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
Always a great hotel. It’s starting to show a little wear and tear, but some attention could easily correct this. We will definitely return. Breakfast in the lounge was lukewarm, stains on hallway carpet and finish coming off on top of nightstands. Setvice was phenomenal
Beautiful views of the city and private park. Rooms are stylish, modern and well kept. Staff was very attentive and followed up to ensure my needs were met. Food and drink quality is excellent. Would highly recommend and plan on returning.
This hotel is in a great location. Clean rooms, great service and amenities. I would definitely stay at this hotel again. Taxis waiting nearby to get you around the city. Large outside pool along with a game room.
They surprised me at checkout with a daily urban fee plus tax. It may be in the fine print somewhere, but it is hidden AND no one mentioned it at checkin for me, nor during the others checking in in front of me.
Every employee I encountered in this hotel was friendly and really seemed happy to work there. Check in and check out were efficient and I loved many things about this hotel. The room was great and from the fourth floor balcony I looked over park areas and part of the pool area. I could see Lake Michigan between the buildings as well. The location is great and a block from Millennium Park!
Unfortunately, the housekeeping needs better training or more help. You should know that most of the time I just ask for a towel or trash removal and not any other service. That was the case here for the first three days. Then I specifically asked if they would please clean my room. It was to be the fourth night in those sheets and they did NOT change them. There was a hair ( not mine ) on the tub. A couple of pistachio shells on the floor were not swept or picked up. The windows hadn't been washed in a pretty long time. Someone had taken a stab at part of it at some point so there were two different layers of dirt. For the price at this hotel I found the housekeeping pretty lacking. They also didn't come until late afternoon (3:30-4:30). If they get the housekeeping in order and remove the urban fee it would be a wonderful place to stay.
Great value. Fun hotel with unique decor and super convenient. Spotlessly clean, wonderful rooms with terrific views. Quiet and within walking distance of many great attractions and shopping. Check in is slow, they are usually understaffed. Restaurant is average.