Review: Trump Chicago

Old Nov 15, 09, 12:31 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 4,462
Review: Trump Chicago

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Map| 2 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

401 N Wabash Ave Chicago, IL US 60611

Review: Trump Chicago (0 Photo)

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Chicago has featured prominently in trip reports this month so it seems opportune to add my recent experience at Trump Chicago, shamelessly plagiarisingluxurys format. (Apologies in advance that this is so long; it seems with me it's all or nothing.)


My booking was made through an extremely efficient and diligent Virtuoso agent. He managed to secure a confirmed upgrade from a Deluxe King to an Executive Lake View room. I was thrilled as this 900 sq. ft. room faces east and has great views of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower as well as the river and the lake. This persuaded me to give up my own booking for a superior room at $237 (bed only, much smaller, no kitchen, city view) and fork out $395 for this and the other Virtuoso bennies.

Then it all started to go wrong. My confirmation said I was booked into a Spa Executive King. Although the rate for this room is higher than for the Executive Lake View it was not what I wanted - it is smaller and does not have the kitchen. When queried Trump said they made a mistake and a Lake View room was not available. But it was available to book online!? My agent persisted and they finally relented and booked the agreed room. They promised a revised confirmation, but that never materialised. In the course of all this my 3 e-mails went unanswered. (I used the addresses given on the confirmations and got no bounce back so I assume they were received.)

I couldnt believe how badly they had handled this: where they started off with a delighted customer grateful for a confirmed upgrade they ended up with one totally ticked off. I was on the point of cancelling the reservation. I went onto Trip Advisor for reassurance and was further put off by all the naff personal responses that the GM makes to reviews. I was beginning to think this was all a horrible mistake. But when my partner asked if I would be satisfied if we got the room I wanted and I said yes, he persuaded me to confirm by telephone. Which I did and the charming res agent reassured me I was in the Executive Lake View.


So, with some trepidation, I arrived at Trump at about 8pm. The doormen were very efficient in greeting us, whisking away the luggage and guiding us into the lobby. Yes, it is cramped for such an establishment and surely a big headache for the branding people but during our 4 days there it seemed quite functional and I never saw queues. It tends to look very untidy if a handful of people are hanging about and it is not a space that invites you to linger or provides any quiet nooks in which to wait for someone, say.

I was attended to straight away at the front desk and efficiently processed. This included the words: We have upgraded you to and I held my breath half expecting them to backslide on the promised upgrade a one bedroom suite with a river view on our highest floor. I was so surprised I barely managed to mumble a thank you. (Later I calculated that this is 5 price levels up from what I paid for - they have many and confusing room categories - and is marketed at $695.)

A bellboy was on hand to escort us to our room together with the luggage on a trolley. (I saw this several times during our stay and I suspect there is no service elevator.) He explained features of the room and answered questions very competently. Like most staff at Trump I felt I was dealing with someone well trained and confident in doing his job.


Well suite, of course. Its 1220 sq. ft. incorporates a foyer, living/dining room/ kitchen, dressing room, main and guest bathroom and a bedroom. The web site pictures give an accurate impression of what you get and there areexcellent floor plans. (We had a 36 room).

The dcor is muted and the palette mainly features variations on taupe. This ranges freely from the brown to the grey side, which (together with occasional touches of muted purple and wood) provides enough contrast to prevent it being drab or uninteresting. For me the effect was very restful and welcoming. Even though I loved it I can see that this is not a scheme that would be to everyones taste and definitely not for those with an affinity for chintz, overstuffed sofas or faux Louis XIV chairs.

I do have some small criticisms of the dcor and furnishings: Most importantly the couches were not very comfortable for lounging on for any length of time. The wall pictures are rather nice but there are some large walls that were empty and looked bare. The dressing room area is large and rather sterile. And the ersatz fireplace does not appeal to my taste.

