As you walk through the beautiful courtyard entrance of the Waldorf Astoria, you’ll feel the stress of your daily life seep away as the bustling city around you starts to fade.
Infused with Parisian charm and fashionable exteriors, the Waldorf showers you with everything you could need from a hotel – and some nice surprises are thrown in to make your stay even more amazing.
Is the Waldorf Astoria a five-star hotel?
This spectacular 60-story hotel is a five-star hotel that’s been rated fourth as Best Chicago Hotel and second in Hilton Worldwide Hotels, as U.S. News reports. There are good reasons for all the accolades.
There are 215 rooms available in this hotel and a whopping 80 percent of the Waldorf Astoria’s rooms are suites, boasting a range of fabulous and luxurious amenities to make you feel at home if the home were a lavish and extraordinary place.
Let’s take a closer look at why you should put the Waldorf Astoria first when booking your next stay in Chicago.
Hotel Location: Where Is It Situated?
The Waldorf Astoria is located across the street from the North Michigan Shops and one block west from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
So, when you stay at the Waldorf Astoria you’re in close proximity to a variety of shops. There’s even Oak Street Beach within walking distance.
Once you see the Waldorf Astoria come into view, you won’t be able to forget it: it’s got a striking and charming courtyard entrance with a fountain surrounded by flowers.
Step inside the luxurious hotel and you’ll feast your eyes on the beautiful white lobby and a glamorous chandelier that was inspired by a brooch Coco Chanel used to love to wear and artist Jim Dine’s ‘Venus In Five Colors.’
Once you check-in and enter your room, you’ll love how it’s both stylish yet makes you feel at home.
This isn’t a home away from home, but the most luxurious home you could ever imagine owning.
Once you’re settled in and have explored the hotel, it’s good to know that getting around the city from the Waldorf Astoria is made super-convenient because there are many bus stops as well as an L train station within walking distance of it.
Just two miles away are landmarks like the Art Institute of Chicago, Cloud Gate, and the Chicago Theater.
Insider tip: You can get a private car to take you to where you want to go, provided your destination is within two miles of the hotel.
Settling Into Your Room: What To Expect From The Waldorf Astoria
The hotel’s rooms are roughly 600 square feet in size but if you’re willing to pay more you can get one that’s double that size.
The guest rooms are stylish and sophisticated, designed in white and gray. They have a range of amenities for you to enjoy.
- Refrigerator, microwave, and freezer
- Iron and trouser press
- In-mirror TV in each bathroom
- Showers and deep-soaking tubs
- Mini fridge
- Bathrobes and slippers
- Free internet and wireless internet
- Patios and balconies
- Daily maid service
- Free newspaper
- Telephone and voicemail services
- Cable/satellite TV
- Non-smoking rooms are available
- 24-hour in-room dining
When you get a room at this hotel, you can expect the above amenities as well as some nice extras that are thrown in to make your stay even more luxurious.
A wonderful feature that has recently been added to the hotel is the Bedside Reading amenity.
This amenity means that when you purchase a room in the hotel, you get a selection of books on your bedside table.
Even more amazing is that you can take these books with you when you leave. If you don’t, they’ll remain for the next guest to enjoy.
If you have children, there are also amenities provided for them to make your and their stay more comfortable: there’s a children’s in-room dining menu available and bathtubs in every room of the hotel.
In addition, you can make use of the hotel’s babysitting services if you want to have a night to yourself, such as if you want to try out the fitness center or have a romantic dinner with your partner at the hotel’s restaurant.
What’s staying in the room actually like?
The rooms feel residential with lots of space and almost every hotel room has a balcony offering views of the city.
The rooms are clean and focused on making your stay as comfortable as possible, with 460-count linens, artwork decorating the walls, and plush sofas.
If you want to get a great night’s sleep, look no further than this hotel because the blackout curtains and thick walls will ensure that you have no interruptions during the night.
What about the bathroom?
Although you won’t want to spend all your time in the bathroom, it’s good to know that it doesn’t disappoint.
All the bathrooms are decorated with marble mosaic, and they have waterfall showers as well as marble bathtubs.
You’ll also find Salvatore Ferragamo soap and an array of artwork, as well as a TV behind the mirror!
If you want even more glamor, choose the Grande Deluxe room – it has a window next to the bathtub for the ultimate bliss when you’re winding down at the end of a busy day after viewing all the city’s treasures.
General Hotel Amenities To Enjoy
Step outside your luxurious suite and you’ll also get to enjoy a variety of amenities provided by the hotel. Here’s a rundown of the most important ones.
There’s a heated indoor pool that’s open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on most days of the week.
However, it’s worth noting that this is more of a lap pool than a standard swimming pool that you’d find in other hotels.
As with the rest of the hotel, it’s the details that make it feel like a million bucks: tiny pink Italian tiles have been used to decorate the bottom of the lap pool and this was done with the goal of making guests feel like they’re swimming through a bed of roses, as Frommer’s reports.
All guests of the hotel receive a $30 complimentary breakfast every day that provides food for up two people in the restaurant.
