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“Outstanding small hotel”

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Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Ranked #15 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Outstanding small hotel”
Reviewed March 19, 2013 via mobile

I have now switched to the Waldorf whenever I go to Chicago. The rooms are beautifully decorated, immaculate, and the service is first rate. Most recently I stayed in a one bedroom suite, which was gorgeous although not especially large and had no view. The bathroom was lovely -- all marble, two sinks, and a separate soaking tub that was very long and deep. Room service meals were on time and delicious.

Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
8 Thank InsideScooper
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, March 20, 2013
Dear InsideScooper,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor and for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay when your travels bring you to the Windy City. I am truly delighted to read that you enjoyed the décor and amenities in your room and our In Room Dining service. Next time you visit with us, I hope you can experience a larger suite with a different view. We will look forward to welcoming you back, hopefully in the very near future!

Sincerely,
Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
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2,237 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago for the first time in early October 2012. I liked it so much I returned in November, and again in December! So that should tell you something. It quickly felt like a home away from home for me. The rooms (suites) are very roomy and comfortable. The gas fireplaces are awesome - so cozy and comforting to come home to. The shower is delightful - great water pressure and really spacious. I'm also a fan of the hotel's restaurant, Balsan - well-executed food in a tasteful but low-key setting.

The hotel's location is fantastic - convenient to everything, yet it somehow manages to be a quiet little oasis in the middle of hustle and bustle. The gated driveway/courtyard helps with feeling that you're a bit sheltered from the street. I also love the no-tipping policy - I didn't realize just how much I would like it until I experienced it! The no-tipping policy isn't really well-advertised, though - the hotel should consider advertising it more, esp. because I think a lot of people would find that to be a particularly appealing feature of the hotel. As it is, you basically find out about the policy when you try to tip and are politely refused.

One thing I would change too is the Sunday hours of the bar and restaurant - on Sundays, the bar is closed completely, which seems odd, and the restaurant closes at 10 (as opposed to midnight Friday/Saturday). Sunday is still a weekend day, so it seems the bar and restaurant should be available to spend time in.

Overall, this is a great choice. I've travelled to (and lived in) Chicago many, many times over the years, and this has become my favorite hotel in Chicago.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
12 Thank thegreatlizby
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, March 18, 2013
Dear thegreatlizby,

Thank you so much for visiting the Waldorf Astoria Chicago again and for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor. It’s rewarding to read that we have become your home away from home. Thank you for your feedback with regard to our restaurant Balsan and our bar Bernard’s. I will certainly bring your remarks to our Director of Food and Beverage’s attention. Your kind words are an inspiration to our continuous pursuit of excellence in everything we do. Your loyalty is highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to welcoming you and your travel companion back, 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.
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for our 10th anniversary in one of their 1200 square foot suites. I've never stayed in such luxury before. The staff did a tremendous job welcoming us and making us feel like we were at home instead of on vacation. Our suite was unbelievable... separate bedroom with a king bed, beautiful marble bath with separate soaking tub and huge shower, and living room with couch, dining table and chairs, fireplace w/ 2 chairs, and wet bar with powder room off it. It was almost as big as my house! We did room service for breakfast 2/3 mornings then ate in the restaurant our last morning. Everything we ate was delicious, but the brioche french toast and the oatmeal with marscapone are not to be missed. The only slight criticism I have is that it wasn't in the "middle" of The Magnificent Mile, so we did a little more walking than we wanted to, but really... small price to pay for the outstanding service and beauty!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
13 Thank punkinpie79
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, March 13, 2013
Dear punkinpie79,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share you feedback of your recent stay with us on TripAdvisor and for letting us be part of your special occasion. I am truly delighted to learn that you enjoyed your suite, and all of its unique amenities, and our food from our In Room Dining Service and our restaurant Balsan. I will certainly share you kind remarks concerning the brioche French toast and the oatmeal with our Executive Chef and the culinary team. Your patronage is highly valued and appreciated. We will look forward to our next opportunity to make another special occasion for you and your significant other extra special 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.
Orland Park, IL
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We have visited this property on three occasions-----and absolutely loved it! First of all, the location is ideal. You can easily walk to the Michigan Avenue shops in the daytime, and fully enjoy the plethora of dining and dancing establishments in the evening---all within blocks distance. The rooms, of which we have seen 4 types, are beautifully decorated, often having balconies and fireplaces. The restaurant's food is delicious, but the service was slow and the cost pricey. I agree with a previous review that it is better to visit one of the many wonderful restaurants in the area versus eating here. We have enjoyed the bar, which is quaint and serves a good drink. Most of all, the staff is outstanding and makes you feel like you are a welcome part of their family.
With is service and location, the Waldorf is definitely a place to celebrate a special occasion. Treat yourself! The hotel is a tucked away gem!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Supermom721
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, March 8, 2013
Dear Supermom721,

Thank you so much for your continued loyalty to the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I am truly delighted to read that you have enjoyed every one of your stays with us. Your appraisal of our service team is highly appreciated. I will proudly share it with the rest of the team as it is a continuous inspiration to our pursuit of excellence in everything we do.