The fittings are top notch from the exceptionally well appointed kitchen through to the electrics. Much is made of the in-mirror TV in the bathroom. As gimmicks go I liked it: I found it useful for keeping half an eye on the news or weather while shaving. There is no bidet which is surprising given the amount of space available. (Does the US really do bidets?) The lights are excellent with most lights on dimmers. Reading lights were adequate.

My biggest gripe was the noisy aircon intake. This is in the foyer area and even with the fan set to low made far too much noise. There also did not seem to be any way to get fresh air into the system - it was just recycling air from the suite. We were eventually able to dispense with it after getting maintenance to unlock some of the small lower windows which we then opened for ventilation.

Which brings me to the views - and what views they are! Floor to ceiling windows look out onto the river below and the wonderful architecture along its banks and beyond. Off to the side is the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. Trump Tower is uniquely situated because it is on a bend in the river and consequently has stunning views towards the lake.

The bathroom was also very spacious with a deep, but rather short, bath and separate, large shower. Double vanities but not a lot of space for ones toiletries. The hotel toiletries are Trump branded (as were the bottles of water and the chocolates you got with your coffee) which in my mind manages to say cheapskate and self-aggrandising at the same time. If that isn't enough, the plastic containers have a shape that militates against dispensing the contents. Basically, apart from the soap, I was irritated every time I used them. Very nice towels and bath robes 4 of them! (Two were in the hall closet presumably for use when 4 people occupy the suite and some make use of the shower in the guest bathroom.)


We only had breakfasts in the main restaurant, "16". They were very nice breakfasts with some unusual options. I particularly like the Texan truffle toast which seemed to be bread fried in truffle butter and topped with a tasty and succulent lobster concoction and a poached egg. The more mundane items were less successful - like an omelette (rather dry) and eggs Benedict (tasteless hollandaise). Service was fair to good on most days but on Sunday there were new staff and it suddenly took a bit of a dive. Probably a combination of more people at breakfast plus the kitchen and regular wait staff preparing for brunch.

Everything is priced separately which is always alarming to me. I hate having to think about whether I really want a $6 glass of fresh (tasted just like Tropicana) juice. Our rate included continental breakfast but since no such thing exists on the menu I didnt know what I was going to pay for. The front desk said we could have anything which I rather doubted and in the end I paid something that I didnt quite understand but didnt query because it seemed like we got comped a fixed amount (maybe $50?) and that seemed quite reasonable to me.

The restaurant has a wonderful setting with great views and a spacious patio. This is the first setback incorporated into the architectural design and was specifically put here to relate to the iconic skyline features of the clock on the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower. It also looks straight down the river to the lake. The patio was not in use - despite the unseasonably balmy November weather it was still a tad too windy to be pleasant.

We had a drink and some eats in Rebar the evening we arrived. The shrimp tempura was too oily but their strange take on miso soup (with shrimp and mushrooms) was rather nice. Service was very good. The place was busy and vibey without being unpleasantly noisy - and Im very picky about acoustics. Prices are apparently on the high side but when you convert to ZAR all prices are daunting so Im not a good judge.


In general I was pleased with the service. Almost everyone I dealt with was friendly, helpful and competent. (And very young! Or am I just getting very old?) I didnt really have any strange or unusual requests but little things like some deliveries, replacing the Nespresso machine (I think I had just failed to refill it with water), providing an adaptor plug etc. were all managed very smoothly. When we werent ready for the turndown service we were immediately asked what time housekeeping should return. There was the rather clueless waiter on the last day and the housekeeper really should have twigged that if I keep leaving a tip in an envelope the envelopes will need to be replenished. But in general I felt confident that when I approached staff for assistance I would get results.

Spa & health club

Even though I had a spa credit as my Virtuoso amenity I didnt have the time or inclination to use the spa. I did go down to the spa floor once to use the pool but only saw the locker rooms and the pool. Once again there are amazing views to be had. The locker rooms are well equipped: lockers with electronic locks, hairdryers (if only, sigh) spin dryer for bathing suits, sauna, steam room etc. There are only 4 showers that I could see, though. The place was not being kept immaculate so that there were occasional puddles of water around the floor. The pool is satisfyingly large and the pool area very nice with loungers and chairs all around.