Whether it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, head to the third floor of the hotel and enjoy delicious French cuisine created by James Beard-awarded chef, Michael Mina, at the prestigious Margeaux Brasserie.
A holiday isn’t a holiday without delicious food, and you should prepare to enjoy delicious offerings at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.
The restaurant is focused on offering the highest standard of French cuisine.
Expect bold, delicious flavors that you will crave when you return home, and meals made with the freshest and healthiest ingredients.
Here are some highlights from their menus that you can also view on their website.
- For breakfast, enjoy a delicious variety of foods. Some of their signature morning meals are brioche French toast, Lingonberry pancakes with whipped ricotta, and smoked Atlantic salmon that has fresh cream and red onions.
- For lunch, enjoy wood-fired oysters, a “Margeaux Cheeseburger” with caramelized onion, or chilled prawns. It’s clear to see the food on offer caters to lots of different tastes.
- Their dinner menu is filled with tasty meals, such as the hand-ground steak tartare, poached half-Maine lobster, shellfish platter, and delicious side dishes that will attract your eyes. These include duck-fat fries and sherry-glazed carrots.
Insider’s tip: Make sure you try the restaurant’s signature dishes that include Duck Wings À L’Orange and Escargots Bordelaise, as these won’t disappoint.
The drinks menu is extensive and maintains the Parisian theme with its collection of wine and spirits.
There are also cocktails making use of fresh ingredients to try – don’t forget the classic French cocktails and make sure you try the beer that’s been imported from France.
Fancy a little something for dessert?
Try Baked Alaska For Two that has coffee, cocoa, hazelnut, and meringue in it, or dive into chouquettes containing delicious hazelnut mousse and orange marmalade.
Other Food To Try In The Hotel
It’s not just the Margeaux Brasserie that you should try out when you’re hungry.
If you want a quick snack when you’re on the go during the day, stop in at the Petit Margeaux, located near the hotel lobby.
This offers a more laidback eating option when you want a bite to eat, such as a pastry with your coffee, or a salad.
Head To The Spa For Luxury
The Waldorf Astoria has an amazing spa for guests to enjoy, and it doesn’t just offer relaxing massages.
There’s something for everyone in this spa that’s 14,000 square feet in size.
I called the Waldorf Astoria Spa & Health Club, where you get a variety of treatments.
These include facials, massages, manicures, waxing, and even makeup and salon services.
There are a steam room and sauna, relaxation lounges, Jacuzzis, and a private spa terrace.
Best of all, if you schedule a 60-minute or longer spa service, you’ll get complete access to the hotel’s spa facilities for the entire day.
This award-winning spa is focused on making your experience as amazing as possible.
It achieves this by giving all of its guests a personal experience based on their needs, so you don’t have to compromise on what you really want.
What you might not realize you want, but will definitely enjoy, is the Waldorf Cleanse, a glorious two-hour treatment that’s inspired by Hamman skincare.
It makes use of olive stone, lemon scrub, and coffee, and includes a body and face massage, as Forbes Travel reports.
In addition, the spa doesn’t just offer you amazing treatments but it makes you feel like you’re in a sanctuary, which is what all good spas should do.
The spa is Greek-inspired and decorated with materials such as mosaic, white stone, and wood to make you feel like you’re in an exotic and healing destination.
Must-Try: If you want something deeply rejuvenating, try the Ashiatsu Massage. During this massage, the therapist holds onto bars overhead to maintain balance while giving you consistent pressure using his/her feet and body weight, as 10Best recommends.
We’ve talked about the amazing indoor pool, but on the subject of healing water, the spa also offers a variety of bath services to its guests.
These include detox water cures and rose baths to make you feel like a million bucks on the inside as well as outside.
Insider’s tip: It’s common to find that the Waldorf Astoria Chicago spa is busier on weekends as compared to during the week so always make sure you call ahead of time to reserve an appointment with the spa.
The Waldorf Astoria Health Club
The Health Club is also completely customized based on your needs, whether that involves weight-loss or achieving your fitness goals outdoors – yes, you can choose to exercise outside in the scenic environment with a dedicated personal trainer.
Do yoga, Resist-A-Ball or tai chi!
If you want to exercise inside the fitness center, you can engage in body-toning and strengthening Pilates and Gyrotonics, which is a method of training based on dance, yoga, swimming, and tai chi.
In addition, while swimming laps in the serene Waldorf Astoria Chicago pool will help you cool off after a gym session, you can also engage in aqua instruction.
This boosts blood flow and lymphatic flow.
Inside the fitness center, you can also make use of free weights, resistance equipment, and cardio machines.
Best of all, if you want to enjoy scheduled classes, they’re complementary. If you want private classes, you might have to pay an extra fee.
Insider tip: Inside the fitness center, you get locker rooms that even have televisions so you can unwind with some great entertainment after breaking a sweat. In addition, the male and female dressing rooms have a eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna, whirlpool tub, and relaxation lounge, as the Waldorf Astoria website explains. While you might not try all of these on the same day, they’re definitely worth taking your time to enjoy during your stay.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago Wedding Services
If you’re planning a glamorous and memorable wedding, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is the place to make it happen.