Thank you also for your feedback with regard to our restaurant Balsan and our bar Bernard’s. I will bring your comments to our Director of Food & Beverage’s attention for further review. We will certainly look forward to welcoming you and your family 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

The good: Staff was outstanding; spa and gym are excellent; bar is very nice.

The bad: restaurant and room service menu is limited. Food is entirely average. Concierge's recommendation for restaurant outside hotel was off the mark.

The ugly: room was poorly maintained. Rickety coffee table, doorbell that went off when our neighbor's doorbell was activated, some piece of electronics hanging from a hole in the ceiling by a wire, phones didn't work properly, curtains didn't shut correctly, some lights were out, light switches were confusing, bathroom scale didn't work, hair dryer had an unpleasant sticky/gummy coating on the handle, carpet was in need of a cleaning. Fireplace gave off strange odor that kept us from running it/enjoying it much. And probably some other stuff that I forgot. Took two days of a three day stay to get room issues corrected, and of course, I had to deal with the distractions.

Not "terrible", but not world-class accommodation. I'll check out the Four Seasons or the Park Hyatt next time I'm in town and would recommend other travelers do too.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank OftenOnTheRoad1
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, March 6, 2013
Dear OftenOnTheRoad1,

Thank you so much for your review of your recent stay with us. It gives me great pleasure to read that you found our Bar Bernard’s and our Spa and Health Club enjoyable and that our staff was welcoming and efficient during your visit.

On the other hand, I am terribly sorry that the rest of your stay did not meet your expectations. Thank you for your feedback regarding the state of your suite. Comments like yours enable our continuous pursuit of improvement in our services and facilities. Unfortunately, these valuable lessons have come at your expense. I will certainly address these concerns with the head of our pertaining departments for immediate action.

I look forward to the opportunity to regain your faith in our ability to properly serve you.

Apologetically,

Richard R. Evanich
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

After careful consideration and numerous hours of investigative work, visa vie by phone and online, we chose to stay at the Waldorf Astoria for our family vaca last summer. Rarely does a hotel live up to the oft-times airbrushed photos one might find on the web, so I was more than a little surprised upon our arrival; with it's enchanting courtyard, albeit a tad small, incredibly generous staff, stylish yet monochromatic lobby and high-end accomodations, this hotel has few, if any, rivals in the region. Now this might not be the most family-friendly environment,(i.e. lap pool with "adult only" hours), but we, like many families, were there to see the sights, so this was certainly not a hindrance to the overall enjoyment of our stay. On a park & breakfast-type package, we were worried that a room upgrade from our confirmed suite to a larger one with a much-desired balcony would be out of the question, but this fear was quickly dispelled and an upgrade was graciously offered within a half-hour of our arrival. With a view of the Lake, multiple flat screens, a comfortable sofabed for the kids(dividing door), masssive spa-like bathroom and a friendly staff on the ready, what more could one ask for? The only blip on the radar came at the end of the stay when I realized that I had been misinformed about the extent of our package and was summarily overcharged for several items which I thought were covered by the aforementioned package; like many hotels, they offer a plethora of deals which left several members of the staff quite confused...and me with a larger than expected bill. Otherwise, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to make a return visit(with greater clarification beforehand) and/or recommend this hghly to family, friends and/or business acquaintances. Btw...ask about the somewhat "secretive" car service which they provide---great service especially considering their distance from many of Chicago's more sought after attractions.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Bryan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WAChicago, Director of Hotel Services at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear Bryan P,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago as your hotel of stay during your family vacation this past summer. It gives me great pleasure to read that we were able to offer you an upgrade and that you and your family enjoyed the various amenities of your suite and hotel, especially our house car service.

On the other hand, I am terribly sorry for the miscommunication pertaining to your hotel package.

If it is possible, I would like to speak to you directly to personally apologize and to discuss your concerns a little further. I can be contacted at kathryn.m.day@waldorfastoria.com, or alternatively, my direct number is (312) 646-1404.

I look forward to the opportunity to regain your faith in our ability to properly serve you.

Apologetically,

Kathryn Day
Director of Hotel Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We booked a suite for our 25th anniversary, not knowing what to expect. The service was impeccable (and included). The beds, linens, bath robes, toiletries, and soaking bath plus shower were all top notch, which created a luxurious and comfortable environment. The valet service with the car worked very well. The spa was lovely, although we did not partake of the services. The restaurant was also very nice. We enjoyed two delicious breakfasts there.

A couple of small negatives: the lighting system was hard to use and ultimately frustrating. The decor in the lobby was not that attractive and the overall design theme cold and modern. Rooms do not come with coffee and tea makers. And finally, we has a balcony ( which we did not use in February) but no view. Our room looked out on a parking garage and some retail businesses.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lmabal
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, March 5, 2013
Dear Catherine A,

Thank you so much for choosing the Waldorf Astoria Chicago to celebrate your 25th Anniversary and for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read that you found comfort in your suite and that you enjoyed the different amenities the hotel and your room had to offer. I would like to apologize for the inconvenience the lighting system caused. I will certainly bring your concerns to our Director of Guest Room’s attention for further review. With regard to the coffee maker in your room, please do not hesitate next time you visit with us to request one as we have them available upon request. I am sorry if this wasn’t offered to you during your visit. We will look forward to our next opportunity to properly serve you, 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 188 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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