Chicago’s newest gem, The Waldorf Astoria (formerly the Elysian) has made a national name for itself by literally not allowing tips. While it may feel strange to “snub” the valet or bellhop, they say the need to show monetary gratitude takes away from the feeling that you’re at home.
Chosen as Hotel of the Year by Conde Nast and one of the two "Best of the Best" Hotels by the Robb Report, in addition to five-star accommodations (and five diamonds from AAA), the red hot Gold Coast property can seemingly do no wrong. With a killer spa (featuring robes that literally feel like you’re wearing a cloud), three top-rated restaurants and a gym featuring global phenomenon like Gryotonics (an interesting contraption created by Juliu Horvath a famous ballerina that literally stretches your body in a rhythmic and fluid manner), the property is full of endearing quirks to make your stay memorable. There's even a complimentary Mercedes S550 available on a first-come, first-serve basis to take you anywhere you need to go within a two-mile radius.
What to Expect
Designed by renowned Architect Lucien Lagrange, the richly detailed exterior and European courtyard are reminiscent of the grand hotels of the 1920s, while the interiors embrace a sophisticated, urban sensibility. Spacious guest rooms, which average 890 square feet and are richly appointed with fireplaces, furnished outdoor terraces, private bar, operable windows and multiple closets, 460-count Italian linens and just steps from the ultra-lux Oak Steet Shops a private fleet of luxury Lexus automobiles tend to your every desire. Sharing the same philosophy as Coco Chanel, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”
While you may feel uncomfortable not being able to show your appreciation in monetary form (it is the service industry, after all), the staff is trained to simply say, no thanks. An automatic 18% gratuity is added to your bill at the restaurant.