Where to stay in Chicago?
April 24, 2021 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Where to stay in Chicago?

We're thinking of a 4-day stay in Chicago this summer, and wondering on best places to stay. It'll be our first time there, so we'd like to be somewhat close to the touristy spots. We will have our car but will likely be using public transit most often. I've been looking at both Airbnbs and hotels.
posted by cozenedindigo to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What's your comfort level with transit? If you're not comfortable going to and from your Air B&B / hotel via transit, then somewhere in the Loop or nearby is your best option unless you're ok with driving in Chicago and with paying for parking, which can add up. But rental costs are also going to be higher down there, so you're trading less travel time for higher costs.

If transit's ok for you, then you can be relatively close to downtown if you stay by the Blue Line as far as say Logan Square, or somewhere near a Red Line stop on the North Side up to say Belmont.

Both those neighborhoods (Logan Square and Wrigleyville / Boystown near Belmont) are also fun to wander around, I've lived and/or worked in both neighborhoods and you'll get a somewhat less touristy view of the city than if you never go more than a mile from the Loop.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:30 PM on April 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just wanted to add: we're totally fine with public transit! Prefer it even, as we don't have to worry about finding parking.
posted by cozenedindigo at 3:41 PM on April 24, 2021

I live in Chicago so have never stayed there, but Longman & Eagle is recommended often.
posted by phunniemee at 3:56 PM on April 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Staying in River North would be great. I wouldn't stay in the Loop right now because it's mostly businesses there, and with offices closed because of covid, a lot of lunch spots are shuttered and it's not so lively. It's really dead at night. River North has lots of restaurants, easy access to the Brown and Purple lines which you can use to get to the attractions in the Loop, the Art Institute, Millennium Park, as well as neighborhoods to the north. River North is also close to the river for architecture cruises as well as an easy walk over to Michigan Avenue. There's no shortage of hotels in the area. Just be sure to ask about car parking charges. Can't speak to Airbnbs.
posted by MelissaSimon at 4:02 PM on April 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like the Kimpton hotels - there's 2 in the Loop, they're both very nice. I am staying at the new Ace hotel in the West Loop next weekend; I'll pop back with my opinion afterwards.

Up in Wicker Park, the Robey looks nice.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:49 PM on April 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

My parents stayed at the Longman & Eagle inn about ten years ago. It was very nice, came with free drinks at the (excellent) restaurant downstairs, and had a cassette tape player with some kind of weird homemade loudspeaker that made all the music sound like it was played by ghosts.
posted by theodolite at 5:20 PM on April 24, 2021

Best answer: Seconding River North. There's a ton of hotels so you can pick your amenities. But it's definitely the best neighborhood to use as a home base.
posted by bleep at 5:34 PM on April 24, 2021

I always stay in the River North area when I’m there and it’s just perfect, though I don’t travel by car in Chicago so I can only speak to ease of getting around on foot or by cab/transit. Really walkable with lots of great places to eat, things to do. The Kimpton hotel there has always been great to me.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:36 PM on April 24, 2021

I've stayed at the homewood suites on grand
posted by brujita at 5:41 PM on April 24, 2021

The nice part about staying near the Loop is that all of the L lines join there. If you stay out in Logan Square or somewhere on the Blue Line, you’ve got to ride the train back downtown to switch lines. I don’t know what kind of headways the CTA is running now during covid, but I remember waiting for a while when transferring from Red to Blue in my younger days, in the middle of the night.
posted by hwyengr at 6:39 PM on April 24, 2021

It depends on what you want to be close to. River North will put you more in the "downtown" area and it will be easy to walk to things like Millennium Park and the Art Institute and the lakefront, which is all a plus. The downside of that area is that it is pretty touristy, parking is pretty difficult - you'll probably need a garage at like $40-$50/night, and (at least right now) it is all a little depressed because of COVID and the unrest in the city over last summer closed a lot of businesses. If you want more of a neighborhood feel, I would recommend a Wicker Park/Bucktown rental, which will give you something more of a non-touristy feel, lots of cool walks, hopefully restaurants and bars will be back open in force, and you can get downtown on the Blue Line from the Damen stop - but you'll be further away from the museums etc.
posted by Mid at 8:21 PM on April 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Hotel Lincoln in Lincoln Park is a very cute little place. Location is great: directly across from the farmers market, walkable to the zoo and a few museums, the lakefront, cute shopping and good dining in Old Town, LP, or River North, Second City, and an El station. When my cousins stayed there, I remember there being a rooftop lounge/bar, bicycles you could rent, and a little coffeeshop/bakery stand in the lobby. Maybe take a look at that as one option!
posted by carlypennylane at 8:49 PM on April 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I stayed at the Robey and liked it.
posted by dame at 1:22 AM on April 25, 2021

50 year old lifelong Chicagoan here. River North is indeed a very good choice for a home base, but is extremely touristy and yes, Covid really hit the area hard. Still, there are some interesting things to see there and a huge selection of hotels. Just make sure to get out into the neighborhoods versus only hanging around River North (which it sounds like you're gonna do).

My wife and her business partner did the interior design for Hyatt Place Wicker Park which is new, clean and has an AWESOME roof deck.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:02 AM on April 25, 2021

I generally suggest friends and family stay at the The Congress Plaza, on Michigan, south edge of the loop. It's not really exceptional in any way, but it's historic, nice, not too expensive, and good for transit and downtown museums.
posted by eotvos at 10:11 AM on April 25, 2021

(Though, if you do want to be north of the river and are willing to spend four times as much, the Intercontinental is an amazing building. Consider asking to stay in the south tower. Take the self-guided audio tour.)
posted by eotvos at 10:20 AM on April 25, 2021

Aw. The Dana Hotel is no more, I just saw, and has rebranded as a Eurostar boutique hotel...great location though. I loved staying there...but it was not a hotel for children, with the privacy curtain for the shower being on the room side, not the bathroom side LOL. Not sure whether you are bringing any little ones.
posted by wellred at 7:42 AM on April 26, 2021

The Ace hotel is nice, big swank lobby, rooftop bar (that should be opening soon), the room was very lofty and kind of masculine? Navy and metal, leather furnishings. I liked it, except the bed was very firm, and I did not sleep well at all. Other than that it was good.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 9:45 PM on May 3, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We ended up at staying at the Acme Hotel in River North and it was great.
posted by cozenedindigo at 6:22 PM on June 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

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