The Best New Hotels in Chicago

Whether you’re after downtown luxe or an intro to a new neighborhood, we’ve got you covered.

The Best New Hotels in Chicago: 2022

The views from the Sable Hotel on Chicago’s Navy Pier are hard to beat.

Photo by Mike Schwartz Photography

From luxurious downtown addresses to those that offer access to the city’s most colorful neighborhoods, Chicago’s new crop of hotels aims to serve the community and the environment with high sustainability standards.

Certainly, the pandemic had a brutal effect on hotels, many of which closed. But the good news is that many reopened in 2021 or 2022, and if they don’t have the original owners, at least their investors are recycling these stylish properties.

Here, we celebrate 10 of the best new hotels in Chicago.

Sable at Navy Pier

  • What to expect: Nautical design and panoramic lake views
  • Location: Navy Pier
  • Book now

The 3,300-foot-long pier that juts into Lake Michigan from downtown, Navy Pier has long been the state’s most popular tourist attraction, where carnival-esque attractions and splashy Lake Michigan boat rides mingle with cultural landmarks, including the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Sable, which opened spring 2021, gives fans a place to stay after the tour, dinner, or show with 223 nautically inspired rooms featuring panoramic views of both the lake and the skyline.

No one would blame you for being distracted by the handsome shipshape design of the rooms, with brass accents and a marine color palette, or the sprawling 20,000-square-foot rooftop bar Offshore. The LEED-silver certified hotel also planted a secondary green roof to support birds on the Lake Michigan Flyway and recycles toiletries left behind to provide hygiene kits to impoverished communities.

Chicago's Pendry is the latest in a series of tenants in Chicago's Carbide & Carbon building.

Chicago’s Pendry is the latest in a series of tenants in Chicago’s Carbide & Carbon building.

Photo by Christian Horan Photography

Pendry Chicago

  • What to expect: Luxurious digs in an historic building
  • Location: Downtown Chicago
  • Book now

One of Chicago’s most recognizable skyscrapers, the 1929 Carbide & Carbon building, said to resemble a champagne bottle when it was built in the fizzy art deco days before the Depression, has seen a remarkable turnover of tenants in recent years. But its newest incarnation, opened in May, Pendry Chicago, is its most lavish. Enjoy the trek-worthy French brasserie Venteux on the ground floor—snag one of its cozy tufted banquettes and settle in for caviar service and whole aged duck—and the intimate Chateau Carbide where rosé is the quaff of the day on the rooftop.

You’ll never want to leave the handsome rooms, which have varying layouts due to the historic building but are fittingly decorated with classic architectural photos. Pendry is doing its part to cut down on single-use plastics by offering refillable MiN New York toiletries, plus linen-less tables at banquettes, food composting, and a seasonal herb garden in the rooftop lounge.

The LaSalle Chicago, Autograph Collection

  • What to expect: A sky-high, sophisticated Marriott that does wellness well
  • Location: The Loop
  • Book now

Occupying the top five floors of a landmark Loop skyscraper designed by Daniel Burnham—Chicago’s original urban planner—the new LaSalle Chicago makes a sophisticated case for staying in the financial district. High-back leather chairs, tufted couches, and dramatic lighting set a clubby tone in the 21st-story lobby, a mood extended to Grill on 21, serving a steak tasting menu (and plant-based choices) to diners in velvet booths. Its 232 gentlemanly rooms embrace opulence—Calcutta-marble-clad bathrooms and gold chandeliers—balanced by muted tones and crisp linens. Wellness features are 100 percent contemporary, including in-room meditation videos, private chakra healing sessions, and access to an expansive Spa at JW Chicago a few floors below.

Don't leave the Nobu without having sampled the salmon sashimi.

Don’t leave the Nobu without having sampled the salmon sashimi.

Photos by Henry Hargreaves

Nobu Hotel Chicago

  • What to expect: Plenty of take-me-to-Japan features
  • Location: West Loop
  • Book now

Location meets reputation in the new Nobu Hotel Chicago, which opened in 2021 from chef Nobu Matsuhisa and partners (including actor Robert De Niro) in the dining-centric West Loop district. The 115-room Nobu has the chef’s signature restaurant, of course, and other take-me-to-Japan features like the oshibori hand-washing ritual on check-in to minimalist rooms (some with teak soaking tubs) and a 40-foot indoor tranquility pool.
Guests can still get their party on in the convivial restaurants, including an 11th-floor rooftop lounge, and there are loads of restaurants and bars to stumble to nearby. It gets green cred for its energy-saving heating and cooling system, LED lighting that uses 75 percent less energy, in-room motion lights, and its rooftop garden, which covers half the space.

The 21c Museum Hotel Chicago showcases the best of the city's artists.

The 21c Museum Hotel Chicago showcases the best of the city’s artists.

