I stayed three nights at the Peninsula Chicago Hotel for a business conference. This was my first stay at a Peninsula Hotel. I stayed as part of the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. I had an executive suite (no upgrade) and spent a great deal of time in the room working. Perhaps it was all the hype I heard about this chain of hotels in advance that truly raised my expectations, but I was a bit underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very nice hotel, but there are areas that could use improvement. Here are my observations about this hotel:
* The service is, predictably, excellent. The very best. You are greeted by everyone with a smile. Responses to your requests are immediate. The housekeeping is the best I’ve ever experienced. They are like “service ninjas” who somehow detect those rare moments when you may not be in your room and they make it immaculately clean within 10 minutes. Laundry as well was very quick. When I arrived at the hotel, my suit and a couple of shirts I packed were a bit wrinkled. They took care of them all within an hour.
* Free wireless internet throughout the hotel.
* The food was pretty good for the most part. The kobe burger was good, as was the creamless tomato soup. The afternoon tea service is great.
* The fitness center was nice (not as large as hotels like the Four Seasons, which have a Sports Club LA in them) but sufficient, and very well kept. There were only a couple of other people in there when I went to work out, so I got to use all the equipment I wanted without a problem.
* The desk in the room was good. I like a big desk when I travel for work. It gives me room to use my laptop, open up binders, and multitask. I was easily able to do that. I wish, though, that they would position it in a way that would allow you to take advantage of the views while you work. (See my comment below about how the bottom drawer should be used for a printer, not a fax).
* The bathroom was very nice. Good standup shower and nice bathtub that overlooks the city. Having a small TV screen next to the bath was great as well. Only complaint in that part of the room was that the stopper in one of the two sinks didn’t work and the water took a while to heat up.
* The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows. A+ in this department.
* When I arrived there were two gnats in my room. Not a big deal, but I was surprised. One of them was killed when it took a nose dive into my soup at lunch (which I had fortunately pretty much finished).
* The technology in the room is a bit outdated. True, there is the high tech control panel that you can use to change the lighting, TV channels, and air conditioning. On the other hand, there were no flat screen TVs in my living room or bedroom, no high definition or HDMI, no iPod radio, and the telephones (not portable) are old -- one of mine had to be replaced because it didn’t work properly. There’s a fax machine in the desk drawer, but quite frankly I don’t know of many people who use those very much – most communication is done by e-mail these days. The space would be better used by a printer. There’s a stereo in the living room, but it looks like something my father owned in 1980.
* Prices were RIDICULOUS! I expected to pay a decent amount of money because this is a top notch hotel, but some things were laughable -- $13 for a cappuccino to be delivered to my room. Two course meal for one person - $100 (no alcohol). Spa was outrageously overpriced.
* The room was not well insulated from the noise. I constantly heard sirens, car horns, and beeping noises from the street 11 floors below. I also heard when people above me were turning on their water.
* There was a horrible air freshener smell on my floor. It’s not throughout the whole hotel and I only traveled to my floor so I don’t know whether it was an issue with my floor or all floors but it was clearly a scent that was there on purpose.
The Peninsula hype I received before I arrived was a little too much. This is a nice hotel but I’ll probably try a different one next time I’m in Chicago. The service is excellent but the rooms are a bit dated, which results in some minor annoyances. More than anything else it is very overpriced. I realize that you pay a lot for a top flight hotel, and I'm willing to do that, but I think I probably could have paid less and received more at the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at Water Tower Park on the "Magnificent Mile," the city’s premier shopping district, The Peninsula Chicago is the city's most luxurious and sophisticated hotel, offering guests all possible amenities and services. The Peninsula Chicago is a proud recipient of the Five-Star, Five-Diamond Award, and was also recently awarded "#1 Large City Hotel In US And Canada" by readers of Travel + Leisure. The Peninsula Chicago's 339 luxurious guestrooms and suites are among the largest in the city and are exquisitely furnished in a contemporary yet classical style, with a state-of-the-art electronic system that provides guests the ability to control guestroom features with the touch of a button. At the top of The Peninsula Chicago, you’ll find the world-renowned Peninsula Spa. An intimate, indulgent environment featuring innovative spa treatments, gracious service and magnificent facilities including a half-Olympic length swimming pool on the 19th floor overlooking the Chicago skyline. With three distinctive restaurants and a bar, guests can choose from a diverse array of superb dining options. Shanghai Terrace is notable as much for its intensely flavored Shanghainese and Cantonese delicacies as for its matchless service and 1930s supper club atmosphere; The Lobby provides an incredible breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, live entertainment and delectable afternoon tea in elegant surroundings; The Bar offers a sophisticated menu of cocktails, port; and Pierrot Gourmet is a European-style cafe ideal for casual, light fare. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Peninsula Chicago Hotel Chicago
- Peninsula Chicago
- Chicago Peninsula