The 11 Best Hotels in Chicago

Find the retreat that best matches your taste in the Windy City.

A large fireplace flanked by black leather couches at the Chicago Athletic Association

The Chicago Athletic Association’s public areas feature several fireplaces.

Courtesy of Chicago Athletic Association

With its world-class cultural institutions (the Art institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra among them), 24 sand beaches right in the city, and a richly diverse population, Chicago remains one of the United States’ most visited metropolises. The Midwestern city drew nearly 49 million visitors in 2022—about 80 percent of prepandemic numbers—and in recent years, the hotel scene has heated up, too, with both newcomers and reimagined classics. Whether you’re seeking an uber-luxe escape, a hipster hangout, or an architectural gem with killer views, you’ll find it on this curated list of Chicago’s 11 best hotels.

1. St. Regis Chicago

Interior of a St. Regis Chicago guest room, with city views from floor-to-ceiling windows

A guest room at the St. Regis Chicago

Courtesy of St. Regis Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Lakeshore East
    Why we love it: A chance to sleep in the tallest building in the world by a woman architect (Jeanne Gang), with spectacular interiors to match
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

The world has been waiting years for the St. Regis Chicago, located in the city’s 101-floor skyscraper designed by Jeanne Gang, to welcome guests and owners; in 2023, it finally made its stunning debut. The triple-tower building’s architecture was based on the frustrum shape, which is basically a pyramid with its top chopped off. (Think of a popcorn box.) That form is replicated subtly throughout the hotel, from the exoskeleton to the marble tiles in the inviting lobby on the Chicago River. Each of the 192 guest rooms comes with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic city views, a dedicated butler, one of four soaking tubs, brass detailing, and curvilinear furnishings from a collaboration between architectural powerhouse Gensler and boutique firm Simeone Deary Design Group.

Rounding out the amenities: the Miru all-day-dining restaurant that is anything but casual, a new Tuscan steakhouse concept, a truly cossetting seven-room spa, an indoor pool with an outdoor patio, and the finest urban hotel gym probably anywhere. Was the wait worth it? Indeed it was. From $779

2. Park Hyatt Chicago

Interior of a beige Water Tower Terrace Suite at the Park Hyatt Chicago, with private balcony

The living room of a Water Tower Terrace Suite in the Park Hyatt Chicago

Courtesy of Park Hyatt Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile
  • Why we love it: A creative update puts this local favorite back on the traveler’s map
  • Loyalty program: World of Hyatt
  • Book now

Following a much-needed $60 million makeover in July 2022, the Park Hyatt Chicago is once again a contender for one of the best hotels in town. Located in the bustling Magnificent Mile neighborhood at 800 N. Michigan Avenue, the storied property has been a landmark destination since it opened in 1980 as the first property to bear the Park designation. The renewed sanctuary now delivers a true sense of place, with a refreshed lobby design that’s more of an urban living room, an updated Library, and a vibrant new art program spotlighting some of Chicago’s most talented creatives. Critically, the hotel’s signature restaurant NoMI (named for the location on North Michigan Avenue) now has three different concepts: NoMI Kitchen, which emphasizes American cuisine with French techniques, NoMI Garden, a terrace space that’s ideal for lunch, and NoMI Lounge, which includes a six-seat sushi bar.

The 146 guest rooms and 36 spacious suites fall under some 20 different room categories (many with accessible showers and features), all redone by design firm Anderson/Miller with a restraint not often seen in such high-end Chicago hotels. Same goes for the NoMI spa, a true holistic wellness destination, complete with Tonal systems, Technogym equipment, Peloton bikes, and a 25-meter-long lap pool. Get most of those feel-good moments by booking the Mindfulness Suite, complete with an AI-powered Bryte Balance bed, a deep soaking tub, and an open-air terrace. From $604

3. The Langham Chicago

Interior of beige and white Infinity Suite at the Langham Chicago, with tall windows

The two-bedroom Infinity Suite’s master bedroom at the Langham Chicago

Courtesy of the Langham Chicago

  • Neighborhood: The Loop
  • Why we love it: An architectural masterpiece above the Chicago River
  • Loyalty program: 1865 Privilege
  • Book now

Chicago invented the skyscraper, and some of the world’s most elegant examples define the city’s skyline. You can stay in the coolest one of them all, designed by German American architect Mies van der Rohe and run by Langham Hotels. To access the Langham Chicago’s minimalist-yet-opulent 268 guest rooms (including 48 suites), you must first check in at the second-floor lobby; its ceiling is hung with silver pebbles, its sofas populated by stylish guests, and its David Rockwell–designed Travelle restaurant alive with music and bites by executive chef Damion Henry during coveted afternoon teas.

