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Hotel Zachary
Photograph: Dave Burk Hotel Zachary

The best hotels in Chicago

The best hotels in Chicago have all the amenities you want and more to make your stay worth writing home about

By Laura Rote, Morgan Olsen and Kris Vire

The best hotels in Chicago run the gamut, whether you want plush surroundings with incredible rooftop bars or prefer to spend the night in an boutique hotel with unique touches. And more and more these days, you’re not restricted to staying downtown (or, ugh, next to O’Hare). With so many great choices, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. We took the guesswork out of the equation and selected the very best. These hand-picked spots offer excellent restaurants, unparalleled service and close proximity to some of the city's best attractions.

RECOMMENDED: Check out our pick of the coolest Airbnb Chicago rentals

The best hotels in Chicago

Peninsula Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy Peninsula Chicago

1. Peninsula Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels Streeterville

This swanky icon spells luxury all the way, from its distinguished art collection to the award-winning spa and fitness center. High-tech bedside control panels in rooms, afternoon tea in the lobby and grand fireplaces in the bar are just some of the hotel’s perks.

Conrad Chicago
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

2. Conrad Chicago

Things to do Streeterville

Situated just a block west of the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue, Conrad Chicago puts guests in the epicenter of the city and within blocks of the best shopping and dining options around. First-time visitors will enjoy the proximity to popular tourist spots like 360 Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Navy Pier and plenty of deep dish pizza. The rooms here are outfitted in smart technology, 65-inch TVs, espresso machines, uber-comfy beds and modern finishes. Though there are plenty of great restaurants within walking distance, you won't feel guilty staying in to drink and dine at Baptiste & Bottle, where bourbon flows like water and the American fare goes above and beyond typical hotel eats. Come summer, you'll want to make time to visit the exquisite rooftop bar and restaurant, Noyane, for sweeping views, pristine sushi and creative cocktails.

Langham Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Langham Hotel

3. Langham Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

With views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, a top-notch restaurant, a massive ballroom and 316 spacious rooms and suites, it's not surprising that the Langham is often recognized as one of the best hotels in the country. The posh River North accommodations opened in the summer of 2013, and it is the world's only hotel in a Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe–designed building.

4. Soho House

Hotels West Loop

To see and be seen, there's no better scene than Soho House Chicago. You don't have to be a member to stay here, and when you check in, you'll be able to access private spaces like a boxing-centric gym, fifth-floor club and rooftop pool and restaurant. Rooms are decorated with canopy beds, fluffy white linens, industrial windows and fully-stocked minibars. With two in-house dining options (Chicken & Farm Shop and The Allis), there's really no need to leave the building. 

Photograph: Chicago Athletic Association

5. Chicago Athletic Association

Hotels Boutique hotels Loop

To say the restored 1890s Chicago Athletic Association is beautiful is to put it mildly. Stay in one of the 241 luxury boutique rooms—throwbacks to the club rooms of athletic associations long gone. From the unparalleled view of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan at Cindy’s rooftop restaurant to more great food and drinks at Cherry Circle Room and even Shake Shack, there’s no shortage of options. You’ll also love the Game Room, where you can play bocce, shuffleboard and billiards while sipping a cocktail.

6. Ace Hotel Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels West Loop

Nestled in the West Loop’s booming Fulton Market District—across from the Google building and steps from the Green Line—Chicago’s first Ace Hotel provides a unique, food-filled launching pad for locals and tourists alike. The rooms here are decked out in minimalist-modern decor and retro accents like turntables and small, curated record collections for your private listening pleasure. In-house restaurant City Mouse offers breakfast, lunch and dinner service from the minds of chef Jason Vincent, chef Ben Lustbader and Josh Perlman (the guys behind lauded Giant in Logan Square). If you're a trendsetter looking to try the latest and greatest Chicago has to offer, Ace is the best bet.


