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W Chicago Lakeshore 2007, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

W Chicago Lakeshore 2007, Chicago, IL [Master Thread]

Old Sep 28, 08, 8:35 pm
  #31  
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Chicago Gourmet and our stay at the W Lakeshore Chicago

My long anticipated report on our trip to Chicago for my fiance's birthday and Chicago Gourmet. After a long painful drive and long delays on the Edens and Kennedy Expressway alas we arrived at the W Lakeshore Chicago. About 5 days prior I had emailed the GM that it would especially nice if she could prebook us a suite to which she gladly replied no problem and arranged for us. She also had her concierge email us and he stated he would set up dinner reservations, reservations and table at Whisky Sky the bar on top of the W, and lounge bar reservations for Sat night. No problem he replied. Back to check in.... Bell Hop and Valet ready at the doorside. Luggage retrieved and sent upstairs by the Bell Hop. Walked into the Hotel and the Living Room Bar was already hopping, I checked in immediately which was smooth and seemless. Instant Platinum recognition along with offer of the points or free in room movie or bag of popcorn. I of course took the points! She confirmed we were reserved in a Marvelous Suite on the 22nd floor.

On arrival of suite we were like hot damn, another hot suite! Entrance into Living Room and Bar and Office. Separate Bedroom closed off by Wicker Doors. Fairly small Bathroom with separate shower and tub. Oh... and a half bath out in the Living Room. Nice! Everything in the cool sexy dark blues and purple W way. Beautiful view of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan and the beach. A knock at the door. Oh hey it's W/W with some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for my fiance along with hand written note stating happy birthday to me instead! When I emailed the concierge I asked if he could send up some champagne and perhaps some birthday cake for my fiance's birthday. Well, here's where things kind of went wrong. Other than the small aside that they thought it was my birthday, the concierge had apparently forgotten to make us dinner reservations, lounge reservations, and Whisky Sky reservations. Nothing in the system per the W/W staff downstairs. The unnamed concierge of course was off by then and couldn't be reached by his cell phone. I tried to call W/W to get an update and was referred to the concierge line, transferred and placed on hold for 30 minutes. Jaclyn the W/W girl was kind of enough to personally head upstairs to Whisky Sky and get us table reservations and also got us a table at Wave their Med influenced Restaurant. She told us the concierge that I had emailed back and forth with would be in the morning. Jaclyn sent us a note while we're dining at Wave which was sweet and apologetic. Gio our waiter heard me bemoan our poor conicerge experiences and gave my fiance and I a free bottle of wine and dessert fondue at the end. How nice! Dinner was great grilled skirt steak and the fiance had the summer squash. Yum! I gave Gio a 30 percent tip for being so great to us! Headed up to Whisky Sky and was sadly disappointed. Small dark bar, few seating areas and a view of the city. Not to impressed as when reading the info online it depicts Randy Gerber's Whisky Sky to be a hip happening place much like a nightclub. It ain't anything like that trust me! Nevertheless had some drinks and a nice time. Off to bed W style.....

Next day(saturday), breakfast outside overlooking Lake Shore Drive and the Lake Michigan. Beautiful day! Btw did you know that they change out the mats in the elevator 3 times a day? I knew the had a Good Morning and Good Evening mat but didn't realize until this stay they also have a Good Afternoon mat. Nice attention to details I say! I asked Lois the W/W gal if so and so the conicerge was in. She replied no he's not in today. Won't be til Monday. At which point I had to go on in a rant that he was supposed to make dinner reservations and lounge reservations and failed to do so. She apologized profusely states that she would take care of us and took down some information and needs. Arranged to have the Acura team take us down to Millenium Park for the Gourmet Taste of Chicago. If anyone was curious. Chicagos presumably first Gourmet Taste was a large event. Lots of wineries and vendors including a few sake places and beer places. The dissapointment was in the lack of gourmet food. Very few choices and nothing really worthwile as far as quality gourmet food. Tell me if I'm wrong if you were there but I expect most people would agree with me. Met Rick Bayless and Stephanie from Top Chef. Stephanie was so sweet they had started to walk away after talking to some fans and she realized we were waiting to talk to her so she came back and we got some pics with her. Anyways, good wine, poor food showing, met some celebrity chefs and back to the W. When we got back to the W, Lois stated Claudia another W/W gal was more knowledgable about dinner resv etc. Claudia proceeded to get resv at Marai for sushi and some recs for lounge bars to which we could get in no problem up front, no waiting, if we dropped their W card to them. Nice touch! Lois the gal from this morning had sent up some Bliss Shaving Thermal Cream for me which they bought from Bliss Spa for me on the house. Awesome! Ended up spending the night in and not partaking in lounge recs. Went to the Living Room Bar for a bit. DJ spinning some tunes, a young hip crowd, dark purple and blue lighting. What a great place! Next day.... a visit to the pool... small outdoor area with lounge chairs and cushions with purple W towels, swimming pool inside, covered, and small. Nothing remarkable. No hot tub. Nice weight room with treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. Technogym Equipment? Never heard of them before but nice stuff including 10 inch LCD TV Screens on the cardio equipment. A great sunday morning run on the lake... back to the suite. Was offered on check in Friday by the front desk with prompting a 4 pm late checkout to which we had accepted. Had some great massages at the Bliss Spa on the 8th floor. And departed at 3pm. Great hotel! Great staff and awesome correction after the failure of the concierge. We look forward to our next visit here! Here's a link to some pics. I didn't really take a whole lot as Blissworld had an excellent recent trip report as well as Thaliajen's report.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3050883...7607565389141/

