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“Superb in every category”

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The Peninsula Chicago
Ranked #3 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Kabul, Afghanistan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Superb in every category”
Reviewed September 2, 2009

I stayed for four nights in an Executive Suite at The Peninsula while visiting friends from my college days. This was my second stay at The Peninsula and it won't be my last. In addition to the stunning service and facilities, I was able to get a very decent rate under one of their summer specials.

My room was extremely spacious (see photos)--separate living room, entrance hallway, connecting hallway, etc. One of my favorite things about the Peninsula is the amount of room devoted to dressing--plenty of closet space, drawers, and mirrors. The sound-proofing was superb--windows open you could hear sirens and all the other sounds of the city, but once they were closed there was no sound from outside.

One of the most attractive things about this room was the bathtub with a window overlooking Michigan Avenue--I took baths just to be able to look through the window!

The technology is, if anything, over the top--I counted six telephones or equivalents (like the voice-operated one in the bathtub) in the suite, two televisions, a stereo system, and the Peninsula-standard electronic control systems (see photo)--on one morning when I slept in light and housekeeping knocked on the door (a long way from the bedroom) I just had to roll over and hit the "Privacy" button on the phone--a light turned on outside the room and that was it.

No complaints at all about this trip, but I do have two suggestions, both from The Berkeley in London--

1) The deck chairs on the sun roof outside often appeared occupied even though no-one was there--it would be worthwhile to clean these more frequently or to put up a sign asking people to clear away their belongings when they were done so that more people could enjoy the sun deck.

2) Shoes left overnight for polishing should be returned with temporary shoe trees.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Entscheidungsproblem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, IL
1 review
Reviewed September 1, 2009

Hands down the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in. The hotel is in a great location, the room was gorgeous and the public areas of the hotel are beautiful. The service is stellar. The hotel staff knows what you need before you even know yourself, but they do it in a way that is not "in your face" and too much. We went to the Bears game and the whole time I just wanted to get back to the hotel to enjoy the roof-top bar overlooking Michigan Ave. We finally made it back and the bar was awesome (not to be missed), and the staff treated us to complimentary champagne for my birthday. The next day I had lunch w/ a friend at the restaurant in the lobby and I mentioned to her that we were there celebrating my birthday (I don't even recall the waitress being w/in ear shot) but the next thing you know there is a birthday dessert served at the table. The waitress overheard me say we were there for my birthday. I cannot say enough about the wonderful hotel. I stayed at the Trump a couple of months later and let me tell you that it PALES in comparison to the Peninsula. Not even in the same league. If you can afford it, stay at this hotel when in Chicago. The Peninsula has won a regular client. Will be staying at the Peninsula in NYC soon, hope I am not dissappointed!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank krittert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
140 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2009

Always perfect. Period. One of my favorite hotels in the world.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SuitNflipflops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2009

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:

GOOD:
* 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.

BAD:
* 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.

CONCLUSION:
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.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aj74mia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germantown, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2009

This is a spectacular hotel. There isn't one thing I could complain about. The service, ammenities, location and room were all great.

It is very expensive but you get what you pay for. Flat screen in the room, iPod dock, free wi-fi, the most comfortable bed I've ever slept on and one of the best showers I've ever had in a room. Everything is first class.

I'm not sure I'd take kids here although there were some around. The pool is nice but mostly set up for lap swimming and there is a hot tub as well. Both are indoor.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brewer21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2009

I booked this trip at the last minute so naturally the rate was pretty high. I've read so many favorable comments about the Peninsula that I just had to check it out for myself. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The service I received from the moment I stepped in front of the hotel (greeted warmly by valet) until the day I departed was memorable. I am hooked. While there I visited the pool area and felt so relaxed I fell asleep in no time. The iced lemon water and iced strawberry water was a nice touch. Breakfast in the lobby restaurant was nice as well. I also visited the bar and received great service. The servers were friendly and offered great suggestions on where to view the fireworks. Fridays & Saturdays the hotel provides live jazz in the lobby area where you can enjoy cocktails and meals. The lighting was perfect for the setting. I must say the thing that I like the most was the control box that is placed on the nightstand. You can control the TV, the lights and the alarm clock. No more looking for the remote. I must get one for my bedroom. One other thing that I found favorable was the fact that the hotel places your newspaper in a small handled bag which is hung on the door knob. No more bending down to retrieve the newspaper. The money was well spent. I can hardly wait to return.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2broadway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
63 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2009

These comments are a year delayed; we stayed in Aug, 2008. Peninsula Chicago is by far the best luxury in Chicago -- perfect location, boutique-like stellar personal service, gorgeous spa, beautiful marble bathrooms in the rooms, traditional rooms with modern amenities and superb linens. Absolutely the best in five-star luxury in Chicago. NB: We viewed our friends' room at the Four Seasons Chicago and, while perfectly adequate for a hotel in general, for five-star, it seemed a bit stale and outdated; the common areas of the Four Seasons were unimpressive for "five star" -- if you're spending this kind of money, absolutely opt for the Peninsula vs. Four Seasons => no contest.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Peninsula Chicago

Property: The Peninsula Chicago
Address: 108 E Superior St, at North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2645
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Magnificent Mile , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#3 Business Hotel in Chicago
#3 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#3 Family Hotel in Chicago
#4 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Peninsula Chicago 5*
Number of rooms: 339
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

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