And I was very happy at Trump Chicago most especially with the suite. I felt that everyone is trying hard to maintain a high standard even if occasionally they arent quite getting there. It obviously doesn't have (and possibly never will have) that feeling of excellence, polished by decades of experience, that one finds at the great hotels. Nevertheless, I left with a very positive feeling about this new hotel. But I must confess that some of this may have been because I was so charmed and delighted by Chicago on my first visit. The location was fantastic for our needs as 1st time tourists, providing easy access to everything on both sides of the river. The building itself is magnificent and it gave us a big kick to be staying in one of Chicagos newest architectural landmarks.

Review: Trump Chicago

Would you like to write a review on the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago?

No, thank you.
Cheetah_SA is offline  
Old Nov 15, 09, 2:52 pm
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Des Moines, IA and Bellingham, WA
Programs: UA Platinum, HH Diamond, UA Elite Team winner 2009
Posts: 151
Nice Post

I've attended classes across the street at the oracle training center, always wondered whether the Trump option would be worth a spluge. Now that I have more information I will consider it more seriously on my next visit.
Ed ONeill is offline  
Old Nov 16, 09, 4:18 am
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Programs: QF Platinum & Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,340
Great review Cheetah_SA.
QF Lad is offline  
Old Nov 16, 09, 12:24 pm
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeHilton Contributor Badge
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: YVR
Programs: Hilton*D, Marriott*LG, Hyatt*G
Posts: 6,268
Thank you for a great review!! How was the much hyped Trump Attach service?
luxury is offline  
Old Nov 17, 09, 12:39 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 4,462
Originally Posted by luxury
Thank you for a great review!! How was the much hyped Trump Attach service?
I think I'm too low maintenance to really put it to the test so to me it felt like branding more than anything. It does mean you can press one button and get answers to a whole range of requests/queries. (But isn't that just customer services by another name?) The person on the other end does seem a definite cut above the usual backroom staff and as I mentioned was able to respond immediately to all my issues.

One facility that seemed useful was the ability to pre-stock your kitchen by means of an online order form. But then again it was the e-Attache service that ignored one of my e-mails.
Cheetah_SA is offline  
Old Nov 17, 09, 10:30 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA GS-lite :-), Delta Diamond, Ritz Carlton Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 887
Not to hijaack this thread, but the e-mail correspondence by most hotels is usually pretty bad. RC-SFO which I really adore -- has some of the worst e-mail correspondence when it comes to the spa. Now I just email the club concierges -- if you want something at Trump I guess the lesson is call, and make sure you write down who you spoke with.
philfna is offline  
Old Jul 20, 10, 4:10 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Orange County, CA
Programs: AA LT PLT, DL PLT, HH DIA, IHG PLT, Hertz PLT, Bonvoy GLD, Avis Pres Club
Posts: 1,265

Last edited by trojanman; Jul 20, 10 at 4:54 pm
trojanman is offline  
Old Jul 20, 10, 4:54 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Orange County, CA
Programs: AA LT PLT, DL PLT, HH DIA, IHG PLT, Hertz PLT, Bonvoy GLD, Avis Pres Club
Posts: 1,265
I just stayed at Trump for the last couple days and will provide my review as well.


Trump International Hotel and Tower is located on the southern end of the River North neighborhood in downtown Chicago. The property was just voted #1 city hotel in North America by T+L.


I normally book via Virtuoso, but this was a business trip with a colleague and we needed 2 rooms on the same budget I normally have when I travel alone. As such, I booked via ABA at the rate of $275, which including a $25 F&B credit once per stay per room. That represents a 40% savings over the Virtuoso rate. The reservation was made directly with the property.


