The 7 Best Hotels in Chicago Near Lake Michigan

Many of Chicago’s hotels offer sweeping views of Lake Michigan
Many of Chicago’s hotels offer sweeping views of Lake Michigan | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Molly Codyre

Opt for a hotel next to Lake Michigan to complement your trip to the Windy City with picturesque lakeside views.

Staying close to Lake Michigan when visiting Chicago allows you to escape to peace and quiet when you need a break from the hustle and bustle. The rest of the time, you’ll have an array of cool shops, restaurants and galleries on your doorstep. And by staying at one of these top-rated hotels, you’ll have fantastic facilities to take advantage of as well.

1. The Drake, a Hilton Hotel


A cosy room at the Drake, a Hilton Hotel, with an armchair, bed, table and sofa
Courtesy of the Drake / Expedia
Echoing the golden age of hotels, the Drake is a grandiose space filled with Italian Renaissance elements. Crystal chandeliers hang from ceilings, gilded frames and cornices abound, and staircases wouldn’t look out of place in a royal palace. Located at the north end of Michigan Avenue, just moments from the lakefront, you couldn’t be in a better spot to explore Chicago.

2. Thompson Chicago

Chain Hotel, Luxury

A lounge area with a sleek dark gray couch and a modern armchair in a suite with a private balcony at the Thompson Chicago
Courtesy of Thompson Chicago / Expedia

Ultra-modern in style, the Thompson Chicago certainly fits its Gold Coast setting. Located in an upmarket area, where designer shops and stately homes line the streets, the hotel is favored for its minimalistic rooms punctuated with mid-century elements and lofty views over either Lake Michigan or the city’s skyscrapers. Italian-influenced restaurant Nico Osteria and adjacent wine bar Salone Nico are designed with mood lighting and easily hold their own in an area full of highly regarded dining institutions – be sure to book in during your stay.

3. Hotel Zachary

Independent Hotel

Courtesy of Hotel Zachary /

Found next door to Wrigley Field, Hotel Zachary is inspired by Zachary Taylor Davis, the architect of the city’s famed baseball stadium. Blending old and new, this boutique hotel is decorated in a mid-century style with all the modern touches you need for a comfortable stay, including wireless phone chargers and uber-fast Wi-Fi. Opt for a room with a view over the field during your stay – a must if you’re an avid baseball fan.

4. City Suites Hotel


Courtesy of City Suites Hotel /
Boystown is a thriving LGBTQ-friendly area by day and by night. Take a mid-afternoon stroll through the neighborhood to discover cute boutiques and restaurants, and then watch the night come to life as bars and clubs open their doors to residents and out-of-towners alike. City Suites Hotel keeps the buzz going with modern, colorful rooms designed with buttercup yellow radiators and tapestry-style headboards. If you’re ever feeling peckish in the afternoon, swing by reception for a handful of complimentary cookies – and the chance to meet fellow travelers.

5. Ambassador Chicago


Courtesy of Ambassador Chicago / Expedia
Opened in 1926, Ambassador Chicago has welcomed many notable figures over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Although now under new ownership, the hotel has undergone a rigorous renovation, adding a modern sheen to its rooms while maintaining many of its historical features, such as detailed wainscot paneling and opulent chandeliers. When you’d like to relax by the lake, Lincoln Park and Oak Street Beach are less than 15 minutes away on foot.

6. Viceroy Chicago

Chain Hotel, Luxury

A retro bedroom in the Viceroy Chicago with turquoise curtains and cityscape views seen through floor-to-ceiling windows
Courtesy of Viceroy Chicago / Expedia

Being careful to preserve its history, Viceroy Chicago retained the brick and terracotta facade of the 1920s hotel originally built on this site and erected an enormous glass building behind it. Stepping inside, the old glamor of the place manifests around most corners; Art Deco elements such as end-of-the-rainbow gold headboards and luxe drapery abound. Foodies should head straight to in-house restaurant Somerset – spearheaded by Michelin-star chef Lee Wolen – while evening cocktails are best sipped by the rooftop pool with the illuminated city glittering around you.

7. Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Suite Hotel, Luxury

Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Chicago /
Waldorf Astoria hotels have a reputation for glamor and luxury, and the Chicago outpost is no exception. Inside, the hotel flaunts Art Deco features, such as enormous chandeliers, and mid-century furnishings. The level of service is every bit as premium as the on-site facilities – from a personable concierge service to an in-house chauffeur who will drive you to your restaurant of choice in a VIP-style Volvo (as long as it’s within a 2mi or 3km radius of the hotel). If you want to dine in, Margeaux Brasserie has got you covered. Helmed by award-winning chef Michael Mina, it serves up a delightful menu of French classics, including foie gras and escargots.

For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels with views in Chicago and book now on Culture Trip.

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