Hotels & Inns in Chicago, Illinois

by Nicole Harms
Along the streets of downtown Chicago, inns and hotels await travelers.

Along the streets of downtown Chicago, inns and hotels await travelers.

downtown chicago image by Gary from Fotolia.com

Chicago, Illinois, has much to draw travelers, including facilities for conventions and business meetings, award winning museums, and a thriving arts and theater scene. When travelers arrive in the Windy City, they will find all types of accommodation. In Chicago, you can choose from five-star hotels along the prestigious Michigan Avenue or affordable inns and motels for those traveling on a shoestring budget as well as everything in between.

Lodging Catering to Families

At the Wicker Park Inn, families receive extra room to spread out, with two apartments to choose from in addition to the bed-and-breakfast-style guest rooms. The Bucktown Apartment offers three separate bedrooms and a full kitchen with cooking utensils and dishes provided. The Inn provides portable cribs, booster seats and umbrella strollers for a small fee and will arrange babysitting for families in the apartment when needed. For a hotel-style experience with your family, consider Swissotel, which has kid-friendly suites with adjoining rooms filled with games, toys, activities and child-sized furniture.

Budget Options

Vacationing in Chicago does not have to be expensive with the city’s inns and motels. The Red Roof Inn sits one block from Michigan Avenue, allowing guests to walk to popular attractions like American Girl Place, the Chicago Art Institute and even Navy Pier. Children younger than 17 and any pets stay free, adding to the savings of this affordable chain inn, which in 2010 had rates under $100. The Inn of Chicago also offered rooms under $100 in 2010. It also sits a block away from Michigan Avenue and has its own hotel fitness center and guest valet services. It welcomes children younger than 18 to stay free with their parents.

Lodging Allowing Pets

In Chicago, traveling with your pet does not force you to stay in less desirable chain hotels just outside of town. The contemporary Amalfi Hotel in the River North District near the Loop and the Magnificent Mile accepts pets for no additional fee, and owners receive a pet amenity package to use during their stay. The Palmer House Hilton, a AAA three-diamond hotel on the Loop within walking distance of Millennium Park and Grant Park, welcomes pets up to 75 lbs. for an additional $75 per stay, as of 2010.

Historic Lodging

Chicago has several historic hotels to cater to the history buff. The Congress Plaza Hotel on Michigan Avenue was originally built to house visitors to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It has housed presidents, celebrities and foreign dignitaries over its lifetime. The hotel also has 50,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and a lounge. Hotel Burnham is another 1800s hotel, housed in a building built in 1895. The building itself was not originally a hotel, but rather a commercial space. In the 1990s it was renovated and restored to house 122 rooms and showcase the “Chicago School” architectural style. The pet-friendly hotel offers in-room spa services, an on-site fitness center and the KimptonKids program to help children feel comfortable through toys, snacks and even a pet goldfish to care for during the stay. Conde Nast Traveler labeled Hotel Burnham as one of the best places to stay in the world.

Top Rated Hotels

Chicago has two hotels that earned five-diamond status from AAA: the Four Seasons Hotel and the Peninsula Chicago. The Four Seasons Hotel has been the recipient of the award for 20 consecutive years. It sits just a half-block from North Michigan Avenue, and guests have city or Lake Michigan views from rooms with marble bathrooms. Those traveling with children may request the services of the Bedtime Stories Butler, and all children receive a welcome package with child-sized bathrobes and child proofing equipment. The Peninsula Chicago sits directly on North Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago’s shopping district. Five-star worthy touches at the Peninsula include a bedside remote control that controls the lighting and rings for housekeeping, live classical music on the lobby piano and the Spa by ESPA, which offers a lap pool, private treatment rooms and an outdoor sundeck.

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