The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)


Chicago Getaway Hostel

This Lincoln Park hostel is within walking distance of attractions like North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park Zoo, biking and running trails, public transportation, as well as some great nightlife spots. 616 W. Arlington Place; tel. 1 773.929.5380.

The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel

500-bed dorm-like hostel in the heart of the Loop. Wi-Fi and breakfast included. “Clean but must be willing to share a bath; lots of students.”—Roberta Sotonoff, contributor, DK Eyewitness Top 10 Chicago. 24 E. Congress Parkway; tel. 1 312 360 0300.


Best Western River North

150 basic but spacious rooms well located in River North; walking distance to Michigan Avenue. “Indoor pool opens onto a roof deck; free parking can save you hundreds.”—Elizabeth Blackwell, author, Frommer’s Chicago. 125 W. Ohio Street; tel. 1 312 467 0800.

InterContinental Chicago

Historic 790-room hotel on the Magnificent Mile dates to 1929. Elaborately tiled indoor pool; wine and chocolate bar in the lobby. “It’s a chain, but not cookie-cutter.”—Roberta Sotonoff. 505 N. Michigan Avenue; tel. 1 312 944 4100.

Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club

A value in an expensive neighborhood east of Michigan Avenue; prime location; walking distance to Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier; 500 rooms, good amenities. “A rooftop pool and restaurant; access to a neighboring health club.”—Elizabeth Blackwell. 300 E. Ohio Street; tel. 1 312 787 6100.

The Talbott Hotel

“This locally owned, independent hotel has the feel of an inn though it’s centrally located downtown.”—Elizabeth Blackwell. 149 rooms furnished with traditional furniture and some with updated flat-panel TVs; an intimate bar; one block off Michigan Avenue. 20 E. Delaware Place; tel. 1 312 944 4970.

Windy City Urban Inn

Lincoln Park bed-and-breakfast with five rooms and three apartments, each named for a local author. Co-owned by a Chicago broadcaster; breakfasts and snacks feature Chicago-made foods. On residential street in North Side’s Lincoln Park, close to the lakefront. 607 W. Deming Place; tel. 1 773 248 7091.


Best Western Hawthorne Terrace

North Side vintage brick building doesn’t feel like a chain. Breakfast and Internet access included; 59 rooms; gym. “Walking distance to Wrigley Field and the lake; great people watching in the neighborhood.”—Margaret Littman, author, The Little Black Book of Chicago. 3434 N. Broadway Street; tel. 1 773 244 3434.

Hotel Burnham

Rehabbed early skyscraper by architect Daniel Burnham with vintage details; 122 rooms. Free wine hour in lobby nightly. Heart of the Loop location equals walking distance to most attractions. “Good sense of place.”—Margaret Littman. 1 W. Washington Street; tel. 1 312 782 1111.

The James Chicago

Design-oriented hotel with attentive service. 297 rooms; shag rugs; flat-screen TVs. “Chic and minimalist; the restaurant Primehouse is the hip spot for steaks.”—Valerie Moloney, Chicago editor, 55 E. Ontario Street; tel. 1 312 337 1000.

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

French chain Sofitel pays homage to Chicago style with modern skyscraper. 415 rooms; modern décor; popular lobby bar; French flare throughout. “Angular architecture; very dramatic and minimalist.”—Roberta Sotonoff. 20 E. Chestnut Street; tel. 1 312 324 4000.

The Drake Hotel

1920 grand dame of Magnificent Mile; well located for shoppers. 535 traditionally styled rooms recently refurbished. Classic bar and seafood restaurant on ground level. “Very regal; the place to have tea.”—Roberta Sotonoff. 140 E. Walton Place; tel. 1 312 787 2200.


Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

High standards and discrete location in a Michigan Avenue high-rise endear celebrities. All 343 rooms recently updated; caviar facials in the spa; family-friendliness includes a room-service ice cream man. “Service is a religion.”—Elizabeth Blackwell. 120 E. Delaware Place; tel. 1 312 280 8800.

Park Hyatt Chicago

Fine art in the lobby, designer furniture in the 198 rooms. East-facing rooms and seventh floor restaurant NoMI views landmark Water Tower Place. “The Hyatt-owning Pritzker family lives in Chicago; this is their showpiece.”—Lisbeth Levine, contributing editor, InStyle magazine. 800 N. Michigan Avenue; tel. 1 312 335 1234.

The Peninsula Chicago

Gilded, modern luxury hotel just off Michigan Avenue. 339 rooms; spacious marble baths. Control lighting, drapes, temperature, and other settings from a convenient bedside console. Elaborate spa; panoramic views from top floor pool. Attentive service. 108 E. Superior Street; tel. 1 312 337 2888.


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