The Waldorf Astoria Chicago has an understated glamour with a Parisian edge. Presidential Suite shown here.
As travel advisors, we know that site inspections are helpful, but staying in a hotel as a guest is invaluable. I am writing to share my recent experiences as a guest at five hotels in Chicago: The Langham, The Waldorf Astoria, the Grand Hyatt, the Park Hyatt, and the Four Seasons.
“Stunning” aptly describes The Langham, Chicago. Just opened in July, the hotel occupies the first 13 floors of the 52-story landmark tower designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe for IBM. The interiors are exceptional in quality and design while paying homage to the architecture. Plus, the service was wonderful for a newly opened hotel. My insider tip is that great rates may be available while they remain not that well known in Chicago and in the U.S. Your clients will thank you for introducing them to The Langham.
The Waldorf Astoria exudes an understated glamour with a Parisian-inspired edge. The beautifully scaled common areas, ballrooms, meeting rooms, guest rooms and suites feature soft modern upholstery and lighting. A sophisticated black, white and gray color scheme runs through the hotel, including classic marble, mohair velvet and lacquer. The spa, pool and fitness areas are vast, sleek, white, stunning, well staffed and the best of these five hotels. Families with young adult kids will love the club feel of the pool and fitness facilities.
At the Waldorf, every detail from the moment of arrival was exceptional. Every member of the staff went above and beyond to provide exemplary, intuitive service. Plus, the hotel has a refreshing “no tipping policy”.
The Hyatt Regency, with 2,000 rooms, was the biggest surprise in terms of service. I was there for the IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) conference and the service was great. It is a very good conference hotel. All of my special requests for my room were perfectly executed every day. This is exceptional, especially for a large hotel. While there, I researched how Hyatt did it, and learned that after my room was cleaned the maid called a member of the management team who came to the room with a check list to make sure all was in order. Bravo! Also, many members of the staff have been there for 10-20 years and I felt their sense of pride and commitment. Plus, their new PURE rooms are designed to address allergy-related issues.
At the Park Hyatt, the service was good. In terms of design, my male clients and I loved the Park Hyatt’s handsome and masculine interiors that complement the crisp architectural details. The rooms are well designed with a “vintage chic” influence. My room, with an awesome city view, was so comfortable that I stayed in one evening to relax and see the city from the bed, window seat and bathtub. The bathroom, with shutters beside the bathtub, was perfect for enjoying a hot bath while looking out at the skyline. Eames chairs, contemporary upholstery, and natural materials—such as leather, steel and suede—keep the Park Hyatt hip and timeless all at once. The Park Hyatt is not my choice for families, but perfect for adults seeking a great, sexy vibe, and a hot, locally popular bar and restaurant scene.
The Four Seasons’ attentive banquet food -and-beverage service was the highlight of my stay while I was honored to be attending the Abercrombie & Kent “100 Club” conference. I have never had such good gluten-free food throughout business meetings, receptions and dinners. I enjoyed the tailored modern furnishings and the serene silver-gray color palette with accents of plum and black. For business or leisure, the Four Seasons delivers with clean, classic styling. It is a perfect choice for multigenerational families, with a homey feel and amazing skyline views from most of the guest rooms.