The Best Hotels to Book in the Loop, Chicago

The Loop may be in the business district of Chicago, but theres plenty of pleasure on offer at the areas hotels
The Loop may be in the business district of Chicago, but there's plenty of pleasure on offer at the area's hotels | Courtesy of LondonHouse Chicago / Expedia.com
Chloe Byrne

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, staying in a hotel in Chicago’s the Loop means the best of the city is right on your doorstep.

1. Palmer House a Hilton Hotel, for a piece of history

Hotel

A grand reception room with a bar, seating and a painted ceiling
Courtesy of Palmer House a Hilton Hotel / Expedia.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.

2. Virgin Hotels Chicago, for classic Branson kitsch

Hotel

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Courtesy of Virgin Hotels Chicago / Expedia.com
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.

3. Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop, for contemporary cool

Hotel

A double bed in a room decorated with blue wallpaper at Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop
Courtesy of Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop / Expedia.com

Sharing the same building as the James M Nederlander Theatre, the Cambria Hotel is an ideal Chicago hotel retreat after witnessing the bright lights of the 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 wifi. In the evenings, treat yourself to a bit of friendly competition on the foosball and pool tables in the game room.

4. Chicago Athletic Association, for Gothic charm and modern interiors

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A double bed in a room at Chicago Athletic Association that features a pommel horse ottoman
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.

5. Kimpton Gray Hotel, for unique perks

Suite Hotel

A reception room with sofas, armchairs and views to the outside at Kimpton Gray Hotel
Courtesy of Kimpton Gray Hotel / Expedia.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.

6. LondonHouse Chicago, for Beaux-arts chic

Suite Hotel, Luxury

A roof terrace with seating and views of the city at LondonHouse Chicago
Courtesy of LondonHouse Chicago / Expedia.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.

7. Kimpton Hotel Allegro, for an Art Deco feel

Chain Hotel, Hotel

A seating area with black and gold furnishings and decor at Kimpton Hotel Allegro
Courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Allegro / Expedia.com

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.

8. Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown, for a tasteful themed stay

Hotel

A double bed in a room with gray and silver decor at Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown
Courtesy of Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown / Expedia.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.

9. Staypineapple Chicago, for easy Millennium Park access

Hotel

Restaurant and bar at Staypineapple Chicago, featuring high ceilings, pendant lighting, and black and white furnishings
Courtesy of Staypineapple Chicago / Expedia.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.

10. theWit Chicago, for quirky cocktail nights

Hotel

The bar at theWit Chicago with high glass windows and a glass roof
Courtesy of theWit Chicago / Expedia.com

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.

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

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