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“Classy and refined”
Review of The Drake Hotel

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The Drake Hotel
Ranked #79 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Rockford, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Classy and refined”
Reviewed March 14, 2014

Even though it's an older hotel it still retains it's elegance and grace, it still has the feel of a fresh, clean and new place to stay. Newly renovated rooms are a big upgrade. Perfect location right on Michigan Avenue as well.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Swein1234731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RussellMenkes, General Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
"Classy and refined" are two words I love to see when reading the reviews for The Drake. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your observations. True, we are an older hotel but we do manage to renovate and upgrade every year. I was also pleased to read you enjoyed our wonderful location on the Mag Mile. We hope to see you again soon!

Russell Menkes
General Manager, The Drake Hotel
russell.menkes@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Muscatine, United States
1 review
Reviewed March 13, 2014

The hotel staff was friendly and helpful, but they are hotel staff and it was obvious that they didn't really care, they were just doing their jobs. All in all we do recommend this hotel. The rooms were clean and nicely decorated. I recommend that you eat somewhere else other than the Drake, the prices are very high, the food is not anything that you could not find anywhere else, nothing too special.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RussellMenkes, General Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review The Drake on TripAdvisor. I appreciate your recommendation and I was pleased to read you found our staff to be friendly and helpful and our rooms to be clean and nicely decorated. We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future! Thanks again.

Russell Menkes
General Manager, The Drake Hotel
russell.menkes@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, United States
1 review
Reviewed March 13, 2014

The Drake is a beautiful hotel in a great location on the Miracle Mile in Chicago. The people are friendly, the hotel is clean and it has so much character. It is a must stay if you are visiting Chicago.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Emma Stacey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

Having grown up in Chicago, and being a huge fan of the historic heritage of our city, I would strongly advise visitors against spending the money to do anything at the Drake Hotel.

If you're new to the city, you'll hear that the biggest draw to the Drake is the afternoon tea, a lovely setting in a beautiful room with decent food and decent service. I've heard from others that during the holidays the full ambiance is lacking (chipped plates & cups, etc.), but we didn't experience this in our most recent visit. Hence I give the Drake 2 stars (otherwise it would be a 1 star review).

Sadly, this hotel can only be rated as *poor* at best - due to the poor service at the Front Desk (from the weekend manager, no less). When we arrived for Sunday afternoon tea several weeks ago, my mother inquired as to the price for valet parking. We were told it was only $14 for hotel guests & visitors (including visitors to the tea room). When we finished our tea service, an hour and a half later, both my husband & I, as well as my mother, were charged $30 (the normal rate) for retrieval of our cars. My husband explained to the valet what had been relayed to us when we arrived, he directed my mother and my husband back to the tea room for validation of their parking tickets (which they received, no problem). But nothing was done to refund either my mother or us the difference in price. I complained and the valet gave me the name of the parking manager, with instructions to call him "later in the week."

I've been to the Drake on prior occasions (albeit that was over 10 years ago) and just assumed that the Queen's level of service standard - we in Chicago have come to expect, Princess Di did stay here after all - still remained. I was quite mistaken.

The first desk I approached for assistance was the Concierge desk, I didn't notice the sign or I wouldn't have stopped there with my complaint. He seemed confused by my story and referred me to Jared the weekend manager at the front desk.

I spoke to Jared, who was, frankly, neither a friendly face nor the approachable type one would expect from even a mediocre hotel front desk. He listen to my story and said he would speak to the valet. Five minutes later he return, with our valet and asked the valet to explain the process to me. Perplexed and frustrated, I asked why he would drag the valet back over to tell me what I'd already heard and relayed to him (Jared). That was meet with a bit of Ums and Ahs. And the final response he gave was to say that he didn't know what the valet was going to say. ???? At which point, I just had to ask again, to be certain, if Jared was indeed a manager (he said he was), I pointed out that nothing had been solved, nor had anyone offered so much as an apology for our inconvenience (or anything else) never mind a solution.

Jared took my name and daytime phone number.

And....

Nothing.

No refund. No follow through. No return call.

And, at the end of the day, it's not about the money. $15 or $16 is not the end of the world. It's about the service to value ratio. And that ratio is not aligned at the Drake anymore. I would be miffed by poor service anywhere, but I do have a bit of that "you get what you pay for" mentality - although I must say a run of the mill Marriott has service at a level 1000% beyond what the Drake is offering at its front desk.

The Drake Hotel is no longer the Drake Hotel (with a capital service). I received more empathetic and responsive service from a Hampton Inn.

If you're interested, just take a walk through the main lobby and get a feel for the history. Aside from that, for the price, you'd do much better at some of the other Gold Coast hotels where service is Job One (minus the afternoon tea, of course, but it's not worth shoddy service).

Did I mention there was a group at the front desk that was shorted a room while I was waiting?

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravelingMarketer201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RussellMenkes, General Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience, I appreciate the detailed nature of your response. Reading your review truly pained me, as I know that your experience fell below your valid expectations of The Drake. I can assure you that service is our top priority and it's regrettable that you faced any issues during your stay, let alone several. I'd appreciate the opporunity to make this right. Please, email me your TripAdvisor name and contact information and I will reach out at your earliest convenience.

Russell Menkes
General Manager, The Drake Hotel
russell.menkes@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vero Beach
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

A grand old lady in need of a facelift Parking at the hotel is overpriced with a LONG wait to get car The High Tea is Fabulous although the hotel needs more than that to rest it's laurels on and service would be a Fabulous place to start

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
1 Thank FabulousFace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RussellMenkes, General Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, March 13, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your observations on TripAdvisor. I'm so pleased you enjoyed tea in The Drake's historic Palm Court. I can assure you, we would never be so bold as to rest on our laurels, we are always updating and improving the property to make sure that our guests experience the best service and ambiance. We look forward to seeing you again soon for another fabulous time!

Russell Menkes
General Manager, The Drake Hotel
russell.menkes@hilton.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, United States
1 review
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We had a great time. The fantasy is always to have a night stay at the Drake! We finally did it and we are looking forward to a repeat. The staff was great! From the Valets to the check in desk to check out! Can't wait to come back

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Gail G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Level 4 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

If you are looking for some yesteryear hospitality, the Drake Hotel serves it up right. Everything was perfect in an imperfect way. First, the hotel was built in 1920 and one can see that, but that is part of the allure. I had a Junior Suite and it was clean, comfortable, and spacious with a great view of the ice covered Lake Michigan. However, due to its age, there is some marred trim and wall paper. I didn't let something so minor ruin my stay. I embraced its character. The service staff was on top of their profession and I was always treated as an honored guest. Of note, was the live entertainment in the Palm Court. Extraordinarily fun! I will return to this glorious hotel in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room over looking Lake Michigan above the 4th floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank RetiredPawn
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
#50 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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