to pay to stay at their property over 3/4 star your typical business hotel. The law of decreasing marginal utility, I suppose.

Having said that, this hotel, frankly to my dismay, was worth every penny.

After paying the rate I never have paid for a family trip, I came with very high expectation. Even then, it was very difficult to find anything wrong with the hotel. Extremely impressed with their level of service (thoroughly attentive and responsive in all levels of management) and the incredible quality of the room (we stayed in Waldorf Suite). Heck, even their shampoo was pretty nice.

Bottom line: If you are staying in Chicago and want to impress someone (others or yourself), book this hotel. I don't like to sound like an ad, but based on my experience, whatever reasonable expectation you have for this hotel will be met and then some more.

Room Tip: Might as well pay some more and go for Suite.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear Christopher_C_Chung,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and for choosing our hotel as your hotel of stay for your family trip. I am delighted to learn that we met your expectations. Thank you for your kind comments regarding our level of service, the quality of our suites, and for recommending us. We truly value your patronage and we can’t wait to welcoming you and your family back when your travels next bring you to Chicago.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

The Waldorf has a more residential feel than other Chicago hotels of this caliber. The lobby, lounge, restaurant, spa and gym have a smaller-scale, intimate feel and are beautifully appointed.

While common areas are perhaps not as large or grand as other Chicago hotels, the rooms are enormous. Our suite was very spacious with a beautiful fireplace and balcony with a great view of the north shore shops. We heard zero hallway noise in our private corner of the hotel.

The service was excellent throughout the entire property - unpretentious but professional, warm and accommodating. We were pleased to find that the no tipping policy of the Elysian has continued at the Waldorf.

Use the concierge for dinner reservations. We received great tables and service for our large group.

I absolutely love the spa facility. The gym and pool area are compact but beautifully appointed. Whirlpool, steam and sauna are within the fantastic locker rooms and are relaxing after a spa service or workout.

My only minor suggestion is that some refurbishments are needed. Vanity, wastebaskets and other accessories in the bathrooms are chipped as well as the tables in the lobby. Also, our group waited until about 6:30pm for one of our rooms to become available.




  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Runtosun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear Runtosun,

Thank you so much for your review of your recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed the hotel’s décor, our Elysian Spa, your suite with all of its unique amenities, and that our service team was able to efficiently assist you throughout your stay, especially our Concierge Team. I apologize for not having your rooms available at the time of check in. We truly value your overall feedback, and we will look forward to welcoming you back, hopefully in the very near future.

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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 Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Property: Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Address: 11 East Walton, Chicago, IL 60611-1412 (Formerly Elysian Hotel Chicago)
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Chicago 5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AAA Five-Diamond Waldorf Astoria Chicago(formerly The Elysian Hotel)is located in the heart of the prestigious Gold Coast neighborhood amognst the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street famed restaurants, retailers and lakefront. The award-winning 215 room hotel through innovative services and technologies, creates a new experience in luxury – energetic and fashion forward, warm and welcoming, and fresh and engaging. Amenities include a 14,000 square-foot spa & health club; 7,500 square feet of private event space; Bernard's Bar & Restaurant. ... more   less 
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