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“Beautiful hotel resting on its laurels” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Drake Hotel

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The Drake Hotel
Ranked #78 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Chapel Hill, NC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful hotel resting on its laurels”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2009

As a Hilton Gold VIP HHonors member for the past few years, I generally have been very happy with the serivice I have received from the various Hilton hotels in Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C, and San Diego. I was looking forward to staying at the Drake; we had visited the hotel in the past for dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, after my recent stay, I doubt I will go back again. We travel there at least 4 - 5 times a year, so we've stayed at several comparable hotels and know that Chicago has many other options.

The Pros
1. Wonderful location! You are a close walk to Mag Mile, Gold coast, and River North shopping and dining. Lincoln Park is a short (~10-15 minute $8.00 cab ride) drive away. The Oak Street Beach is within walking distance for running.
2. Terrific conference/catering services: The food and service was wonderful during our meeting. The staff in catering was professional and very accomodating; this further highlighted the discrepancies in service in all other areas (please see below). I definitely would return to the Drake/recommend it to others for their meeting/catering facilities.
3. Beautiful lobby, bar, and dining areas: bar/restaurant staff professional and prompt.
4. Heavenly Beds and linens were extremely comfortable--some of the best hotel beds I have slept in recent memory! LaSource bath amenities also are very nice. Room was very clean, althought the carpet/upholstery was a bit worn.

The Cons:
1. As a Gold VIP HHonors member, I requested an upgrade. I have never had issues with this request (which is a part of being a member) at other hotels (i.e. Hilton Gaslamp San Diego, Chicago Conrad, Millenium Hilton NYC -- terrific service in this regard!). I was told that I could not be upgraded to an Executive level room because "they were not available" (yet other folks in our conference party who were not HHonors members did get rooms on the Executive floors). In addition, since I didn't require a complimentary breakfast, I asked (twice) if there was any way I could receive complimentary internet instead. I was told this was not possible unless I "downgraded" my room (which seemed unreasonable, since the room I was in was on a lower floor -- 4th floor -- with only a partial lake view but a great view of the heating vents). I was told I could speak with Hilton HHonors customer service. The customer service representative contacted the manager (Tom Thomas), but I never received the courtesy of a response. I really would have liked to opportunity to make what I thought was a small request (free internet versus an executive floor upgrade).
2. Cleaning staff: On two consecutive mornings, the cleaning staff entered my room ~ 9 AM without checking to see if I was still there. Luckily, I am an early riser.
3. Front desk staff seemed professional enough but clearly not particularly warm/ amenable to moving beyond the cursory motions of helping (see above). They also made an error of charging me for a mini-bar item when I had not taken anything from it. They reluctantly removed the charge.

Overall, the Drake has many great qualities. It is a beautiful hotel in a great location with wonderful facilities and a terrific catering staff. in addition, the rooms are clean and the beds are terrific. Unfortunately, the front desk staff, lack of response from the General Manager despite my attempts to contact him, and the lack of basic courtesies (as a Hilton HHonors member) left me a bit perturbed. I do hope that the Drake can rectifiy these issues. Until they do, I would look elsewhere first at other hotels in the area (i.e. Hotel Burnham or Monaco, Hotel Intercontinental Historic tower, Swissotel, Conrad).

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank txnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thedrakechicago, Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, August 13, 2009
Dear Trip Advisor, thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay at The Drake. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed the hotel's meeting and catering services as well as our guestroom cleanliness, beds and amenities. As I believe you will agree from the majority of our reviews we exceed our guests' expectations in terms of our service and product. Also, as you noted, The Drake is ideally located in the city. It was, however, very concerning to read about the diffuclties you experienced during your stay and you can be assured these will be addressed. I am not certain who the customer service representative was who indicated they contacted the General Manager but unfortunately I was not aware of the problems you were facing. I regret one of our Assistant Managers who are on duty 24 hours a day were not able to assist you. Please feel free to contact me directly by email with the details of your stay so that I may follow up internally as to the issues you reported. (tom.thomas@hilton.com) Thank you. Tom Thomas, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Dallas, Tx
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2009

The Drake really has it all - you're across the street from Oak Street beach, can walk to many great rstaurants, John Hancock is 2 blocks away.

Service was impeccable, room was very nice - paid extra for a Lakeview, the lobby & restaurants were all so grand.

Thought also quite economical - considering all you received.

Look forward to staying again.

It was a 10.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cubfanforever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2009

A group of us stayed at the Drake Hotel over a weekend in April. It is a great historic hotel. If you stay here, you should be because you like historic hotels, not because you want ultra modern. The rooms are nicely appointed, but you can tell it is a historic hotel. The lobby is beautiful and has some interesting nooks and crannies. The breakfast brunch buffet is also very good and a decent value. The location is also great, making it an easy walk to get anywhere in the city. I would stay here again the next time I am in Chicago.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GregK1239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south carolina
Level Contributor
49 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2009

This was a wonderful hotel! The rooms were well appointed and very comfortable! The location at the beginning of the magnificent mile was perfect. We were able to walk everywhere. This hotel was everything we hoped it to be! We ate at Gibsons and it was the best steak we ever had!!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank suehhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keokuk, Iowa
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2009

This is the "fanciest" hotel that I have ever stayed in and I was expecting much more. I was told that all the bathrooms had seperate tubs and showers, but when I got there, that was not the case. I paid for a king room with a small sitting area and they were not kidding when they said small. It was actually one chair and a small table in front of the window. Nothing special. The bed was the best thing about the room, but there weren't any sheets to sleep under. Just the comforter. No phonebook in the room, no pool, no free breakfast, and the prices for the mini bar were outrageous. I mean really, $3.50 for a snickers? My sister in law paid $6.00 for an individual kid size box of cereal and some milk. The self-parking was full so we had to park down the street in another parking garage which ended up being cheaper. Basically we paid for the bed and the name. When my parents went to Chicago they stayed at the Holday Inn and had better reviews. Unless you are just looking for a good nights sleep, I would not recommend this hotel for the money. Also, they did not offer us any transportation suggestions except when we asked about the red line. They told us that it was seven blocks away and gave us a map of how to get there. The Holiday Inn offered to shuttle my parents to the Navy Pier when they asked about it. One more thing, we got stuck in a room that was $188 a night with the ice maker right outside in the hallway and the rooms have metal ice buckets. Let's just say, they tend to make more noise when the ice is dropping compared to a plastic bucket.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank unsatisfiedwithDrake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thedrakechicago, Manager at The Drake Hotel, responded to this review, July 31, 2009
Dear Trip Advisor: Thank you for taking the time to write your review. We sincerely apologize for any misinformation or lack of service you received during your stay. The Drake has long been known for providing outstanding service to our guests, and we regret the hotel did not meet your expectations. If you have an opportunity to return to Chicago and The Drake, please contact me directly, and I will ensure you have a most enjoyable stay with us. Tom Thomas, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2009

Grande old dame of Chicago -- my favorite hotel, lovely staff, impeccable, brilliant foodstuffs, all in all one of the best in the nation.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank thirdplanetexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
334 reviews
301 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2009

If you can - stay at the Drake. This place can be expensive but I got a good price and I am glad that I did. The hotel is just amazing inside. You will feel like you have walked into a different era when you enter. The rooms are smallish but normal for Chicago. The service is spectacular - this is the standard against which other hotels should be judged. Bottom line - if you can get a good price stay here. If you can't get a good price but everything in Chicago is expensive then stay here and at least enjoy the cost. If you can't stay here, then stop by and walk through the lobby so that next time you visit you will know where to stay.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sbccc
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 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#49 Business 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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