Spanning 50 acres of fairground rides, public parks, shops, restaurants, bars and other fun, you’ll never be bored on Navy Pier – especially if you’re staying at one of these close-by Chicago hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.
Since it reopened to the public in 1995, the 3,300ft (1,000m)-long Navy Pier has welcomed over 180 million people, making it one of Chicago’s most popular sights. It’s no wonder, since the pier is packed with entertainment: firework displays, outdoor movies and live music. The area around Navy Pier is similarly vibrant, with yet more eateries and boutique stores sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with unmissable Chicago attractions like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Among all this are some outstanding hotels that provide almost as much fun as you’ll have exploring, while acting as a reliable base for recharging the batteries.
This boldly contemporary venue on the edge of Lake Michigan has rooms and public areas adorned with modern art and bright colors, plus you can upgrade to a suite for a waterfront view. Complimentary classes in the fitness area are a nice bonus – or go a step further and pay for a personal trainer – otherwise you can simply take a dip in the heated indoor pool. The hotel provides a useful list of nearby activities, including bike and jogging trails – plus the many water-based options available on the lake, like jet-skiing, sailing and kayaking.
Not only do you have almost instant access to Navy Pier in this upmarket venue, but you’re also minutes from the pretty Chicago Riverwalk and a few blocks from the nature- and culture-crammed Millennium Park. It’s a great choice for families, with everything from coloring books to PlayStation 3s available, and child-friendly foods in the on-site restaurants. You can’t stay here without dining at Streeterville Social – a restaurant and bar set on a huge rooftop space, serving snacks and light-ish bites. Pair them with cocktails and Chicago beers, like Revolution Brewing’s Hazy-Hero IPA.
Whether you’re sightseeing or on business, the daily free breakfast at this smart, well-kept hotel will be a boost to your morning. For daytime and evening eating, there are two casual Italian restaurants within the hotel, and globally inspired dining everywhere you turn when you step outside: Thai, Indian, Chinese, Mexican – plus plenty of lively bars for afterwards. A business center and plenty of meeting room space make Embassy Suites an especially good pick for anyone on work-related travel.
If you’re staying in a boutique hotel that’s steps away from the Magnificent Mile, it’s likely you’ll be doing some shopping. All of the Ivy’s rooms are extra spacious – as well as featuring modern, artistic decor – meaning you’ll have somewhere to store all those impulse buys. If you want even more space, suites contain separate living rooms. Check the 16th-floor Sky Terrace bar for cityscape views and cocktails – try the zingy Ivy Margarita, with blackberry-strawberry purée – or simply venture out of the hotel for a dizzying choice of upscale cocktail bars, casual pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes.
With a gleaming, towering exterior that blends into its skyscraper surroundings and a lobby that recalls The Great Gatsby, it’s not hard to appreciate where the “grand” of the hotel’s title came from. All rooms feel pleasingly indulgent and feature views of either the Chicago River, Lake Michigan or the general downtown hubbub. The fitness center boasts a pool and an outdoor terrace, so you can distract yourself from your exercise bike workout by taking in the serene riverside views.
Visual art aficionados will love the fact that this hotel is just across the street from both the Museum of Contemporary Art and the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, a low-key treasure showcasing local photography. It’s a fitting location for a venue as modern and arty as Audrey. All rooms have enticing city views and there’s a 24-hour fitness center. Dining-wise, as you’re on the doorstep of the Magnificent Mile you’ll be spoiled for choice – with a bowl of whatever global delicacy takes your fancy just minutes away at any given moment.
This classy venue is a great pick for guests on work trips, who will appreciate the full business center, computer station with printers and enormous meeting space. But take full advantage of the other amenities – namely the hot tub next to the indoor pool. Then there’s the 24-hour fitness center, or a running club if you’d rather clock your miles on Chicago’s streets. Rooms are spacious and classic, with some featuring oversized desks and many offering city views that’ll make you want to head out and explore the Magnificent Mile – just one block away.
The prime setting of this hotel, in the bustling Streeterville neighborhood, means that you’re only steps away from Navy Pier and the ever-lively Magnificent Mile, with other highlights like the Wrigley Building – an iconic 1920s skyscraper – and Grant Park also nearby. Back at the hotel, there’s a smart lobby-lounge offering cocktails, clean and airy rooms with lots of space, a 24-hour business center and a heated indoor swimming pool.
Get into the heart of Navy Pier by staying directly on it – you’ll have all the sights and buzz of the pier on your doorstep, plus beautiful, sweeping views of the harbor and Lake Michigan from your window. Make the most of the location by renting a bike or organizing a boat trip from the hotel. Or stay static and enjoy the lake from one of the biggest rooftop bars in the country, Offshore – just moments away from the hotel at the end of the pier. Sable’s bedrooms are bright, airy and crisp with colorful decor that complements the nautical setting.