The hotel has a special brochure reserved for weddings, helping you to plan the most beautiful special day with your forever person and all your loved ones.
There are five wedding packages to choose from, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Sinclair Ballroom of the hotel becomes the perfect wedding reception, with its jeweled chandeliers and experienced staff that work hard to make your day extra-special.
A throwback to 1920s Paris, the ballroom is decadent in its design: there’s silk on the walls, coffered ceilings, door-to-ceiling windows, and an outdoor terrace.
One of the most important things many couples want on their big day is privacy, and you get that with more than an outdoor terrace to head to in-between dancing the night away in the ballroom.
In fact, the entire fifth floor of the hotel is designated for weddings.
The hotel is always focused on allowing guests to customize their experience, and this is a mantra that flows into its hosting of weddings.
If you want a more intimate experience than having your big day in the Sinclair Ballroom, you can choose between Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner’s salons.
These are a bit smaller and more intimate, so they’re perfect for close-knit wedding affairs, while also giving you the glamor you’ve come to expect from the Waldorf Astoria Chicago: you get custom-designed silk-covered walls and designer chandeliers.
There’s really something for everyone. Even the hotel’s beautiful courtyard becomes a wedding venue: whether you want to have a cocktail reception or ceremony here, it’s the perfect outdoor venue on the Gold Coast with the stunning Parisian-inspired hotel as a backdrop to your wedding photos.
The hotel doesn’t just cater to your wedding-day needs, it also helps you during the planning of your big day.
The third floor caters to events leading up to the wedding, such as private rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and cake tasting.
Choose your perfect wedding menu by collaborating with the hotel’s Executive Chef so your special day cuisine can be memorable and reflect your personality.
You can use the private dining room of the Margeaux Brassiere for these types of functions.
Best of all, you and your loved ones can enjoy delicious French food while overlooking the hotel courtyard.
You can also make use of the hotel’s spa, which is the perfect location if you want a bit of a treat for yourself and your bridesmaids before the big day, whether that includes manicures or a Pilates class at the health club.
When it comes to wedding accommodation, book yourself into the Luxury Suite, which is the hotel’s complimentary wedding suite, for the night of your wedding.
You can also make use of a courtesy 10-room block per night for all your guests.
Your guests also get valet parking at the hotel for a rate of $20 and a rate of $73 for overnight parking.
It might sound strange to feature the courtyard of a hotel in a review of it, but the courtyard of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is a special feature that isn’t just visually appealing with its chateau-like exterior and Parisian glamour.
It’s a private space that can be used for many different functions for the hotel’s guests. These include the following:
- Fashion runway shows
- Cocktail receptions
- Corporate events
Insider tip: When planning an event, whether it’s a family reunion or romantic getaway, you can make use of the hotel’s personal concierge service. These True Waldorf Service Ambassadors as they are called help you plan and execute special occasions that you want to have at the hotel and they can help to make your function even more spectacular and memorable by bringing special touches, such as even more personalized hotel amenities and floral arrangements, as explained on the Waldorf Astoria Chicago website.
If you’re spending time at the Waldorf Astoria for business instead of pleasure, the business center and facilities are sure to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
You can make use of the following amenities:
- The business center has Mac/Windows computers, copiers, faxes, and printers so you have everything you need where you are.
- Private meeting rooms are available with natural light, thanks to their floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi is found all over the hotel.
- The complimentary house car is available for guests.
- There are third-floor and fifth-floor event rooms.
When Was The Waldorf Astoria Built?
The Waldorf Astoria hotel has a colorful history.
It was built in 2009 and then renovated in 2012.
It used to be known as the Elysian Hotel which was designed by an architect based in Chicago, Lucien Lagrange, and his developer, David Pisor.
The two-part construction had a hotel with 188 rooms in it and 51 condominiums located above it.
The combined cost of both were approximately $280 million combined.
From when the hotel opened its doors in 2009, the cobblestone courtyard was a defining feature, and this is still the case today.
The hotel was built to mimic the Paris hotels of the 1902s.
Due to financial difficulties, the hotel was purchased by the Hilton Hotels and converted into the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.
How Much It Costs To Stay At The Waldorf Astoria
So, now that we’ve outlined all the luxurious amenities and services this hotel has to offer, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you to stay at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Chicago hotel.
A standard room price ranges from $444 to $565, and it’s approximately 614 square feet in size.
A suite, which is approximately 890 square feet, costs between $545 to $5,978.
You can pay with your credit card, so why not give yourself a treat? You definitely won’t regret it.
That’s the Waldorf Astoria Chicago reviewed, so if you’re looking for five-star accommodation, it’s the place to go in the Windy City.
With its variety of top-notch amenities, amazing details, and fine dining options, it’s the type of place that feels like home but looks straight out of your most luxurious dreams.
Thanks to all its great features and striking design, as well as how you can customize your experience during your stay, it’s really no surprise that it was named one of U.S. News’s Best Hotels In The USA in 2018.
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