The Waldorf Astoria Experience

I have visited Chicago frequently for business and it is a city I really enjoy.  It is different from many of the other cities I have been to and the food is amazing.  There are also a lot of good memories for me in Chicago because my best friends took me there for my bachelor party years ago.  Although I have visited Chicago many times, my wife had not been to Chicago and I wanted her to get the Chicago experience.  Upon looking for hotels for the weekend my wife and me would go to Chicago, I found the Waldorf Astoria.  Fortunately, I had a lot of Hilton Honor points and the Waldorf Astoria is a Hilton Hotel.  Otherwise, it would probably be too pricey for me at upwards of $500 per night.

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Once we landed at O’Hare International Airport, my wife and me stopped at Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless in the airport.  We split a cuban, guacamole, and chips for lunch.  As always it was phenomenal.  After leaving ORD, we went immediately to the Waldorf Astoria.  Upon checking in the front desk clerk quickly checked us in and described all the amenities of the hotel.  Next we headed for the elevators to get to our room on the 11th floor.  There we were in the elevator and I hit the 11th floor button and off we went.  I watched the display change as we elevated to each floor… 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and so on.  By some chance we went all the way to the top floor, which may have been 21 or 22.  I cannot remember exactly what the top number was.

At the top of the hotel, the elevator doors opened and a man stepped into the elevator.  He was a taller gentlemen with jeans, shirt, and a backwards baseball hat.  This guy had a familiar face and it took me a second to recognize who he was.  I could see my wife immediately knew who he was.  At first I thought it was Will Ferrell, but then I realized it was Chad Smith the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  He said, “you have to scan your hotel key when you use the elevator or you won’t get to your floor.”  This explains why we did not stop at the eleventh floor and continued up to his floor.  He must have called the elevator when we were sitting on the ground floor.  He then continued to say, “I know this because I work at this hotel.”  He was actually very funny and personable.  He went to the Spas and Massage floor and walked off.

How cool was it that we saw Chad Smith at the Waldorf Astoria?  My brother and me saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers live when I was in high school.  I can only imagine tons of famous people stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago.  Our room even had a full bar filled with all sorts of liquors, beers, and snacks.  We did not end up consuming any of this stuff because the price tag on each item was pretty high.  We did get free Voss Water, which we did happily consume.  We also received a free premium movie rental to watch due to my Diamond Status at Hilton.  The weekend in Chicago was amazing and the Waldorf Astoria made it that much better.

A few fun things we did in Chicago during the weekend was visit Linkin Park Zoo, eat at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co, eat at Lou Malnati’s, eat at Giordano’s, eat at Portillo’s, ride bicycles around the city, attend a Chicago White Sox game, and visit the Museum of Science and Industry.  We did many more activities than this, but these were some of the highlights I would like to share.  Just walking around the city was a blast especially around the magnificent mile.

I cannot emphasize enough the outstanding service at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago.  They even have a S550 Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac Escalade that can take you anywhere for free within 2 miles range of the hotel.  We did not take advantage of this, but would the next time we visit.  The beds were very comfortable.  The rooms were very clean.  The gym was top notch for a hotel gym.  It is well worth the price tag if you are willing to spend the money.  If you have points (roughly 80,000 to 120,000 points per night) it is also well worth using these too.  If you are in or around the Chicago area, please do check it out.

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