Boutique hotels continue to be one of my favorite places to stay when traveling. Their smaller size enables them to really pay attention to the details in their design, customer services, and amenities. When I last visited Chicago, this was the second of two places I stayed. (You can check out my review of the Dana Hotel and Spa here.)
Hotel Raffaello sits on a side street off of the Magnificent Mile, the luxury shopping mecca of Chicago. A perfect location to access all parts of the city. When booking the trip, I had come across a great deal on the Voyage Prive website (yes, I do use these sites, and they are fantastic, AND everything they crack up to be!), and booked immediately.
Upon arriving to our hotel, (we walked there, but tons of public transportation is available), we instantly liked how quiet the street was. Shocking for being in a big city, right?! It’s funny how just a few blocks off the main street can make such a big impact in terms of street noise. We noticed the older brick building on the corner of E. Delaware and N. Seneca streets. Immediately you can see that this building is older, thankfully not an older dilapidated building, but an older, clean, beautiful building!
Ideally situated next to the Hancock Building, yes that’s one of the REALLY tall ones in Chicago, it’s charm makes it a unique and comfortable place to stay. Unfortunately I did not get a great exterior shot, so I had to use this one from the web instead. Thankfully, it gives you a great idea of how the building looks!
Upon entering the building, their lobby is small, yet feels spacious. They have done well with the space they have, and their interior design is fresh, clean, and modestly luxurious. Their front desk for check in threw me off a bit, as its just a small desk at the back of the room, somewhat nondescript, and if no one was standing there, you may be confused as to where to go next.
Our room was a Deluxe Suite, so not the regular run-of-the-mill room, and I was eager to see what it had to offer. On this particular trip, I chose not to contact the staff ahead of time to alert them of my arrival. Not that I am a VIP, but at times I like to arrange a tour of the building ahead of time, with a sneak peek of the various room categories. In order to get a very clear understanding of how the hotel is run, their hospitality, and their rooms, I do like to come unannounced, and that was precisely what I did on this occasion.
We took the elevator up to one of their upper floors and arrived at our room. The elevator was small and older, but something to be expected in an older building such as this. Our room was tucked away at the end of a long hallway, and upon opening the door, I felt a bit mixed on the room. It was large in size, had a separate living area from the bedroom and bathroom, but definitely felt old. They had done some remodeling and upgrading, which was very obvious and appreciated, but there was a darkness to the room that I didn’t like so much. I am very sensitive to the light in an area, so the darkness may not be of issue to most, and perhaps it was the particular location of our room. I instantly turned on all the lights in the room, and already I felt a ton better.
As you can see, the darkness shines through a bit in these photos. I didn’t do any editing with these, so you can see them at their organic state.
The bedroom had a wonderful king size bed that was uber-comfortable. I’m talking about the, don’t want to get out of bed, cozy all day, sort of bed. Big fan. I also liked looking out the bedroom window to the other older brick buildings. I felt so city-girl, considering I am so used to staring at trees and grass outside my home windows. How boring!
The bathroom was smaller, but I did appreciate having an outside sitting area to apply make-up or work on my hair. This bathroom definitely only fits one person at a time, and you can tell that it’s an older room with newer amenities. That was just fine and dandy with me!
On our last night there, when the thunder storms were at their peak, and our energy level was at its low, we decided to order in a good ol’ fashioned Chicago-style pizza. A quick call to the front desk and they had the local pizza delivery menus available to pick from. The fact that I got suckered into watching Jersey Shore for the first time that night is not my finest moment. And, I just may deny it if you quote me on it!
Overall, I would stay here again. The rate was very reasonable, the location was ideal, and it did carry a great old world charm to it. They also have a restaurant on site, but I tend to avoid eating at my hotel’s restaurant when I am traveling, as I feel like I have so much to explore, and never enough time. Would I recommend you to stay here? Yes! Don’t get too caught up on the older rooms, as it definitely feels clean, comfortable, and upgraded. The intricate ceilings, windows, and details of the older style was kept, but they managed to upgrade it to modern comfort. I appreciate that, and if you do too, you’ll be a fan of Hotel Raffaello in Chicago.
Questions, comments, want more information? Contact me at kirsten [at] travelingfashionista [dot] com!