Despite the cultural and culinary draws of downtown Chicago, you might find yourself in need of a hotel in a quiet neighbourhood outside the city. Perhaps you want to be close to the airport, or fancy a cheaper hotel when prices inflate during one of the city’s famous festivals. Whatever your reason, you may be surprised to discover that many of Chicago’s suburbs merit a visit in their own right. Here’s our pick of the area’s best hotels.
Do you have an early flight? If so, spend the night at O’Hare International Airport’s only hotel, packed with amenities that ensure a restful night. Sweat away stress in the enormous fitness center loaded with free weights and machines, or pursue a more tranquil form of relaxation in the Nordic-style sauna. Multiple dining options include Andiamo, specializing in Italian-American comfort food, and the Gaslight Club, offering aged steak, seafood, cocktails, scotch and more.
More budget-friendly than the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport but still within 10mi (16km) of O’Hare, this chic hotel sits within the Randhurst Village lifestyle center. On your doorstep are the AMC Cinema, brand-name shops, restaurants and wellness centers. However, you won’t need to leave the hotel to work up a sweat, as it has a fitness room and a swimming pool.
Renovated in 2017, this boutique hotel is close to the action – within a 30-minute subway ride to Millennium Park – but suburban enough to offer a different side of Chicago to repeat visitors. The decor plays up the Versey’s alternative roots with rock-inspired murals and vintage memorabilia – an offbeat vibe that continues as you step onto the streets of surrounding Boystown, America’s oldest official LGBTQ neighborhood.
Families and festival-goers with a car can escape the city at this three-star hotel in the quiet suburb of Bolingbrook. While the attractions of Chicago’s Museum Campus are just a 35-minute drive away, the surrounding area also has its charms, including the upmarket Promenade Bolingbrook shopping center, the Route 66 Raceway and Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Fuel up before heading out with complimentary breakfast at the hotel.
Set among the Swedish bakeries and artisanal shops of Andersonville, the Guesthouse Hotel welcomes the independent guest – suites contain full-size kitchens for preparing meals. Wash it down with a craft beer from one of the area’s many breweries before catching a late-night show at the Chicago Magic Lounge. If you’d prefer a quieter evening, grab a book from the wood-paneled library.
Renovated in 2019, this three-star hotel sits opposite the subway station, granting access to the Chicago city center within one hour. However, the Skokie area has its own appeal. Catch live jazz at the Skokie Theatre, shop at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s at Westfield Old Orchard, or tee off at multiple golf courses. Traveling with a canine companion? You’re in luck. Also, kids under the age of 18, who share a room with their parents, can expect to stay for free.
Just 10mi (16km) from Chicago Midway International Airport, this two-star hotel is ideally situated for budget travelers who seek a modest but comfortable stay before their flight. Close by is SeatGeek Stadium (formerly Toyota Park), host to concerts and other events. If you’re staying longer, the cultural draws of central Chicago are a 30-minute drive away.
For some more luxury options check out the best five-star hotels in Chicago, bookable with Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.