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“exceeded expectations”

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The Drake, A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #81 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2009

we live in Chicago, but wanted a weekend to just "getaway", and ive always wanted to stay at The Drake, so he called and booked a weekend there a week before we went. We checked in around 6pm that friday (after work, of course!) to find that we were upgraded from our junior suite to an executive suite! The hotel is a historic hotel, a classic with old-skool furnishings. It truly is a beautiful site to see! (for those looking to stay at a *modern* hotel, this is NOT the place for you, unless you can appreciate what some have called "grandma furnishings" in other reviews...).

The elevators have little couches in them (which gave me a good laugh) and i forced us to sit down on them every time we were in the elevator alone (no man in his right mind would do this publicly :) ). Each design in the hallway all the way down to the room was so detail oriented, you can tell the craftsmanship was of great quality. The hallways were nice and wide, no need to struggle getting down as you pass others on the way to the room.

The room was FANTASTIC! It was a corner room with a lakeview. The parlor was huge with a couch, armoire (tv inside), large desk, and a table with 4 chairs. Then in the next room was the bedroom which had a king size bed that was SOFT and lovely, full with at least 6 pillows. Next room was the bathroom which had marble stairs leading up to a jacuzzi tub that could probably fit 4 people in it, a seperate standing shower and a double vanity. It was def a spacious, romantic room and we were pleased. Lots of towels available for use too, big towels, not the small ones that barely get around your body! The only thing I noticed was that the TVs were very outdated (had to at least be from early 90s), as well as the telephones... however, I can maybe see why as it keeps the "old character" of the hotel intact. I can appreciate that kind of stuff, esp when its creating the old-Chicago feel!

Location wise, the Drake really is centrally located within the Mag Mile. Its one block north of the Hancock Tower and Water Tower Place, with ample shopping, a stone's throw from the beach, and a good walk to Navy Pier if you'd really like.

We ate at the Drake Brothers Restaurant in the Drake every morning, as it was part of our package. Without the package, a breakfast buffet for 2 would cost $52, just to serve as an fyi. Some may say over priced, but why would you expect anything less from a 4-5 star hotel??? The food was delicious with a wide variety to choose from.

Concierge service in the lobby was nice, very informative (to the people in front of us, at least) and was able to provide me with a bandaid when I asked for it - thanks Andrea!

I loved this hotel and would suggest it to anyone coming in for a visit that wouldnt mind splurging on a nice hotel. :)

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank akm107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,504 - 3,510 of 3,939 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2009

We just got back from our trip to chicago/stay at the drake. this was our first trip to chicago. we agree with most of the previous hotel reviews. a beautiful hotel with an incredible history. the lobby and upper restaurant/bar are amazing and elegant. the food and service was great. we had one of our best meals at the Coq d'or bar downstairs. we stopped for there for a drink almost everynight and they had live music every evening. that was wonderful. everyone that worked at the hotel was helpful and friendly. it is also a good location. right across the street from bloomingdales. macy's is 2 blocks down the street and the john hancock building is next door.
we only encountered two problems our entire stay.

1. we prepaid for our hotel room ($247 usd for an executive suite room-10th floor) and it wasn't ready when we arrived at 8 pm. they said it wasn't cleaned yet, and then a few minutes later they said they was a maintenance problem. so they put us on another floor in a smaller room (with a lake view). which I felt was a down grade from what we had initially paid for. the next morning we went to complain and they did immediately, without hesitation put us in the room we had previously requested/paid for. the executive room was very large with a couch/sitting area, king bed, desk and chair and 2 closets. we were very happy with the room. the private lounge was also very nice. it had a lake view...with a cold breakfast buffet included with the price.
I guess the main point I want to make is that PREPAID / PRESELECTED ROOMS DOESN'T GUARANTEE you anything. I was under the impression that the room we had prepaid for would be held and ready for us upon check-in...not the next day.

2. my other problem is that my hotel room card was deactived the morning we were leaving. I left our room around 9 am and I couldn't get back into our room at 10 am. check-out isn't until noon. luckly my husband was there to let me in. what if I was alone and stepped out for a second in my PJ's...how embarrassing that could of been!

overall, we enjoyed our stay. the rooms were very clean and the bed was extremely comfortable. if you appreciate history and elegance this is a great hotel. a must see.
p.s. we give it a 4* instead of 5* due to the room issues we had.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Corry2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2009

My husband and I traveled to Chicago for our 15th anniversary and stayed at the Drake Hotel after doing some searching for a great hotel at a reasonable rate. We received exactly the deal we were hoping for and more! We took the train from Milwaukee and arrived way before check in time but they person at the desk said they gave us a free upgrade and were happy to keep our bags until the room was ready and even took our cell phone number so they could call. That worked out perfect as we were going to walk around the area anyway and were happy to have our bags taken care of.