Trump is a mixed use development with retail on the subterranean level (RiverWalk), a five star hotel from floor G to 27, and ultra-high end residential condos from floor 28 to 92. *special note: a fellow FT'er in the know informed me the residences stop at 89, with mechanicals making up the top few floors. I can neither confirm nor disprove that statement, but I can tell you that Trump makes a huge promotional deal about offering the highest residence in the USA on the 92nd floor.*

The exterior is shiny steel and mirrored glass. The tower is sleek, modern, and has already become an instantly recognizable symbol of Chicago, much like Sears or Hancock.

The public spaces are beige limestone and dark wood, and there are many little accents to delight your architectural senses. Unfortunately, some of those accents are in the subtle form of hidden T's (for Trump, of course) in the floor, on the candles...pretty much everywhere. That was moderately annoying. Attention to detail really shows.

As has been previously noted the biggest design flaw of the hotel is its tiny lobby. For a property trying to be as grand and luxurious and Pen, Four Seaons and such, the lobby really needs to be triple the size. I suppose Trump's philosophy is that lobbies don't generate revenue, so you shouldn't waste square footage on them.


The hotel's automated reservation computer emails you approximately 1-2 weeks in advance to assist with any pre-arrival needs like reservations, pillow menu, transfer arrangements, etc...

I responded to that email with 2 special requests. I waited for several days, but did not hear back. Because our arrival was imminent, I decided to be more proactive and emailed my "attache" directly. I received a response in about 24 hours, though only 1 of my 2 requests was addressed. I was told my 2nd request would be handled by the concierge "very shortly". It was never handled.


We had a late-night arrival and decided to sneak in the self-parking route instead of valet. As a brief aside, if you need in-and-out privileges, Valet is the ONLY option. Self-park does NOT offer in-and-out, and it only saves about $6 a day. Self park was $46 and I believe valet was $52.

We made our way to the front desk, which had 2 people working at 11:45pm. There was also a concierge on duty (24 hours a day, so they say). Even though we came in via self park and did not announce our arrival to anyone, when I told the agent we were checking in, he said "Mr. Trojanman?". I was mildly impressed.

The agent did not offer any details of our room, so I asked if my upgrade request was honored, and he said they upgraded us from Superior (lowest category) to Spa with a great eastern view (1-category up). Though it was technically an upgrade, it is essentially a lateral move. I have heard some people don't like the Spa rooms as much as regular rooms, but more on that later.

We were pointed to the elevator and told to insert our key in the slot to activate the buttons. Not a 5-star delivery process, but sufficient considering the elevator was about 15 feet from the front desk.

*Note: I was NOT asked to produce ABA identification at any time* YMMV

Spa Rooms

Our spa rooms were on the 14M floor (mezzanine), the same floor as the spa/gym/pool. Rooms were clearly marked and each one has a doorbell that also doubles as the "Do Not Disturb" and "Please Make Up Room" sign.

The room design in general reminds me of the Wynn/core in Vegas, but with a more neutral color scheme. That is to say, the hard product is phenomenal - truly among the best I've ever visited.

The bathroom is located adjacent to the front door, and has a sliding frosted glass door for privacy. There is a double vanity with an in-mirror TV, a very large soaking tub, separate shower stall, and enclosed w.c. It's a very spacious bathroom and could serve as a model for other 5-star properties. Toiletries are Trump brand (no surprise there), and appear to be of decent quality, but are not exceptional. The only complaint I have about the amenities is the use of the cheap chinese cotton swabs. I know, it's a small detail, but isn't that what 5-star hotels are about?

The bed/living area was spacious as well. Furniture consisted of 2 bedside tables, an armoire/TV stand, a desk/chair, and a comfortable chaise. TV was flat-panel and actually had HD service, which is something rarely available in hotels! The bedside clock was a Bose Wave radio w/ ipod dock. Say what you will about Bose products, but I believe the Wave is the finest clock-radio on the market and is very easy to use. I wish more 5-star properties would use the Wave.

Lighting options abound, with dimmers on almost everything. Non-techy people might be confused with all the switches, though there was a single "master control" for all lights next to the bed. IMHO, they should have installed a second "master control" closer to the front door.

