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“Great location in a historical gem.”

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The Drake, A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #84 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2009

The Drake hotel in Chicago, IL is a historical gem. We went in August and got a great deal! You can't beat the location, right on the shore of Lake Michigan! The hotel is steeped in tradition and is an old fashioned, elegant hotel. If you like tradition, then this is probably the hotel for you.
If you get a room with 2 beds, they are kind of small. However, the room was clean and the view was great. It was a peaceful hotel and the staff was pretty friendly. The hotel is surrounded by great shops and we loved the cafe downstairs. They also have tea time, which is really nice.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank kiyomi16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,618 - 3,624 of 4,056 reviews

Reviewed October 6, 2009

My wife & I have visited the Drake twice in 2 years for a mini-vacation. Since we rarely travel, I was reluctant to go to another hotel because we know the Drake (familiar territory). I have described it as a "middle" hotel, not too expensive, but not the cheapest either. i am amused by the complaints for different hotels and the mini-bar prices, etc. This is Chicago, everything is expensive. The liquor is in fact cheaper or about the same in the min-bar as in a regular bar (not the Drake bar). The rooms could stand upgrading, especially the carpets and the furniture. I feel a good portion of their income is from conventioneers, lots of those going on. The hotel is beautiful in the lobby, and the tea room service is great. They have a nice Espresso shop now, and a neat art gallery, and other shops. There is access to the beach right across the street, if you are so inclined. The concierge has never steered us wrong yet, and we used them a lot. We went out on my bday and he said just stroll over to Rush street and there are several places, which we did. Great time too, and very simple, one block away. I have read reviews about the maids rattling in the linen closet, but we stayed next to one (a closet) and it wasn't a problem. I also have read about problems with water pressure but ours was fine both trips.Our view wasn't anything special, but we didn't come for the view, and I feel we could have specified one, but the rate might have been more, not sure. We didn't eat in the restuarants but did have a burger in the bar. The guys out front always remember us when we need a cab, and are helpful. The bellhop took the time to point out features in the room for us (which we knew already) but it was nice. Finally, did everyone notice the Manager commenting on negative reviews on this site? I feel that is good follow-up. We will probably go back again next year, you can have a bad experience in any hotel. Our stays went very well.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank chief1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2009

We had a good experience at the Drake. We got a good deal on Priceline but still got a newly updated room with 2 beds as we wanted. The place is still old (doors, carpet) but all have character. The lobby is gorgeous.

We did not eat/drink there but there was a beautiful bar. Our only really bad experience was the concierge service, they were not at all helpful or even pay attention to what you are asking. Expensive internet also.

Tips: Take the river architecture tour, wonderful.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank jmdallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2009

For another $25, we splurged for the larger room when we checked in. We dropped our things and went to eat/shop. After a long walk and fighting the crowds on Michigan Ave., we returned to the room just wanting to nap. No kids for the weekend, so just pure quiet and personal freedom. Unfortunately, when we returned to the room, it stank of cigarette smoke. I pushed the call button for the front desk, no answer. I called again, impatient because of the exhaustion, no answer. The third time was answered after a number of rings. I explained to the individual that the room smelled like smoke and that it was pretty nauseating. She told me to hold while she transferred me to the front desk--I must have rolled to another department. After explaining the predicament again, the front desk asked what they could do. Not wanting to be a burden, I asked for air freshener. They said they would send someone up. About 15 minutes later, the smoke and the waiting was too much, so I called again and asked for another room. They didn't have anything available until possibly 4, so they suggested we wait 2 hours until a room opened up. We couldn't bear the room, so we sat in the lobby on "grandma's couch" for about 30 minutes before realizing we wouldn't find any comfort there. We walked out of the hotel and saw a Bentley out front. It occurred to me perhaps why we were seemingly being ignored by the hotel.

We gave the desk a cell # before we left and actually believed they would call it. But after miserably propping our heads up on a bar until 4, we still hadn't heard from them. There didn't seem to be much interest in making things right. When we returned to the front desk, they apparently had a room available but had not called us (no surprise). It was smaller than the previous room (though must have still been worth the extra $25 since it was never refunded). We could hear people in the next room, but they weren't very loud, so it wasn't an issue.

