The Loop is Chicago’s central business district. Bordered by the el tracks and the Chicago River, it is the area south of the Chicago River, north of Congress, west of the Lake and east of the River. One of the most popular places to stay in the city, the Loop offers a wide range of accommodation choices. Hotels here are close to the major attractions of downtown, very close to public transportation (buses and a variety of el lines) and offer easy access to dining and drinking, shopping, and theaters.
The downside of staying in the Loop is that after about 6pm and on weekends, it can seem like a ghost town compared to other areas of downtown.There’s not much actually in the Loop in terms of drinking and dining options, as most places cater to the lunch crowd and tourists. But, you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink a short cab or el ride (or 10-15 minute walk) to the north.
Near Grant Park between Congress and Roosevelt, technically in the South Loop, there are also several nice hotels that offer excellent proximity to the Museum Campus.
Hotel Burnham, a Kimpton Hotel
Located in the heart of the Loop, close to Millennium Park, the Burhham offers luxury accommodations in a National Historic Landmark. The 122 guestrooms offer 37″ flat screen TV, CD player, fully-stocked honor bar with gourmet options, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, in-room safe, and Aveda bath amenities.
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Renaissance Blackstone Hotel Chicago
The South Loop’s Blackstone Hotel has been welcoming movie stars, sports legends, royalty and presidents since 1910. The onsite restuarant, Mercat a la Planxa, regularly earns raves for it’s inventive tapas.
Hotel Allegro Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel
The eco-friendly Hotel Allegro is set just south of the River, on the north side of the Loop. The pet-friendly hotel offers an evening wine reception and has an onsite fitness center and spa.
The Palmer House Hilton
The beautiful Palmer House Hilton is a historic icon on downtown Chicago. When it opened just 22 days after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire (after the original incarnation was destroyed) it declared it to be “the world’s first fire-proof building.” Located on State Street, close to great shopping and steps from Millennium Park and public transport, it offers a fitness room, pool, and several dining options.