All I want for Christmas... is a hotel
December 4, 2007 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm 20, my girlfriend and I want to stay in chicago for the end of December, but no hotel seems to allow 20 year olds to get a room.... anyone have any suggestions or know of any hotel in the chicago area that would work?
posted by Quazie to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So a 20 year old Army PFC can't have a room? Sounds illegal.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

How does this come up? Do you have a CC to secure the room?

It has been my experience (having gotten many hotel rooms before and after being 20, and having worked in a hotel) that hotel staff simply don't care about your age.

I'd say keep trying. Talk to a manager. As you're an adullt, its none of their damn business how old you are.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 11:33 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Just book it through hotwire or travelocity. They don't ask for your age.
posted by Pants! at 11:33 AM on December 4, 2007

Where exactly is the process breaking down? I don't recall ever asking for an age. Is the problem that you don't have a credit card?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 11:34 AM on December 4, 2007

Huh. That strikes me as very odd. Did you try to make a reservation and they asked you how old you were? How did your age even come up?
posted by craichead at 11:34 AM on December 4, 2007

Are you volunteering your ages? If so, stop. I've had my ID checked when checking in, but I've never been asked for my age when making a reservation. If I then showed up and was denied a room, I'd raise hell.
posted by indyz at 11:34 AM on December 4, 2007

What they all said squared.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:35 AM on December 4, 2007

yeah, i don't understand why anyone is asking your age. book online.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:42 AM on December 4, 2007

I can't say anything about whether or not hotels will actually enforce their age requirements, but I know that the
Red Roof Inn-Downtown specifically permits anyone over the age of 18 to rent a room. I know that the other hotel's rules are probably garbage, but if you just want to be safe, that place is an option. And it's pretty nice and cheap (for the area).
posted by kiltedtaco at 11:44 AM on December 4, 2007

Are you starting off with "Do you let 20-year-olds get rooms here?"

Right after I turned 21, I took a road trip to the East Coast by myself and was never turned down for a room (but maybe 21 is their cut off age?).
posted by drezdn at 11:46 AM on December 4, 2007

I've been staying in hotels by myself or with like-age friends since I was 17, including in Chicago and many other US and foreign cities, and I've never run into trouble.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:47 AM on December 4, 2007

Huh. So I went to the Hard Rock Hotel's reservation page (it's a dumb hotel, I know, but I thought of it because I have friends who recently stayed at the one in Chicago), and it turns out that it does say that you have to be 21 to make a reservation. I have no idea whether they enforce that, but apparently it's the rule.

Stupid rule, if you ask me, but the OP is not making it up.
posted by craichead at 11:50 AM on December 4, 2007

Two days before your trip, book via Priceline (the name your price feature). No one will ask your age (see, I'm answering the question), and we've gotten 4 star hotels in downtown Chicago for $50/night. YMMV around the holidays though.
posted by desjardins at 11:52 AM on December 4, 2007

When I was in highschool and on a road trip we had our parents call ahead and book the room on their card. The hotel let us check in without problems.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:58 AM on December 4, 2007

Yeah, book it online. As long as you have a credit card you'll have no problem. I've been doing it for years. They won't ask you when you check in either (or at least I've never been asked).

You'll probably get a better deal booking online as well.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:09 PM on December 4, 2007

If I was 20 I'd be carrying around a fake ID for this kind of thing. When I had to stay in a hotel at age 20 it was usually for a very legitimate reason. I don't know if things have changed lately but in the 1990s when I was in my 20s none of the road motels ever asked my age... I think it helped I was dressed nice, alone, and well mannered. I think places near business centers and high-rise hotels are more apt to be the ones to give trouble.
posted by chips ahoy at 12:58 PM on December 4, 2007

Grabbing at straws here, but are you looking on sites that search both hotels and car rentals? I know the age minimum is higher for car rentals (sometimes as old as 25), so maybe they're lumping them together for convenience.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 1:17 PM on December 4, 2007

I had a similar experience. I was barely 18 and it was three am and I had driven all night to take placement tests over the next two days at UMBC, just outside of Baltimore. When I got to the Days Inn, which had been secured on my mother's credit card in advance over the phone, the clerk told me in the future, that their policy was that I was supposed to be 21, but he let me check in. Like chips ahoy advised, I stayed polite and calm despite the hour but unlike jeffamaphone, I did have a slightly harder time despite parental involvement.
posted by lilacorlavender at 2:20 PM on December 4, 2007

You want the International House at the U of C.
posted by The Straightener at 2:35 PM on December 4, 2007

Very strange, that. Things must have changed in the last few years. I stayed in hotels very regularly between the ages of 18 and 22. I never had a problem getting a room, in any city, and I stayed in quite a few in both large cities and small towns, but I never volunteered my age.

Of course, people only rarely asked for id beyond the credit card I was using for payment.

The only trouble I had was related to rental cars, and even then money usually made them happy. ;)

If you have access to an American Express, use it to reserve the room, then if they give you crap and try to refuse you a room, you'll have Amex on your side threatening fire and brimstone if they don't give you your reserved room.
posted by wierdo at 4:18 PM on December 4, 2007

Ha, I lived at an International House (in Brisbane, though). If the IHes around the world are similar, it's not really a place you want as a hotel. (But the Chicago one has wifi, lucky buggers.) I've found that American university accommodation tends to be threadbare.

There should be some really nice youth hostels that you could reserve a whole cabin though.
posted by divabat at 7:05 PM on December 4, 2007

Also from the IH site:

Guests must be at least 18 years old and affiliated with either the University of Chicago or another cultural, educational or professional institution. Such guests include University guests, visiting scholars, current and prospective students, faculty, and staff. Guests of such affiliates are also welcome.
posted by divabat at 7:06 PM on December 4, 2007

Is a B&B an option? My boyfriend and I spent a night in a B&B and it was LOVELY. Gorgeous room, great food, cozy.

Chicago Bed & Breakfasts
Youth hostels in Chicago
posted by divabat at 7:16 PM on December 4, 2007

One warning against Priceline-- they only gave me smoking rooms when I used them this past summer. Not so much fun. Luckily, the Allerton was compassionate and switched us to a non-smoking, but it was a worry for a while.
posted by orangemiles at 7:43 PM on December 4, 2007

Yes, hotels check your id when you register/check-in

Yes, the name on the id has to match the name on the credit card (or have a form filled out PRIOR to check in so that you can use someone else's CC...we cared a lot about identity theft, believe it or not)

Yes, you are required to be 21 at a lot of hotels (My personal experience only extends to two or so that do in the Chicago area, however, so YMMV)

Don't think you can get around hotels' requirements for id; please instead book at a hotel that has an 18up requirement.

Please DON'T book on hotwire/expedia/travelocity at a hotel that has a 21up policy and expect them not to notice--they most likely will.

How do I know? I was, up until three months ago, a hotel front desk agent at a high end hotel (caveat: hotel/casino resort, so the 21 thing mattered for reasons other than hotel rooms...BUT it matters at every hotel I've checked into except Motel 6)...

On that note...Motel 6? The one I stayed at was very nice (faux marble bathrooms, nice thread count bedding, great view, whole nine yards) and was 18up.

Their policy says this: "All guests registering must be 18 years of age or older (19-21 years of age required at some locations) and must present identification upon check-in." Naturally, they don't say which motels of theirs ARE 19-21, but you can call their 1-800 number (800-4-MOTEL6) on Monday to find out, and it looks like they still have availability. It's worth a shot!
posted by librarylis at 2:22 AM on December 8, 2007

« Older Christmas Dinner Recipes   |   Road Trip to say Bye Bye to Michigan Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.