btw was the deal with the 1980s looking hair dryer at the W hotels? I know bag is small and cute but cmon the thing is useless!
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Old Sep 28, 08, 9:55 pm
  #32  
 
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Great Post SleepDoc! Sounds like a lote happened at your stay at the W. Hope everything ended up alright.
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Old Sep 29, 08, 4:52 am
  #33  
 
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Clarification please

Originally Posted by SleepDoc View Post
About 5 days prior I had emailed the GM that it would especially nice if she could prebook us a suite to which she gladly replied no problem and arranged for us.
Hi SleepDoc, when you emailed Heather S was it 1) To book a suite or 2) to request a suite upgrade. Thanks Aussiechris
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Old Sep 29, 08, 5:02 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by aussiechris View Post
Hi SleepDoc, when you emailed Heather S was it 1) To book a suite or 2) to request a suite upgrade. Thanks Aussiechris
I emailed her to see if there were any suite upgrades available. She prebooked it for me which was nice to have for my fiance's birthday.
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Old Sep 29, 08, 5:10 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by SleepDoc View Post
I emailed her to see if there were any suite upgrades available. She prebooked it for me which was nice to have for my fiance's birthday.
Thanks SleepDoc....a great review and Heather is a charming GM.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 8:34 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by WScottsdaleInsider View Post
Great Post SleepDoc! Sounds like a lote happened at your stay at the W. Hope everything ended up alright.
Yeah we had an awesome stay at the Lakeshore W. I would highly recommend it despite the concierge goof. And like Aussiechris said Heather the GM is awesome and very responsive and personal.
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Old Mar 7, 09, 4:01 pm
  #37  
 
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It is no secret

Yes it is no secret..this is my favorite Hotel.
Never been disappointed or had a disappointing stay.
I arrived here after my NYC jaunt and was upgraded to a Marvellous Suite on the 24th floor.



Great lake view and a nice bottle of red was sent up to me
On the morning of my arrival I emailed the Hotel from NYC as a mate back in Aus was trying to get a copy of Season 11 (Final season) of Cheers. I asked if the Concierge could pick it up for me....yes it was waiting for me in my room!
I enjoyed my run in the rain this morning along Lakeshore Drive....oh to have the draught break back home!
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Old Mar 7, 09, 4:56 pm
  #38  
 
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I love this hotel, just checked out from one of many stays there. They treat Platinum's very well, the bar has a good scene and makes great drinks and it's a great hotel to stay at in the summer time.

I moved to the W City Center where I currently am. Sort of reminds me of the U Union Square in NYC (which is a good thing). While I think both are great properties with great staff, the edge goes to Lakeshore for me.
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Old Mar 22, 09, 5:28 pm
  #39  
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I spent three nights at the W Lake Shore this past week, and I had a pleasant stay. I had booked a "Wonderful Room" with a city view room at the Travelzoo promo rate of $119/night. I enjoy taking public transportation, so I took the El to from O'Hare to Chicago and Milwaukee and transferred to the 66 bus which took me to Fairbanks and Ontario. From there it was about a two block walk to the W.

The clerk welcomed me and asked me how my trip was. She told me that I had been upgraded to a lakeview room and asked if I wanted a high or low floor. I didn't inquire about a suite upgrade, because it was just me. I asked for a high floor, and she gave me room 2814. She also asked me if I wanted the points for my platinum amenity (which I have yet to receive).

The two things that struck me when I entered the room were the loud A/C and the smell/fragrance. The A/C did not run continuously, so the noise was not much of an issue for me. Also, I like a bit of white noise when I sleep--this was more like "gray noise" I think. The fragrance is something that housekeeping must spray in rooms, kind of a jasmine/lemon smell. It was overpowering at first, but I got used to it.

