In Chicago, the
Waldorf Astoria includes hotel rooms and suites, plus separate high-end
residences. Earlier this year it was in the news when a 7,500 sq. ft. condo on
the 39th floor went on the market for $11.5 million, which would
make it second priciest residential sale in the Chicago so far this year. When
the hotel itself was sold in 2015, the $113 million price tag equated to
$600,000 per room, setting a record for hotels in the city, according to The
Real Deal. Curbed reports Ken Griffin (Forbes Billionaires #172) paid $13.3 million
for a full-floor condo in 2014. He also owned a second Waldorf unit occupying
the entire 46th floor, which he sold in 2016 for a reported $16 million. In
other words the Waldorf Astoria is prime real estate.
Of course, when it
comes to hotel choice, the Windy City is finding its top hotels are competing
at the top of rankings with Waldorf joining The Peninsula, Langham and Four
Seasons among the top 20 hotels in the U.S. as ranked by U.S. News & World
Report. The Waldorf also made CNN’s list spotlighting “20 of America’s Most
Beautiful Hotels” and has earned the AAA Five Diamond Award for the past four
years. Over the same period Conde Nast Traveler ranked its spa as #1 hotel spa
and #3 spa in the U.S. as well as the #1 city hotel in the U.S.
The hotel doesn’t
only cater to humans. For $75 they will set up your best four legged buddy a
personal water bowl, pet bed and doggy pack. There is also a VIP shopping
service via Pets in the City which can outfit your dog to brave Chicago’s
rugged winters and offers a variety of toys.
Of course, if you
are going for business, the hotel has full facilities for meetings and events
(see below). Its Gold Coast location is near shopping, restaurants, nightlife
and less than four miles from McCormick Place if you are attending a trade show
Rob Merlin, a St.
Louis-based travel advisor with SmartFlyer says, “People don’t always think of
the Waldorf because The Peninsula has such a high profile,” but he says he
books the Waldorf frequently because of its location which he says is ideal for
shopping, dining and walking around. He notes Barneys is across the street and
Neiman Marcus is a couple blocks away. He lauds the entry-level suites (see
below), which he says are “huge” and are often priced at the same level as
regular rooms at several other luxury hotels. Additionally he likes the hotel
for girls getaway weekends and even low-key bachelorette parties.
“The service is
really good. The restaurants are good, but it’s not a scene in the lobby, so if
you are looking for a party, it’s not at the Waldorf. But if you want really
good service, a traditional luxury hotel with large suites, a great location
with really good value, it’s a very good choice,” he says.
Support at Midway Airport (16 miles) is slightly closer than O’Hare (18 miles)
or Chicago Executive Airport (26 miles).
There are 93
suites in five different categories ranging from 660 sq. ft. to 2,130 sq. ft. Merlin
says suite pricing provides better value than other luxury hotels in Chicago
and he particularly likes the Two-Bedroom Pied-a-Terre Suites for families or
even girlfriend groups.
At 2,130 sq. ft. located on the 26th floor, the Presidential
Suite features two private terraces with panoramic views of the Gold Coast
neighborhood. This mobility accessible suite features a media room, fully
equipped kitchen, and two bedrooms with king-sized beds.
The residential-like suite
includes a dining table with seating for six and large living space near the
TWO-BEDROOM PIED-A-TERRE SUITE (7)
Situated on the northeastern and northwestern corners of the hotel and
located on floors 7, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26, the 1,515 sq. ft. Two-Bedroom
Pied-À-Terre Suites provide two bedrooms with king-sized beds, two living rooms
with queen sofa bed, and two full bathrooms. The suites do not join internally
but share a common foyer and in fact a combination of a Gold Coast Corner Suite
and a One-Bedroom Suites. From your furnished terrace, look out onto Chicago's
GOLD COAST CORNER
The 855-sq. ft. Gold Coast Corner Suite, with a stylish living room,
showcases views from the northeastern and northwestern corners of the hotel,
including a furnished terrace. This suite provides dining table and a queen
sofa bed plus soft seating in front of the one-touch fireplace. There is a deep
soaking tub. The type is
located on floors 7, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 which is accessible.
