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Best Overall: Carlton Inn Midway – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"You can reach the airport in under 10 minutes using the hotel’s complimentary, 24-hour shuttle."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown Riverwalk – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"A mini-fridge and microwave allow for basic self-catering, while the Keurig coffeemaker saves you a small fortune in café visits."
"The location is unbeatable, putting you within a few minutes’ walk of CIBC Theatre and The Art Institute of Chicago."
Best for Families: Best Western River North Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"For parents, a sun deck with beautiful skyline views is an unexpected highlight, while gym junkies can fit in a workout in the fitness room."
Most Romantic: The Talbott Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"A smart TV and a fully stocked mini-bar provide all the ingredients you need for a romantic night in."
Best Nightlife: The Godfrey Hotel Chicago – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"From its Cubist-influenced exterior to its contemporary chic interiors, the hotel is designed to appeal to youthful fashionistas and influencers."
Best for Business: Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"In between meetings, clear your head with a workout in the fitness center, or with contemporary American comfort food in 1940s-style restaurant Dine."
Best Near O’Hare Airport: Hampton Inn & Suites Rosemont Chicago O’Hare – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Budget-friendly rates are made even more attractive by the inclusion of high-speed Wi-Fi and a daily hot breakfast."
Best Hostel: Holiday Jones – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The hostel is home to its own branch of 5411 Empanadas, a Chicago chain serving a gourmet take on the traditional Argentinian pastries."
Best Overall: Carlton Inn Midway
It may only have two stars, but many praise the Carlton Inn Midway for its helpful staff and clean rooms, and claim that it’s especially good value for those flying in and out of Midway Airport. You can reach the airport in under 10 minutes using the hotel’s complimentary, 24-hour shuttle. Other perks include free high-speed Internet, one free parking space per room, and a complimentary continental breakfast, and Chicago is also filled with tons of free attractions.
Although the hotel lacks a full-service restaurant, there are plenty of budget-friendly eateries and fast food joints nearby. Alternatively, save even more money by heating up a snack using your in-room microwave. Standard Rooms also include a mini-fridge and a TV with 33 movie channels. Opt for a King bed, or accommodate friends or family by choosing a floor plan with two Queen beds instead. A fitness center and a business center with free printing services round out this hotel’s amenities.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown Riverwalk
An enviable address near Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park makes this Hilton Garden Inn a great choice for those with a slightly more forgiving budget. Standard Rooms at this three-star pick are still relatively affordable, however, with one King or two Queen beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, and an HDTV. A mini-fridge and microwave allow for basic self-catering, while the Keurig coffeemaker saves you a small fortune in café visits. Buy ready-to-cook meals at any time of day or night from the on-site sundries store, Pavilion Pantry.
If microwave cooking doesn’t align with your idea of being on vacation, you can also treat yourself to Italian favorites at the hotel restaurant, Bella Bacino’s (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Other highlights of this hotel include the 24-hour fitness center and business center, with the latter offering free printing. The only caveat is that the Hilton Garden Inn is not the best choice for those arriving in Chicago by car. The hotel does not offer self-parking, and valet parking is expensive.
Best Boutique: Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown
Affordable boutique hotels are few and far between in Chicago, but if you really don’t like the idea of staying in a chain, Silversmith Hotel provides an alternative that won’t break the bank. The location is unbeatable, putting you within a few minutes’ walk of CIBC Theatre and The Art Institute of Chicago. And although the 144-room hotel has four stars and luxurious contemporary interiors, Deluxe King rooms start from as little as $108 before tax.
Enjoy plush bedding, premium TV channels, and a marble bathroom with a spacious walk-in shower. Use the Keurig coffeemaker to fulfill your morning caffeine cravings, and the mini-fridge to store budget-saving snacks. Wi-Fi is included in your rate.
The hotel's restaurant, Adamus, serves contemporary American cuisine for lunch and dinner. You may prefer to eat at one of a hundred more affordable eateries and cafés nearby; but the restaurant’s weekday Happy Hour offers good rates on drinks. Other facilities include a choice of meeting rooms and a 24-hour fitness center.
Best for Families: Best Western River North Hotel
Located in the vibrant River North neighborhood, this family-friendly Best Western is a five-minute drive from Millennium Park. Head to the front desk for free ice cream, or to ask about discounted tickets to Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. When you’re not out exploring the city, kids will love cooling off in the indoor swimming pool. For parents, a sun deck with beautiful skyline views is an unexpected highlight, while gym junkies can fit in a workout in the fitness room.
