Chicago is one of the United States’ top-visited tourist destinations for its thriving art scene, abundance of great eats, world-class museums and unique local culture. Famous for its stunning architecture, deep-dish pizza and buzzing jazz scene, there’s something in Chi-Town for everyone. Spend your afternoons strolling the countless museums, dine at one of the many award-winning restaurants, wander the town’s quirky Art-Deco style, or rest along the shores of the mighty Lake Michigan. Sports fan? Head to the iconic Wrigley Field. Lover of music? Check out the Windy City’s surviving jazz and blues community.
As one of the main hubs for international and domestic tourism, Chicago is home to a plethora of hotels from big luxury names like Four Seasons and Waldorf Astoria to cosy BnBs. Whether you’re looking for a swanky suite atop a skyscraper overlooking the city’s twinkling lights or prefer something more local, there are plenty of options. Due to Chicago’s enormous size, there are also plenty of neighbourhoods to choose from to be sure you get the most out of your stay. The most popular areas to experience the best of Chicago are Gold Coast, River North and the West Loop. When it comes to things to do in Chi-town, you certainly aren’t lacking in options.
The Far West meets the Mid East at this 5 star hotel in Chicago that’s consistently won prestigious awards since opening in 2001. The Peninsula Chicago is in the heart of the “Magnificent Mile,” Chicago’s main dining, shopping, and entertainment district, so it’s the perfect base for exploring. 339 guestrooms include 82 suites. There’s also the opulent Peninsula Suite, with over 3,000 square feet, a baby grand piano, and a spacious private terrace with a jacuzzi and views over Lake Michigan.
A historical landmark (formerly known as the Northwest Tower – the only skyscraper for miles) in the middle of Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood,The Robey has been transformed into an 89 room art deco masterpiece, with 180-degree views of the city skyline. The hotel space also includes an adjoining old fireproof warehouse where you can stay in one of 20 Annex lofts. Once you’ve finished admiring the redesign, you can enjoy chilling in a cabana by the outdoor pool or the 13th floor lounge.
As expected from the W brand, the Chicago outpost is sleek, chic and oh-so stylish. The only hotel in Chicago that overlooks Lake Michigan, it’s perfectly located on Lake Shore Drive. Rooms feature views of the lake or cityscape, with huge flat-screen TVs and modern furnishings. Known for its trendy waterfront restaurant, guests can also enjoy the heated indoor pool and fitness center.
If you want a hotel that breaks away from the norm, the ACME is a shining example of hip hotel design. Located 2 ½ blocks from the Magnificent Mile in the River North neighborhood, it’s a popular choice for accommodation in downtown Chicago. Rooms come with guitars (and headphones), DIY cocktail kits and are as high-tech as can be – just ask your own Alexa Amazon Echo. There’s a great cocktail bar, restaurant and bakery within the hotel, as well as the iconic ‘Bunny Slope’, an Apré-ski style private hot tub bar.
This funky hotel is a real gem among Chicago Loop hotels. Cheeky flashes of red pop up all over the hotel color scheme, from the Smeg fridge in the room to the giant bar in the lobby. With a focus on fun, the rooms here are split in two by a sliding set of doors, which creates two separate areas: a space for living and a space for sleeping. Best bit? It’s totally pet-friendly, with rooms featuring comfy ‘pet-menities’ for no extra charge.
Thompson Chicago is a luxury hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast that’s sophisticated yet timeless. The loft-like lobby makes use of leather, velvet and flannel to create an evocative and welcoming feel. Rooms have plush king beds and views of the downtown Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan waterscape. Culture lovers will appreciate the art and curated book collection, while foodies will devour the offerings at Nico Osteria, an Italian restaurant and bar.
The Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago is an architectural icon that has made a name for itself with its stylish accommodation. 335 rooms each feature marble baths, La Bottega amenities, and views of Lake Michigan and Grant Park. Facilities include an excellent fitness center. For dining, you can enjoy the flavors of Barcelona at Mercat a la Planxa or craft cocktails in the restaurant’s bar and lounge.
The best months to visit Chicago are April through May and between September and October, when the weather is mild and the city isn’t too crowded.
There’s 77 diverse neighborhoods to discover in Chicago! Wicker Park has long been known as one of Chicago’s coolest neighborhoods, thanks to its local bookshops, cafés, art galleries and cocktail bars. Pilsen is another cool neighborhood with a large artist community.
Some of the many things that Chicago is famous for are jazz music, Chicago-style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, 1920’s gangsters, architecture, Millenium Park and the Chicago Bean.
Although it isn’t as expensive as New York, Chicago is still a major city and so prices may be higher than other areas in the States. You can expect to spend roughly $180 a day per person to visit Chicago.