The 11 Best Hotels in the Loop, Chicago

The Loop is a bustling area in Chicago brimming with unique hotels
The Loop is a bustling area in Chicago brimming with unique hotels | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
In the Loop, you can always find someone running to catch a train, coffee in hand. It’s in the business district of Chicago, named after the loop that the elevated train makes around a rectangle. With an “L” stop at almost every corner, Millennium Park’s famous Cloud Gate and an abundance of luminescent theaters to visit, a stay in the Loop means the best of Chicago is right on your doorstep.

Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

Hotel
Palmer House a Hilton Hotel, Chicago
Courtesy of Palmer House a Hilton Hotel / Hotels.com
Palmer House was the first hotel in Chicago to feature electric light bulbs, an elevator and telephones in the guest rooms. An intricate ceiling fresco and candelabra-laden statuettes welcome you into its grand lobby, while gilded chandeliers and ornate ceiling roses are found on most ceilings. Among the decadent decor are two eateries, a traditional spa and a sprawling fitness center. Tuck into comfort food such as milkshakes and burgers in Potter’s Chicago Burger Bar, or step it up a notch with the dry-aged rib eye and charred artichoke in the Lockwood Restaurant and Bar.
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Virgin Hotels Chicago

Hotel
Award-winning Virgin Hotels Chicago is packed with pops of its iconic red – taking form in neon signs, a leather-padded bar and the Smeg minibars in each room. The forward-thinking chambers have sliding doors so that you can alternate between an open plan or more private pockets. Custom-designed beds maximize comfort with ergonomic touches such as adjustable footboards. Grab an iced latte from the ground level coffee shop and watch the bustling city corner, or head up to the hotel’s killer rooftop – evenings come alive with buzzy music events, and a bright red swing in the shape of lips makes for an Instagram-worthy photo.
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Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop

Hotel
Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop
Courtesy of Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop / Hotels.com

Sharing the same building as the James M Nederlander Theatre, the Cambria Hotel is an ideal retreat after witnessing the bright lights of Chicago’s theater district. Inside the bar and lobby, you’ll find a sleek combination of blueprint-style art and a sci-fi-reminiscent palette of cobalt blues and metallic leather furniture. For business travelers, each contemporary room maximizes comfort and convenience, featuring a 40in flat-screen TV, an executive desk with an ergonomic chair and free high-speed Wi-Fi. In the evenings, treat yourself to a bit of friendly competition on the foosball and pool tables in the game room.

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Chicago Athletic Association

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Chicago Athletic Association
Courtesy of Chicago Athletic Association / Hotels.com

The 1890s Venetian Gothic building of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel exudes old-world charisma. The playful spirit of its former life as an exclusive sports club echoes throughout the 20th-century-style rooms. Pommel horses double as ottomans, and boxing-style robes await in the Carrara marble bathrooms. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the former athletic club, including the original lap pool and enigmatic game room. When it comes to dining, you are spoiled for choice – the Cherry Circle Room’s farm-to-table fare and the sun-drenched atrium of rooftop restaurant Cindy’s are just two of the options.

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Kimpton Gray Hotel

Suite Hotel
Kimpton Gray Hotel, Chicago
Courtesy of Kimpton Gray Hotel / Hotels.com

Take advantage of Kimpton Gray Hotel’s curated concierge service, which offers help with everything from bar recommendations in the Loop to engagement surprises on the beach. Top-notch amenities include the on-site Tie Bar, bikes to rent and Lululemon yoga mats in the fitness center. The bedrooms are the epitome of simple sophistication, lined in textured wallpaper with luxurious linens in a palette of soothing grays and blues.

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LondonHouse Chicago

Suite Hotel, Luxury
Courtesy of LondonHouse Chicago / Booking.com

LondonHouse Chicago resides in a striking Beaux-Arts structure, one of Chicago’s original skyscrapers. Previously housing radio studios and jazz clubs, the 22-story building now comprises a state-of-the-art gym, a tranquil spa with eco-friendly treatments (try the Warm Honey Drizzle) and glamorous rooms with sweeping views of the Chicago River. The jewel in its cloud-brushing crown is the three-floor rooftop bar, a magical spot to sip on a Forbidden Fruit cocktail, which combines gin, blueberry, lemon and sparkling wine.

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Kimpton Hotel Allegro

Chain Hotel, Hotel
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Courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Allegro / Expedia

Since its 1920s construction, Kimpton Hotel Allegro has played host to various vaudeville stars, post-Prohibition parties and velvet-toned vocalists. Elements of its storied history are retained throughout, with original light fixtures and Art Deco wallpaper adding a vintage flair to rooms. If you’re feeling decadent, treat yourself to a stay in one of the cavernous suites with a Jacuzzi tub. Dining at in-house restaurant 312 Chicago is also a fancy affair – try the house-made limoncello and authentic Italian dishes such as black squid ink linguini.

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Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown

Hotel
Courtesy of Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown / Booking.com
Fittingly situated on Jewelers Row, the Silversmith Hotel was once home to jewelers and silver craftsmen. The glitzy interior nods to its former residents, complete with lustrous drapes, crystal chandeliers and bejeweled candle holders on the tables of in-house Adamus Restaurant & Lounge. The swanky spot is ideal for happy-hour drinks and cheeseburger sliders before heading out to catch a blues gig or hog the karaoke mic at one of the nearby bars. Rooms feature plush velvet furnishings and metallic headboards and offer sweeping views of sparkling Downtown.
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Staypineapple Chicago

Hotel
Courtesy of Staypineapple Chicago / Booking.com
Staypineapple Chicago stands tall in a National Historic Landmark building, a stone’s throw from the bucolic gardens of Millennium Park. A step inside will take you down halls lined with restored features such as iron filigree rails, terrazzo floors and rich mahogany woods. The intimate rooms are splashed with the chain’s pineapple yellow and come equipped with Bluetooth docking stations and the hotel’s signature cozy bathrobes.
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theWit Chicago

Hotel
Courtesy of theWit Chicago / Expedia

A neon-yellow lightning bolt carves its way down the glass facade of theWit Chicago – fitting architecture for a hotel that pulses with the same energy as the surrounding theater district. The acclaimed rooftop bar thrives throughout the seasons, thanks to its retractable roof, and features ceiling-high shelves stacked with alcohol and amber-hued nightclub-style lighting. Be sure to try one of the punny cocktails – You Can Ask Me Hennything counts Aperol, Hennessy VS and brutal honesty among its ingredients. Downstairs, you can dig into locally sourced dishes such as short rib steak at the State and Lake Chicago Tavern.

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St Jane

Hotel
St. Jane Chicago
Courtesy of St Jane / Hotels.com

The champagne bottle-shaped tower of the St Jane hotel was created as a rebellious response to Prohibition. Inside, the landmark Art Deco building matches its enchanting gold-leafed facade with gilded latticework and creamy marble. In the rooms, vintage-style furniture and surrealist art depicting figures shrouded in smoke add a fanciful edge, and Nespresso machines provide welcome morning brews. The secluded lobby lounge and the leather booths in Free Rein, a brasserie, are perfect spots for catching up with friends or indulging in an evening tipple.

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This article is an updated version of a story created by Jacquelyn Lumley.

These recommendations were updated on July 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.