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“fabulous birthday break”
Review of The Drake Hotel

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The Drake Hotel
Ranked #78 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Cullercoats, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“fabulous birthday break”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We travelled to Chicago for my husbands birthday and booked the Drake because of the history of the property - it did not dissapoint we were in room 526 it was huge and had stunning views. We did have to ask to get our room serviced after our first night but I think that was just due to one team member rather than a true reflection of service because it was rectified quickly all other aspects of our stay and housekeeping after that was 5 star all the way Its a fantastic location in a great city, I just hope I'll be back there soon!

Room Tip: pay that little bit more for a lake view room - its worth it!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sarah b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed one night and loved the location, close to American Girl Place where we had brunch, and the John Hancock observatory. Self parking was a short distance away, but a very easy walk even with two small children. We had a king room which was perfect, and a second family 2 queen room. It was huge and had two bathrooms. One of the rooms was not ready when we arrived, and the housekeeping staff went out of their way to get it ready for us. All of the staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful. The hotel was decorated for Christmas and the lobby is beautiful. The rooms we were in were updated and clean, and very comfortable. We did hear noise in the adjoining room until about 10:30 p.m and then it was very quiet. Our rooms faced another building, but we could see the lake if we looked out of the side of the window. We loved the hotel, and got a great government rate, so would definitely consider returning.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank jolily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We were lucky enough to get a complimentary night at the Drake. It was an all-round excellent trip. Booking was prompt and easy, check in was warm and efficient, and our upgrade to a deluxe lake-front room was amazing! It was extremely spacious, spotless and furnished with a beautiful mix of old and new furniture. We had an excellent sleep in a super-comfy king sized bed, with a cozy doona and lots of feather pillows. The common areas of the Drake - halls, elevators and lobby were charming and really beautifully maintained. Combined with the brilliant location, just a couple of minute's walk from restaurants, bars, the Hancock Tower and lake, I would highly recommend. (One thing to note - unusual in modern hotels these days - is the fact internet/wireless cost extra. Not an issue for us on this visit, but might be for business travellers.)

Room Tip: Might be worth asking for a lake view - beautiful Chicago scenery!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HelenMMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skokie, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

1. We did not know what to do on this New Year eve. One of our friends recommended Drake. I and my wife decided to stay in Drake on New Year’s Eve. Getting a room was not a problem. Problems started when I tried to find out which restaurant we should have reservation to. There are four restaurants and bars in the hotel. Which one is having New Year party for our age? There was party for younger generation too. I spent 3 days on it. Website is not very helpful. Front desk and operator also did not help me. I did one wrong reservation, than I cancelled it. After all I had reservation for $330 per couple in Palms Court. Then I received a call - party starts not at 8:30 by the online information, but 9:30pm.
2. We came in the middle of the day and get into junior suite. Room was spacious, well maintained even so Drake has an age. Thermostat was set up on 65 so I raised temperature to 70, to 72 but room was still cool. I called to front desk: they did not know how to warm room, but offer me visit from engineer. After I insisted against a visit, engineer calls me and explain me that that the thermostat temperature must at list 74-75 to make room warm. I lowered all curtains on 5 windows to keep room warmer it was cold night, windows were quite cold. The door to another room was absolutely incapable to keep noise out. I heard every word when people spoke behind door, literally. The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows, sheets were also absolutely clean. After watching TV serial about cleanliness in hotels, my wife knows how to check.
3. Than we decided to eat something and went down. We had more time to look around, I think hotel is gorgeous. As other people put it: The beauty and grandeur of the lobby as well as history of the hotel is spectacular. From the moment you enter this icon of a hotel, you are blown away by the grandeur and beauty.
4. My wife wanted to eat in Palm Court. It was Tea time. However we were stop by the female from hotel personnel, she said the restaurant closed before party. It was 3:30pm. So we ended in Cote D'or bar. The service was good but food was just ok, well this is not a restaurant.
5. Right after I went to concierge I guess, there was no sign. I tried to make reservation in Palm Court on Tea time for next day. However gentleman received a few times answer no; even he was changing time three times. Finally he said; come back tomorrow I will sit you in. Then I look on stand right in front of Palm Court and realize that 3:30 was a good time to enter this restaurant, because last sitting was at 4pm and restaurant was closing only at 6pm before party. I was literally upset. I tried to talk about it with female standing next to concierge desk, but realize - she do not understand English very well.
6. The party with live band was good, decorations beautiful. Only food menu was very limited, I eat only vegetables because I don’t eat meet anymore.
7. Next day I tried to reserve Palm Court again without success. I went down to get a car, but my wife did not follow and I start worrying where she is. She came down with the smile and reservation to Palm Court; I told them that we are traveled here from Alaska.
8. To my surprise restaurant was at list half empty. Also there was another entrance to restaurant we were not aware about. Other people were simply entering restaurant, if I’m not wrong. Food was interesting because everything was a petit size. Plates were served on high racks with choice of different teas. May be we were denied because restaurant had not enough personnel.
9. Also there was no bellman to leave our small luggage, at the desk to enter restaurant, so we had to call our car.
10. After all I don’t think I will stay in Drake again or recommend to somebody else. May be visit a restaurant someday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Oleg V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orchard Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

