Chicago is one of America’s great big cities and a top travel destination for vacationers of all ages. Whether you’re admiring the city from above on the Willis Tower Skydeck, catching a Cubs game at the legendary Wrigley Field, or taking a relaxing walk along Lake Michigan, there is so much to see and do in The Windy City. Finding a hotel that meets your needs is critical if you want to have a good time. To make that process easier on you, we’ve scanned expert reviews to find the consensus best hotels in Chicago.
One thing Chicago is very well known for is its pizza. While some may point to New York City as the home of America’s best pizzerias, you’ll likely find just as many who tell you that you’ve never had the best pies in the country if you haven’t been to Chicago. In fact, in our recent Best Frozen Pizzas report, we had no choice but to add Chicago’s Home Run Inn Pizza to our list after an incredible backlash from our readers.
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With all the essentials for a successful trip down, we’ve selected the five best hotels in Chicago that fit the criteria after reviewing 10 expert websites. Some are famous for their terrific artwork, while others have notably unique cuisines and modern experiences. Have you visited The Windy City? Leave your hotel suggestions in the comments below! When you’re ready to book your hotel, make sure you’re booking your vacation with freedom and flexibility. Click here to find hotels featuring free cancellation, and VIP Access hotels with free cancellation offers too!
The List: Best hotels in Chicago, according to the experts
1. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Out of all the websites, Travellers Worldwide ranks this hotel second on their list. “The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago delivers an unforgettable travel experience with its breathtaking views of the skyline and the luxurious spa. All the rooms come with an impressive panoramic view of the city, and you can head to the 7th floor of the hotel for an evening of fine dining at the Adorn Bar & Restaurant. The hotel isn’t far from the Magnificent Mile if you enjoy shopping and fine dining, but you’ll also be near the Lincoln Park Zoo and the 360 Chicago Observation Deck.”
Good Housekeeping writes, “Who said luxury isn’t kid-friendly? Families will adore the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago which features just as many amazing amenities for kids as it does for their parents. It starts at check-in when little ones can select a toy from the hotel’s toy treasure chest. They’ll also receive an activity book upon arrival that teaches them about Chicago’s most famous city landmarks. Feel like ice cream? The property has an on-call ice cream service that will wheel a cart right into your room. Plus, it’s one of the few hotels in Chicago with a pool (and it has toys and floaties to boot).”
“With its prime Magnificent Mile location and attractive, contemporary rooms, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is a top choice for visiting celebrities and those who appreciate the peace and quiet the polished staff practically guarantees. Stay here for the views: many of the soothing neutral-hued rooms come with leather window seats overlooking Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast, and the hotel boasts the highest suites in the city. The lobby, grand ballroom and restaurants and the larger suites and apartments received updates in 2020 from renowned architecture and design firm Rottet Studio. Two things haven’t changed though: the wonderful, personal service and the location,” writes Forbes Travel Guide.
2. The Peninsula Chicago
The Pursuitist ranks it at the top of their list and says, “With numerous delicious fine-dining options, the stunning pool, spacious rooms and suites, there is so much to adore about the legendary Peninsula Chicago. They pamper the whole family, and all affluent travelers, with scrumptious meals and thoughtful amenities. The staff exceeds expectations and creates a remarkable experience. Beyond its excellent service, and truly friendly people, the property is gorgeous, the rooms are huge, and the location is perfect.”
Travellers Worldwide says, “The Peninsula is an award-winning hotel that stands out thanks to its service and Asian-inspired theme. It’s one of the best accommodations if you’re looking for spacious and comfortable rooms, and you’ll enjoy the tasteful décor and attention to detail. The Lobby restaurant, the hotel’s bar, and the afternoon tea are additional reasons to consider this hotel. It’s also near the shopping district and the historic Water Tower. Plus, you’ll be near the Navy Pier, Oak Street Beach, and the Chicago Children’s Museum. It’s a popular hotel with couples, and guests say the breakfast is excellent. Reviewers also often mention the wellness amenities and the great experience they had at the rooftop spa.”
“This centrally located gem has prime real estate along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The incredible gilded ceiling in the lobby is a bustling gathering place for guests enjoying an afternoon tea. The 20-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling windows overlook an al fresco dining area attached to the Shanghai Terrace restaurant, serving dim sum and more Asian-inspired fare in a smart-casual setting,” writes Time Out. “All 339 stately rooms are decked out in simple and chic décor and feature bedside tablets that let guests adjust the temperature, lighting and music in their cozy quarters.”
