Waldorf Astoria preserves Elysian luxury

Chicago HotelsGold CoastPersonal ServiceHotel and Accommodation IndustryRiaMichelin Group

As they say across the pond, "The King is dead! Long live the King!"

Such is the case for the former Elysian Chicago, a five-diamond hotel recently ranked No. 1 in the country by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler. Hilton bought the Gold Coast hotel late last year and rebranded it Feb. 1 under the company's Waldorf Astoria line.

So what can out-of-towners and locals expect from the Waldorf Astoria Chicago? The same high-quality service and amenities that continue to give local luxury rivals Trump and Peninsula fits. The oversize comfort and luxury remain, with guest rooms starting at 614 square feet and offering top-of-the-line accouterments: 460-thread-count linens, gas fireplaces and expansive views of the city.

The marble-covered bathrooms are just as lovely, with deep soaking tubs, separate shower stalls and televisions set into the mirrors. Downstairs, the Waldorf's spa, affectionately retitled the Elysian, offers 10 treatment rooms that provide a bevy of manicures, pedicures, facials and massages (not to mention a barbershop in the men's locker room. Nice!).

Once you're groomed and relaxed, head to the second floor for a drink at Bernard's, a speak-easy-style lounge, or to the third floor for your choice of two winning eateries: the casual Balsan, with its small plates and comfort classics, or Ria, which features seasonally driven French fare.

FYI: Book a table at Ria a couple of weeks in advance. The two-star Michelin restaurant is considered one of the city's go-to hot spots.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Neighborhood: Gold Coast

11 E. Walton Place

Chicago, IL 60611

312-646-1300

tinyurl.com/7tqj8ob

Getting there

Cross streets: Walton and State

Public transportation: CTA bus: 36-Broadway; Red Line "L" stop: Chicago

Parking: Self and valet

Wheelchair access

The basics

Prices start at $485 a night, excluding taxes

Floors: 18

Rooms: 188

Hotel amenities: ballrooms (one), meeting rooms (four), restaurant and bars/lounges (three), 24-hour business center, fitness center, pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, spa

Room amenities: Flat-screen television, work desk, minibar, coffee maker, in-room safe

Features:

24-hour room service, turndown service, pets allowed, complimentary Wi-Fi, shopping nearby

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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