After three great experiences at the Chicago Conrad, a friend advised me to try the Drake. After staying there between Christmas and New Year's Day for one night, I wished I hadn't listened. As this is an older property, I understand there are some limitations, but time truly has passed the Drake for businessmen and women who require a one or two night stay. Here's why: 1) Self-parking was untenable in that it was two long, and I mean long blocks away. Walking with a computer briefcase/satchel and 20" rollaway was not safe, given the traffic in the area between the hotel and the 900 parking structure. Even if it were 70 degrees and not the 15 degree weather I experienced, self-parking should be better, like the Conrad; 2) the room I was upgraded to had the ambiance of a three star property, such as an older Doubletree or Hilton. Size-wise, the bathroom was a poor excuse for a property as formerly formidable as the Drake. The toilet paper was positioned just below the towels and the size was the smallest I can recall in my 45 years of staying in hotels. Conversely, the closet was plenty spacious as it was a walk-in closet with a safe. Also, the lighting of the room cheapened it as the stark blue/white hue which emanated from the compact florescent bulbs just makes the room feel cold and uninviting; 3) When checking in, I asked for a room facing or partially facing the lake. The front desk agent said none were available, but that he could put me in a room that was a junior suite, but would not be ready for 45 minutes to an hour. I declined, because I started to get the feeling that the 45 minutes or hour could lead to 1-1/2 to 2 hours; 4) the room was noisy in that I was awakened by my neighbors at about 4:00 a.m. Clearly, the walls are rather thin, or at least lack some soundproofing; 5) the furniture and look of the room was dated and just didn't measure up to the era from which it sprang in the 1920's. I've stayed in older hotels, such as the New Sheridan in Telluride, CO and the rooms there rang with authenticity. The Drake room lacked authenticity; 6) Also at check-in, I told the young man I would be leaving between 6 and 6:30 a.m., and then asked if breakfast was included since I was a Diamond level Hilton Honors member. He said breakfast would be available in the executive lounge. What he failed to tell me was that the lounge would not open until 7:00 a.m., and thus I did not have the chance for a breakfast. Since I had a 5 hour drive ahead of me, breakfast is pretty important. The least he should have done or the hotel provide would be a breakfast on the run, like the Conrad does for guests who check out before service is provided; 7) When I came down to the main level from the locked executive room, I noticed a man who I thought to be either a bell hop or valet or maybe a guest sitting on one of the 12 or so steps leading to the street level. I then went to the front desk to have them contact valet to get my car. After two phone calls and no answer, I told the front desk person about the man I'd seen on the steps, so he came out from behind the desk and said he was the valet on duty. Except he was not near the phone which is why he did not answer. 12 minutes later, he drove up with the car. At 6:35 in the morning with no traffic or other guest waiting for their car. Essentially, it took 20 minutes for what should have taken five to 10, given the circumstances.

Despite all of the aforementioned short comings, the bed itself was very comfortable, as were the pillows, so expect for the neighbors 4 a.m. noise and merriment, I slept pretty well. Which is the only basis for rating this hotel a '2'. If management cares, they need to take steps to implement the necessary changes to make this a true four star hotel. Many of my issues can be resolved for future guests at minimal costs to the hotel. It should not continue to rely on a reputation built on having a bar famous for being the haunts of formerly famous dead people that most people under 50 likely never heard of.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WBLaker1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

From the bellman to the bartenders, the front desk and concierge, they treated us with class and respect. The beauty and grandeur of the lobby is spectacular. The cote d'or bar was bustling with people and had the warmth of an old pub. We ended ups here both nights because the atmosphere is so inviting. The best part about our guest room is that it had 2 full bathrooms! That in itself is worth every penny. Only 1 closet though and it's in the bathroom. Minor detail. King bed was comfortable but pillows were very lumpy. I would definitely return to this hotel and loved the location.

Room Tip: Overlooking the lake would be a real plus.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jcl813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Logansport, Louisiana
Level Contributor
96 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I stayed during the Christmas holiday break. From the moment I arrived to my picking up my car from the valet, my stay was excellent. The beauty, grandeur and history of the hotel created a magical stay. I was treated like I was the only guest at the hotel. My requests for turn down service, bell hop, valet were all taken care of immediately. The room was very spacious and comfortable. The bed and bedding were very comfortable and cozy. Location was perfect for walking to shopping and dining. Loved the idea of the flower shop in the hotel. The Christmas decorations centered on the nut crackers, which I love, added a personal touch and feeling.

Room Tip: There is a fee for valet parking.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dejimita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Drake Hotel

Property: The Drake Hotel
Address: 140 E. Walton Place, Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL 60611-1501
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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#35 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#39 Family Hotel in Chicago
#49 Business Hotel in Chicago
#49 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Drake Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 535
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No other Chicago hotel has inspired more legendary acclaim on par with The Drake. This timeless property affords guests easy access to the city's most exclusive shopping, nightlife and dining.A fully equipped fitness/wellness center, business center and meeting rooms are available (surcharge). The stunning Gold Coast Room can accommodate 600 guests.Afternoon Tea at The Drake Hotel is as Chicago as a hot dog at Wrigley Field or a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. High society has always recognized The Drake Hotel as the quintessential social hotspot. Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth and the Empress of Japan have all been seen in the Palm Court.Though The Drake has progressed both architecturally and technologically over the past 93 years, the roots of The Drake Hotel run deep beneath Lake Shore Drive into Real Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Drake Hotel Chicago
Hilton Hotels Chicago
Chicago Drake Hotel
Drake Hotel Chicago

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