The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago sponsored a press tour of the hotel facilities and rooms for U.S. journalists on November 14-15, 2011 two weeks after opening to the public on November 1. I had the opportunity to stay three nights at the hotel and eat at Filini Restaurant one evening. This post offers photos and commentary on the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. My stay was sponsored by the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel and Carlson Hotels.
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago location
Radisson Blu Aqua is located at 221 North Columbus Drive, Chicago. The Fairmont Millennium Hotel is across the street. Hyatt Regency Chicago, Swissotel Chicago and Sheraton Chicago Towers are other hotels in the vicinity.
The hotel is conveniently located for walking access to Navy Pier, the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile to the north and the Art Institue of Chicago, Millennium Park and Grant Park, and the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears football stadium two miles south of the hotel via lakeshore park paths.
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago Rooms
There are 334 guest rooms, 15 King Suites and two specialty suites with Lakeshore and Millennium Park Suites. I visited six or so rooms at the hotel during my stay. Every room had some different features with some rooms having a balcony patio, bathtub, or couch while other rooms did not have one or more of these features.
Swedish designer Christian Lundwall created two distinct room styles with “Naturally Cool” and “Mansion House”.
The room I stayed was the Naturally Cool design and there are detailed photos of a corner room with balcony in my post “Guest Room #604 at Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago“.
Mansion House room style
The main difference I saw with the Mansion House room is blue carpeting. The Naturally Cool room where I stayed had no carpeting.
There are 15 King Suites and the Naturally Cool style King Suite room #508 offered a couch and balcony.
The King Suite had a fancier coffee maker than the standard room where I stayed.
Loyalty Traveler Tip: I learned the hotel offers a complimentary espresso bar from 5:30-6:30 am in the lobby at the Martini bar for early rising guests who need to leave the hotel prior to the Filini Restaurant opening. There were granola bars and fruit for quick munchies to go with your morning jolt of caffeine.
I had the opportunity to see the unfinished southeast corner Lakeshore Suite room #1424. My photos show a large leather couch, bar, dining table and bedroom with a full bathroom and a toilet/sink room. The room was under construction so my photos are not published here. I had one photo of a wall hanging and lighting fixture the hotel managers probably don’t mind me revealing.
The views from the 14th floor Lakeshore Suite balcony offered glimpses of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
There is a large green space with the 80,000 square feet 3rd floor green roof terrace of the Aqua Tower where there is an outdoor pool, BBQ grills, jogging path and garden. Adjacent to the Aqua Tower is a large park surrounded by residential and business units. There are several fine dining restaurants and a newly opened Marioano’s Fresh Market grocery store surrounding this urban green space.
The Business Class club lounge is located on Floor 17 of the hotel. The top two floors of the hotel (17-18) are the Business Class floors. I was allowed to visit the Business Class lounge, but it was under feverish construction and dusty so no photos of the space. I can tell you it is on the south facing wall and has a view from the lounge similar to the views in the previous photo and the next photo.
Indoor Pool and Outdoor Terrace on 3rd Floor
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel has outdoor pools and 25 meter indoor lap pool and spa tub. The outdoor pools on the 3rd floor terrace are closed for the winter months.
There are men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers between the indoor pool area and the door access to the outside pools. The 3rd floor terrace has a padded jogging path that winds entirely around the circumference of the hotel property.
The running/walking path is 1/5 mile in length and circles the hotel building on the 3rd floor outdoor terrace.
There was little activity on the outdoor deck when I took these photos while the morning temperature was in the 30s. Nice weather probably brings more action.
A stairway connects the outdoor terrace to the second floor fitness room. The fitness room is a shared facility between hotel guests and the Aqua Tower residents living above the 18th floor. This is the largest fitness center I recall seeing in a hotel.
Sauna, steam room and game room
Adjacent to the fitness center are locker rooms with showers, steam room and sauna room and two private massage rooms.
The game room contained a pool table and card table with TV.
There is also a public space with microwave and seating between the game room and fitness center. A media room was used for small group presentations during my press tour.
Two presentations were provided to the U.S. press invited on the media tour and I had two visits to the media room; a nice place to have a glass of champagne and watch a slideshow or film.
I’ll end this post with two photos from Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago press kit of the Filini Bar space and the Aqua Tower. I’ll follow-up with a separate post on the Radisson Blu Aqua to cover convention public spaces and Filini Restaurant and anything else.
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
Radisson Big Night Giveaway
Be sure to check out the Radisson Big Night Giveaway for an opportunity to earn 50,000 points with a stay at any Radisson Hotel in the U.S. Canada or Caribbean by December 30, 2011. This is one of the highest value loyalty promotion offers of 2011. A paid stay of one night at a Radisson Hotel will qualify and 50,000 points in Club Carlson is sufficient for a free night at any Carlson hotel property worldwide or even 5 free nights at a category 1 Club Carlson hotel.