Saving up for a weekend of jazz clubs, sports games and haute cuisine of the Midwest’s friendliest metropolis, Chicago? These 6 no- or low-frills hotels will offset your extravagant Chi-town budget, leaving plenty of room for that extra slice of deep-dish pizza – or fois gras.
The Sutton Place Hotel Chicago
This 246-room boutique located 2 blocks from the Magnificent Mile has luxury amenities, with upscale services like free morning newspapers, 24-hour room service, morning car service, and twice-daily maid service. While the contemporary rooms are clean and big, they could use an upgrade (most still have tube TVs). Still, the location is great, and the price is right.
Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago
Compared with the other hotels located half a block from the Magnificent Mile, the elegant 332-room Millennium Knickerbocker is certainly a good value. It’s true that the historic property doesn’t have many amenities (only a 24-hour fitness center and a 24-hour business center), and the rooms are on the small side, but they come with big flat-screen TVs and Frette linens.
Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile
This 357-room hotel is located 2 blocks from the Magnificent Mile and features big (if generic) rooms for the price, plus an indoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center and a barbecue restaurant. The rooms are equipped with mini-fridges and microwaves, and the hotel offers solid freebies — Wi-Fi, cookies, and in-room fitness kits.
Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago
This mid-range hotel’s location, a few blocks from the Magnificent Mile and within walking distance of the Loop and the Theatre district, is convenient both for business and for leisure travelers. It has clean, comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs, a 24-hour fitness center, free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi and a great indoor swimming pool with a skylight.
Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile
The Doubletree Chicago is conveniently located 2 blocks from the Magnificent Mile, and features a large 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor rooftop swimming pool, a 24-hour business center and an on-site restaurant. The contemporary rooms were renovated in 2009 and all come with 27-inch flat-screen TVs, Neutrogena toiletries, MP3 hookups and coffee makers with free coffee and tea.
Best Western Hawthorne Terrace
The Best Western Hawthorne Terrace is one of the few hotels in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, a northern residential area that’s home to Wrigley Field and Chicago’s gay nightlife scene. It’s got more charm than you’d expect from a chain hotel — a brick building covered with ivy, a Victorian-style lobby with a fireplace, contemporary rooms renovated in 2010. It’s also got solid freebies, including Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and morning newspaper delivery.