The 760 sq. ft. Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite offers a separate living room
and showcases views from the southeastern and southwestern corners of the
hotel. There is furnished terrace, dining table and a queen sofa bed plus more seating
in front of the one-touch fireplace. Location is floors 7 to 26 with accessible
suites on floors 12 and 23.
ONE-BEDROOM SUITE (38)
The 660-sq. ft. One-Bedroom Suite provides a living room with views of
Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood from the terrace and the bedroom. All suites
include fireplaces and there is a sofa bed. Location is floors 7 to 26 with
accessible suites on floors 7 and 17. When we look for weekends in August, we
found rates under $600.
Merlin says the
hotel is best used as a base to explore Chicago, however, he recommends at
least one stop at its restaurant from award-winning chef Michael Mina.
winning chef Michael Mina’s Margeaux Brasserie is located on the third floor
and has a Private Dining Room with seating 40 people or a good venue for
receptions.. Inspired by Parisian
culture, the restaurant combines French cuisine featuring regional, Midwestern
As to the ambiance, the Chicago Tribune writes, “Decor-wise, Mina and
Bishop Pass Design nail the details. Inspired by 1920s Paris, Brasserie
Margeaux has heavy, marble-topped tables, a long, zinc-topped bar and
black-and-white patterned tile floors. Walls are done in gold and black, framed
by dark wood. Creature comforts abound, including high-back leather chairs,
generous spacing and elegant table appointments. A champagne cart patrols the
dining room; lighting is subdued and romantic.”
Eater says food
is “delicious, indulgently rich” pointing to sweetbreads over pureed
fennel, and steak tartare with quail egg, “done simply and flawlessly.” Duck
breast with cognac jus is “unassailable” while the $52 lobster bouillabaisse is
the “best thing on the menu” and worth the cost. Sweet treats include
a show-stopping chocolate macaroon that’s “the sort of Instagram-worthy dessert
one hesitates to eat, for fear that the first intrusion will wreck the visual
effect.” Overall, the price of admission “may be Gold-Coast high,
but superb quality and hefty portions ease the sting.”
Petit Margeaux is
a French patisserie that melds Parisian café culture and Midwestern hospitality
located on the hotel’s first floor. A savory menu offered all day highlights
tartines, sandwiches, salads and a quiche of the day. Highlights include a
Parisian ham Tartine with gruyère and black pepper béchamel, the French Dip
Sandwich with slow-roasted prime rib, au jus and a horseradish aïoli and the
Beet Salad with lolla rossa lettuce, toasted pistachio, and a lemon-lavender
There are also sweet
treats from including macaroons, palmiers and madelines, croissants and scones,
muffins and other assorted pastries and cookies. For a java jump, there are
coffee blends and espresso drinks – served hot or cold – plus a large selection
of teas from black and green to herbal, white and milk teas, as well as
Valrhona milks. There’s beer and wine by the glass as well.
4. FITNESS and
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago Spa & Health Club is a
fully equipped health club, featuring both a gym and Pilates and Gyrotonics studios.
In addition to cardiovascular and
weight training equipment, including free weights you will find Woodway
Treadmills and Wattbikes. There is also an indoor lap pool open 530am-10pm,
except 9pm Sundays. Classes include kick boxing, aqua aerobic and body blasts.
Private training sessions are also available.
At the spa, you will find a variety of services, including dedicated
menus for men and children. Many treatments can also be had in your suite. In
addition to full body massages, facials and special treatments for hands and
feet, there is a menu for waxing and tinting. The signature Waldorf Cleanse
($355) is 120 minutes inspired by hammam bathhouse practices, including a
coffee, olive stone and fresh lemon scrub and a clay cocoon wrap. There’s also
a Laval Shell Massage ($195 for 60 minutes), as well as couple’s and pre-natal
5. MEETINGS and
The hotel offers 8,500 sq. ft. of meeting space located on the third
and fifth floors with the ability to have an entire floor of space dedicated to
your group. All meeting rooms are appointed with custom Swarovski chandeliers,
floor to ceiling windows, and modern business amenities. Meeting spaces range
from 2,300 sq. ft. to 460 sq. ft.
6. VIP CONTACT