3. Waldorf Astoria Chicago
“True to its reputation, elegance and sophistication are the rule here. The property is set off from the street with a roundabout cobblestone courtyard, complete with a flower-surrounded fountain – a rarity in this high-end neighbourhood, where space is at a premium. Stepping into the bright lobby, with its tall ceilings and natural light, is like entering an art museum, filled with artwork, glasswork and elegant black and white marble,” says The Telegraph.
“A luxury hotel from the Hilton brand rolls out the red carpet for its tiniest guests. In addition to the gear you’d expect (like a nice crib), the Waldorf Astoria Chicago also loans families a white-noise machine, diaper pail, strollers and other equipment. The service is stunning — a concierge will reach out before your visit and ask you what you need. Then it’ll be waiting for you in the room. Be sure to request one of the mini plush white bath robes so you and your little one can match,” explains Good Housekeeping.
“Indulge in sanctuary of tranquil spa treatments, thoughtful relaxation and wellbeing at Spa & Health Club. The spa offers treatments such as facials, massages, spa gatherings and men’s atelier, tailored specifically for you. A lap pool adorned with thousands of mosaic titles is available for leisure or intense swims, as well as for water classes,” writes Five Star Alliance. “In addition to spa, the health club offers specialized Pilates and Gyrotonic classes as well as complete line of cardio and strength equipment. Savor inspired American and French cuisine in captivating restaurants featuring intimate dining experience.”
4. The Pendry, Chicago
Travel + Leisure ranks it 97.60 out of 100. “The Pendry might be one of the newest kids on the Chicago block — it opened in May 2021 — but the architectural features of the structure that houses the 364-room hotel have been captivating the city for nearly a century. The property was built in 1929 to be the regional headquarters of the Union Carbide & Carbon company — hence the name of the new summer rooftop bar: Château Carbide. The exterior is clad in black granite and gold leaf; inside, Art Deco–inspired touches abound. Clearly, readers were impressed, noting the old building with new sophisticated charm and elegance.”
Pure Wow writes, “Not only is it a destination spot for stars such as Rosario Dawson and Lollapalooza cofounder Perry Farrell, who gave an intimate concert for fest-goers at the building’s stellar rooftop bar in 2021 before rocking the house in the lobby downstairs, it’s got plenty to attract the city’s culture lovers, too. From the Parisian-chic French bistro found on the first floor, Venteux, to the uniquely boozy afternoon tea at Bar Pendry, the dining scene goes way beyond satisfactory. The accommodations aren’t too shabby, either: They’re giving Art Deco meets modern day luxury.”
“Pendry Chicago combines contemporary boutique-hotel good looks with upscale comforts and impressive views of the distinctive Loop cityscape. Beds come dressed in Fili D’Oro linens, bathrooms clad in marble with custom-made bath products, and rooms come supplied with modern necessities like Bluetooth speakers and espresso machines, plus the ageless temptation of a well-stocked bar,” adds Michelin Guide.
5. Virgin Hotel Chicago
Michelin Guide states, “In a restored 1928-vintage building inside the Loop, Virgin is threatening to kill off quite a few of the industry’s pet peeves all at once: they promise wi-fi that’s fast and truly free, a minibar with prices that match the corner shop, room service without the extortionate delivery fee, as well as plentiful closet space and lighting that’ll enable you to doll yourself up with confidence. Virgin also promises solutions to problems you didn’t know you had. sliding doors —great for traveling companions whose sleep schedules aren’t quite aligned.”
“The hotel focuses on how a room works, not just how it looks. The room creates 2 lifestyle-focused rooms in 1: the Dressing Room and a Sleeping Lounge – separated by a sliding set of privacy doors, complete with a second peep hole. Considering every desire and comfort of the modern traveler, channeled thoughtfulness, creativity, and technology into a bespoke chamber concept. The groundbreaking chamber design combines the hallway, closet, and bathroom into one luxurious dressing Room area, while privacy doors close to create a personal sleeping lounge, ideal for working, recharging, and playing. Everything you would normally expect in a suite is here, plus a few surprises,” states Five Star Alliance.
“Traveling with the fam? We’re going to make it easy for you. Not only do kids under the age of 18 stay free at Virgin Hotel, your four-legged family members will also stay free of charge, with no restrictions on sizes or breeds. You won’t have to worry about stuffing everyone into a too-small space just to fight over a cot, either: For a little more (from $301 a night), you can book a 501-square-foot three-room suite for the crew, complete with a living room, a dressing room, a double vanity and a sleeping lounge. Hardwood floors and rainfall shower heads keep things nice and homey, and there’s even a cute Smeg fridge for their juice boxes,” mentions Pure Wow.
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- Travel + Leisure
- The Pursuitist
- Time Out
- The Telegraph
- Pure Wow
- Good Housekeeping
- Travellers Worldwide
- Michelin Guide
- Forbes Travel Guide
- Five Star Alliance
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