The former IBM building with a black exoskeleton also houses a Chuan Spa, which specializes in such Eastern therapies as acupuncture, cupping, and gua sha. A 67-foot-long indoor pool and full-service fitness center are available to all guests.

Anyone spending the night in the rooms, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows framing Chicago views, has access to one of the city’s best concierges, who can organize a River North food tour, a Frank Lloyd Wright walking excursion, or a mixology class at Travelle. Don’t leave without taking a photo beside Jaume Plensa’s “Anna” sculpture in the Wacker Street lobby—then walk over to Millennium Park to see his larger works on display. From $605

4. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The bar at Adorn Bar & Restaurant features a striking glass chandelier.

Adorn Bar & Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

Courtesy of Eric Laignel

  • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile
  • Why we love it: A newly renovated local hot spot, with sumptuous rooms (and views) to match
  • Book now

A recent makeover of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago from Houston-based Rottet Studio did away with the dark and clubby vibe common in older Chicago hotels in favor of a brighter natural palette. Today, the lobby is open and bedecked in oversize floral arrangements; the open-plan lounge there, with its modern glass chandelier, has become a high-end local watering hole known as the Social Bar. The new Adorn restaurant is now a big-night-out dining destination courtesy of chef Richie Farina’s creations that range from a perfectly prepared filet mignon to caviar and eggs. Upstairs, the 345 guest rooms—more than half are suites—feature understated grays and pale greens and come with deep soaking tubs and (if you ask) unimpeded views of Lake Michigan.

The newly redesigned spa opened this summer, with a city-view lap pool and the Augustinus Bader Method treatment exclusive to the hotel to make your skin forget winter ever happened (though the 111Skin Black Diamond Facial delivers dramatic and immediate results, as well). From June through September, the hotel offers private yacht trips on the lake so you can soak in the magnificent skyline from a distance, then return to slumber in the heart of it all. From $700

5. Pendry Chicago

Art deco exterior of the Pendry Chicago, accented with gold

The Pendry Chicago is located in the 1929 Carbide & Carbon building.

Courtesy of the Pendry Chicago

  • Neighborhood: The Loop
  • Why we love it: The always-active lobby and the secret skyscraping tower bar
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer
  • Book now

Set inside the Prohibition era Carbide & Carbon Building—a green ceramic-wrapped art deco skyscraper that mimics the shape of a bottle of champagne—the Pendry Chicago hits all the right notes. The 364 guest rooms and suites have recently been reinvigorated by Studio Munge in black and white, while the lobby often has guests hanging by the fireplace and sipping some bubbly.

Hungry travelers have a few options, including the hotel’s signature modern French brasserie and café, Venteux, but the real action is upstairs at the French-inspired rooftop, Château Carbide. Set in what would be the cork of this (literally) gilded bottle-shaped tower, the secret plein-air space had never been open to the public until 2021; in June 2023, it was reimagined as an absinthe bar, where the plant-based liquor takes center stage on the cocktail menu, with spectacular city views as the background.

The Pendry also provides your requisite 24-hour fitness center, only here it’s outfitted with everyone’s favorite Technogym fitness equipment and Peloton bikes; a handful of guest rooms come with Tonal digital training equipment. Save some time to play billiards in the downstairs pool room, brightened with artwork from Amsterdam-based Arnout Meijer, whose work plays with our perceptions of light. Step outside into the actual light and the Chicago River and all its merriment are steps away. From $676

6. Chicago Athletic Association

Interior of Founders Suite at the Chicago Athletic Association, with a stone fireplace

The Founders Suite at the Chicago Athletic Association

Courtesy of the Chicago Athletic Association

  • Neighborhood: The Loop
  • Why we love it: The best games room in town, plus a retro, clubby vibe in a lobby lit by fireplaces
  • Loyalty program: World of Hyatt
  • Book now

Set directly across from the Art Institute of Chicago, this former members-only men’s gymnasium is now the Chicago Athletic Association, which is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. Enter at street level off Michigan Avenue and walk toward the back to find a staircase that leads to the old swimming pool, now a venue for parties and pop-up concepts. Take the nearby elevator to the restaurant, Cindy’s, easily the best rooftop scene in the city, with highly Instagrammable terrace views overlooking Millennium Park, the swooping Frank Gehry–designed bandshell, and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate (aka the Bean).

