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Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Ranked #25 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 9, 2005

We stayed at the Chicago Sofitel Water Tower hotel from the 26th of October though October 30th. It really exceeded any expectations we had. We enjoyed our stay and we will recommend the Sofitel to everyone we know. From check in though check out your staff was wonderful! The room was beautiful. The view was outstanding. The room service was delicious. The bell men were wonderful and the staff at the desk could not have been more helpful.

Thanks everyone for making our stay so great. What else can I say but the Sofitel is Chicago’s best hotel and I hope to stay again in the near future.

7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,622 - 3,628 of 4,383 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2005

We're picky, but this hotel hit all the right notes for us: superb location, gorgeous new bathrooms, comfortable beds, really quiet rooms, fresh & modern decor, and french-pressed coffee for breakfast. Staff is well-trained but not overly friendly. Rooms aren't large but are clean, well appointed and efficient. The hotel bar can be over-crowded but has a sophisticated atmosphere and excellent bartenders. Walk one direction and you're in the middle of the Michigan Avenue bustle; walk the other direction and you'll find yourself in a pleasant, upscale neighborhood. There are numerous bars and restaurants within minutes of walking (including the cleanest McDonald's ever a block away). For upscale dining, try MK. We walked back from there. For $2.00 you can take the train from O'hare to the "Chicago" stop, transfer to bus #66 for a 10 minute ride to State Street, and walk 2 blocks. Can't wait to return. We like to stay at Four Seasons properties, but in Chicago, it's the Sofitel for us.

  • Stayed: October 2005, traveled on business
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12  Thank TulsaTraveler43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2005

Run to this hotel... It's an hotel like a home.
In a few times you won't have one of the nicest view of Chicago (The Hancock Building with the Michigan Lake) because there is a building in construction in front of the Sofitel that is going to hide all the view from the Hotel.
We were at the Sofitel Oct 14th-October 19th for the American Academy of Ophtalmology. We had a wonderful Deluxe Suite at the 30th Floor.
The Suite was very nice and the view was a real ++.
The bed was Good.
When we arrived there was a box of Lenôtre Chocolates.
And every nigh they gave us free bottle of Evian.
The bathroom was also nice, in marble, with bathrobes from Frette and bath amentities from Roger et Gallet which is common in France.
The only bad point on this suite was the closet which was very small (smaller than in the Deluxe Room). But when we told that to the front desk they bring us a mobile rack to hang the clothes.
We come from France with Rebecca (our little Shih-tzu) and there was a "Queen" Bowl of water waiting for her in the room (look at the photos...) and sweets for dogs.
It's just a pity that there is no pool in a new hotel like this one.
The bar of the Hotel was very cool and it was the place to meet the Chicagoans.
The Breakfast at Café des Architectes was also top.
The pastries were like the best in France
And nothing to say also about:
-the eggs benedict with bacon or crab cakes or just simple
-the omelettes
-the Belgian waffle
-the fruits
Just perfect!
The deco of the Sofitel is breathtaking.
The location is just one block from the magnificient mile (Water Tower Place, Bloomingdale's, Tiffany & co, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Apple Store, Nike Town, Nordstrom...) and two blocks from Oak Street (Prada, Tod's, Hermès, Diesel...)
...and walk away from the major interesting sites of the city.
The Check-in/out was with no wait.
The information of the Concierge (especially of Heather who spoke French) were very good for all sightseeings and restaurants.
The staff of the Sofitel is always with smile and ready for a lot of little attentions that makes your stay the most pleasant as it can be.

To End, if you go to the Sofitel you won't regret your choice.

18  Thank supersbsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2005

I booked the Sofitel for two nights, October 6-7, during the very busy Marathon weekend.
No marathon for me :) and I would not have picked a high priced weekend if I had known, but I had booked my airfare first to accomadate a work schedule. I don't mind the crowd so much as the high rate of $275/night, and that was WITH a corporate discount, else rack was over $350.
Anyway, I did think it was worth the higher rate because some of the other 2-3* hotels were at least $200. I traveled alone, for a pleasure trip away.

FROM AIRPORT: Booked a car service called American Chauffeurs for $42 with tax, one way, about 30 minutes. Taxi would have been about the same. Checked shuttle in advance which would have been about $25 one way but was worried about the longer wait time and drop offs at various hotels.