The location was within walking distance of restaurants, shopping and Oak Street Beach.....beautiful! And anything else was just a short cab ride away. We went to the beautiful Palm Court for drinks after dinner and there was a great dance band playing that night. We had breakfast at the Drake Brothers with amazing views of Michigan Avenue and the lake.

Our room was huge and had 2 walls with windows. I'm sure it was one of the older rooms that hadn't been refurbished yet, but it was beautiful, none the less!

This is a beautiful, historical hotel that should be on everyones "got to stay" list. I hope they continue to offer specials for rooms at reasonable rates or we may have ended up at some run of the mill hotel chain and missed this wonderful experience!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SteveandEdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2009

This hotel has incredible history and beautiful architecture but once you've seen all the magnificant common rooms (lobby, ballroom, Palm Court, old style elevators) it isn't any different than any other overpriced, 4 star historical hotel.

Our friends were getting married in the ballroom so we thought that we would take this opportunity to stay at The Drake since I'm pregnant and it would be an easy escape for me to my room in the wee hours. Check in was at 3:00 and we were there on time as the wedding trolley was leaving at 5:30 and we needed time to get ready. At check in we were offered a deluxe upgrade on our king room but the hitch was that it wouldn't be ready for over an hour. Talk about dangling the carrot and yanking it away! We couldn't wait an hour and considering check in wasn't until 3:00 I can't imagine why the room wasn't ready.

We settled for our existing king reservation (at $250) and found the room to be fine but of course our view was of the air conditioning units and we were next door to the Fitness area. So much for wedding party group booking bonus! I can't imagine how much money our friends spent for their wedding at The Drake but I'm sure they would have been mortified to hear about the rooms that their guests were given especially since they were "promised" that everyone under the group booking would be nicely taken care of.

Pro's - decor was decent, slightly dated but clean. room was decent size, noise between rooms/floors was negligible. Bathroom was ok in size but only suitable for one person at a time. Con's - heating system was horribly loud, had to turn it off at night to sleep, no exhaust fan in bathroom, wireless access was not free, bottled water was $7.00 for a small bottle, split of wine was over $25, breakfast was over $25 per person with another 20% markup for room service. There was coffee in the room but I wasn't sure if it was free and the room service menu said it was $15 so we popped over to Starbucks instead. Parking was ok at $39 a night if you use the public parking lot two doors down - you can even charge it to your room tab.

We ended arriving a day early and didn't have a room booked. On Hotwire we found a 3 star hotel for $63 a night in the magnificant mile area. We weren't getting in until 11:00 p.m. so we weren't that picky. The hotel ended up being the Holiday Inn Express. Of course for $63 our room overlooked the air conditioning units here as well but we had a very comfortable king bed, huge plasma tv, wonderfully decorated room, free breakfast, free wireless and a great location. The room was super small - basically just enough room for the king bed and a really small bathroom but for the money it was so much more worth it than The Drake. The building was beautiful, location was great, personnel were very friendly, self parking was around the corner. Ok, there's no ballroom, no Palm Court and Queen Elizabeth didn't stay here but does that really matter??? Save your money, skip The Drake, walk through it if you want to check it out, but there are plenty of beautiful hotels in the magnificant mile area for alot less money!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jbooger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2009

The Drake greatly disappointed me:

• Valet lost my car and made me late to work
• The rooms don't have heat until the temperature is below 50 in your room
• The hot water is intermittent; no hot water often during a shower
• Management not interested in their problems
• Trash in the hall ways
• No wireless, only ethernet
• TV system is very dated, doesn't work well

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank BusinessTravelerNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2009

We had the most incredible price and the front desk seemed a bit put out by the low price that we were paying. However they were the only ones who didn't seem overly friendly. The wait staff in the restaurant, the staff at the lounge and the bellmen were wonderful. Our room didn't have a view of the lake, but it was a very nice room and it almost seemed like suite with the entry, sitting area and bedroom lay-out. We had family in the area who came to have dinner with us and when we took their teen daughters up to see the room, the 16 year-old said it was like walking through Titanic. And that does seem like an accurate description of the old-money feel in the decor. We were going to go on-line at the business center but the price seemed ridiculous and we're Hilton gold. I thought we have had free use as this is part of the Hilton chain.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank codieshousePA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

My kids got a complte hoot out of the scary butler who's outside the flower shop/gift store on the ground floor. (He's motion activated and will speak when you come in.)
Be sure not to miss it!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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Thank kentucky63
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
#51 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $151 - $475 (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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