Tim Foolery

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Radisson Blu (Chicago) / Revisit — Hotel Review

Last December I stayed at the new Radisson Blu Chicago and honestly was extremely disappointed. My biggest problem was my expectations — I went into this hotel expecting it to be a 5-Star Property, but it isn’t and it isn’t intended to be.  You can read from my first review, the room I was given had several other issues.

I recently stayed at this hotel again. I wanted to give it another shot and since Radisson is offering a great summer points promotion (which will net me a free night at the Radisson Blu Paris, which often goes for 300-500 Euros per night).  FYI: The points an bonus points all posted within 3 days of check-out.

I checked in late – around 22h30. The first person who welcomed me to the check-in desk asked my name and then suggested I move to another check-in agent. Not sure what that was about.  The second guy was very nice, asked if I had stayed at this property before (shouldn’t he know that?) and then welcomed me back. He told me about the hotel restaurant and bar and then told me that they switched the room locks to the RFID vs magnetic strip cards.  A nice improvement. I’ve never had an RFID card that needed to be reprogrammed — like those damn magnetic cards do.

I was given a room without a balcony this time, but I like the room so much more than my first stay at this property. The room was smaller, but laid out much better. The “new hotel smell” a/k/a the off gassing of the building products had stopped.

The desk was off to the side in an alcove area, which works so much better than the layout of the first room I stayed in at this property.

Unlike last time, the bathroom was clean, the trash emptied and art was intact — no razor sharp edges directly above the bed.

Honestly, this stay was really nice. The hotel has worked out many of the kinks from last time.  Full disclosure — after my last review the hotel manager reached out to me offering me a suite upgrade upon my next visit. I did not contact to the manager – I just made a normal online reservation and showed up. I did not get a suite and I have no reason to believe I was given any special treatment from the hotel (especially since the check-in agent asked if I had stayed here before).

The photos below show my room at this hotel — nothing jumps out as a bad room (no stains on the bedding like here, here or here).  You’ll notice there are several plugs on the nightstands — gotta love this.  If I were traveling to Chicago, I would definitely stay at the Radisson Blu – the hotel has definitely improved over the past 6 months.

Have you stayed at the Radisson Blu Chicago? What about Radisson Blu hotels in other cities?  Have you stayed at a hotel shortly after it opened then revisit a few months later to see the changes they’ve made?  

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