Chicago is a world class city and as a result our hotels have world class prices. Rates vary by time of year so if you can withstand arctic temperatures you can get some really good deals during the winter. Otherwise check out this post on how to save money on hotels. And please, if you google “Cheap Chicago Hotels” and some no-name hotel comes up that costs $50 a night it is most likely a flop house or an SRO and probably located in an unsafe area.
Some guides and websites recommend staying at locations away from downtown in order to save money. A more expensive, centrally located hotel within walking distance or a quick public transit ride to the areas you want to explore may make more sense than spending time each day riding a train back and forth from a cheaper hotel located far from downtown. You can then find ways to save money on everything else like meals, snacks, happy hours, attractions etc.
The biggest way you can save money is by not renting a car in Chicago. You do not need a car. If you stay somewhere remote it will cost you big bucks to park in the downtown garages. You may find street parking but the meters are $6.50 per hour. Do yourself a favor and take public transportation. Here’s an article on the CTA. Hotel tax in downtown Chicago is a bone crushing 17.4%. Resort fees haven’t hit Chicago yet.
Many business hotels such as Hyatt Place and Hampton Inn include breakfast and wifi as part of the room rate. Some have free access to computers and a basic gym.
Here are the more reasonably priced hotels, by area, Some of these hotels are older or more basic. Unless it snows two feet and you’re trapped inside you won’t spend much time in your room.
Gold Coast – These hotels are located in the heart of the Gold Coast and also Rush Street adjacent. There is a Treasure Island Foods grocery store, a Walgreens and CVS located within few blocks of both hotels. Cheap eats Gold Coast
Hotel Indigo Chicago Downtown Gold Coast, 1244 N. Dearborn Parkway, 1-800-972-2494. Nice boutique hotel near Rush Street.
Public Chicago, 1301 N. State Parkway, 312- 787-3700. Some rates offer a complimentary Power Breakfast if you book direct from their website.
Hyde Park – University of Chicago – This area is only convenient if you are spending most of your time at the University of Chicago.
Hyatt Place, 5225 S. Harper Drive, 773-752-5300. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
La Quinta Lake Shore, 4900 S. Lake Shore Drive, 773-324-3000. Not open until June 2015. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Lincoln Park – This area is loaded with great bars and restaurants but it’s a hike to downtown either on the L or the bus and can take time particularly at rush hour. There really aren’t many accommodations up here which is why most people stay in the Loop or River North. There is a Walmart Neighborhood Market and a Trader Joe’s within a few blocks of these hotels.
Days Inn Chicago 644 W. Diversey, 773-525-7010. Clean but basic. Includes breakfast, wifi and gym access.
Getaway Hostel, 616 W , Arlington Pl, (773) 929-5380. private rooms with full, half or shared bathrooms. All feature complimentary linens, WiFi, breakfast, and housekeeping on request. Bike and mini-refrigerator rental available.
Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N Clark St, (312) 254-4700. Across from Lincoln Park and the Zoo. Awesome rooftop deck. There is a Treasure Island Foods three blocks south at North and Wells.
Lincoln Park Guest House, 2319 N Halsted St, (312) 751-2202. Includes wifi and in room coffee/tea. There is a Whole Foods three blocks west on Fullerton.
Willows Hotel, 555 W. Surf, 773-528-8400. Includes breakfast, wifi and gym access.
Loop – This is the center of the city where all the museums, cultural events and main attractions are located. There are many accommodation options in the Loop but many are expensive. Some Loop hotels are in no man’s land after 5PM which is indicated below. Most bars close around 10PM or midnight. There is a Target at 1 S. State Street (at Madison), multiple Walgreens and CVS stores.
Club Quarters, 111 W. Adams Street, 312-214-6400. Rate includes wifi. This location can be desolate after 5PM.
Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/N Loop/Michigan Ave, 68 E. Wacker Place, 312-419-9014. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Hampton Inn Majestic Chicago Theatre District, 22 W. Monroe, 312-332-5052. Rate includes breakfast and wifi. Steps from a Target that sells groceries. Next to Bank of America Theatre.
Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, 312-565-1234. This hotel is attached to a branch of the Pedway. Bockwinkel’s Grocery store is around the corner.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown, 1 S. Franklin, 1-312-558-1020. No-man’s-land after 5pm.
Silver Smith Hotel, 10 S. Wabash Avenue, 312-372-7696.
