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“Drake the snake”

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The Drake, A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #84 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 27, 2006

Having worked in Chicago years ago, I was really looking forward to returning. However, my experience at the Drake was less than satisfactory. We arrived on 14th (Valentines day) to be greeted by a very unfriendly check in staff member.
1. When I booked, the website mentioned that there was a pool..... there wasn't any pool in the hotel at all...instead one accross the road.
2. We booked bounceback rate which included a buffet breakfast... guess what.. there wasnt any buffet breakfast during the week at all...only at weekends.
3. Overall, the staff were aloof and unsympathetic to our concerns.
Will not be returning to the Drake.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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4  Thank SeanGaillimh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,782 - 3,788 of 4,022 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2006

Saved up my dollars and was really looking forward to some old world elegance and charm at The Drake. I'm sorry to say I was sorely disappointed. Yes the lobby, the bar and the elevator areas are absolutely stunning in terms of decor but that's about as old world charm-y as it gets. I had booked in November for a 3 night stay in Feb, $180 per night is not to be sniffed at and having reserved a "king room deluxe" I was expecting something relatively posh - I got a bog standard hotel room with some fancy lighting. The mattress was hard, the water in the shower all mornings was luke warm at best, cold at worst. Clearly the hotel gets v busy at the weekends, so on my second night I had guests in rooms either side of me and in one case I could hear what these people were saying and what TV channel they were watching. Not so much fun at 4am when they arrive back from their night out. On my last morning before departure I needn't have bothered organizing an alarm call - drilling and hammering started directly beneath my room at 8:30am sharp.
I have to say the staff at the Drake were extremely friendly and courteous but the service levels are very poor. Its really annoying when you get all excited about a hotel stay which falls far short of your expectations. Also the room service was extortionate - how on EARTH is a seafood salad, a side of fries and a bottle of average red wine $100??

  • Stayed: February 2006
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8  Thank ReginaFillangie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2006

This is a heads up for all those planning travel to Chicago. Busy professionals often need to change their travel plans. Those who, like me, occasionally find themselves in this situation should be aware that the Drake Hotel now charges the full rate to one's credit card months in advance of the planned visit, and then refuses to refund any of the amount if a cancellation is necessary. This policy is mentioned in the fine print at the bottom of the reservation confirmation, and is not announced on the phone at the time the reservation is made. Busy travellers should band together and refuse to patronize any hotel that follows such an inflexible, and frankly, confiscatory, reservation policy.

18  Thank scullycasey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2006

We stayed at the Drake for one night on January 20, 2006. Having recently moved from Chicago to Arizona and back visiting family, we had one "kid-free" night to enjoy downtown. After checking rates, we found the Drake for $139+tax on a Friday night - a great deal, given the location and the fact that other hotels in the area - Four Seasons, Ritz, Park Hyatt, Peninsula - are in the $300-$500/nt range. After reading the reviews and knowing a bit of the Drake's past, we expected a grande dame, but showing a bit of her age.

Well, she does, but don't let it discourage you. First, the hotel exudes old world charm of a bygone era - from the beautiful lobby with it's enormous floral display (being replaced when we arrived with an abundance of lillies, reminding us of our wedding day) to the classic fountain in the Palm Court, to the classic furnishing in the rooms.

As for the room, we showed our Hilton Honors card (sign up online before you stay), and were rewarded with an automatic upgrade to a deluxe room with a sitting area. We asked, and we were told that the room would face the Drake Tower. In other words, a view of a brick wall. We instead used the "upgrade" for a standard room with a lake view, and were given a beautifully appointed, traditional room looking out over Lake Shore Drive and Oak Street Beach. The night we stayed there, it snowed a magnificent 4-5 inches of heavy, wet snow, clinging to the tree branches and light posts, and the view was truly wonderful.

The bed was comfortable, with lots of down pillows and a comfortable duvet. The only downside - no flat sheet. As a traveler wary of hotel bedspreads/comforters (having seen too many Datelines on the subject), it was a little unneverving, but the linens were crisp, blindingly white, and appeared to be new, so no hesitatation. The bathroom is also a bit of the older type, but good water pressure, standard Gilchrest & Soames products, and perfectly cleaned (not a streak on the mirrors or polished granite floor tile).

Another bonus of signing up for the Hilton Honors program was the free breakfast vouchers for the Drake Bros. restaurant. Skip the buffet - we ordered off the menu and it was delicious (scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on an english muffin and lox and bagels with fresh tomato slices, ripe red onion, and abundance of fresh, deliciously salty capers). We expected to be charged for the fresh squeezed OJ and coffee we ordered in addition to our meals and were pleasantly surpised when our waiter smiled and said "no sir, we appreciate you staying here, it is all taken care of."

It was a wonderful, albeit too brief stay at a wonderful old school hotel that still has it all together. Yes, the walls may be bit thin (the neighbors were quiet, although we got back into the room late - remember, we only had one kid-free night to enjoy ourselves) and the chair rails and furniture may be dinged here and there, but the location, the oozing charm, and the value can't be beat. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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8  Thank az2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2006

My wife and I stayed 3 nights at The Drake in January 2006. As Hilton Diamond members, we were upgraded to an Executive Room with a lake view. It was our anniversary weekend and we were greeted with a bottle of champagne and a small cake in our room. Very nice touch from the General Manager.

The hotel is truly beautiful - much like the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. Location is unbeatable, right on Michigan Avenue and incredible lake views. It is an older hotel, but I didn't see any signs of wear. For the price we paid ($129 a night), it was really hard to beat.

We had access to the Executive Lounge for free breakfast each morning and free cocktails in the evening. Everyone was friendly and the rooms were good sized and clean. Bed was really comfortable.

All in all, a great stay - no real complaints other than the key not working the first time we arrived as the front desk had told us the wrong room number! Definitely worth a visit to this classic gem.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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12  Thank bigapplered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
12
Reviewed January 14, 2006

We loved the Drake - rich in history and still beautifully elegant. View of the lake from our 4th floor room was breathtaking and we loved the bar in the Palm Court. Have stayed at other older hotels in Chicago (we're from here and do a hotel stay at least once a year) and was pleased with the room size for an older establishment.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Il
11
Reviewed January 9, 2006

My fiancee' and I stayed @ the Drake Hotel back in March of 2005. It was beautiful and comfortable. We may have even conceived our son there:) We stayed in the executive suite so we had a rather large room. I believe we paid $300/day and it was worth every penny. We will definitely return!

  • Stayed: March 2005
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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: $129 - $416 (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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