These Are the 15 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.

As part of our Hotels We Love series of the world’s best hotels, we’ve selected the finest places to stay in the Windy City. 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 15 best hotels.

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 newly renovated 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

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The bar at Adorn Bar & Restaurant, with a striking, large 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 beloved 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 in summer 2023, 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

Hoxton Hotel

Cabra restaurant with dining tables for four along wall of windows, overlooking downtown

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

L7 Chicago by Lotte

The L7 Chicago by Lotte's 191 guest rooms were designed by AvroKo.

The L7 Chicago by Lotte’s 191 guest rooms were designed by AvroKo.

Courtesy of L7 Chicago by Lotte

  • Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile
  • Why we love it: Reading nooks carved out of window spaces give most rooms an extra place to cozy up to stellar views
  • Book now

The Lotte brand is well-loved in its native country of Korea, but it’s less known in the States. (If you’ve been lucky enough to stay at the Palace Hotel in New York, you know the vibe.) The company recently spun off a younger, cooler sister brand, called L7, which places guests in the best neighborhoods of Seoul—and now, Chicago. The first Stateside L7 opens in May in Chicago, right across from the river and smack dab on the Mag Mile.

Catering to the creative class, the 191 AvroKo-designed rooms and suites come with Frette linens, Nespresso machines, and a subtle industrial aesthetic that feels just right in this busy part of town. Try to score a room with a reading nook carved out of the window. Facing north or west, you get the river and skyline views; east catches a glimpse of Lake Michigan. In-room dining comes courtesy of Perilla, a Korean take on the classic American steak house, but secure a table at least one night in the double-height restaurant and tuck into a killer slab of beef. After-dinner walks across the Wabash bridge are de rigueur. From $197

The Langham Chicago

A beige and white Infinity Suite bedroom 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: Brilliant by Langham
  • 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

The Nobu Hotel Chicago

A corner Zen View Suite at the Nobu Hotel Chicago, with wooden floors and large picture windows with city views

A Zen View Suite at the Nobu Hotel Chicago

Courtesy of the Nobu Hotel Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Fulton Market
  • Why we love it: A lively social scene downstairs and serene rooms upstairs
  • Book now

The industrial aesthetic of the Nobu Hotel Chicago‘s brick-and-steel building weaves seamlessly into the urban fabric of the West Loop, an area of the city that’s nearly always alive with street life. Nobu provides both a boisterous dining scene downstairs and a serene Japanese-influenced vibe upstairs. The hotel’s 115 loft-like guest rooms and suites are accessed via corridors lined with glowing wooden lanterns that make everyone look sexy (even if they didn’t partake in the cocktails downstairs).

Most guest rooms deliver epic views of the city while their double-height concrete ceilings play a cool-kid yin to the otherwise warm-and-fuzzy yang of natural materials found throughout the hotel. (Pro tip: It’s worth splurging on a room with a massive teak soaking tub.) Start your day with a swim in the tranquility pool followed by brunch on the roof, and you’ve already discovered one of Chicago insiders’ favorite outdoor hangouts. The Nobu Hotel is also home to the Windy City’s only villa, appropriately called the Nobu Villa. From $419

Park Hyatt Chicago

Interior of a beige Water Tower Terrace Suite at the Park Hyatt Chicago, with tall glass doors leading to 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 North 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. 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

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 enjoying 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—or grab one of the hotel’s newly acquired complimentary bicycles and a chef-made picnic basket and cycle to the lake for a waterfront meal. From $676

The Peninsula Chicago

Interior of a Peninsula Chicago 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 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 a half 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. From $500

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.

Thanks to Belgian design duo Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merkx Interiors, the hotel combines the original 1929 office tower and the adjacent historic Hollander Fireproof Warehouse to create 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 ’90s-inspired bar, where you can peer over the bustling pedestrian life on Damen and Milwaukee avenues below. You’ll be pleasantly distracted. From $345

St. Regis Chicago

Interior of a St. Regis Chicago guest room, with brown sofa and 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, 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 frustum 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. A house car is complimentary to all guests.

Rounding out the amenities: the Miru all-day-dining restaurant that is anything but casual, a new Tuscan steak house 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

The Sophy

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

The Sophy is 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 six-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

Thompson Chicago

The lobby of the Thompson Chicago, with black and mustard-colored chairs centered on a gas fireplace, with bookshelves above it

The lobby of the Thompson Chicago

Courtesy of Thompson Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
  • Why we love it: Old-school sexy meets midcentury modern
  • Loyalty program: World of Hyatt
  • Book now

This particular area of the Gold Coast is jokingly nicknamed the Viagra Triangle, but the Thompson Chicago doesn’t discriminate by age. The 247-room hotel is dark and moody, drawing artists of every generation to its swanky lobby bar at the back, peppered with colorful canvases and couples sneaking a snuggle in a booth. The whole town is awaiting the opening of Tavern on Rush, a reboot of the beloved steak house that used to reside just up the block. Rumors say this hangout will become a dining destination, what with its cocktail lounge, main dining room, patio, and private rooms spread across 16,000 square feet and multiple levels.

Set among all the best shopping in the Midwest, the Thompson’s midcentury-style guest rooms with hardwood floors provide the perfect minimalist location to unbox those favorite finds from Michigan Avenue around the corner. Digital nomads can book their work meetings in one of the rooms named after the Chicago Seven: countercultural anti-war protesters charged by the U.S. federal government with conspiracy and intent to incite a riot to stop the Vietnam War. The Abbie Hoffman room is a favorite. From $376

Viceroy Chicago

Outdoor pool at the Viceroy Chicago surrounded by wood deck and a few empty lounge chairs, with views of skyscrapers

The outdoor pool at the Viceroy Chicago has views of the city’s skyscrapers.

Courtesy of Viceroy Chicago

  • Neighborhood: Gold Coast
  • Why we love it: One of the best rooftop pool brunch scenes around
  • Book now

The exterior of this Gold Coast gem accurately reflects what goes on inside. From the street, visitors are greeted by a 120-year-old, red-brick landmark building that was formerly the Cedar Hotel, presenting a fairly traditional scene at Somerset, a comfort-food staple (with cocktails to pair) for ladies who lunch. But look up and there sprouts Goettsch Partners’ folded glass tower, which emerges from the ornate terra-cotta like a pleated party dress.

Sure enough, the party is all the way upstairs at the rooftop pool—one of Chicago’s liveliest, in a city with fierce competition—where only guests can swim. But the city’s hippest denizens are welcome to hang in the newly refurbished Devereaux bar, bouncing to the beats. Guests can also pop down to the lobby and get a snack from the candy cart, or a coffee to go before snapping up one of the seasonal bikes to guide them past the mansions of the storied Gold Coast. From $425

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago

White guest room at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, with red artwork above bed and chaise longue by tall windows

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 locals (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). From $573

This article was originally published in 2023. It was most recently updated on April 24, 2024.

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