With rates that start at $79 for a private queen and just $25 for a bed in a shared dorm, you’d excuse a centrally-located property for shrugging off design and service. But at the Freehand, you can have your affordably priced cake and eat it too; the youthful River North hotel just happens to have a serious eye for style and a menu of amenities like free Wi-Fi and shared kitchen facilities. Guest rooms are done up in fresh white accented with warm wood wainscoting and colorful graphic wall hangings. Downstairs, the Broken Shaker—an outpost of the award-winning Miami cocktail bar—is a buzzing social hub for guests and locals alike. For the traveler looking to mix and mingle, there’s a full calendar of events like DJ parties and walking tours.
If you think budget travel means dodgy digs in out-of-the-way places, get excited: Here in Chicago, there’s no need to sacrifice style and location in the name of value. With nightly rates that start at $150 or less, these hotels will go easy on your wallet while delivering features like million-dollar views, awesome gyms and world-class cocktail bars. And hey, with all of the money that you save by booking these affordable rooms, check out one of Chicago's best fine dining restaurants.