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“Excellent” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Peninsula Chicago

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The Peninsula Chicago
Ranked #3 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2006

Stayed in a Juior Suite with my three kids in early November, four day weekend. Beautiful suite, if a bit small for four people. The much praised bathroom was a hit with the kids (they spent most of the first hour watching TV in the tub), but I found it a little cramped and the slight lack of privacy for the toilet was a bit of a pain for the four of us.

Kids liked the high tech room, but I couldn’t get the thermostat to keep the room cool enough without being too cold. The bed was very comfortable. Wireless internet, unlike, I think, the Ritz.

Location just off Michigan Avenue was nice, but views were plain. A nice look at the Walgreens/residential tower across the street. A sliver of beach & waves available. Too low to see far, but couldn’t watch the street traffic because our room was set back.

Excellent service, mostly. On the second night, they hadn’t brought our rollaway when we returned around 11:00 and we had to wait almost 45 minutes for it to be setup. Excellent room service, everyone liked their food. Shanghai Terrace was great for lunch. Nice fitness center and pool, though the hot tub was too hot -- another guest agreed. Great free snacks for kids.

Price was comparable to a Ritz or Four Seasons suite, though I think perhaps a bit smaller without as nice a view. Overall, I think I slightly prefer the Ritz, but the kids liked the Peninsula better and I won’t veto if I get outvoted.

  • Liked — Overall room/service quality
  • Disliked — Views
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Wilson7444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (232)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
NJ
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2006

Spent 3 nights with my family of 6, including 4 children ages 9 to 16, and all I can say is wow.

My husband and I are well-traveled New Yorkers and we were impressed with just about every part of the experience. The only hotels that come close in our experience are the Oberoi's we stayed in in India. The Peninsula offered prompt, courteous, professional and highly competent service throughout, in a serene and elegant setting. We would stay there again in a heartbeat.

When we arrived we found we'd been upgraded to the Topaz Suite and it was stunning. Quiet, immaculate, tastefully decorated, with a kitchenette, dining area big enough for all of us, lovely bathrooms, etc. There were fresh orchid and other flower arrangements in every room. Complimentary champagne, chocolates and other treats for the kids were very much appreciated. And the rooms had wonderful views of the water tower, lake and Michigan Avenue.

The concierge and front desk were extremely helpful. We were allowed a late checkout at 5:30pm, which was great.

Room service was excellent, always arriving within 30 minutes, and the food was fantastic. I mean, really really good.

We also enjoyed the Chinese restaurant downstairs. Not your ordinary Chinese restaurant, the food seemed more interesting and authentic than the usual fare.

The only thing that was even close to a disappointment was the lobby restaurant. The chocolate buffet was probably not worth the cost, unless you take the live music into account, which on the night we were there was an excellent small jazz group with a fantastic vocalist. Might have been better to just have a drink and skip the buffet.

At the other end of the spectrum was the Sunday brunch buffet. This was truly outstanding, with more choices of foods, of the highest caliber, than I've ever seen at a Sunday brunch. This was one of the high points of our stay.

The kids loved the pool and hot tub. My husband and I fell in love with the fitness center. I'm partial to working out, if not outdoors, then in a room with big windows, and the fitness center really delivered, with excellent machines facing huge windows on the 20th floor.

The location of the hotel is great as well. We'd definitely go back, but maybe next time for a romantic weekend by ourselves . . .

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — Chocolate buffet
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank watering_can
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2006

Stayed at the Peninsula for two nights (Saturday and Sunday) while in Chicago for a wedding (held at the Peninsula). As wedding guests we received a discounted rate for our room and I'm not sure to which room category it belonged. We had two king beds.

The Peninsula reminded me of a well-oiled machine, like a luxury car. The place is big enough to feel anonymous but the service is excellent when you need it to be. The check-in staff at the Front Desk disappointed (knew nothing about the wedding, could not tell us about a scheduled bus journey for wedding guests leaving from the hotel, etc) but everyone else from housekeeping to bell staff to the doormen were friendly and efficient. Smooth is the word that kept coming to mind.

