A review of the W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel in Chicago, Illinois
My Kind of Town, Chicago is…
Do you have a favorite travel song? One that expresses your travel style, or your love of a particular place? Over the past few years, we’ve managed to visit the Windy City about every six months, so our travel song might be the Sinatra classic “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is).”
If Chicago is our kind of town, then W is our kind of hotel. Last year, we enjoyed our stay at the W Chicago City Centre. This time, we couldn’t pass up a chance to see the newly-renovated W Chicago Lakeshore. It is literally across the street from Lake Michigan and the Navy Pier! Sadly, it was only an overnight so we didn’t get much opportunity to explore the hotel or enjoy its amenities. We like what we did see, though, and will definitely be back for more!
Checking In for an Overnight
We got to the hotel a little early, thanks to an Uber driver that seemed to think we were in a Transformers chase scene through Chicago! A very enthusiastic and friendly desk crew had us checked into a Spectacular room right away. After that, we expected great service and were not disappointed. We never had to ask twice for anything, and were addressed by name by almost everyone. Though we didn’t experience any, witnessed guest issues resolved quickly.
A quick glance around the lobby made us think of Hollywood: lots of glitter and sparkle. Beaded curtains surrounded sectional conversation pods in the lobby, and the bar and restaurant continued the dazzle with lots of mirrors. The sparkle was provided by reflecting light from the wall of windows facing Lake Shore Drive. There were coffee and cookies to welcome us, along with the helpful concierge who pointed us to a new – and delicious – pizza place nearby for a quick lunch. With coffee in hand, we were up to our room with little more than enough time to drop our bags and snap a few photos. (See the photo gallery below!)
Spectacular and Wonderful are W’s usual room types but this room was kind of spectacular, though not in a grandiose, “Oh my gosh, you won’t believe my suite!” sort of way. It helps to know that at least one among the TravelLatte crew (the one writing this review) is infatuated with swanky modern and mid-century design. The decor definitely hit the right notes, without overdoing it. The room was not large (listed at 350 square feet/33 square meters), but it was well done: comfortable, functional, clean and sleek, with a spectacular view.
The W Signature Bed, as always, was delightfully comfy and – as we’ve mentioned before – we love the Bliss amenities. (Thank you to the desk staff who slipped us some extras!) One of the more unique features is a bench/sofa that extends along two walls, forming an L-shape from the bedside to the window. This gives you lots of seating, without cluttering the room. Our room had a table at the end beneath a chandelier, but we heard from another guest that theirs did not. We used it as a luggage rack, a workspace, and a place to get a great view of Lake Michigan. We had to leave in a hurry, but made a mental note to get back in time to enjoy the view that evening.
Seriously Plugged In
In this age of electronics overload, we just don’t understand the lack of outlets in some hotel rooms. If we have to hunt for a plug in, rearrange furniture, or walk into the bathroom to find the outlets, we’re already thinking about not coming back. Thankfully, the large workspace had accessible plugs with more in the nightstand, and easily reachable wall outlets. Another issue for us, because we often have to get some work done at a hotel, is desk space. Is it small, uncomfortable or cluttered? In keeping with the clean design of the room, ours had a long desk with just a phone and a lamp. We could also stretch out and (pretend to) work on the chaise. A large flatscreen was mounted above the desk, unobtrusive and well situated for watching from the bed or sofa.
The bathroom was clean and bright but a bit small. A little counter space would be helpful, as would a vanity area separate from the shower/toilet. As in most hotels, ventilation could be better, too. Traveling solo, perhaps it would not be too bad but, as a couple, you’d better get along well. The one sort of odd thing that people complain about in reviews is the window between the bathroom and the rest of the room. Complaints are that it’s clear, but ours was not. Others complained that the light from the bathroom shone into the bedroom, which didn’t bother us at all. In fact, we generally leave a light on anyway, since it can be disorienting waking in the dark in an unfamiliar place and trying to find a light.
One of the W Chicago Lakeshore’s greatest amenities is its location right on Lake Shore Drive. As mentioned, it is across the street from the lake and the Jane Addams Memorial Park, complete with beach. A walking path takes you under the busy street and continues to the Navy Pier. In the opposite direction, it’s a short walk to world-famous Michigan Avenue. The Red Line is just a few blocks further on for destinations farther away. There are great restaurants nearby (we’re partial to the Weber Grill), along with nightlife and Chicago landmarks.
Sadly, we didn’t get to stay long enough to enjoy (or even find) the pool or fitness facilities. We did find one amenity we loved: Rocking chairs on the porch! Since check out was substantially before our flight, the hotel was kind enough to store our bags (free of charge) while we wrapped up some business in the city. Once back at the hotel, we had a few minutes wait on our Uber car (this time, it wasn’t Bumblebee to the rescue), so we ventured to the “porch” and rocking chairs along Lakeshore Drive. Unfortunately, you can’t see much of the lake from that vantage point, but it’s nice to sit outdoors and relax a bit, even if it is facing such a busy avenue.
We thoroughly enjoyed the W Chicago Lakeshore and look forward to a return. Next time, we hope to explore and experience more of the hotel. With renovations nearing completion, everything was clean and in good condition. The icing on the cake was a helpful, friendly staff. We did enjoy a special rate for an event, which is why we were in Chicago in the first place.
Have you been to the W Chicago Lakeshore? What other hotels do you like in Chicago-land? Let us know with a Comment!
Details & Disclaimers: This review was neither solicited nor compensated. All experiences, opinions and photographs are our own.