CHECK-IN: The bellmen were quick to bring my luggage in and wait for my check-in. It was right before the 3pm check in time and no issues. I had requested a higher floor which they gave me on 24th floor. The elevator was quick and quiet--ie did not hear rattling and movement if you had a room near it, because it is also setback a bit from the hallway, by design. Clean, sleek, dark, but you could tell right away it was new, modern, and sophisticated.
Many of the guests were European (I could hear Dutch, French) and I think there were a few conferences that day from the posting in hotel lobby, but this did not interfere--you could hardly notice because those areas were well concealed.

HOTEL LOCATION: Perfect, a block from John Hancock Observatory and the north end of Michigan Mag Mile. I shopped at Filene's, H&M, Marshall's, MaxMara, etc. Some designer bargains to be had at Filene's so look thoroughly.

DINING: Loved breakfast there at Sofitel's only restaurant, L'Architecte. It was about $15 for a selection of eggs with meats, and the best basket of french pastries and breads (chocolate croissants, baguette mini, danish, muffin/scone, etc). Or you could get waffles, crepes. Came with fresh squeezed juice and coffee in your own karafe/pot brewed individually. Great service!!! Did not try room service though.
I also ate at TEMPO's the diner a few doors down, which was ok, much cheaper (about $6-10). I had asparagus omelette there with coffee and toast for about $9 which was ok. But for $5 more, try Sofitel food! I did like the fact that Tempo is 24 hours so you can have much more there (sandwiches, etc) for cheap.
BISTRO 110: Walked there, around corner from Michigan , and food was good, nothing spectacular, other than the bread being served with full roasted garlic cloves. Had oysters as an appetizer, Artichoke dish, and tried the creme brulee for dessert, which is average. Moderate pricing, about $35 total.
GIORDANO's PIZZA: Ordered delivery to try a small deep dish, and calamari. Very good, very fast. About $20.
BELLA BACINO'S: Ordered delivery when I was at in the loop at Hotel71 (right next door) and while the thin pizza was decent, it would have been better if HOT or a bit more warm. The service was horrible. They forgot my order, I had cold calamari, and the desserts creme brulee and tiramisu were melting away. Promised delivery of 30 minutes and it took 2 hours plus two phone calls with the manager to ask when they left (response was always--15 minutes ago). All this for $30 and I can't recommend unless you dine in there I guess.
LE COLONIAL: Vietnamese, I thought, but it is definitely geared for Amer/French and if you are expecting the REAL deal, you will be disappointed. The salads were geared towards American tatses, like using lettuce greens vs. the true style of all julienned carrots and super thinly sliced cucumber mesh. Nice atmosphere--all business types when I was there and not a single Asian person except myself, so you know this is not home cooking when you don't see natives. The Pho was ok, missing the typical meat variation, and the thiet nhuong was served not in the typical rice noodle bowl fashion but on a plate on top of thin banh hoi. Very expensive at $50 for appetizer salad, main dish, and banana tapioca dessert.

BATHROOM, BED, ROOM: Clean, clean, clean! Spotless. Tub separate from shower. Nice water pressure.
The bed has the greatest fluffy pad and feather down duvet. It turned cold that weekend, like 45F at night and 55F daytime, so I had the heater on and it worked wonderfully. Always as hot as I wanted --no limit setting, like with other hotels who give you Warm and Cool, this has actual temperature settings.
Never heard much from anyone--the rooms were quiet, the doors didn't shut too loudly, and the views were good, with the large windows. The rooms seemed very small to me, but you don't expect so much space in a city. There was a separate lounge chair and desk area next to the king bed.
Turndown service included Evian water and temperature card.
Great modern safe to set your own code. I did not use the mini bar nor the internet this time.

STAFF: Easy checkout. Very professional people. At times, it did appear there were a lot of bellmen who could have helped some of the folks open the doors as they carted in their luggage...this did not happen to me but I did notice that as I sat in the lounge/lobby waiting for a friend one evening.
Mainly business people or those in their 30's and above. Everyone always smartly dressed. Few families here, or if they were here, I didn't notice any kids running around like you have at other hotels.

BAR: It was vey popular and busy, even late! It seemed people who were not staying at the hotel, also frequented this spot so it must be a gathering place for friends to have drinks. Nice ambience, and I did not try any of the appetizers here.

