The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago hosts a variety of special events in Chicago, Illinois, including wedding ceremonies and receptions. It's in the heart of the downtown area, just minutes away from Millennium Park and Navy Pier. There's also a bus stop within walking distance, as well as dozens of locally owned businesses. The building itself was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, and it's contemporary with subtle decorative touches. There are multiple event spaces available to accommodate everything from an intimate celebration to a large party.
The Atlantic Ballroom. The Atlantic Ballroom can accommodate over 1,000 standing guests or 850 seated guests with plenty of space for a dance floor. This room includes floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the Chicago skyline. At night you can see hundreds of sparkling city lights. This space can be split up into up to five smaller sections for those who like the space but have fewer guests.
The Pacific Ballroom. The Pacific Ballroom is the second-largest event space at this venue, with enough space for 300 standing guests or 210 seated guests. It's located on the second floor of the hotel, and it has a small private balcony with city views. There are customizable color-changing LED lights along the walls.
The Black Sea. If you're looking for something a little more intimate, you may want to consider The Black Sea. This space is ideal for groups with 70 wedding guests or fewer. The color scheme is black and white, and there's a small built-in bar that's ideal for serving refreshments.
What You Should Know
Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago has an on-site catering team that provides all food and beverage services for weddings. This catering team utilizes fresh local ingredients, including seasonal ingredients whenever possible. The use of seasonal ingredients means that the menu changes significantly throughout the year. The catering team can accommodate nearly any dietary restriction with advance notice, and there are always vegetarian options available on the standard menu.
As well as a rental fee, this venue charges a food and beverage minimum. This amount varies depending on the type of food you choose to serve, the number of attendants you need, your expected number of guests and whether or not you want to have an open bar.
On-site overnight accommodations are available for you and your wedding guests. This venue allows you to book a block of rooms for your event, and if you do so you're eligible for multi-room discounts. Summer is the busiest time for the hotel, so it's a good idea to book rooms well in advance for summer weddings.
Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago is a versatile place to host a wedding. It even offers some unique extra perks that can enhance the overall experience for you and your wedding guests.
- High-speed wireless Internet access
- Morning tea service
- Rooftop swimming pool
- 24-hour valet parking service
- AV technician on site
- Built-in projection equipment
From the Vendor
Let Us Be Your Something Blu!
For truly extraordinary events, the 12,041-square-foot Atlantic Ballroom presents incredible views of Lake Michigan, Lakeshore East and the Chicago skyline from 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$$ – Expensive
Ballroom, Hotel, Tented
Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Planning, Service Staff
Radisson Blu was outstandingReviewed on 3/09/2014 Deborah L
I'm a big believer in promise-keeping, and I was delighted to discover that every promise that Deniz, catering sales staff, made to us was kept. The ballroom was beautiful, the food was great, the service was exceptional. All of our family and friends loved staying at the Blu, too. Deniz was responsive to emails and showed up the day and evening of the wedding and made sure that we were pleased. We are very happy to recommend the Blu.
Beautiful modern wedding 3/1Reviewed on 3/06/2014 Jennifer L
The Radisson Blu hosted our dream wedding last weekend. Every last detail was perfect - the whole weekend was seamless. The modern ballroom was exactly what we wanted for our contemporary, elegant vision and the service was impeccable. There was not a single hiccup all weekend. The transition from ceremony to happy hour to reception was fast and easy, and the service at every moment was flawless. Drinks were flowing, the food was incredible and our every need was catered to. We couldn't have asked for a better venue or team!!
Father of the brideReviewed on 1/14/2014
We had our daughter's wedding at the Radisson Blu. The venue was outstanding. The room is one of the nicest in Chicago. Floor to ceiling windows, beautiful chandeliers, large dance floor. The catering manger, Deniz, was great and very accommodating, as well everyone at the hotel. Management attended our tasting and when we arrived at the hotel they also made themselves available. I would give the Radisson Blu my highest recommendation. We were extremely pleased with hotel, the people, service and food.
