W Hotel City Center – Chicago, Illinois:W Hotel City Center is located right in the middle of famed Chicago Loop—the city’s financial, commercial, cultural and entertainment district. It is close to the Chicago Art Institute, the theater district, the Sears Tower, and music at Millennium Park. A hip and trendy hotel with a happening bar and lounge, it is frequented by the young and beautiful people of Chicago, fashionistas, celebrities, jet-setters, and business travelers from all over the world.
First Impression/Lobby: The lobby was huge! High ceilings, impressive lighting fixtures, large marbled columns, and towering lamps gave a majestic feeling, but without being ostentatious. The décor and motif was quite modest in terms of colors and patterns—mostly browns, beige, and aqua blues, giving an overall effect of ultra chic and ultra cool, exactly as I expected the W Chicago to be.
The bellman was quick to greet us and retrieve our bags, and just as quick to make a cheeky comment about our considerable luggage. Little did he know that we were in the process of a six week journey to several countries, on three different continents (and three different temperate regions). As much as I wanted to explain this to him, I just decided to let his rude comment slide and smile at his idiocy.
Reception: Reception was very friendly and welcoming. At that time, they were training someone new and as hard as she tried, she just seemed to have troubles with each step of the process. She still managed to be pleasant and keep her sense of humor as she struggled, though. Eventually her trainer gracefully stepped in and completed our registration so we could get to our room.
The Suite: Our first room, which the W called the “Spectacular Room,” was far from spectacular in my eyes. It was so small and so dark with just one mid-sized window that I would have gone crazy from claustrophobia had I stayed any longer. There was no choice for us but to get an upgrade.
The next room, called the “Fabulous Room,” was still on the small side but at least had large windows that let the light flood in during the day. At night though, the “ambient” lighting in the room kept it on the dim side. You won’t find the Fabulous room category on their website as it is not listed, but it is supposed to be the highest room category before a suite.
The room was not a total waste, however, as the fashionably chic décor of the lobby was carried over to the room’s interiors—somewhat minimal and crisp but ultra trendy. The room was similar to quaint but tasteful rooms in many small boutique hotels I’ve visited over the years.
If the room failed in any one area, it would have been the bathroom. Tiny and ill conceived; it was hard to believe this was a bathroom in a five star luxury hotel!
Room Service: With a rather limited menu for a hotel of this size they were still able to pull together the customary dishes of burgers, pastas and sandwiches quite well. While the presentation was lacking—it was more of a drop-and-run service than a proper five-star presentation and setup—the quality of the food was above average (as were the prices). Overall the room service was good but not great.
Housekeeping: The housekeeping did a fabulous service every time, and the most impressive thing about it is that the service was always done consistently and without any intrusion, Bombastic!
Concierge: The concierge service was quick to recommend restaurants and to secure us a table but I cannot say I was overly impressed with their recommendations. I am sure Chicago has much better restaurants than some of the ones they recommended. Of the three we tried, only one was bombastic. That’s not a good average.
Restaurant: The hotel’s restaurant, Ristorante We, serves Tuscan inspired cuisine in a contemporary setting. Their specialties include grilled steaks, pastas, antipasti, and wine. W Hotel also has a popular bar, The Living Room Bar, where a lot of Chicago’s young and beautiful go to see and be seen.
We were not able to try out any of these, though.
Pool/Spa/Activities: The hotel provides a fitness center and an in-room spa for guests. Luxury boutiques are also ubiquitous in the hotel carrying luxury and designer goods including clothes, bags, shoes, and accessories.
Because W City Hotel is right in the middle of Chicago Loop, the best activity is to go out and explore the area.
Overall Impression Overall the W Hotel City Center Chicago did a good job of providing good service and superior (but small) accommodations in a chic and trendy setting without overdoing the trendiness to the point of obnoxious like I’ve experienced at some of the other W Hotels. While it the décor and atmosphere is bombastic, my overall experience was between bombastic and not.