Jesus Just Left Chicago, But Is There Room at the Inn?
March 13, 2008 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Can we find a room in Chicago for $100/night? My wife, 14-year-old son, and I are flying there for the first week of April. We'll split time between one sister in the distant suburbs who has room for guests and one in the city who does not have room. The sister in the city suggested City Suites in the Belmont-Sheffield neighborhood where she lives, which sounds nice, but it's close to $200/night. Can we find two beds for under $100?

I read this thread, but the places mentioned there looked even more expensive. We'd consider a hostel, though I suspect my wife and I would be the oldest people there! We really don't want to stay in (say) Itasca. If we can't be in the city itself, we'll stay with sister #1 and commute.

Extra credit for suggestions on things to do in the city - plays, music, museum exhibitions, sports. My wife and I have been there lots of times, but our son has not. The Cubs will be in town. Is it already too late to get tickets?
posted by lukemeister to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Did you try searching on Hotwire? You won't know exactly which hotel it is before you book, but you will know the general area and star rating. I've used them several times and always been happy.
posted by amarynth at 2:07 PM on March 13, 2008

Choose Chicago (the official tourism bureau site) is showing the Essex Inn with rooms below $100/night (which shocked me).

They'll have good suggestions on things to do, too.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:13 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: amarynth,

I haven't. Thanks for the suggestion!
posted by lukemeister at 2:13 PM on March 13, 2008

I live in the city but have used Priceline on occasion to have a "weekend get away" and usually find 3-4 star hotel rooms for $55/night or so and can always find something if I go up to $75. (Not sure how adding an extra person may affect this, but I highly recommend it.)

1) Make sure to keep the star rating at 3 or 4 to guarantee a certain quality
2) Make sure you limit the area to within the proper downtown area -- especially if you're looking for a place near something to do.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:18 PM on March 13, 2008

Check out the Red Roof Inn downtown on I am getting a rate of less than $100/night.
posted by caddis at 2:35 PM on March 13, 2008

I've had very good luck in Chicago with Priceline. I'm sure it depends on the time of year though.
posted by crickets at 2:55 PM on March 13, 2008

I have also gotten really nice rooms through Priceline for under $75 a night! I highly recommend it, just make sure to pay attention which area of Chicago you're requesting as well as the star rating. (basically seconding MCMikeNamara)
posted by trinkatot at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2008 (which I like better than Priceline, myself) finds 64 hotels under $100, with rooms available April 1st. A couple four-star ones in there, if you like stars. :)
posted by rokusan at 3:16 PM on March 13, 2008

If you do decide to use Hotwire or Priceline, take a look at the better bidding forums. They have lists of Hotwire and Priceline hotels in each city, so you can compare the area, star rating, and amenities to get a good idea of which hotel you're bidding on/looking at. They also have a section for successful bids or booked hotels, so you can see what other people are paying. This topic outlines a strategy for re-bidding on Priceline.
posted by amarynth at 3:39 PM on March 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Check out the listings on Travelzoo too.
posted by MsMolly at 3:52 PM on March 13, 2008

Did you try the Comfort Inn Lincoln Park?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:30 PM on March 13, 2008

There's a Best Western just north of there on Broadway that's really nice and was about $100/night last time my dad stayed there. But that was a few years ago.
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:59 PM on March 13, 2008

I've stayed at the Palmer House Hilton (tripadvsior). It's right downtown in a not-great neighborhood (depending on where you're from, maybe someone from Chicago can speak to that more) but is sort of funky and interesting on the inside, faded-glory style. Rooms are tiny but decent and it looks like you can get two beds for three people, and maybe breakfast, for under $500 for six nights. That may be without tax and a bunch of other junk. There also may be a AAA discount but I didn't have my card handy. It's right on the Metro. Last time I was there which was a few years ago there was free wifi in the lobby. I enjoyed it.
posted by jessamyn at 7:19 PM on March 13, 2008

i stayed at the Essex Inn with two tweens just last summer (at the height of tourist season)--perfect for a family. close to loads of tourist stuff, and, as the kids said, "there's a pool!"

i used Travelocity to get a good rate, if i remember correctly.
posted by RedEmma at 9:32 PM on March 13, 2008

Jessamyn is dead on in her description of the Palmer House Hilton, but perhaps not of the neighborhood. Not-great would seem to imply that it's in a dangerous area. In fact, it's smack dab in the middle of the Loop, 2 blocks from the Art Institute and Millennium Park, and central to everything. And it is sometimes available for $100 a night. It needs a refresh, as mentioned. But if you can get it in your price range I think you'll be very happy.
posted by centerweight at 10:35 PM on March 13, 2008

Best answer: If you're not completely averse to the idea of hostels, the Arlington House is a great little place I stayed at for a weekend. They have private rooms with full bathrooms for just around $100/night , and it's super accessible. As it is a hostel, the amenities are a bit sparse; but the location more than makes up for this.
posted by chan.caro at 7:05 AM on March 14, 2008

Response by poster: We just reserved a room in the Arlington House, and it sounds great. Thanks to all of you for your help.
posted by lukemeister at 9:17 AM on March 14, 2008

I just stayed at the Arlington House. Agreed -- great location. But if you're used to hotel amenities rather than hostel amenities, be careful. It is sparse, small, dingy, and I had the most uncomfortable bed I've ever slept in (room L8 FWIW). I'm not too terribly picky so it didn't bother me, but fair warning.

Take the brown line to Fullerton, and follow Fullerton St. towards the lake until you get to Orchard. Hang a left, then a right on Arlington.
posted by nitsuj at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2008

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