7. The James Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

A seamless integration of boutique and luxury, the James Hotel is just off Michigan Avenue in Chicago's River North. The space features artwork and fittings by local and internationally acclaimed artists, a 24-hour fitness center, a full-service spa, on-site steakhouse, Primehouse and craft cocktail lounge.

publishing house
Photograph: Courtesy Publishing House

8. The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast

Hotels B&Bs West Loop

In a landscape filled with mega-hotels and Airbnb rentals galore, there’s something extra special about a good old bed and breakfast—just don’t expect to find floral wallpaper and canopy beds at the Publishing House in the West Loop. The quaint but impressive space houses 11 unique rooms (from cozy to XL) that are outfitted in cowhide rugs, clawfoot tubs and funky vintage furniture. Each room is wildly different, giving guests an excuse to venture back again and again. As much as you won’t want to leave your bed in the morning, one whiff of breakfast—cooked by owners Shawn Uldridge and Kimberly Lowery—will surely draw you out of your slumber. Just-baked pastries, fresh juice and cereal await on the buffet, but the couple offers a few daily specials from the kitchen as well. It's the best way to recharge before heading back to the real world.


9. dana hotel and spa

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

This boutique hotel puts you in the epicenter of River North, steps away from the Magnificent Mile and a stone's throw from the Loop. The rooms here are modern and sleek with floor-to-ceiling windows, in-room tech and a fridge stocked with wines available for purchase (bonus: most are very reasonably priced). Before your stay, though, you’ll want to check out the luxe spa offerings. Book an energizing ginseng facial, an aromatherapy massage or a citrus detox wrap. While you're at it, make a reservation at Portsmith, the new first-floor restaurant that specializes in pristine seafood and indulgent ingredients (uni-drenched cacio e pepe, anyone?).

10. Godfrey Hotel Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

From its striking cubist facade down to the stylish and modern interiors, the Godfrey Hotel Chicago lives up to its four-star status from the get-go. Situated in the heart of River North and within walking distance of the Magnificent Mile, the hotel is an ideal starting point for a day out on the town. Amenities include a spa and 24-hour fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi and an indoor-outdoor urban roofscape with a full-service bar and dining options.


11. Virgin Hotels Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels Loop

As you might have imagined, Virgin Hotels Chicago is pretty swanky. Opened in 2015, this hotel in the heart of the Loop is all done up in red and white, with ultra-modern decor throughout. You may never want to leave your sleek, spacious room—it has free Wi-Fi, heavenly soft robes, pour-over coffee, a rainforest shower head, and an app that controls the room’s temperature—but you should. There’s so much to explore throughout the hotel itself. Hit the “social hour” at the Commons Club any night from 5 to 6pm, for all the free, fanciful cocktails you can drink, or kick back at Two Zero Three Coffee and Wine Bar, the cozy coffee shop that looks out onto Wabash Avenue. Of course, there’s also Miss Ricky’s diner-style restaurant for brunch or lunch, and the super hip rooftop bar and nightclub, Cerise, for an evening of dancing.

12. Hotel Zachary

Hotels Wrigleyville

Completed just in time for the start of the 2018 baseball season, this new entry across the street from Wrigley Field is a prime example of the Ricketts family’s efforts to change the face of Wrigleyville since taking over ownership of the Chicago Cubs in 2009. Named for Wrigley Field’s original architect, Zachary Taylor Davis, the seven-story, 173-room Hotel Zachary sits on the northwest corner of Clark and Addison, facing Gallagher Way and the ballpark’s iconic marquee. The decor offers plenty of touches to warm Cubs fans’ hearts, but without veering into theme-park vibes; the baseball memorabilia is countered with sophisticated mid-century stylings. The food and drink offerings include the new second outpost of Big Star, barbecue from Smoke Daddy and craft cocktails at Mordecai; a rooftop bar is planned for 2019.

Dominic Miguel Costa

13. The Gwen

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

The Gwen Hotel opened in September 2015 in one of the rare landmark buildings of Art Deco–infused architecture along the Magnificent Mile. The hotel is connected to the Shops at North Bridge and offers easy access to popular attractions in the Loop. The rooms are handsomely appointed, and the hotel itself is leaning into the artistic connection of its new name, complete with an "Artist-in-Residence Program."