Courtesy of 21c

21c Museum Hotel Chicago

  • What to expect: On-site art galleries and Nick Cave- and Bob Faust-designed wallpaper
  • Location: Downtown Chicago
  • Book now

The art-filled 21c Museum Hotel Chicago opened just before the pandemic started, missing its opportunity to fully shine. But it’s worth your attention for the substantial investment the hotel group is making in contemporary art. Founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown are renowned collectors and make much of their holdings available to guests in on-site galleries that are open around the clock. Shows rotate between locations, but each individual hotel has art programming that engages the local community.
Here, the 297-room hotel—adaptively reused from the former James hotel—commissioned Chicago-based artist Nick Cave and his partner Bob Faust to design nine distinct wallpaper patterns hung in the elevator lobbies on floors 2 to 17. (We suggest pulling an Elf and hitting all the buttons.)

Selina Chicago

  • What to expect: A digital nomad pad with bunks and coworking spaces
  • Location: Gold Coast
  • Book now

Opened last fall, Selina Chicago invigorates the former Tremont hotel—a quiet classic in the tony Gold Coast neighborhood just off Michigan Avenue—adding colorful design, communal living and working spaces, and a range of lodging options from shared bunk-bedded rooms, which start from $40/night, to one- and two-bedroom suites and a penthouse apartment for a total of 600 beds. Popular with digital nomads, Selina enlivened the space with tropical-print wallpaper, neon accents, and crash-pad style pillows and poufs. Attracting both locals and guests, the coworking space offers rentable meeting rooms and private phone booths. Residents have access to a common kitchen, fitness center, and a cozy screening room.

The Emily Hotel

  • What to expect: Artists with studio spaces alongside guests who like funky, utilitarian vibes
  • Location: Fulton Market
  • Book now

Trailblazing Canadian painter Emily Carr is the namesake of the Emily Hotel in the Fulton Market district, an homage borne out by its artist-in-residence program, furnishing creators—who may contribute murals and key card designs—with studio space. A community hub, the newcomer houses a work-from-anywhere coffee bar in the lobby, an outdoor theater screening films from Get Out to Goodfellas, and Selva, a rooftop bar featuring craft mezcal cocktails; Fora, a Mexican restaurant with a bohemian vibe, will open in August. A former Ace hotel, the Emily channels a funky utilitarian vibe in 159 guest rooms, many with minimalist frame beds and shelf-like wooden desks that span floor-to-ceiling windows.

Lincoln Park's Neighborhood Hotel features just 14 homely suites.

Lincoln Park’s Neighborhood Hotel features just 14 suites.

Photos by Ryan McDonald

The Neighborhood Hotel

  • What to expect: Family-friendly suites with stocked kitchens and multiple bedrooms
  • Location: Lincoln Park
  • Book now

Chicago has 77 official neighborhoods and visiting at least a few is vital to knowing the city, but Airbnb is usually the alternative for staying in one—often, critics complain, driving up rents for locals. Opened in summer 2021, the Neighborhood Hotel offers guests a chance to stay in Lincoln Park, one of the most vibrant North Side neighborhoods, about five miles north of the downtown Loop, without entering into that debate.

The 1893 German Renaissance–inspired building with limestone cladding and bay windows houses 14 residential-style suites with well-stocked kitchens and often multiple bedrooms. Locally owned shops and restaurants are nearby, as are the 18-mile Lakefront recreational path and the free Lincoln Park Zoo.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chicago Chinatown

  • What to expect: Plenty of space and convenience
  • Location: Chinatown
  • Book now

While many Chinatowns around the country are being gentrified, Chicago’s Chinatown, on the South Side, about three train stops from the Loop, is growing. Asian American residents grew 31 percent in the last census, which attests to the vibrancy of Chinatown, a bustling neighborhood of restaurants, shops, and Chinese groceries marked by the landmark Chinatown Gateway.
With the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chicago Chinatown, the neighborhood gets its first branded hotel, where suites have separate areas to sleep, work, and relax; breakfast is included in the rates. The hotel is near the Chicago Red Line L, which is convenient for getting around, including heading to the White Sox baseball stadium a few stops south.

The Study at University of Chicago

  • What to expect: Families of UChicago students
  • Location: Hyde Park
  • Book now

For all its history, Hyde Park has relatively few hotels, making the Study at University of Chicago a welcome addition. On the greenway known as the Midway Plaisance—the original midway of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893—bordering the neo-Gothic campus, the 167-room hotel caters to University of Chicago students, families, and faculty, but is well located (near the under-construction Obama Presidential Center) for the South-Side curious. Public spaces celebrate academia, including a library curated by the Strand Bookstore and a gallery of student art. The firelit English tavern Truth Be Told is a culinary soulmate to the Oxford-channeling architecture on campus. Guest rooms harmonize with leather reading chairs and wooden writing desks.

Elaine Glusac is a freelance writer, the Frugal Traveler columnist for the New York Times, and on Instagram @eglusac.
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