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W Chicago - City Center
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A TripAdvisor Member
17
Reviewed March 19, 2006

I will evaluate this hotel with respect to the following: overall feeling of the hotel, location, quality of room and amenities. To give you perspective on the reason for our visit, my husband and I stayed here for a weekend visit to Chicago.

Overall feeling of the hotel – Like others have said, it’s a clubby, lounge type of atmosphere. The W hotel is intended to be trendy, so if you book this hotel, expect that type of atmosphere. The lobby itself is impressive, with extremely high ceilings and modern furniture. In the background you’ll hear lounge/club type music (no matter what time of day), and the entire lobby is dimly lit---just a little bit of light, the rest of the room is illuminated by candles. The lobby looks decently maintained, i.e., it is clean and everything seems to be in good shape (furniture, floor, walls, etc.).

The people who work here all dress in black and have earphones to communicate with each other. I think the intended look here is “cool and trendy”—to match the furniture and lighting scheme, though to me it seemed a bit overdone and contrived. The guys out front sometimes open doors for you, sometimes do not, depending on how close they were to the door as you approached. The front desk staff and concierges seem to be friendly and courteous, interested in making sure you have a nice stay.

So my first impression is that this hotel had a bit of attitude. Not anything to run away from, but something to keep in mind.

Location – ‘The Loop’ is dead during the weekends, as my husband and I have come to find out. You are within walking distance to the elevated rail system (to Midway, which is convenient if you flew in from there), the Sears Tower, the Art Institute, and Millennium Park. That was about it though. If you wanted to go bar-hopping, window shopping, or have more than 1 or 2 choices as far as places to eat, you would have to either take the L, hop a cab, or walk. If you didn’t, you’d be bored out of your mind once evening hit. If you’re only in Chicago for a weekend AND want to explore the city at night (without having to take the L everywhere), I’d suggest booking elsewhere. The neighborhood is a ghost town on the weekends which actually was a bit scary when you factor in the numerous beggars floating through the streets.

Quality of Room – The hallways leading to the rooms were way too dark. If I were a vampire, this type of darkness would’ve been perfect. The rooms were tiny, though I was OK with the size—we’re in the city, after all. The room itself was worn down. You could see the paint on the radiator units chipping away and the walls were a bit dirty and worn. The hotel room seemed clean, though it felt dingy---almost like there was a coating of dirt and grime that had been left uncleaned for so long, it just became part of the place. Hard to explain. The lighting was barely adequate. Even with all the lights on (one of which did not work), you still yearned for a bit more light. The bed was extremely comfortable, probably the most comfortable of all hotels I’ve ever stayed at. We had an abundance of pillows too, which for me, was great. There is only one phone in the room, and it is on the desk, which is a walk away from the bed. It would’ve been nice to have a phone on the nightstand table. The walls were paper thin—and if you have a room that can be joined to another, request a different room. My husband and I could make out exact words and phrases of the people in the room next to us.

The bathroom was a decent size (relatively speaking), as was the closet. Water pressure (shower) was weak, though that might’ve been because they had that rain spray shower head. The towels were really rough, but plentiful. You get a bathrobe (only 1) to use while you’re there, which is a tad softer than the towels, but not much.

Amenities – The coffee maker in the room had a coffee pot that liked to leak out coffee. They offered decaf/reg and various Tazo teas for your consumption, though if you used any of it, they did not replenish or provide you with clean cups, etc. Plus, the coffee maker was not plugged in the first night---and trying to squeeze behind the wall unit to plug it in was not fun though probably comical to watch.

The bath amenities were OK. Bliss products were OK, though the containers they came in were too hard for you to squeeze any of the product out. No real complaints there though, they refilled what you needed.

Wireless was obnoxiously expensive at $15. We didn’t try room service, but saw the menu and noticed that it was too expensive for room service. We did not use the gym or any other facilities, so we can’t comment to their quality. OH, one more thing. If you buy ‘Hotel VIP’ tix for the Sears Tower from the concierge and are told that you don’t have to wait in line, be advised that the line they are referring to is the actual line to go up the Tower. You still have to wait in line to use the elevator to get up to the ticket booths AND you have to wait in line to get past security, which when we were there, was more than an hour wait. Just thought I’d mention that.

CONCLUSION: We booked this through Hotwire at a tremendously discounted rate. As a discount hotel, I’d say this place was barely adequate to OK. However, at the rates they normally charge, I would say steer away from this place. This W is totally undeserving of the higher level hotel classification---it just does not have the quality of rooms/facilities and service to warrant it.

Stayed: March 2006
7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2006

"Hip" hotel. Fun. Clean. Down the street from art museum, right at an El stop. Lobby looks and sounds like a night club, even during the day with disco ball reflections scattered over two-story inner courtyard. Ultra-thin gorgeous waitresses serve drinks to guests on leather couches. Halls and room dark but sophisticated. Front desk quickly had extra lamps delivered when requested. Bathroom and room small but fine. Concierge very helpful with recommendations for tourist sights off the beaten path. Definitely not worth the $250 rack rate but a good buy for the $100/night we paid through discount on-line service for a (very cold) January weekend. If you don't smoke, don't get near the nightclub.

2  Thank bigshraga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
DC
11
Reviewed February 15, 2006

Business forced me onto the road on Valentine's Day and I chose the W City Center because of the proximity to my meeting, but with the fear that it might be busy due to the holiday.
I made a specific room request the day before and got a room on 20, away from elevators and vending machines. A nice touch.
One thing is that even on 20, I could hear the El rumbling by on Wells. I could only imagine what it's like lower down.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2006

I read a lot about this hotel on Trip Advisor, so I was concerned; I'd only ever stayed at the W in New York, and found the rooms cramped and the staff too disinterested in service to be believed.

I, however, really liked this hotel.

The woman who checked me in was fanastic and friendly -- I was a little concerned because it was very early in the afternoon, say 12:45 or so, so I was sure I wouldn't be able to get a room. I had also read that many of the rooms were quite small, so I made a specific room request.

"I have a friend who stayed here and loved room his room, is it available?"

"Why yes it is! And it's clean! Please enjoy your stay."

The room was reasonably sized, and the bed was extremely comfortable. It was also quiet, little hall noise save a few slamming doors, the inevitable nighttime sound track of all hotels.

Internet was expensive ($15), as was the bar and the restaurant. However, there is a Starbucks a block away, so there is no reason to have breakfast in the hotel.

It did feel slow the day I checked in, so maybe I narrowly avoided getting shafted in a poor room, but overall I was very happy. The W has a cool look and feel, and I felt cool staying here!

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank OftenContentFlyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2006

We rented two rooms for two nights. My husband and I upgraded our online booking with an email offering, "for just $40 more you can have the super excellence room". Our travel companions didn't upgrade and ended up in a room in the back of the hotel with no view and relative silence. We ended up with a room on the 19th floor overlooking the street below where the concierge stood in the street, blowing a whistle non stop to hail cabs. It was December and frigidly cold, a cabbie cannot possibly hear a whistle from his cab with a rolled up window. We complained to the front desk and they said they'd get on it, 'right away'. The whistle blows never ceased. We went out for a refined dinner, wanted to have a nightcap in the 'living room'/lobby but came back to the hotel to find it had been transformed to a nightclub, complete with pounding music and scantily clad cocktail waitresses! It was so crowded and loud that we couldn't even discuss what to do instead.
I received an email asking about my satisfaction and although I've written TWICE to the manangement, I heard absoloutely nothing back.
Save your money and go to a hotel that CARES. Who needs hipper-than-thou attitude like this??

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hollyevergreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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