Drapes are motorized and open via switches mounted next to the work desk. The placement of the switches seems would have been much more logical to put the controls next to the bed. This in one instance where all Peninsula properties have it nailed.

There is a private bar in each room consisting of a Sub-Zero mini-refrigerator (very cool!), lots of high quality snacks, plenty of glasses, an electric tea kettle, and a Nespresso machine. I noticed housekeeping kept track of what Nespresso pods I used and gave me extras of that type the next day. Very thoughtful. The ice bucket was also kept perpetually full. Well done.

Next to the TV was the "water library", consisting of 4 different types of ultra-premium water (including $25 Bling water). I skipped the water bar and drank the complimentary Trump water provided at turn down. FYI, you can get an almost unlimited amount of free Trump water from the locker room at the gym as well as the front desk and valet desk.

The bed was very comfortable - among the better hotel beds I've slept on. There were more pillows that I knew what to do with, and there is a pillow menu on top of that.

Not sure if this feature is unique to the spa rooms or not, but there were heated neck and eye pillows available from the towel warmer (!) in the closet. Other features potentially unique to the spa room were a set of free weights tucked into the corner of the room, a yoga mat in the bedside table, and a yoga guide book.

Both wired and wireless internet were available and complimentary. Thank you, Trump, for being one of the only high-end hotel brands that provides free internet access

One important note. At least one other review on FT and several on tripadvisor have commented on the issue of loud HVAC systems in the room. My observation is that the HVAC system produces a normal and acceptable level of white noise. It is neither overly quiet nor overly loud. I don't believe there is anything to be worried about. There have also been comments of "thin walls" or hearing your neighbors. The hotel was at or near 100% occupancy during my 2 night stay and I never heard another soul when I was in my room. Is is possible the Spa Rooms are constructed differently than the rest of the rooms?

Turndown Service

Turndown is becoming standard service at even mid-end properties nowadays. The Trump turndown was good but not great. Slippers were put next to the bed, but left in their sealed plastic bag to be opened by me. One bottle of water was left at the bedside table, the curtains drawn, lights dimmed, radio set to a jazz station, and TV set to its "aquarium" channel. Shoe shine service is available and complimentary, but requires a phone call and personal interaction with a staff member who comes to your room. Four Seasons "put the bag on the door" system is much more preferable after a long day of meetings IMO.

In-Room Dining

I was out until 2am one night and wanted some late night grub. I asked the front desk if anything was open within walking distance, and I was told no. They suggested in-room dining of course, but I told them I didn't want hotel food. The agent pulled out a menu from an italian joint that delivered, but he said it would take 45 minutes. I didn't feel like waiting. Went up to the room and decided I would try in-room dining after all. Though I really wanted a burger, it was $26++ and I really couldn't bring myself to pay that much.

Wound up ordering a chicken quesadilla for $16. I was told it would be a 30 minute wait, and it took 25. Glad they beat the time estimate, but 25 minutes for a quesadilla @ 2am is silly. The attendant arrived with white linen service, and I was provided guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo without asking. The table was set up quickly and the lady left without lingering around for a tip. I was pleased about that, but not pleased about the $4 delivery charge and automatic 20% gratuity. My $16 quesadilla turned into a $25 room charge.

Unfortunately, the quesadilla, the guac, and the pico de gallo were all very bland and forgettable. Quesadillas are supposed to be rich, comforting, and delicious - a real treat. This was the antithesis. I dare say it was the single worst bit of Mexican food I have ever had.

Sorry Trump, you fell flat on your face with Room Service.


The dining space Sixteen is about 3 stories tall, and makes a huge impression. There is also an outdoor terrace attached to Sixteen, but it was closed due to weather. I have never visted the Terrace @ Peninsula Chicago, but solely based on pictures, the ambiance @ Peninsula looks more inviting and residential, whereas the cityscapes and views from Trump are far more impressive.