14. Viceroy Chicago

Hotels Rush & Division

Stay in the heart of Gold Coast when you check into this architectural stunner. Each room looks like it was plucked straight out of a design magazine, with smart touches including gold headboards, funky light fixtures and massive swaths of white marble. But the top-notch dining options are what set this hotel apart. Adjacent to the lobby is Somerset, an all-American eatery with country club vibes and a fantastic fried chicken sandwich. When night falls, head upstairs to swanky Devereaux for a nightcap by the pool.


15. The Robey

Situated in the main artery of Wicker Park, the Robey opened in 2016 with just 69 rooms. The 12-story building is a beacon for tourists and locals alike with its comfy ground-floor restaurant and sophisticated rooftop bar. There are plenty of other spaces to enjoy, and as a guest, you'll have access to it all. The Robey is an awesome alternative for visitors who have already seen the Mag Mile and want to experience one of Chicago's most beloved neighborhoods. 

16. Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels River North

Towering 92 stories over the Chicago River and the Magnificent Mile, the Trump International Hotel and Tower boasts several high-flying stats: It's the third-tallest building in Chicago, one of 10 hotels in the world with a five-star Forbes Ratings for both its hotel and restaurant and houses the second-highest residences in the world, topping Chicago's own John Hancock Tower. Contained within this boutique luxury hotel are Sixteen Restaurant, serving a modern American menu, sushi restaurant Rebar and a seasonal rooftop terrace bar. There's also a spa, health club and large indoor pool within, neatly topping off the offerings at this River North hotel.


17. Thompson Chicago

Hotels Boutique hotels Gold Coast

Clean mid-century design and effortless luxury in the heart of Chicago, the Thompson Hotel Chicago is a boutique centerpiece in the Gold Coast. The hotel's amazing restaurant, Nico Osteria, offers authentic and light italian seafood while in-house bar and gathering space Salone Nico serves crafted cocktails and a fine Italian and Meditteranean wine list. The hotel features an on-site fitness center, too.

18. Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Travel Rush & Division

Those who’d rather not penny-pinch on their next vacation or staycation can go all out at this Gold Coast hotel, where the guest rooms average 890 square feet. It’s all about the finer things in life here, so expect marble bathrooms with soaking tubs, vanities with inset LCD televisions, beds covered with 460-thread count sheets, furnished terraces and cozy fireplaces in each room. Elsewhere in the hotel, you’ll find the Spa & Health Club, featuring traditional spa services like facials and massages, DreamDry (founded by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, offering all kinds of glamorous styling services), and a mosiac-tiled, saline-water-filled lap pool.

Four Seasons Hotel
Photograph: Nicole Radja

19. Four Seasons Hotel

Things to do Streeterville

The public spaces are decked out with Italian marble, glittering crystal and exquisite woodwork; rooms and suites come with classy furnishings, high-end toiletries and twice-daily maid service. Have dinner and drinks at Allium, a contemporary American restaurant in the hotel, and you won't be disappointed.

20. The Blackstone, Autograph Collection

Hotels Chain hotels Loop

This gorgeous hotel, first opened in 1910, has had an intriguing run so far. Many U.S. presidents have stayed there (including Teddy Roosevelt), it was a favorite hangout of Al Capone and his cronies, and Maharishi Yogi, the Beatles' personal guru, once owned the building. Now it's simply one of the most beautiful hotels in the Loop and a favorite for bands playing at the nearby Lollapalooza music festival in August. Don't miss the attached Spanish small-plates restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa.


21. Park Hyatt Chicago

Hotels Chain hotels Streeterville

Little expense has been spared at this 198-room Magnificent Mile property, housed in the lower third of a slender, 67-story residential tower. The walls and halls are home to an estimated $23 million worth of artwork; a scent expert created signature smells to waft through the modern lobby and NoMI, the much-lauded restaurant.

22. Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago

Hotels Chain hotels Loop

In Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood, this luxury hotel is located in the modern Aqua building. You'll have free Wi-Fi, and you can even see Lake Michigan and the surrounding parks in every contemporary room. A seasonal outdoor pool with a sundeck and fire pits is provided, and the health club features an indoor pool, basketball court and well-equipped fitness center. Filini serves Italian cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in an upscale atmosphere.


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