Magnificent Mile/Streeterville – This Magnificient Mile is known for shopping. Like the Loop there are many accommodation options but many are expensive. West of Michigan Avenue is River North and north of that is Rush Street. Both areas have 2AM and 4AM bars. East of Michigan Avenue is Streeterville and the less there is to do. Most bars close around 10PM or midnight. Cheap eats Streeterville. Cheap eats North Michigan Avenue. There is a Trader Joe’s at Ontario and Rush, a Jewel at Grand and State, Whole Foods at Huron and Dearborn and at Illinois and Columbus/Fairbanks.
Courtyard Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 165 E. Ontario Street, 312-573-0800
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago – Magnificent Mile, 300 E. Ohio Street, 312-787-6100
Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 216 E. Ontario Street, 312-787-3777
Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 160 E. Huron St., 312-706-0888. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 10 E. Grand Avenue, 312-595-0000. Rate includes wifi.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 152 E Huron St., 312-585-9333. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
InterContinental Hotel, 505 N. Michigan Ave, 312-944-4100. This hotel has an awesome junior Olympic size pool.\ but will eb pricey
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile, 201 E. Walton Place, 312-943-9800. Rate includes breakfast and free wifi. Fully equipped kitchen.
Sheraton Grand, 301 E. North Water Street, 312-464-1000. Far off the beaten path.
The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Place, 312-397-3619.
The Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile, 100 E. Chestnut, 312-751-1900.
The Whitehall Hotel, 105 E. Delaware Place, 312-944-6300.
River North – This area is known for it’s restaurants bars and clubs. Many close at 2AM and 4AM. There are many accommodation options but many are expensive. There is a Trader Joe’s at Ontario and Rush, a Jewel at Grand and State, Whole Foods at Huron and Dearborn and at Illinois and Columbus/Fairbanks. Cheap eats River North
Acme Hotel, 15 E. Ohio Street, 312-894-0800
Aloft Chicago City Center, 515 N. Clark Street, 312-661-1000
Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North, 30 E. Hubbard, 312-329-2500
Embassy Suites Chicago – Downtown, 600 N. State Street, 312-943-3800. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/River North, 60 W. Illinois Street, . Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Freehand Chicago, 19 E. Ohio Street, 312-531-2727. Hostel-style hotel with both private and shared rooms and a hipster craft cocktail bar The Broken Shaker.
Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown, 33 W. Illinois, 1-312-832-0330. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago-Downtown, 40 E. Grand Avenue, 312-644-2222. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Hyatt Place Chicago/River North, 66 W. Illinois Street, 312 755 1600. Rate includes breakfast and wifi.
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North, 410 N. Dearborn Street and
SpringHill Suites Chicago Downtown/River North, 410 N. Dearborn Street. These hotels are attached.
South Loop – There aren’t too many hotel options and many parts of the South Loop are desolate after 5PM. It’s main benefit is it’s within walking distance of the Museum Campus. There is a Trader Joe’s and Jewel-Osco both at Roosevelt and Wabash.
Best Western Grant Park, 1100 S. Michigan, 312-922-2900. Rate includes free wifi.
The Buckingham Athletic Club & Hotel, One Financial Place, 440 S. LaSalle Street, 312-663-8910. No mans land after 5pm.
Hotel Blake,500 S. Dearborn Street, 312-986-1234. Technically Printers Row not much goes on here at night.
The J. Ira & Nicki Harris Family Hostel, 24 E. Congress Parkway, 312-360-0300.
Ace Hotel, 311 N. Morgan, (312) 764-1919
Crown Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown, 733 W. Madison Street, Walking distance to Greektown. Mariano’s Grocery store walking distance.
Wicker Park/Bucktown – While this area is known for its hipster restaurants, bars and shopping there are virtually no hotels in the area. Many things are open much later in the area. It’s a haul from downtown so if you go up there for the nightlife be prepared to take a taxi back downtown as riding the Blue Line late at night isn’t advised. A cheap option back downtown is the No. 56 bus but it takes a while and doesn’t run late..
Publishing House B&B, 108 N. May St., 312-554 5857
The Robery, 2018 W North Ave, (872) 315-3050. This is the only other hotel in the area and it’s not cheap.
Ruby Room Inn Spa Salon Shop , 1743-1745 West Division Street, (773) 235-2323.