Primarily where the hotel erred was on the most basic elements--the things you take for granted. The things you would expect even from a Motel 6. The Homewood Suites we stayed at a few months before wasn't as fancy, but it was much more reliable.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank mgbryant00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thedrakechicago, General Manager at The Drake, A Hilton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2009

Dear Trip Advisor, Thank you for submitting a review following your recent stay at The Drake, and we sincerely apologize for your disappointing stay. Based on our guest preferences, we have as of the first of this year become a completely non-smoking hotel and have made every effort to keep guests from smoking in our guest rooms, including a surcharge if a guest does smoke in the room in order to provide extra cleaning for the next guest. I am so sorry you were inconvenienced in this regard and that the situation was not better handled by our Front Desk staff. Please be assured we strive to provide the best service possible to all of our guests and I hope you will give us another oppotunity to show you a better stay. If you will contact me directly the next time you are planning a trip to Chicago I will make certain that you have a wonderful stay. Sincerely, Tom Thomas, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2009

We could not have had a better time at the Drake. It is obvious that we were in one of the recently refurbished rooms because it was perfect in every way. The room looked out onto Lake Shore Drive and the lake. An unexpected bonus was being able to watch the professional volleyball tournament being played on the beach. We have stayed at the Drake several times in the past and have always gotten great service. This stay was no different. From the bellman to the concierge to the doorman to the front desk staff to the waiters in the restaurants, the service could not have been better. The Coq d'Or is one of my favorite bars in the world. The decor is very romantic and the bartenders are very old school and lots of fun to talk to. We also had excellent breakfasts in the Drake Brothers Restaurant and a memorable dinner in the Cape Cod Room. The bed was extremely comfortable and the shower was perfect. The bathroom was not large, but it was very well maintained. We also loved the fitness center. It was complete with cardio, weights, etc. The common areas (lobby and tea salon) are very European and some of the most beautiful in Chicago. We have previously stayed here during the Christmas season and they had a huge Christmas tree and trains running through the lobby - incredible. We are already planning a return trip next August.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank wtmarks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2009

I was so excited about staying at The Drake, you hear all of these wonderful things about it. The hotel itself is elegant and nice, but our overall experience there was such a disappointment and definitely not worth $300/night. Before even checking into our room, they had already charged our credit card once for the entire bill (without us even knowing). They charged us again when we checked in, and AGAIN a week later after our stay. When we first walked into our room, there was a roll out cot-that we did not request-standing in the middle of the entrance, we could barely walk around it! The room itself was tiny, old, and had a view of what looked like a dumpster. The toilet in the bathroom randomly made loud noises throughout the night. We could hear everything in the room next door to us. The hotel was "booked" so we couldn't change rooms even if we wanted to. I also believe that because they were full, they stuck a young couple like us in one of their shabbier rooms. There are PLENTY of other hotels in Chicago that are ten times nicer for the same price. Stay in one of them.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank AF573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thedrakechicago, General Manager at The Drake, A Hilton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2009

Dear Trip Advisor, Thank you for submitting a review following your recent stay at The Drake. Please accept our sincere apologies for your disappointing stay. If you will contact me directly I would like to follow up to determine what caused the extra charges on your account. An advance payment reservation or one made through a third party service should be the only reason you would have been charged prior to your arrival. I also regret that your room was not up to our normal very high standards and I would like to have Engineering Department correct any problems in the room. It is our intent that every guest has a great experience and we would certainly never want to give a room to a guest which was not acceptable. I hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back to The Drake to provide a much more enjoyable stay. Sincerely, Tom Thomas, General Manager

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Reviewed September 14, 2009

My wife and I recently stayed here for two nights as the base for our first real vacation in some time. I booked our room on Priceline.com ($129), and we were given a nicely renovated room on the 7th floor (703), albeit with a fire escape/city view down to N. Michigan Ave. below. The room itself, however, was quite large and luxurious, with a wonderful bed and bedding, luxury toiletries in the bath, and very nice decor.

However, the real attraction here is the hotel's public spaces, from the well-attended curbside reception area to the opulent lobby and Palm Court mixed use up a half-flight from the lobby. There are many interesting nooks and crannies in this hotel, and a very nice shopping promenade within. High Tea is served each afternoon in the Palm Court, which was delightful, and there is live music and dancing here in the evenings. A bonus, they were serving 2000 Dom Perignon by the glass in the Palm Court. Where have you ever seen this before? This is our wedding year, and we were surprised when we were presented with a complimentary chocolate torte dessert and half refill of the Dom when the staff heard this! We were made to feel quite special by all the staff, which is not at all the case in many mid-tier chain hotels. Finally, we had an excellent breakfast in the Drake's own restaurant, opulent and fairly priced. We did not have any of the ancillary charges that seem the basis for many of the preceding less-than-stellar reviews. Overall, we were simply delighted and hope to return soon to this ideally-located grand old hotel!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank wicozani
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:
#34 Family Hotel in Chicago
#35 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#49 Business Hotel in Chicago
#51 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $118 - $354 (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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