The decor is bland but restful. My partner found the room control system (varying degrees of light, heat and entertainment at your fingertips by the bedside) to be confusing. If you're not technically inclined, ask the bell person who brings your luggage up to show you how to work the lights. For the rest of us, it's pretty neat. I liked being able to darken the bedroom while keeping the entryway slightly lit for my partner the night I went to bed early. The ambiance lighting worked a treat.

Bathroom was fantastic, as per everyone else's review. And ours didn't even have a window, so no view from the bathtub. It was still one of the best hotel bathrooms I've seen -- separate stand up shower from a huge soaking bathtub, towels galore, not just two sinks but two separate vanities complete with toiletries and mirrors. Cue more of that ambiance lighting for a long soak in the tub (I didn't avail myself of the television though).

If you're wondering whether or not the Peninsula is "worth" the extra money, I would say it depends on what you value and the purpose of your trip. Some people just want the cheapest place in which to hang their hat, so to speak. Other people care about the concierge's ability to secure tickets and restaurant bookings.

Personally, I value comfortable beds, good storage and closet space for hanging up my clothes and intelligent, verging on indulgent, bathrooms. The Peninsula fit my bill for this particular visit at this particular time though I would consider staying there again in the future if I needed to be in downtown Chicago.

  • Liked — The fantastic, adjustable, lighting system even in the bathroom.
  • Disliked — Having to negotiate two elevator banks; the check-in staff
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid checking in at peak times
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank fourquartets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Level Contributor
502 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2006

Yes, The Peninsula offers a very personal touch to staying at a hotel but we were not "wowed" by our overall experience.

After checking in, we arrived in our room and were greeted by mood lighting and soft music, about 30 minutes later, we received a complimentary plate of fruit for our first time staying here.

Our Superior King Guestroom was nice and inviting but nothing we haven't had before at other hotels.

We did not use the spa, but we did use their workout room. It offers a great view (from the treadmills) looking out towards Lake Michigan or Michigan Avenue and a small assortment of weight machines. Headsets and bottled water are also available. The rooftop lounge area only has enough chairs for about 10 people so get your seat early if you want to soak up the sun.

The chocolate buffet on Saturday night offers a large table full of chocolate treats, but we found most of them dry and bland. Hardly worth the $30+ per person.

We booked this hotel for a weekend getaway and enjoyed the location, but we will not be returning next year.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Chocolate buffet
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank IA_Hawks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2006

If you have the money to spend on a top notch, 5 star hotel in the loop of Chicago, look no further than the Peninsula. The bellmen in the front were very courteous. The room was excellent -- defiinitely the best we've stayed in.

If I have a complaint, it was with the front desk. They fell through on a couple of tasks. Other than those things at the front desk, this hotel is a 10+.

  • Liked — Attention to details
  • Disliked — Check in staff
  • Tips/Secrets — Get a suite if you can afford it
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank usagary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo
Level Contributor
80 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2006

While the views don't match the Four Seasons or Park Hyatt, the Peninsula rooms are superior, close to flawless and very quiet. No sounds from adjacent rooms and street noise almost completely muffled. The rooms, dressing area and bath are spacious--at least in the Grand Deluxe. Separate shower in bright marble bath. Impeccable service in all regards. Superb location. This was my 3rd or 4th annual stay and i continue to consider this my favorite hotel in Chicago.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank Tipster2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2006

I have to disagree with the previous post about the Peninsula being unfriendly toward African Americans. I took my husband there in August as a birthday surprise and I am still recovering from the extreme pampering and luxury. The staff was very accomodating, and everyone went out of their way to make sure we had an enjoyable stay. My husband and I, who are both African American, checked into the Peninsula at around 1:30 in the afternoon. Not only was our room ready, we were also offered a complimentary room upgrade. The room was unlike anything I had ever experienced. We had tea in the Lobby that afternoon. Everything was delicious and the service was impeccable. We were seated immediately, and the wait staff was attentive. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. As a matter of fact, there was a table with about 10 African American women having tea right next to us. Later that night my husband and I wanted dinner from Grand Lux Cafe, but we were too lazy to walk there. I called the concierge and she sent someone out to pick up our food for us and deliver it to our room. I didn't see or experience any discrimination at all during my stay, and I plan to go back often.

  • Stayed August 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank MidnightMarauder21
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 East Superior Street, at North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
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 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#3 Family Hotel in Chicago
#3 Business 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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