We ate breakfast at Sixteen once during our stay. We were greeted immediately and shown our table without any wait. Our server was a bit slow to come over, but once he showed up, things went smoothly. Coffee was Meinl and every bit as exceptional as others have commented. The food (we both had chilaquiles) was very flavorful, though lacking in heat (the spicy kind) that would traditionally be associated with this mexican food. I asked for salsa but was told they only had tabasco. I took what I could get, but I was disappointed. There were Austrian preserves on the table to go with our toast, but I did not try any of them.

Overall, the breakfast was very good to excellent. Had our server gotten to the table a bit quicker, and had the kitchen provided salsa, I would have rated it as exceptional.

A la carte breakfast for 2 was $63 inclusive of tip including 2 coffees, 1 OJ, and 2 entrees.


I did not get a chance to try Rebar, primarily because it was packed so full of NON-guests that there was a wait to get in. Why have a bar at a hotel if you don't give priority to guests? Also, the crowd was very "look how beautiful and trendy I am"...something I would expect at a night club, not a 5-star hotel. That was a BIG turn off.


I admit I did not check out the pool or gym as I should have, but I did make time for a massage. Spa reception was efficient and friendly, but not overly helpful or as on the ball as the staff at Hualalai are. The locker room is huge and well appointed, though lacking in a lounge area like Wynn/core or Four Seasons Vegas.

There is a quiet lounge in the spa treatment area, but there is a sign in front asking that only guests with a scheduled treatment use the area.

I had a 60 minute (not 50) Classic Trump Massage (that's a bad name, don't you think?). It was $150 and was expertly performed by a wonderful therapist. Only downside was a mandatory gratuity AND a separate gratuity for the reception staff. Really, Trump?


Part of my pre-arrival Attache contact was to make dinner suggestions and arrangements. That was never handled pre-arrival. Instead, I contacted the concierge in person after our arrival. Though I have a dozen Chicago restaurants I am waiting to cross off my bucket list, it was Sunday, and most of the Chicago powerhouse restaurants are closed. I asked for a restaurant of any genre that was 1-2 steps down in price and formality as compared to Alinea or L20 but still provided a foodie experience. The added requirement was something that we could go to wearing a polo and khakis.

She immediately named about 6 restaurants including Avec and MK, but insisted that her 7th choice was "the one". It was Vermilion - a Latin/Indian fusion restaurant less than 1/4 mile from the Trump. A bizarre fusion to be sure, but a very intriguing one. Score 1 bonus point for the concierge for putting forth such a daring suggestion. Sadly, I wasn't impressed with Vermilion, so the concierge loses her bonus point. The restaurant was OK, but not in the same league as Avec & MK, and not even in the same universe as my request to be "1-2 steps below Alinea and L20".


There was a Turkish consulate function at the hotel throughout my entire stay, and my checkout date & time seemed to coincide with the departure of several members of that group. There was an approximate 5 minute wait to checkout. Once I was up, I reviewed the bill, noting the $25 F&B credit was not posted. The agent informed me the ABA rate no longer included the F&B credit. I asked her to verify with a manager, who said the F&B credit offer expired June 30. I then politely said the promotion was listed as renewed for all Q32010 stays on the ABA website. Silence. No response. After waiting for an uncomfortable few seconds, she just asked me to call the accounting office to take it up with them. Really? BIG HUGE WAVING RED FLAG. This is NOT 5-star service!!

As I mentioned in my Hualalai review, I am starting to get REALLY muggin' tired of these high end properties overbilling and not providing a customer friendly way to resolve issues.

Closing Thoughts

Is Trump really worth being called #1 city hotel in the USA? I am increasingly doubtful of anything being labeled with such a superlative in a land where we have so many creative and resourceful people. That said, Trump truly is among the best city hotels I have experienced. The hard product is unrivaled in Chicago as far as I know, and the service is almost there.

