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“Why I prefer the Drake”

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The Drake, A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #84 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 24, 2006

I left Chicago 5 years ago to move to London, and return regularly. I always stay at The Drake, not only because it holds a part of the Chicago I left behind, but because it has provided us with the location which was only down the street from our former residence. We are still members of The Club International, the private dining club within the hotel, and have always received wonderful personal service throughout the many years that we have used the hotel while living in Chicago and living abroad.
From the minute we arrive from the airport, we are greeted enthusiastically by the front door staff, and the bellman. We don't always get the same people at the reception desk, they seem to be always changing or training new people, but still as Club members, and Diamond Hillton Honors card holders, we have experienced a wide range of rooms that the hotel offers generally and to those with Hilton Honors cards. The best rooms face the lake, and the executive rooms offer the best bedding. Yes, the hotel is tired, and yes the bathrooms need to be updated. But the personal service has made up for this over and over. All the staff is friendly. The food in the Executive Club Lounge is excellent, and you would be hard pressed to find a better view--anywhere enjoying a light breakfast or early evening cocktails. The breakfast in the restaurant is always consistently good, and the friendly restaurant staff has always greeted us personally.
Where the hotel falls down is the constantly changing reception staff, and many of the rooms need to be updated. But the location is fantastic, the rates are excellent compared to some trendy hotels, especially in the winter off season months, and little Coq D'or bar and restaurant offers a great informal menu. It was always a great neighborhood bar for those who lived in the Streeterville area, and it continues to be that and more to those staying in the hotel. it offers great burgers, light music, and good cocktails.
Although there is no health club within the hotel, one only has to cross the street and use the gym in the lower level of mall that houses Bloomingdales.
I hope the hotel continues to keep up with the times. I will always hold it in high regard.

4  Thank worldtravelerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,785 - 3,791 of 4,030 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2006

I've stayed at the Drake about 10 times over the past 5 years. Here are my positives and negatives...

Positives: Great location, $10/day for the Equinox gym, Lake Michigan View, Breakfast Buffet was delicious but pricey $20/pp

Negatives: Bathrooms are in terrible need of a makeover! Service in the tea room is not what I expected-very slow. No gym available inside the hotel, it's across the street.

It's not worth the money anymore. The Palmer House has better rooms!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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2  Thank asiribunrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2006

My husband and I stayed here over Easter weekend (also our anniversary) using our Hilton Honors points... chose the hotel for the ambiance, history and charm. Unfortunately, our experience was not what we hoped or expected. When asked for suggestions for brunch, the concierge produced a clipping from the Tribune (I prefer personal recommendations; anyone can read the Tribune!), the bathtub caulk was moldy, our air conditioner broke twice, and no turndown service was provided even though requested. Also, the walls were so paper thin, we heard our neighbors VERY clearly (especially on Easter morning when the neighbor kids got up at 6:30 a.m. to search for Easter Eggs in their room!) While not a horrible experience, it certainly wasn't what I expected from a stay at the famed "Drake."

  • Stayed: April 2006
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2  Thank KellyJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2006

From the moment we arrived at this lovely hotel until we left,the staff could not have been nicer or more helpful.

Check-in was easy and as diamond HH, we were upgraded to an executive room with a beautiful lakeside view. the room was spacious, very clean and the bed was so comfortable. The free water each day was appreciated.

Breakfast in the executive lounge was good and the free drinks in the evening were a nice surprise.

The hotel has a lot of old world charm and the entrance and lobby are spectacular. The position is good,especially for the shops and there is a lovely lakeside walk.

We had absolutely no complaints about the Drake and look forward to another stay.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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5  Thank mm123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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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