The Grant Park Hotel is splendidly located on South Michigan Avenue. It is a three star hotel and belongs to the Best Western chain. We had already flown in from Buenos Aires in time to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting which is held every year in any major city in the United States. It is a warm, with excellent views of Grant Park. From the large window of the 5th. Floor where we stayed, we had a beautiful view of not only the park, but the Museum of Natural Sciences and McCormick Place. I don't remember the price right now, but I chose it based on the location to price ratio. Good service, and the rate includes breakfast and there's "complimentary coffee" in the lobby, which was nice because we went in autumn when it tends to be cold in Chicago. Also, this hotel is located on Michigan Avenue, with all those wonderful green parks right in front of it and Lake Michigan behind it, with easy transportation to downtown and you can easily walk to the Art Institute and the Magnificent Mile. Another benefit is that it's down the block from the Chicago Hilton and Towers, one of the sites where a special bus comes to Congress, with different schedules.
The Willows was the hotel where I stayed on my second trip to Chicago. (On my first stay I had chosen a large, luxury hotel in the South Loop (Chicago Hilton) which was radically different in character and much higher in price). This hotel is located in Lakeview, an upscale neighborhood (wealthy class) close to Lincoln Park. It is a quiet residential neighborhood of low-rise buildings, with tree-lined streets. It has great charm and is full of restaurants and bars, but I have to admit I was wrong in my choice. Lakeview is a great place to live, but far from all the tourist attractions of the city, except those of Lincoln Park. It is a small hotel located in an area with historic European flair. The decor is classic and it is very quiet. It is nothing like the big chain hotels in the city center. The room was comfortable, although I found it small, I do not know if I was comparing it to my suite at the Hilton. The common areas are what I liked, it felt like a little Parisian hotel. There are many public transportation options that are relatively near. But it was not what I was looking for in Chicago - vibrancy and liveliness. So on successive trips I stayed at big, downtown hotels. However, for a romantic, young couple, is a good choice. And quite economical.
This past summer we stayed at this Chicago hotel for a week and it was an good but improvable choice. The Doubletree is a mid-range brand which is part of the Hilton chain and is generally designed for business travelers (I'd put it in the 3-to-4-star range). For the price and service, this particular hotel is closer to four stars but a lot of the services are extras. The location is great, just two blocks from the Magnificent Mile and a ten minutes' walk from Navy Pier. On this front, no complaints.
The facilities are correct and appropriate to the hotel's category. The rooms are well-equipped and properly sized. The outdoor pool is in good shape and has nice views of the surrounding skyscrapers. The lobby is spacious and nicely decorated, with a lively but somewhat expensive bar.
The downside of this hotel are all the additional fees. The paid parking lot is pretty steep considering the area ($17/hour), breakfast isn't included in the price of the room, and internet isn't free in the rooms. Luckily, I discovered that if you start your connection in the lobby and go up to the room, I would stay connected. But really...for the prices they charge, guests shouldn't have to do these kinds of things. Also, there was a sensor in the mini-bar so it immediately charges your account the second you remove something from the fridge, whether you end up drinking it or not.
Aside from these little details, it was a good hotel but I probably wouldn't repeat. For the same price, there are a lot of equally-good hotels in the Chicago area that include all these little extras in the price of the room.
When I'm looking for a place, I always go for a B&B, as I think they offer the best value. Hostels are cheap but unwelcoming, hotels are very expensive for what they offer, but B&B's are comfortable and not too pricey. Very often, you'll pay less than you would in a hotel for a luxurious room in a private apartment. In Chicago, I stayed at the House 5863 B&B, in the residential area of Andersonville. It's not too central, but as in many American cities, the downtown area is just for skyscrapers and offices.
For $120 a night we had a double room with all the amenities: a large bed, air conditioning, flat screen TV, and wireless internet. The bathroom was recently remodeled in an impeccable minimalist style and had shampoo, soap and moisturizer. The fridge was completely open to us, and was full of drinks, baskets of fruit, cereals, milk, good quality espresso, and all kinds of goodies including microwave popcorn! The bright, pleasant living room of the apartment is also for community use and is decorated with designer furniture. There's also a computer with internet access that guests can use.
This hostel is impressive and is the cleanest I've been to so far. It’s nestled in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, a nice little neighborhood that’s just a train ride away from downtown. The main perks of the place are:
- friendly and helpful staff
- you get new clean towels every day (yeah – like room service at a hotel)
- clean floors
- pretty clean bathrooms
- clean & spacious kitchen (see photo)
- free Wi-Fi
- affordable bike rentals
- complimentary continental breakfast daily from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- nightly events
If you’re a stickler about cleanliness and want affordable accommodations, you’ll enjoy Chicago Getaway Hostel.
The Seneca Hotel & Suites is located in the spectacular city of Chicago, state capital of Illinois and enjoys an excellent location. From here it will be very easy to access major attractions and points of interest in the city. The rooms have wireless high-speed internet service.
The Comfort Suites Michigan Avenue (Chicago) is located steps from the shops of the Magnificent Mile and offers residential- style rooms. It is located near the Art Institute of Chicago .
It offers a free hot breakfast daily. It has 117 rooms that are rooms are fully equipped with microwave and refrigerator and free high speed internet. It has a shop and gym available on site.