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“Still a classy place to stay!”

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The Drake, A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #84 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 25, 2009

Booked our stay at the Drake on Hotwire, so I didn't know we were staying here until after I'd paid (got an excellent deal, though - over 60% off the going discount rate). I was a bit skeptical about it after reading through the reviews, but thanks to you all, knew the potential pitfalls.

When we checked in, I asked for a room on a renovated floor. The clerk asked me if I wanted one bed or two, and I asked for one. As she's figuring out which room to put us in, she says, "Oh, well, you're not only getting a renovated room, you'll be the first people to stay in it." We also got upgraded to a lake view room. No complaints there! The front desk staff was very polite on the several occasions we visited them.

As stated in a lot of the other reviews, the concierge staff was extremely helpful as well. They booked our dinner reservation as well as helping us get two spa appointments at the same time on a Saturday morning with only a couple hour's notice!

My only complaint is about the parking - it's valet-only, and it's expensive. Just be aware of that if you're driving in. We stayed for one night, and the parking charge was $48! Your best bet would be to find a self-park garage in the area - realistically, you shouldn't pay more than $30 per day to park, so at the very least, you're saving almost $20, if not more.

Still, it's a great location, right on Michigan Avenue, near all the shopping, you're within walking distance of the Rush St. nightlife, and when the weather's nice, you're right across the street from the beach and the lakeshore. Definitely glad we stayed here. Would stay here again!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank spooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,640 - 3,646 of 4,030 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2009

We stayed here over the New Year period 2008/9 and experienced their New Year Ball, a lovely black tie event. The hotel service was excellent and the elegance and age was just what we hoped for. Its location is also superb for a stay in the city. We walked everywhere and no walk was too long.

Our room faced the front (South) which was fine if uninspiring though the rooms facing North offer spectacular views of the 'coast'. I found the hotels bar ordinary and expensive, there are better ones just around the corner! Try the 'Grill on The Alley' for a great meal and a wonderful bar.

I believe there is a major refurb planned for Feb 2009.

Stayed: December 2008
1  Thank Hambafrika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2009

The Drake is realy one of those timeless hotels. Even though it is dated in age, and now one of those chanes that tend to strip all personality from a hotel, The Drake Stands out. Its location is superb, right at the tip of lake michigan, and Michigan Ave. The food is great, somewhat pricy but the Cape cod room is worth it. The atmousphere is splendid. It was the first time I took my now fiance home from Ireland, and it was perfect. I can not compliment them more on the quality. I am in the hotel industry and I tend to be picky. I don't think this quite makes one of 'The worlds top' type hotels, but as far as a not about to spend a grand a night hotel, it is top of the league.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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Thank ChefRyans13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2009

Lavish, but not overdone, this hotel makes the average person feel like a member of royalty, if only for the night. Wide hallways and rich, elegant décor add to the charm and old world luxuriousness of this grand old hotel. Great dining and even good shopping choices make this one of Chicago’s most elegant palaces. I’ve stayed at the Palmer House and the Ritz Carlton. Both are great but The Drake tops them hands down.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled on business
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Thank ceeceerose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2008

We don't usually stay in the Gold Coast area when we are in Chicago and it has been many years since I have been to the Drake to stay. I had such fond memories and I guess I should have kept it that way. The hotel still has bits of its former glory that you can see through the slow decay. All the beautiful crown molding is still there and the lobby is as impressive as ever, the rooms are where the age becomes evident. Hilton has done work to the hotel and continues to do so but they are not going to win the battle with out a major overhaul. Our room was a Gold coast suite with 2 rooms, the average nightly cost for this room is $1,100. Amenities in that room include quite a few things we never had, some simple some pretty major; no bolster pillow, no complimentary beverage, no large arm chair with Ottoman, no turndown service at night, and no newspaper. There is a work area in the suites as well, however there are no light bulbs anywhere in the rooms over 60 watts so its hard to read anything. The hotel was also noisy, the doors are heavy and close hard so every time someone came or left we heard doors slamming. The staff used to be very accommodating but now they are all rather aloof with the exceptions of the maids that stand and chat in the hallways, they always said hello. Our suite had a bathroom with decor out of the 80s and shower mold that appears to have started in the 90s it was so thick. There was also a pop spill all down the wall by our mini fridge that was there when we checked in and was not cleaned up during our whole week stay. The bedroom of the suite and the bathroom also had the distinct smell of vomit which made me have to go buy a strong candle to keep in the room. I was so very disappointed, we will not be back to stay in the hotel again. I would recommend the restaurants however, they are wonderful.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank GitchSup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2008

I was looking to stay here on pleasure but thought I'd wait till experiencing on business given the relatively lower rating given the reputation of the hotel. I must say at Christmas time the hotel is beautifully decorated and majestic. The rooms are a bit outdated but it's a historic hotel. Carpet a bit dungy is my only complaint. Bedding and comfort are top notch. Service I find very good. I'd search for internet discount rate as this hotel is only worth 175 a night tops compared to what you'd find at Sofitel or Affinia for comparison of updated room and arguably better or same service.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled on business
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Thank BoilerSammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2008

My latest visit to this grande dame hotel allowed me to see first hand how the renovations are coming along. I had a junior suite on one of the revovated floors, and the results are fabulous. Everything brand new, but the old flavor of the hotel still remains. Our room had two very large flat screen tv's, great bath, completely restored woodwork detailing, and a tremendous view of Lake Michigan. All of the old details of the hotel were perfectly restored, allowing none of the old character to be lost. I do not know why anybody would stay any place else other than this place. The Palm Court was absolutely hopping on the weekend with great jazz music and dancing, and the timeless feel and elegance are just so palpable.

They are redoing one floor at a time, so make sure you ask for a room on one of the renovated ones.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled on business
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Thank pennsyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Drake, A Hilton 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
#52 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $125 - $389 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Drake, A Hilton 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, A Hilton 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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