The Drake in Chicago has been my favorite hotel in the entire world since I first stayed there in 2003. I was writing a travel article and of course the room that was graciously comped was large and had every comfort of home. The room service delivered food of epic proportions — not only was it delicious, but the portions were well sized and filling. The menu itself was the size of a young adult novel. The staff was courteous and I could not have been pampered any more than I was if I were a princess with a sore bottom.
And this treatment continued even when I stayed there on my own dime. A couple of times I stayed there just so I could have the room service. This grand gray lady of hospitality maintained a level of comfort and quality unsurpassed.
On my past stay, (May 2011) I can’t say The Drake is The Drake of old. For starters, the room service offered only what the two restaurants in the hotel served. The Coq D’Or and Cape Cod Room are excellent restaurants, and I loved the meals I had while staying there, but The Drake Brothers Steak House is no more, and much of that menu was clearly responsible for the room service menu. The staff is still courteous, but the services of The Drake seem to be lessened. There are no more honor bars (as most honor bars are going the way of the vibrating bed) and the rooms themselves offer the same quality and essentials that any other Hilton offers (The Drake is owned by Hilton Hotels).
Still, on my most recent visit, May 2013, the staff is still as courteous, and the tea served in the Palm Court is one of inclusion and makes you feel welcomed. The tea itself is rich and aromatic, and the tea sandwiches and pastries are lightly filling. The hotel is immaculately kept, and the rooms do make you feel like you are staying in one of the top hotels in the world. The Drake is easily still one of my favorite hotels to stay in. And when I do stay there, I never want to leave it. It’s truly a home away from home.