Chicago’s former meatpacking district has seen a cultural revival in recent years. Make the most of it by staying in one of the area’s best hotels.
The West Loop is Chicago’s answer to New York’s Meatpacking District and London’s Shoreditch, a former industrial area that has burgeoned into one of the city’s cultural hubs. Michelin-star restaurants brush shoulders with raucous local bars. Tech businesses have set up their headquarters en masse, and some of the world’s best boutique hotels have settled in – a sure sign that an area is worth your time. Culture Trip rounds up the best below.
The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of the Publishing House Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
Dating back to 1909, this hotel lies inside the former Free Methodist Publishing House building. Despite a rigorous renovation in 2017, the structure has stayed true to its historical roots, retaining period features but modernizing interiors with hip design and eclectic vintage furnishings. The 11-bedroom hotel has the familiarity of a bed and breakfast, with hidden fireside corners where you can lose yourself in a book and a delicious breakfast spread each morning.
Ace Hotel Chicago is the chain’s first outpost in the Midwest. Its opening is a testament to the growing popularity of the West Loop, solidifying it as an up-and-coming area in the city. In-house restaurant City Mouse attracts as many Chicago residents as it does guests – a signifier of what to expect from your meal. On a fine evening, head up to rooftop spot Waydown to sip a cocktail as the sunset turns the surrounding buildings a fiery orange.
Crittall windows, brushed metal fixtures and exposed concrete are all key parts of the equation at Hoxton hotels, and the company has brought these elements to Chicago, where they are perfectly suited to West Loop’s post-industrial locale. If you’re visiting during summer, the rooftop pool is the perfect setting for cocktails. A short elevator ride will take you back to your cloudlike bed, which is hard to leave in the morning, especially when a breakfast bag of freshly baked goods can be delivered to your door.
Though not strictly a hotel, the Chicago Parthenon Hostel is perfect if you want to delve into this trendy area, but are traveling on a shoestring budget. The hostel-guesthouse comprises both private and dorm rooms; you can still take advantage of the lower prices but maintain your own space while you’re at it. Breakfast is provided every morning, and evenings can be spent unwinding at the in-house bar, The Ambassador Public House, creating the perfect opportunity to link up with fellow travelers.
Allowing its address to influence its decor, Ginosi 747 Apartel is aviation-themed from top to bottom, inspired by the Boeing 747 airplane. Perfect for those who want to dine in, all rooms come equipped with fully functional kitchens, giving you more flexibility when it comes to mealtimes and allowing you to save some money. A high-tech space, the hotel forgoes the traditional reception model for self-check-in booths so you can swiftly settle into your room to rest or head straight out to sightsee. It’s just a block away from the metro station, so you’ll be zipping through the city in no time.