All floor plans can accommodate at least four people. Rooms come with two Double beds, while suites have a living area with a Queen sleeper couch. For a little extra privacy, request one with a separate bedroom. Standard amenities range from cable TV with HBO to high-speed Wi-Fi and a coffeemaker. Microwaves and mini-fridges are available upon request, although mealtimes are best enjoyed at the full-service restaurant where Chicago-style deep dish pizza is a particular specialty. At $25 per day, parking is relatively affordable, too.
Most Romantic: The Talbott Hotel
You and your partner can relive the glamor of the 1920s with a stay at The Talbott Hotel. Located in Chicago’s historic Gold Coast district, the hotel once served as a laundromat, and later as a jazz club frequented by The Rolling Stones. Now it’s a romantic boutique hotel. An additional $17 Urban Amenity Fee includes complimentary beverages and high-speed Wi-Fi, access to the hotel’s upscale fitness room, and a 25 percent discount at a local spa.
All rooms set the scene for a special stay with luxury Italian linens and premium bath products. Wash away the grime of the city beneath the waterfall shower, then slip into matching, spa-inspired bathrobes.
A smart TV and a fully stocked mini-bar provide all the ingredients you need for a romantic night in. If you’d rather go out, start the evening with craft beers and cocktails on the patio at the on-site bar and American restaurant, 20 East.
Best Nightlife: The Godfrey Hotel Chicago
The Godfrey Hotel Chicago occupies a prime spot in River North, surrounded by some of the coolest bars and restaurants in town. From its Cubist-influenced exterior to its contemporary chic interiors, the hotel is designed to appeal to youthful fashionistas and influencers. Every evening, guests congregate at the fourth-floor rooftop lounge and bar. Come to mingle around the fire pit, to take Instagram-worthy photos of the Chicago skyline, or to make new friends over cocktails and vegan sharing plates.
There’s a VIP bar area, and a DJ to keep the party going until the early hours. On weekdays, you can drink on a budget thanks to the extended afternoon Happy Hour; while the daily brunch menu offers bottomless mimosas, Bellinis, and Bloody Marys. There are 221 rooms and suites at The Godfrey, each with a wet bar and complimentary Wi-Fi. In between parties, unwind in front of the 46-inch HDTV, cue up your favorite tunes on the iHome docking station, or pay a visit to the on-site spa and fitness center.
Best for Business: Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop
Conveniently located just west of downtown, this Crowne Plaza hotel offers comfortable rooms for budget-conscious business travelers starting at less than $100 per night. It’s an easy 10-minute drive from McCormick Place, but also has 8,000 square feet of its own event space on site. The largest of nine meeting rooms can accommodate up to 460 people. Free Wi-Fi, a complimentary business center, and a coffee station situated in the lobby all help to ensure that your stay is a productive one.
In between meetings, clear your head with a workout in the fitness center, or with contemporary American comfort food in 1940s-style restaurant Dine. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week; while the adjacent bar is the perfect place to catch up with your colleagues or network with new connections. Standard rooms come with one King or two Double beds, a balcony, an in-room safe, and a Keurig coffeemaker. Book a stay in one of the hotel’s designated Quiet Zones for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Best Near O’Hare Airport: Hampton Inn & Suites Rosemont Chicago O’Hare
Those looking for an affordable place to stay when flying into or out of O’Hare International Airport should check out this Hampton Inn & Suites. It’s located less than 10 minutes from the airport and offers a complimentary, 24-hour airport shuttle service. Budget-friendly rates are made even more attractive by the inclusion of high-speed Wi-Fi and daily hot breakfast. After all, there’s nothing like a cup of steaming coffee and a plate of freshly made waffles to help fight jet lag.
Other perks include an indoor pool and a fitness center for staying in shape on the road. In the evening, you can mingle with your fellow travelers at the bar or around the patio fire pit; while two meeting rooms and a business center come in handy for those on a corporate visit to Chicago. The cheapest rooms have two queen beds, a mini-fridge, a coffeemaker, and an HDTV. Self-parking is available for $18 per night.
Best Hostel: Holiday Jones
Situated amidst the boutiques, bars, and eateries of Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, Holiday Jones is a backpacker hostel with a difference. Firstly, there are three room types to choose from. Traditional dormitories are separated by gender and include a private locker for each guest. You can opt to stay in a private room with a shared bathroom, or in a private ensuite room (there are options for couples and groups of up to six people). All rates include complimentary Wi-Fi, towels and linens, and luggage storage.
Secondly, the hostel is home to its own branch of 5411 Empanadas, a Chicago chain serving a gourmet take on the traditional Argentinian pastries. Wash yours down with specialty brews sourced from local café Metric Coffee. In the evening, there’s no better way to make new friends than by sharing tales of your adventures at the bar, where wine, draft beer, and seasonal cocktails are served. Other useful amenities include a communal kitchen (so you can save money by self-catering every now and then), and laundry facilities.