Hotels Close to Downtown Chicago

by Nicole Harms
Stay in downtown Chicago to cut down on your travel time to and from your destination inside the city.

Stay in downtown Chicago to cut down on your travel time to and from your destination inside the city.

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Downtown Chicago provides its guests with everything from boutique shopping experiences and award-winning museums to high-tech conference centers and a thriving financial district. Each year, the city draws around 45 million guests for business or pleasure. Choose accommodations in the downtown area to stay near the attractions or business endeavors that brought you to the city.

Historic Hotels

Three Chicago hotels are members of Historic Hotels of America. The Ambassador East hotel on North State parkway on the shores of Lake Michigan has been hosting guests since 1926 and is a National Historic Landmark. It has guest rooms and suites, including fireplace suites that overlook the coastline, Lake Shore Drive or downtown Chicago. The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago sits at the entrance to the Magnificent Mile. The Knickerbocker opened in 1927, and is known for its Crystal Ballroom with an illuminated dance floor and 25-foot-high domed ceiling. The Palmer House Hilton is the oldest of the three, originally opening in 1875. It carries AAA Three-Diamond status, and sits within walking distance of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, the theater district and Grant Park.

Five-Star Hotels

Forbes gives two downtown Chicago hotels a five-star rating. The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago sits near the North Michigan Avenue shops near the city’s business and financial districts. Guests choose from suites and traditional guest rooms, including two-bedroom suites that provide space for families traveling with children. The Four Seasons Hotel’s Spa and Fitness Club provides cutting edge exercise equipment with personal trainers available, steam rooms, private locker rooms, an indoor heated pool and a spa with private treatment rooms, and a lounge area serving fresh fruit and teas. The Peninsula sits on the Magnificent Mile, and offers spacious rooms overlooking the city’s busiest shopping district. Guests often indulge in afternoon tea at the hotel, and those staying over the weekend may partake in a chocolate buffet in The Lobby restaurant.

Family-Friendly Hotels

Families visiting Chicago may choose to stay in the Swissotel Chicago, a three-star hotel noted by Forbes as being family-friendly. Swissotel provides children with the Very Important Kid package, which includes a private check-in area with coloring activities, a welcome packet with toys and games, and free meals at the on-site Geneva Restaurant. Some families choose to book the Swissotel Kids Suite, which is an extension on the traditional guest room that contains decorations inspired by the children’s favorite area museum, coloring supplies and games for the family to use. Those who book the Kids Suite also receive tickets to their choice of the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium or the Field Museum.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

If you have a tight traveling budget but need to stay downtown, consider one of the city’s chain hotels. These offer more discounts options, like AAA and AARP discounts, and also offer last-minute specials when rooms are not filled. The Best Western Grand Park Hotel sits on South Michigan Avenue convenient to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum. It has AAA two-diamond status, a pool, a fitness center and an on-site restaurant. The Red Roof Inn Chicago Downtown, located one block east of Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, also offers affordable accommodations. The pet-friendly hotel has mini refrigerators and microwaves in select rooms, and welcomes children under age 17 to stay free with their parents.

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