Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago
What We Love
- Design-forward, from the undulating exterior to the chain-link-walled lobby lounge
- Loaded with amenities including pools for all seasons (one in, the other out)
- Museum-worthy art collection with a smartphone app providing guided tours
What To Know
- Free WiFi and late check-out
- Guestroom balconies offer opportunities to step out, but are unfurnished
- Most rooms offer superior views, but the best are on the highest floors
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, a MacArthur Fellow, designed this acclaimed white tower ringed in rippling balconies that make the exterior seem to shimmy. Sexy low-lit interiors feel cozy and inviting. A 50-foot fireplace edges the lobby lounge, and gallery lighting picks out the hotel’s prized collection of black and white photos by street photographer Vivian Meier. Toying with proportion, the hotel’s split-level Italian restaurant resides on an open mezzanine a half-story up, with its communal-table-packed bar a half level below.
Bed and Bath
The hotel’s 334 guestrooms double as inviting sanctuaries and panoramic perches. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook key downtown attractions from Navy Pier to Millennium Park. Blond wood floors, white linens and original paper artwork set a tranquil tone in some design-forward rooms, while others feature teal carpeting and matching throws. Bathrooms riff on the aqua in the hotel’s name with white tile, pastel blue walls and opaque glass doors that slide across the shower. In addition to fully stocked mini-bars, one-cup brewers come stocked with Lavazza coffee and Rishi tea.
The centerpiece of the hotel is one of Chicago’s most impressive fitness centers, a third-floor span that includes an indoor basketball half-court, lap pool and billiards room with an 8-seat poker table. Outside, the deck hosts a larger pool, fire pits and a running track. In addition to its Italian restaurant and fireside lounge, the lobby hosts a grab-and-go espresso bar. The hotel’s app offers a museum-worthy tour of the prized art collection, as well as a proud overview of its architecture.
In the Area
Fittingly one block south of the design-centric hotel lies Millennium Park, home to a concert stage and pedestrian bridge designed by architect Frank Gehry, gardens, a video-screen fountain and the popular “Cloud Gate” sculpture (aka The Bean), a popular photo stop for its curvy reflective surface. The Art Institute of Chicago is connected to the park by a pedestrian bridge designed by Renzo Piano. His Modern Wing houses the top-floor Terzo Piano, a window-wrapped, light-flooded room that makes a memorable lunch stop. Just north of the hotel, the Chicago River offers spectacular views of the skyline best guided by the Chicago Architecture Foundation on their popular architectural boat tours.
How to Get There
Rooms were clean, customer service was excellent. Had 3 rooms celebrating an early Xmas with my kids and grand kids. Only issue I had was the valet service for parking vehicles overnight. Very expensive and took them forever to bring our cars to the front door.
This hotel is one of the best hotels in the city! The location is awesome! Its walking distance to the loop, millennium park and theaters. The rooms are super clean. Never slept so good away from home! I can't wait to go back!
So many great things about this hotel and the location. Close to everything - restaurants, Millenium Park, grocery (Mariano's) and convenience stores, while also being a bit off the main Michigan Ave path. Great rooms (fantastic bathrooms), top notch people and great food options - love the coffee bar that also has fast breakfast, lunch and snack options. Happy hour in the Filini bar is a great value and has different specials each day during the week. And it's the kind of bar that feels friendly to go to as a solo business traveler, as well. The star of the show is the fitness center - on par with my home gym and it makes it so easy to stay on track with workouts during work trips.
Two complaints - 1) the tv was small and the system was outdated/not working during my stay so you couldn't use the guide at all. 2) I wish they would do an upgrade of bed and pillow quality. Not bad but definitely not as good as the Loews and others in that neck of the woods.
Overall, this will likely be my go-to hotel for work trips to Chicago this coming year and I'm happy with that.
Loved this place, would definitely recommend this location to anyone staying in Chicago. Plenty of great restaurants and things to do in the area. Hotel was central to all must do things the room was great.
This hotel is conveniently located for almost anything you would or could want to do in Chicago. It is surrounded by parks and walkable areas and attractions (Navy Pier, The Mile, Grant Ave). The hotel in general is very nice, open bright and friendly. The only issue I have with it is that the actual guest rooms feel a little tired and dated. It wasn't a big issue for me this trip as I was just with my son taking in some hockey and basketball, but I would want something a little nicer if I was on a romantic weekend. Having said that, the price reflected this issue and I don't have anything negative to say about the hotel. Great value, unbeatable location.