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Alternative Lodging Options in Chicago

wickerparkinnMost visitors to Chicago will stay in a hotel, usually one located in the heart of the tourists sites, near the Magnificent Mile. But these highrise hotels aren’t your only lodging option. Here are a few hotel alternatives for your stay in Chicago.

Chicago is home to just a few hostels, which offer both private rooms and dorms. If you are traveling solo, these are great budget-friendly places to stay and to meet other travelers. But if you have a group of three, you’d be better off getting a low cost hotel room and ordering a roll-away bed, or getting two queens and having two people share. For groups of two, do a little price comparison. During high-season, a hostel with a private room may be a cheap option, but during off-peak times you may be able to snag a 2- or -3star hotel for less than the cost of a hostel room.

B&Bs and Guesthouses
Many people don’t realize that there are several bed and breakfast and boutique hotel/guesthouse options in Chicago. While some of these can cost just as much as a fancy hotel, others will cost less than $100 per night. And all of them offer a few perks that the downtown hotels don’t. Chicago’s B&Bs are located outside of the downtown area, in neighborhoods like Lakeview, Wrigleyville, and Bucktown, so you can get a better glimpse of life in Chicago. You’ll get personalized attention and recommendations from the owners, plus, breakfast is included so you’ll save even more.

If you’ll be staying more than a few days, it can be well worth the extra effort to book an apartment for your stay. Though there’s often an extra fee involved (either a deposit or a cleaning fee) and checking in is sometimes not quite as easy as rolling up to a fully-staffed hotel, you can often save a considerable amount of money by staying in an apartment. You’ll have more space and access to your own kitchen so you can cook meals on occasion. Choose a place located near an el line and you’ll be able to get anywhere in the city with minimal effort.

Photo by KFerguson