W Hotel Chicago Does It Really Make the Cut?

Hotel Chicago

I recently stayed at the W Hotel in Chicago on Lakeview Drive. The hotel was about a mile or so from Navy Piers where the conference that I was attending was held. I walked in and the hotel looked fancy but does it really make the cut?

imgresThe lobby was nice. It was dark and had modern décor. Beyond the lobby, there was a restaurant that faced the water.

I went up to my room on the 29th floor. I opened the door to a large room with a king bed and a wrap around sofa that was attached to the wall. It also had a large 60” TV and a mini bar, but the mini bar didn’t open. The door was locked shut.

The view was breathtaking. The room overlooked the city and the water. In the morning the sun came blaring in through the window.

The bathroom was lovely as well. There was a walk in shower and the appliances were modern and looked new and well maintained. It was equipped with Bliss products. (There was a Bliss Spa in the hotel.)

The breakfast at the hotel was horrendous. The wait staff encouraged me to eat the buffet for $19.95 but there were no clean plates and the food was cold. When I asked for butter, it took them forever to get it to me. They poured a cup of coffee for me but never came back to refill. There was no sugar on the table and the wait staff was unresponsive.

Several times I went down stairs from my room to talk with the concierge but there was never anyone there to talk with. That was frustrating.

Going up to the room was a bit of an issue too because you needed the key to work the elevators. I was a little taken aback that when I checked in, I wasn’t notified about that.

When I was in my room and called down to the front desk to inquire about the gym, I was told it was small and not a great place to workout. When I went to the 7th floor to workout, I was pleasantly surprised. It was small. There were only two treadmills, two elliptical machines and two or three stationary bikes. I got on the elliptical machine and warmed up for five minutes. The woman next to me was on the treadmill. She was wild. She was doing things on the treadmill I had never seen before including running at lightning speeds as an interval.

I went into the other room and did the circuit. It started with an abs machine and then followed with multiple legs and one or two arms. I finished the workout on the bench doing reverse crunches. As I did that, the wild woman came back into weight room and started to do routines that were quite intense. I watched her for a little while. You couldn’t help but watch her. She was a maniac in the room but the muscles on her…. Wow, they were huge!

I went to see what the pool looked like but it was being renovated so there was nothing to look at.

I also decided to frequent the Bliss Spa on the 9th Floor. There I had a 45-minute massage. It was nice but it was like someone was tickling me the entire 45 minutes. The woman who gave me a massage had the lightest tough. I could barely feel her hands on me. But the spa itself was lovely. It was decorated in teal blue and white. The locker rooms overlooked the water and I noticed that there were tons of people in wetsuits swimming. I took a photo. It looked like ants. Oh well…

The restaurant redeemed itself a little at the dinner service. I really didn’t feel like going out so I ordered macaroni and cheese. There wasn’t really that much else to order unless I wanted a full dinner, which I really didn’t want to have pork chops or something else that seemed heavy. So I stuck with the macaroni and cheese. It had peas and bacon in it so it wasn’t that bad. I also ordered a glass of wine. Forty dollars plus later, I got the check, paid it and went back up to my room.

Since it was a holiday weekend, I had to leave the room by 12 pm. I decided since I was still at the conference for most of the morning, I would check out at 8:30 am. I brought my bag down and checked it with the bellhop. When I went to retrieve the bag at 2 pm, there was a line.

“And what subway do I take where,” the woman in front of me asked the concierge. “And where is the boat tour? And, And, And….” She didn’t stop asking questions. The son asked is there was a place to play video games. “Well, you can come back later and we can Google it,” the concierge said.

GOOGLE IT? Really? The kid didn’t have his own computer? Or a mobile phone?

Anyway, when I finally got to the front of the line, the man answered other people’s questions before getting my luggage. I was getting very angry. He finally got it and took it outside. He had someone hail a cab for me and I was on my way.

But reflecting back on the price of the room and the actual customer service at the W Hotel, I really didn’t think it made the grade. The room was expensive for what it was, it didn’t come with free Wi-Fi (there was a $14.95 charge per day) and the hotel staff was unresponsive. The one exception was that they gave me a fresh bottle of water as a comp every day.

The room cost me in excess of $200 a night.