W Chicago City Center : A solid hotel experience in the loop

Back in Downtown Chicago after a short week in the suburbs and a new Starwood hotel, as it is the W Chicago City Center, located in the heart of the Loop.
Although the loop is quieter, I changed my reservation for variety at Starwood and was not disappointed.

Booking

I made the reservation on the SPG website, as usual, only a few days before my arrival. The rate was quite reasonable, a little over $200 per night in public rate, the corporate rates being all higher.
However, the fare was neither exchangeable nor refundable.

Arrival

I drove in from the Chicago suburbs in the early evening, around 8pm. On this Thursday evening, the hotel was very quiet: it’s a slow day like Sunday night in the American hotel business, a crossroads between consultants and tourists who leave for the weekend.
My car was picked up immediately by the valet outside.
The check-in procedures were extremely fast.
No upgrades here either, as summer weekends are busy in Chicago (weddings, tourists, etc), but the category reserved was already nice.
Here I chose the breakfast as a Platinum welcome gift instead of the points I usually choose.

Room

The room, of Spectacular category, was superb, located on the 19th floor of the hotel, spacious and with a beautiful view on some skyscrapers of the loop.

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The entrance is quite spacious, with a very large closet that can accommodate my stuff, which contrasts with the one in the ALoft shown earlier.

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The bathroom is very spacious but lacks style, a bad point for this recent renovation.

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Above all, the bathtub with this horrible hip bath is useless: a walk-in shower would be expected in this luxury establishment.

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The office part is very spacious and pleasant: I will work most of my weekend, so this point is crucial for this 4 nights stay.

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The night part, more simple, was not less pleasant and especially, the W bed is always a delight that I invite you to try as soon as possible, the feeling of sleeping on a cloud.

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Finally, the room has a relaxation area with a comfortable chaise longue that I used both to work and to watch some soccer games on ESPN.

However, beware of the vis-à-vis in Chicago hotels: close the curtains well before getting comfortable, at the risk of seeing the whole building across the street enjoying your nudity.

To finish, here is a virtual visit of this Spectacular room that I invite you to discover:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qoZX6menUo

Lobby and common areas

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The hotel was built in an old Chicago building, which gives it an interesting cachet thanks to the mix of tradition and modernity that really emphasizes the Design. The result: a lobby in dark tones but cosy and very successful, despite the limited space available:

The hotel has a very nice gym on the 4th floor, with recent equipment. However, it can quickly become congested at peak times.

Restaurants

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I only tried the restaurant at the breakfast service. And I was not disappointed.
Firstly, the breakfast is not a buffet and I find this formula traditionally more qualitative.
Second, the coupon for SPG Platinum members allows for an $18 discount on the final billper guest, so you can enjoy something hearty for a few dollars tip.
Third, the quality of the dishes served is truly superior, as evidenced by this egg white, asparagus and avocado omelet:

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Or even these simple fried eggs prepared with great care.

This formula will not suit those who like free breakfasts in motels on the side of the highway, but it will satisfy the demanding taste buds that are looking for something other than filling their bellies with insipid carbohydrates.

Services

The only service I used during my stay was valet parking. The price is insane ($68 per day) and the level of service is mediocre: in the evening, nobody is there and I had to wait 10 minutes twice to return the car. 3 times, I waited more than 20 minutes for the car to come from the parking lot. Of course, the service is outsourced to a service provider, but the hotel should be careful, especially considering the price charged, one of the highest in the loop.

Departure

The departure formalities were slightly complicated because of my credit card limits, which were too low to support a three-week stay in the United States…
But the staff was super competent in solving these problems.

Conclusion

A very good stay in this hotel. Proof that, even without an upgrade, when the quality of service is there, everything goes smoothly!

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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