We had our wedding at the Radisson Blu a few weeks ago and could not have asked for a more perfect venue. We worked primarily with Anita, and she was amazing. She was always responsive to our emails and questions, remembered all of our detailed requests, and we had so much fun with her at every event! The rest of the Radisson Blu staff was amazing as well - the head waiter, all the banquet waiters, every single valet and hotel staff member was so unbelievably nice to us and our guests all weekend. The food, setup, specialty cocktails...everything was perfect and we got lots of compliments from our guests. We would 100% have our wedding there over and over again and highly recommend contacting Anita!
I had been communicating w/ Anita (the planner on site) for about a week- discussed w/her my preferred dates. She had informed me that 10/21 was available (initially on hold but not contracted yet). We had made a plan to see the space a week later (even though I had tried to see it earlier in the week). After a busy day of venue hunting we arrived at the Radisson Blu on time- informed concierge that we had been there to meet Anita and then proceeded to wait another 15min for her to arrive (15 min after our meeting time). Then we toured the space and I repeatedly asked her what the date availability is- she says "she wasn't sure but lets look at the hotel rooms". I told her this is all a waste of time if our date wasn't available. She then checked and said our preferred date was gone. I had told her it would have been nice if she had emailed us before our appt to let us know that our date was not available. She said that we never reconfirmed our meeting today so she didn't think we were serious. I honestly was extremely disappointed w/ this venue and saddened as it was a top contender. If you can work w/ someone more professional and organized here that would be ideal.
Brides Beware: Incommunicado Sales & Catering Staff at the Radisson Blu AquaReviewed on 2/03/2013 S L
Sadly, I had a similar experience as the previous reviewer in that weeks of reaching out to them went unreturned and only once I wrote a formal complaint did I receive a phone call. Much too little, much too late. We were interested in viewing the Radisson Blu Aqua’s ballrooms for an upcoming wedding. I contacted the staff a few weeks prior to our departure (did I mention we were flying from Los Angeles) and despite my numerous e-mails and phone calls over the next few weeks, NO ONE replied back to schedule a time for us to view the ballrooms. Moreover, when I called the day before and the day of to see why no one scheduled, we received no explanation for the lack of communication nor was any attempt made to rectify it. I was left a voicemail stating that while no wedding coordinator was available that someone from the staff could unlock the rooms for us if we still wanted to see them. "Unlock the rooms," despite the fact that we flew from Los Angeles, e-mailed for two weeks and called, no one on their staff could be bothered to meet with us. Seeing as weddings are such huge revenue generators, that's a bold move in this economy. Based on my interactions, my impression of the hotel is that it has a disorganized, disinterested and cavalier sales and catering staff. I will happily take my money elsewhere since out of the 9 hotels we visited over our stay in Chicago, Radisson Blu Aqua was the only one that gave us poor service.
Poor Sales/Customer ServiceReviewed on 7/06/2012 Rachel R
I contacted the Radisson Blu as a potential option for my wedding venue for Ceremony and Reception. The Catering Manager was receptive at first, but soon became difficult to reach. After we finally found a time to look at the space, we were extremely impressed with the venue. We were told our date was available and we immediately let the manager know we were extremely interested and just needed a few questions answered. The next day I emailed my questions and at this point this is when she disappeared. I called and left voicemails and heard nothing back for almost a week. At that point, she answered my questions but would get back to me in regards to one of them the next day. I had told her that the Blu was basically our first choice venue and we wanted to book - but again, I heard nothing back for almost a week. At that point, I emailed her supervisor - and only then did she call me back. When she called me back she told me my date was gone (we had two specific dates we needed for a few reasons) and they were unwilling to work with us on pricing and basically sold different events on our dates without any regard to us or courtesy call. I work in the events industry and could not believe the run-around we were given because they preferred to book a different piece of business. That was unprofessional and I would have been impressed if they had at least given us a courtesy call. Instead, the way this was handled, has turned me off from this property and hotel completely and I would not suggest anyone book here. Just to note, we were not having a small wedding - we were expecting 300 people plus a large room block and a brunch the next day. Although they do have a nice product, they need a little work on their sales tactic and customer service.