Accommodation in Chicago for the Savvy Traveler

The stylish rooftop of the Conrad Chicago
The stylish rooftop of the Conrad Chicago | Courtesy of Conrad Chicago / Expedia
Sarah Gillespie

The boutiques and gourmet restaurants of the Magnificent Mile, the neoclassical trio of Museum Campus, the decadent jazz scene that inspired a musical – Chicago is packed with things to see and do. To avoid burnout, you’ll need a good night’s rest, nourishing food and perhaps a massage or two, courtesy of the Illinois city’s luxurious hotels.

1. The Langham, Chicago

Suite Hotel, Luxury

Cream-toned room at The Langham with a four poster bed and floor-to-ceiling windows
Courtesy of the Langham / Expedia
Arguably Chicago’s finest hotel, the Mies van der Rohe-designed Langham combines London-level luxury with Chicagoan mid-century modernity. Expect four-poster beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and an art collection that museums would envy. The biggest draw in a hotel of highlights is the oriental Chuan Spa, which defies the usual minimalist aesthetic with purple chaises and bird-and-flower art worthy of an emperor.

2. Conrad Chicago

Chain Hotel, Luxury

The rooftop terrace with cream-toned seating, fairy lights and city views at the Conrad Chicago
Courtesy of Conrad Chicago / Expedia

Celebrated French firm Pierre-Yves Rochon designed the sweeping lobby of this five-star hotel, which transports you back to the 1950s the minute you step inside. The interiors are a masterclass of mid-century modern with tufted sienna sofas, flowing chrome and pill-shaped bathtubs. Elsewhere, the Baptiste & Bottle restaurant is an explosion of bourbon-based creative cocktails and elevated pub classics.

3. The Robey

Boutique Hotel

Courtesy of The Robey / Expedia

This art deco-inspired option is owned by Mexico’s Grupo Habita, known for setting star designers on historic buildings with outstanding results. There are 89 rooms ranging from light-filled corner suites to queen-and-twin lofts for families and groups of friends. It’s a great entry point to the bohemian Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods – browse vintage boutiques and independent cafes nearby.

4. Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Suite Hotel, Luxury

An outdoor terrace at the Waldorf Astoria Spa with classic furniture
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Chicago / Expedia
Marble floors, a courtyard fountain and a crystal chandelier shaped like Coco Chanel’s brooch are the numerous stylish features at this fashionista’s paradise of a hotel, set among the high-end designer labels of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The 215 rooms come in various shades of eggshell grey, though suites are accented by fuchsia cushions and rose bouquets. The Parisian-style Margeaux Brasserie invites afternoons spent gossiping over champagne and lobster bouillabaisse.

5. The Peninsula

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Potted palm-trees line an indoor swimming pool at the Peninsula Chicago, while large windows offer views over the city
Courtesy of The Peninsula Chicago / Expedia
You’d be hard pushed to find a better hotel than this five-star grande dame on the Magnificent Mile, where celebrities and CEOs come to enjoy the half Olympic-length swimming pool, complimentary fitness classes and rooftop ice-skating rink. The spa is one of the city’s best, offering marine facials in a soothing, wood-paneled space. Rooms have every imaginable amenity, including printers and tablet-controlled everything.

6. The Hoxton, Chicago


The rooftop pool at the Hoxton, with guests swimming and the Chicago skyline as a backdrop
Courtesy of The Hoxton / Expedia

A little piece of California in the Windy City, The Hoxton brings bohemian vibes to Chicago’s West Loop. Rooms are stylish, if a little snug, but it’s the three drinking and dining options that draw visitors. Lazy Bird offers cocktails and jazz in Prohibition-era interiors; Cira serves vibrant Mediterranean brunches; and you’ll find ceviche and pisco sours at Cabra Cevicheria, the teal-hued Peruvian restaurant.

7. Kimpton Palomar Chicago

Chain Hotel

A room with a double bed, a gray quilt and matching decorative pillows, red curtains, a patterned beige and red carpet, and floor to ceiling windows with a view at Royal Sonesta Chicago River North Hotel
Courtesy of Royal Sonesta Chicago River North Hotel / Expedia

Decked out in ruby, ochre and chartreuse by turns, the Palomar doesn’t take itself seriously and asks that its guests do the same, supplying animal-print robes in the bathroom and the option to have a goldfish delivered to your room as a temporary pet. The Sable Kitchen and Bar is just as popular with locals as with visitors, specializing in North American bar bites and bourbon-fueled cocktails.

8. Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago


Courtesy of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago / Expedia
Overlooking Millennium Park, this is the hotel for design lovers. The undulating exterior, designed by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang, makes this one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The substance lives up to the style, too, supplying a high-end fitness center, a basketball court, a movie theater and two large swimming pools. Rooms come equipped with enormous tubs and staggering views – spend a little more for a balcony if the weather’s fine.

For more unique accommodation options, read our guide to the best historic hotels in Chicago – bookable on Culture Trip.

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