Park yourself in the second-floor lobby and hang with locals as they tap away on their laptops and sip lattes by the two oversize fireplaces. Walk through that expansive by Roman & Williams–designed room, where light beams in through ornate stained-glass windows, and you enter a warren of table games and darts, all festive and typically open to the public. There’s also the secret six-seat bar, the Milk Room, a relic of Prohibition, and the James Beard Award–winning Cherry Circle Room—a sexy, dark restaurant with a circulating martini cart and a meat-centric menu.

Upstairs in the 1893 landmark, 240 guest rooms reflect the building’s former life, with gym horses as foot beds, working fireplaces in some rooms, plasterwork ceilings, ornate carved wood wainscotting, and a clubby vibe. Some of the rooms are rather small, but the location is hard to beat, and the cozy, wintry ambience makes it a popular (and fun) place to spend a weekend. And because the CAA keeps an eye on its water conservation, sources its food locally, and adheres to strict recycling standards, eco-conscious travelers can feel good sleeping here. From $495

7. The Robey Chicago

The lobby of the Robey Chicago has a midcentury-modern aesthetic, with green accents

The lobby of the Robey Chicago

Courtesy of the Robey Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Bucktown/Wicker Park
  • Why we love it: The best hotel west of Downtown, with a lively rooftop nightlife scene
  • Book now

Hello, rooftop pool! Leave it to Chicagoans to remain optimistic that summer will be amazing, even if winter lasts well into May. The rooftop pool (open to restaurant as well as hotel guests), occupies a prime spot on one corner of Six Points, that crazy intersection where three major shopping streets cross paths. That means the regulars are a mixed bag, but all come in for a good time, whether that means for a meal at the street-level restaurant, Café Robey, with its new all-day brunch, to drink at the poolside Cabana Club bar, or to sneak up to its sister, the Up Room, at the top of the deco tower.
To combine the original 1929 office tower and the adjacent historic Hollander Fireproof Warehouse, Mexico-based Grupo Habita turned to Belgian design duo Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merkx Interiors. They created two distinct styles among the 89 guest quarters, either in the Tower or in the Annex (where rooms are best suited for groups). Whichever you choose, save some time to hang in the second-floor’s Clever Coyote, a 90’s-inspired bar, where you can peer over the bustling pedestrian life on Damen and Milwaukee avenues below. You’ll be pleasantly distracted. From $345

8. The Sophy

Interior of a guest room at the Sophy Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling window

The Sophy is located in Chicago’s leafy Hyde Park neighborhood

Courtesy of the Sophy Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Hyde Park
  • Why we love it: Celebrating Chicago’s talent in a festive South Side hangout
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer
  • Book now

Hyde Park is happening. Catering to the University of Chicago crowd and its visiting dignitaries, the five-year-old Sophy takes inspiration from hometown literary and musical heroes, whose artworks ornament the walls in the popular and always convivial Mesler restaurant. Taking the title of the first boutique hotel on Chicago’s South Side when it opened in 2018, the property occupies a prime spot on 53rd Street—a vibrant commercial hub lined with shops and restaurants owned and frequented by a diverse population that range from academics to local politicians to the city’s cultural influencers. Former UofC professor Barack Obama’s home (and his under-construction presidential library) are nearby.

Chicago-based GREC Architects wove this glass-and-brick hotel into the fabric of the neighborhood, while interiors by New York–based Stonehill Taylor pop with unexpected items: a lighting fixture made of horns here, a circular sofa there. The 98 guest rooms and suites have hardwood floors and neutral tones, enlivened by an abstract fabric artwork by local artist Joey Korom, vinyl records by hometown superstars (Mahalia Jackson, Pops Staples, Junior Wells) that await spinning on the in-room Crosley turntables, and novels by Saul Bellow, Sandra Cisneros, and other Chicago writers. Order up a 5th Ward Burger or book a table at Mesler, then spend the rest of the evening lounging around the double-sided fireplace grooving to live music and some of the best people-watching on the South Side. From $195

9. The Peninsula Chicago

Interior of a Peninsula Chicago's guest room, in shades of gray with large floral artwork