The view of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier was spectacular. The room was not large, but it was not exactly cramped, either. Again, because it was just me, it was fine. I liked the chaise lounge next to the window; it was perfect for taking in the view while doing some work.

There are some good dining alternatives a few blocks away on Ohio, west of Fairbanks. (I particularly like Sayat Nova, an Armenian restaurant.) For morning coffee or quick bites, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks each have locations less than a block away from the hotel, and a McDonald's is around the block. Plus, a 7-Eleven is a block away and a Dominick's supermarket is at the corner of Fairbanks and Grand.

While I didn't get a suite upgrade, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again, especially at a comparable rate.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 6:59 am
  #40  
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I'm looking to email me the Whatever/Whenever desk at this W but seem unable to find any email addresses provided on the whotels.com site. Can someone kindly refer me to the right place or even better, provide an email addy? thanks in advance
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Old Mar 23, 09, 10:32 am
  #41  
 
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This has to be my favourite W overall. I'm guessing that being the first W I ever stayed at and which thus started the whole addiction, I have a soft spot for this property. A pity however that I've not had the chance to visit Chicago for a while. Must find an excuse so I can come back to this W!

Yes Heather the GM is fantastic, as are the people at the Living Room and the DJ. Is Chris at W/W (or "Living Room Manager" as he was known) still there? All round fab bloke. ^
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Old Jun 22, 09, 7:51 pm
  #42  
 
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Any Gold level SPG'ers ever stay at the W Lakeshore?!? I read this whole thread and I don't think there was a single review by an SPG Gold member.

I'm planning a mid-week visit to Chicago with the family (wife and 2 kids) to visit the Aquarium, Navy Pier, and a few museums. I figured the W Lakeshore would be the Starwood property to stay at considering it's location near the Pier and relatively easy access to the Mag. Mile and also the Aquarium/museums just down Lakeshore Dr. but with all the reviews stating that the smallish rooms at the W Lakeshore are cramped for just 1 or 2 people, I'm very worried about my stay with two kids also.

Any idea how does this property treats it's gold members? Is there a chance in hell that this lowly gold would get an upgrade to a more spacious suite?

I know, I know, as a gold, if I need the suite, then book it but I was booking an award reservation anyway and had hoped to save the extra 10K per night. We will be arriving on a wednesday and leaving on friday, if it matters.
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Old Jun 23, 09, 5:36 am
  #43  
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The standard rooms are average hotel size (probably around the 30sqm mark) and it all came down to how old / small your kids are and whether they may be interested in sharing a double bed?

There are rooms which are double double beds, so you and your wife could be in one, and if the kids are like small / young they could share the other.

Bathroom wise its smallish but acceptable.

Location to the pier etc is great but is a good 10 minute walk to the Mag. Mile.


Reminds myself to write a review but simply from my recent stay at this W I must say I was unimpressed with this property. I'm not whinging that I did not get an upgrade to a suite but rather the lack of soul from all the staff I encountered esp. the girls on the front desk who absolutely no desire to want to be of any help. They should get off their 'lofty airy fairy cloud' and come back down to Earth - yes Earth - and realise that customer service and a wanting to help is the key.

The biggest question I ask myself is, would I stay here again? Or would I recommend this hotel to my best friend? And I would definitely say No, and esp. when hotels on the Mag Mile can be found at better rates than this W.
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Old Jun 23, 09, 7:32 am
  #44  
 
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Also in need of some maintenance. Was there last week and bed-side lamp did not work, cordless phone also not, sink in bathroom did not drain - and that was all i noticed in one night!
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Old Jul 22, 09, 12:01 pm
  #45  
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Mini trip report

Just returned from a Tuesday night stay in at the W Hotel Lakeshore. Wife and I went down for the Elton John/Billy Joel Concert (incredible show @ Wrigley^) and this was the only SPG Hotel available. We booked an accessible room, as that is all that was available at the time of booking. I sent an email to the hotel and they said they were sold out but would try to get me a regular room. We arrived right at 3pm and after agreeing to the $48 () valet parking, went in to check in. Short wait to check in, clerk was friendly and recognized platinum and offered amenity (took the points). She was able to "upgrade" us to a lake view room, which was appreciated.
The rooms here as mentioned are really getting worn down. They are also a lot smaller than I remembered. Anyhow, no real issues, just the general nickel and dime crap I hate at W's...no free water, internet is pricey, etc. As has been mentioned here before the open shower concept in this room really sucks...water goes all over the floor and it's hard to avoid as the bathroom is tiny.
In summary, overall the stay was fine, but I really don't understand the love for this place...we had no choice in staying here, and I would not return unless the situation was similar.
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