At $275 it was a steal and everyone reading this should not hesitate to stay at Trump at that price. At its regular rate of $460+, it is less of a clear cut decision. I would definitely endorse staying there again, but with so many exciting properties I have yet to try in Chicago, I doubt I will make it back to Trump unless I need the ABA price break again. I'm going to Chicago again in September and will likely try the Peninsula using the ABA rate.

Last edited by trojanman; Jul 20, 10 at 5:24 pm
trojanman is offline  
Old Jul 21, 10, 4:02 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 31,780
good stuff as usual ^

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune....enthouse-.html says penthouse on 89th

sub-zero was looking at fridges recently

meinl? after RC dropped it?

random tidbit >
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri
looking at the floorplans, one of the 2BRs (unit 00) connects to an executive (unit 04) on floors 18>27, so thats 10 3BRs. the destination club Exclusive Resorts owns 7 of the "00" units, so only 3 are bookable.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 21, 10 at 4:15 pm
Kagehitokiri is offline  
Old Jul 22, 10, 3:08 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 4,462
Wonderfully comprehensive report, trojanman. ^

They appear to be penny pinching these days. When I mentioned at check-out that I could not remember a particular mini bar item on the bill, it was immediately removed. Later I checked with SO and he reminded me we had taken some cookies for our morning coffee.

I stumbled upon Vermilion quite by chance on TA and was thoroughly enchanted by their food and the service. One of the most original cuisines I have ever experienced and exceptionally well informed servers. It's recently been given favourable mention in Time magazine. But I can also understand how it could disappoint given your criteria.
Cheetah_SA is offline  
Old Jul 22, 10, 4:51 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Orange County, CA
Programs: AA LT PLT, DL PLT, HH DIA, IHG PLT, Hertz PLT, Bonvoy GLD, Avis Pres Club
Posts: 1,265
Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA
Wonderfully comprehensive report, trojanman. ^

They appear to be penny pinching these days. When I mentioned at check-out that I could not remember a particular mini bar item on the bill, it was immediately removed. Later I checked with SO and he reminded me we had taken some cookies for our morning coffee.

I stumbled upon Vermilion quite by chance on TA and was thoroughly enchanted by their food and the service. One of the most original cuisines I have ever experienced and exceptionally well informed servers. It's recently been given favourable mention in Time magazine. But I can also understand how it could disappoint given your criteria.
Cheetah, it's not that the restaurant was bad per se, but it wasn't what we were looking for. Let me start out by saying Mexican/Latin food and Indian food are 2 of my absolutely favorite cuisines in the world, and I love tons of spice, heat, and flavor. I had the following issues with Vermilion:

1. The decor looked trendy, but "cheap" - not elegant or high class enough to charge $65+ per person.

2. The "Spice Cocktails" were a big disappointment. Chicago is a town chock full of cutting edge mixologists creating incredible libations using boutique liquor brands and mixes/bitters made from scratch. The drinks at Vermilion seemed to be "regular" well martinis with a cucumber added here and a sprig of mint added there.

3. The food presentation on the website looks professional and appetizing. That is not how our food was presented.

4. After about a 30 minute wait for our food, the server came out and explained the chef "wasn't happy with how it looked" so he was starting from scratch. While I appreciate the sentiment of quality control, a restaurant at this price point should not be creating dishes that have to be remade. Instead of a manager's apology or a comped entree, we got a side order of Daal to munch on.

5. Once the food actually arrived, I found far too many flavors layered upon each other. The Indian and Latin spices seemed to conflict. IMHO, the only successful dish of our meal of 6 items was the Chimichurri New York Strip. That success, was IMO, primarily because it was strongly latin in flavor, with little indian influence.

I have a a feeling that had the setting been a bit more high class and the food service a bit more timely that I might have turned out to love it.
trojanman is offline  
Old Aug 4, 11, 4:11 am
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 2
Wow! That was a generous information. But I like the spa rooms. It's perfect for spa-lovers.
chrisalberts77 is offline  
Old Aug 15, 11, 12:51 pm
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Programs: Too many
Posts: 1,096
Great review thanks!
Jinxy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.