The Peninsula Chicago’s guest rooms feature floral art motifs by David Qian

Courtesy of the Peninsula Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile
  • Why we love it: Classic elegance
  • Book now

Often rated the best hotel in Chicago since it first opened in 2001, the Peninsula Chicago keeps its reputation by offering the finest high-end Chinese cuisine in the city and easily one of the top hotel spas in the Midwest. The Magnificent Mile mainstay has 339 spacious guest rooms and suites, outfitted in an understated style with floral motifs by artist David Qian. Thoughtful details include soaking tubs with hands-free televisions, a table for two set beside a window with a view, and linens custom created by Pratesi.

No stay would be complete without a meal at the Shanghai Terrace, where chef de cuisine Elmo Han earns accolades for his modern interpretations of Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Sichuanese classics. During the warmer months, you can dine (or just have a mocktail) on the actual terrace, the whole of Chicago displayed before you. Also required: an afternoon at the 15,000-square-foot Peninsula Spa, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, facials using Biologique Recherche products, and an Olympic-size pool and sun deck.

Twenty-four hours before check-in, be sure to request “Peninsula Time,” which allows guests to access their rooms as early as 6 a.m. and stay as late as 10 p.m.—a lifesaver for international or early-bird travelers. And eco-conscious travelers take note: The Pen recently received Gold Status from EarthCheck, its second consecutive Gold Status award.

10. Hoxton Hotel

Cabra restaurant features a Peruvian menu by Chicago chef Stephanie Izard.

Cabra restaurant features a Peruvian menu by Chicago chef Stephanie Izard.

Courtesy of the Hoxton Chicago

  • Neighborhood: West Loop/Fulton Market
  • Why we love it: A lobby full of locals, a rooftop restaurant, and a killer location for working hipsters
  • Loyalty program: Dis-loyalty
  • Book now

There are a handful of appealing options in the West Loop, but the most exciting is the Hoxton Chicago, whose laid-back lobby is filled daily with locals and guests working, meeting, dining, drinking, or hanging out with a coffee. Part of the socially focused Hoxton hotel group that launched in London’s East End in 2006, this 182-room hotel has become the West Loop’s top rendezvous spot for meetings (unless you’re a member of nearby Soho House), but upstairs is just as enticing. We love “Flexy Time,” which allows guests to check in and out whatever time of day they like, so long as they book directly through the hotel website.

Rooms come in categories such as Snug or Roomy (with ADA-compliant options in every category), all inspired by the area’s industrial past with warehouse-style windows, concrete ceilings, leather headboards, and bronze details. Lazy Bird and Cira are on the ground floor and spill into the lobby, but it’s worth reserving a spot at Cabra, the Peruvian rooftop restaurant run by local celebrity chef Stephanie Izard. An adjacent pool turned the Hoxton into a summertime destination that makes many visitors forget they are in the heart of a major city. From $359

11. The Waldorf-Astoria Chicago

Interior of white guest room at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, with red artwork

A guest room at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
  • Why we love it: Location, location, location, plus a stunning renovation
  • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
  • Book now

Designers Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary of KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group oversaw the original design of the Parisian-inspired Waldorf-Astoria Chicago in 2009, and the pair was once again brought in to breathe new life into this 215-room Gold Coast gem. Rooms are now bright white, well-lit, and include pops of uplifting magenta. Before you hit any of them, however, there’s much to entice at street level. Enter from the circular driveway and marvel at the Swarovski chandelier, modeled after a vintage brooch, along with the herringbone wood floors and black-and-white pinstriped stone. Don’t miss the Peacock Lounge and its secret sister, Bernard’s Bar, an intimate craft cocktail and champagne boîte, which is virtually unknown even by city denizens (which means you can always find a seat). Its Scottish and equestrian themes are almost as anachronistic as the Mansard roof and circular driveway, which just adds charm to this newly beloved Chicago hotel.

The guest rooms feature oversize headboards and abstract floral bedspreads, while bathrooms are a marvel of marble. For something more, splurge on either the new 1,800-square-foot Astoria Suite or the redesigned 2,400-square-foot Presidential Suite, both of which will have you feeling you’ve been transported to a Parisian pied-à-terre (the latter’s primary bedroom features a fireplace).

Heidi Mitchell covers trends, tech, cyber, health, travel, architecture, design, urban planning, and interesting people.
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