Other Attractions: I visited Art Institute, $12 admission and about $7 cab ride away. Also, Architectural boat tour with First Lady Co. for $25 and about $6 cab ride away. John Hancock was within walking distance of Sofitel, $10 admission and the best view!!

In summary, I would stay here again in a heartbeat, if I could get a discounted rate. Nothing super special that is a MUST SEE in this hotel, but so comfortable and enjoyable that I have to give 5 stars. I hope my details helped and that you can get a better rate!!

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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23  Thank halogen9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2005

Just returned from a 3 night stay at the Sofitel Water Tower. It's vibe is new, trendy and sophisticated with a French accent. Like at W Hotels, the bar spills over into the lobby at night with young professionals but security is excellent. Our room was comfortable with stylish furniture, art and expansive views of the city on the higher floors. Front desk staff and housekeeping were very helpful, especially with our early check-n even when the hotel was full the night before. The concierges, while helpful, seemed a bit aloof. The doormen were plentiful but never seemed to be there when you needed their help. Food at the Cafe des Artiste was excellent for dinner and breakfast (reasonable prices for a 5* hotel). Conveniently located 2 blocks from the subway. Had dinners at Alinea (very different and expesive) and MK (very good).

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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12  Thank hekili98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2005

Just 3 stars for this hotel which is "Neutral / Average" because compared to other hotels it's nothing really extra to write home about!

We chose the Sofitel based on reviews here and being #1 in the popularity index. We weren't disappointed but we weren't "WOWed" by any means! Having said that, by Chicago prices this hotel isn't so bad for what you get.

We chose the deluxe rooms where you pay a little extra for a higher floor and we were on the 28th. Good views over the city where we weren't overlooked by neighboring buildings. The room size was okay - I'm not sure how it compares with "non-deluxe", but we weren't in Chicago to spend all our time in the hotel! It had a chair with footrest so you could open up the blind on the very large window, sit back and look out over the views if you wanted to. There was also a desk where you could work, but unlike most hotels nowadays, internet connection was an additional $20 for the 3 nights we would be staying. This should be included in the price and not additional. There was enough hanging space, a safe, iron, TV etc, and of course the bed... One thing we were looking forward to was trying out the bed especially after reading all the reviews which mentioned the bed! So jumped onto the bed and.... what are all the reviews talking about!!!??? It may not seem like it but I'm not a hard critic but the bed was.... just a comfortable bed as I would expect in any hotel. No better, no worse.

Bathroom was large and clean. If you're going to stay in the room with a non-spouse, beware that the two "French window" style doors to the bathroom have a gap in the middle and no lock! So you may want to sing or whistle to remind the other person(s) you're in the bathroom! Shower was great, didn't use the bath. There is a volume control in the bathroom too where you can hear what is on the TV from a speaker under the sink unit.

Hotel was clean. Hotel valet parking was $37 a day additional - parking in Chicago is expensive wherever you go. Check in/out was quick and easy.

Overall, a nice and clean hotel but not a place where I'd say "Oooh - you MUST stay at the Sofitel if you go to Chicago!" I've had the experience of staying there now and it was nothing extraordinary, but next time in Chicago I'll be trying somewhere different.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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15  Thank MI2UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2005

The service is exellent but not pretentious. Everyone has a smile for you and is extremely friendly. We paid the extra for a room upgrade and the room was faultless. The only problem that an eldrely couple coud have is getting out of the bath after a long soak! No problem use the exellent shower. The restaurant has to be one of the best in Chicago and consequently can get quire full but is probably geared more to European tastes than American. Location is perfect.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank HydeparkerGuernseyCI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

Address: 20 East Chestnut St - Downtown, Chicago, IL 60611-2664 (Formerly Sofitel Chicago Water Tower)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Chicago
#9 Business Hotel in Chicago
#9 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#10 Family Hotel in Chicago
#21 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $145 - $402 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile 5*
Number of rooms: 415
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile bids you welcome with world-class downtown Chicago hotel accommodations - minutes from Michigan Avenue, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute, and trendy boutiques. Designed by the French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, our downtown Chicago Illinois hotel is a 32-floor prism of glass, boasting 415 rooms, including 33 luxurious suites. Embrace modern design and rich architectural legacy at this luxury hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel Chicago
Sofitel Chicago Water Hotel
Sofitel Water Tower Hotel Chicago
Chicago Sofitel

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