The Best Cheap Hotels in Chicago

Courtesy of Found Hotel Chicago / Expedia
Photo of Sarah Gillespie
11 November 2020

With galleries, manicured parks and live music venues, Chicago is a budget traveler’s dream. And with the city’s architectural pedigree, cheap hotels here are far more than bland chains – they’ve just as much character as their pricier cousins, with inspired design concepts and Instagram-worthy bars.

Found Hotel Chicago River North

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hostel
4.3/5 (914 Reviews)
Courtesy of FOUND Hotel Chicago / Hotels.com
Price Drop
Now from $82 per night
Sitting pretty among the bars and buzz of Chicago’s River North district, the Found Hotel’s navy façade instantly catches the eye. Step inside and you’ll be greeted with similarly sleek, clean-lined bedrooms and the hotel’s Asian-inspired karaoke bar and lounge, Blind Dragon. The Addington Gallery – with intriguing contemporary hot-wax exhibits – is just two blocks away, as are a clutch of Italian restaurants.
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ACME Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel
4.6/5 (1222 Reviews)
ACME Hotel
Courtesy of ACME Hotel / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $104 per night
Just a martini’s throw from the Redhead Piano Bar, where well-heeled Chicagoans meet to watch old-school crooners, this outpost of the ACME budget hotel chain is chic Chicago at its best. Hand-painted murals and mannequins greet visitors at reception, while the Berkshire Room, an award-winning cocktail bar, serves up craft and barrel-finished cocktails and blue-collar lagers five days a week.
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The Whitehall

Independent Hotel
4/5 (3051 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Whitehall Hotel / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $88 per night
Katharine Hepburn, The Beatles and Barry Manilow are noteworthy former guests of The Whitehall, which has, in recent years, been reimagined with moody, art deco interiors. It’s steps away from Chicago’s premier shopping area, The Magnificent Mile. Make the most of this by heading to boutiques at Water Tower Place, before enjoying the city’s architectural highlights, such as the Tribune Tower, which incorporates fragments from Beijing’s Winter Palace and the Pyramids of Giza.
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Hotel Versey

Hotel
4.3/5 (878 Reviews)
Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham Chicago
Courtesy of Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham Chicago / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $82 per night
Nirvana fan? Spend the night at Hotel Versey, in the knowledge that Kurt Cobain was too once hosted here. Cobain isn’t the only rock star known to frequent these digs – Louis Armstrong and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are also on the famous list, and you’ll find Foo Fighters memorabilia and vintage gumball machines around the hotel that serve as reminders. Meanwhile, scour emerging local talent at Lincoln Hall or at the numerous blues bars along North Halsted Street, before grabbing a late pint at low-key Frank’s Bar.
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Ambassador Chicago

Hotel
4.3/5 (923 Reviews)
Ambassador Chicago
Courtesy of Ambassador Chicago / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $120 per night
The Ambassador rubs shoulders with some of Chicago’s finest buildings on Chicago’s glittering Gold Coast. Spot architectural wonders around Astor Street, home to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Charnley-Persky House. It’s also a prime celebrity-spotting location, being home to top-class restaurants – such as the hotel’s Food Gallery that’s known for its American entrées, designed by chef Pedro Avila. Rooms range from the bold navy junior class to the opulent, pastel-toned penthouse suite.
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FieldHouse Jones

Budget Hotel, Hostel
3.6/5 (66 Reviews)
FieldHouse Jones
Courtesy of FieldHouse Jones / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $111 per night
Exposed brick, loft-style rooms and hipster vibes are the order of the day at FieldHouse Jones. The vintage tennis theme is epitomized in its cafe, the DropShot Coffee & Snack Bar, where a jumble of wooden rackets form the ceiling feature, and bearded baristas serve coffee from Brooklyn-based Toby’s Estate. Come dusk, slink off to the Janitor’s Closet speakeasy to sample its Midwestern-inspired cocktail menu.
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  • Hotel Felix

    Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel
    3.9/5 (1000 Reviews)
    Hotel Felix Chicago
    Courtesy of Hotel Felix / Expedia
    The minimalist rooms of this red-brick hotel emphasize its eco-friendly hospitality. Carpets are made from recycled material, there’s motion-sensor heating and it boasts a comprehensive recycling program. It doesn’t skimp on style, however; the well-appointed lobby is hung with glass orbs to represent the elements of earth, water, wind and fire. Elsewhere, just around the corner is the excellent Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery, featuring 56 taps to pair with smoked charcuterie.
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    The Talbott

    Boutique Hotel, Luxury
    4.4/5 (989 Reviews)
    The Talbott
    Courtesy of Talbott / Hotels.com
    Price Drop
    Now from $127 per night
    The Talbott was built in the Jazz Age, between the 1920s and 1930s. But you wouldn’t know it for its interiors have been brought bang up to date with plush black velvet chairs and macaron-soft ottomans. Throughout the hotel you’ll pick up on a laid-back vibe: its restaurant boasts an unpretentious menu. Dogs are not only allowed inside –they’re encouraged, and you’ll even find a menu for them.
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    Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown

    Hotel
    4.6/5 (1459 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown / Booking.com
    Price Drop
    Now from $163 per night
    “Luxury re-cut” is the tagline of this stately hotel on Jewelers Row, named for the dozens of diamond and jewelry shops on the street. Priding itself on modern comforts, enjoy plush bedding, luxurious bath products, and large walk-in showers in its 144 spacious rooms. Elsewhere, Millennium Park, home to Anish Kapoor’s sculpture, Cloud Gate, is just one block away.
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    Majestic Hotel

    Hotel
    4.1/5 (944 Reviews)
    The Majestic
    Courtesy of Majestic Hotel Chicago / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $116 per night
    It’s a little far from downtown, but there’s plenty to see at this conceptual hotel. With one of America’s oldest baseball fields, Wrigley Field, just a pitch away, the Majestic has taken that theme and run with it: you’ll find baseball-shaped hooks behind the reception, Chicago Cubs memorabilia on the restaurant wall, and black-and-white team photos lining the corridors. Heading out, wander around the nearby area of Boystown, recently renamed Northalsted, which is the USA’s oldest officially recognized LGBTQ neighborhood.
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    These recommendations were updated on November 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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