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Chicago lodging: feasible to stay at Chicago Airport for 3-4 day visit?

Chicago lodging: feasible to stay at Chicago Airport for 3-4 day visit?

Mar 21st, 2009, 07:19 AM
  #1  
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Chicago lodging: feasible to stay at Chicago Airport for 3-4 day visit?

We hope to visit Chicago for 3 or 4 days, May 14-18. Downtown hotels seem full, or very expensive. Is it a reasonable option to stay at an airport hotel and commute to the downtown, North Michigan Avenue and the Museums?

We expect to be exploring Chicago on a Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday too.
We are not night owls, and would probably return to the hotel by 8 PM.
hikerboy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 07:25 AM
  #2  
 
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I wouldn't - it takes a lot of time to get out there and back if you're doing it twice a day, and it really limits your options as far as going back to the hotel during the day. Have you tried using Hotwire or Priceline? I got a good deal a couple of years ago at the Hyatt on East Wacker using Hotwire, and I know others have also had good experiences.
jent103 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Definitely would take up too much time. Its worth the extra money to stay downtown.
tchoiniere is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Commuting by car might not save you a lot of money, as you'll likely end up paying quite a bit for parking. Taking the CTA into the city would save you money, but realize that the trains will take about 40 minutes to get downtown.
jbarry5 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Yawwwww...Definately stay away from ORD. Try the Travelodge or the Blake downtown for lower cost downtown hotels. If you cant swing those, look to a business 'all suite'(lots around 100/nt) type hotel in another part of town.
FrankS is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:38 AM
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With all due respect to the above posters, I doubt that any of them checked Chicago's convention calendar before replying. If so, they would know the reason why the hotels are so full and you are unlikely to find any "deals" for that time period.

hikerboy, any chance in changing your travel plans to a different weekend? If not, there is nothing whatsoever difficult about staying out by one of the airports and commuting in by either the Blue Line, if it's O'Hare, or the Orange Line, if it's at Midway. Millions of people commute that far (and much further) into the city for work everyday. This is no hardship.

You still have other choices, though:

1) You could always make a cancellable reservation (without penalty) at one airport hotels and wait until closer to your stay to see if any of the hotels in the downtown area have had a cancellation.

2) You could see if any of the smaller hotels or B&Bs in any of the Chicago neighborhoods further away from downtown (this is different than the 'burbs, though) have any rooms available in your price range. Please keep in mind that commuting to N. Michigan Avenue, the museums, etc. from them might likely be close to the same amount of time as commuting from Midway, but a little less than from O'Hare. The big plus in this option, though, is that you are actually experiencing the Chicago way of life (since you would be staying in the same neighborhoods that Chicagoans actually live in) as opposed to the "touristy" manner. The neighborhoods in which you might take a look at are these: Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park/Bucktown.

If you have decided not to or cannot change your travel plans, I'll mention a couple of things that will take the sting out of those higher prices or commuting a little: The Great Chicago Places & Spaces event will be happening that weekend, which offers 100s of free architectural tours (walking, biking, boat - and it usually includes the highly regarded Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise at least once a day) and other events, as well the grand opening of the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute (May 16). Since this is the centennial of the Daniel Burnham's 1909 Great Plan of Chicago, there should be something extra interesting on the books. Their schedule will be announced in April. So check the city's and the Art Institute's websites for more information on these events.

Oh, and with such big conventions occurring, please keep in mind that the possibility/probability of big crowds at any of the major attractions exists. You might want to make sure you are going as soon as the museums open to avoid the worst of it.
exiledprincess is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:45 AM
  #7  
 
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Just for exiled(who could have checked rooms in the time of a quarter of her post)

Travelodge 140
Blake 170

for those dates

*betcha if I hunted a bit I could get 100ish and 150ish
FrankS is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:53 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for the great advice. Exiledprincess, thanks so much for the info on GCPS! That has us excited, since our interest in architecture is one of, but by no means the only, draws for this, our first visit to Chicago.

The river cruise will be a "must,", and we will be sure to check the Art Institute site in April.

I did try Priceline as suggested, and we managed to secure the Hotel Allegro at 171 W. Randolph by splitting the bid. I think it's a pretty good location.

Thanks again.
hikerboy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 08:56 AM
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Hotwire has a 4 1/2 star hotel in Streeterville (MagMile) for $156 per night for your travel dates.
japw82 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:03 AM
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It is probably the James Hotel. If you go onto Hotwire and put in your dates for a package, which would include the flight, all the hotels available will show up with star ratings. The only one that shows up in the Streeterville area is the James. You can then click on the hotel tab, type in your dates, and secure the 4.5 star property or any other property that shows up in the downtown area that is in your price range,
japw82 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:10 AM
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Oops sorry. Didn't see that you had secured the Allegro. Enjoy Chicago!! It is a great city!!
japw82 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:41 AM
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No $100/nights, though, which was really to what I was referring.
exiledprincess is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 10:47 AM
  #13  
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Hi. I really appreciated the strategy set out by exiledprincess, and probably would have been content with the commute she suggested,on a cost/benefit basis and with the chance to get a flavor of a Chicago neighborhood.

As it turned out, my split-bid on Priceline worked out, and I got the Hotel Allegro for $83, and with taxes and fees it works out to $100/night---more than I wanted to pay, but worth it in this case for the location and convenience---especially for a first-time visit to Chicago.

We're pretty excited about the activities exiledprincess pointed out that are available that weekend!
hikerboy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 12:11 PM
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That's a great price and location. Have a great time.
jent103 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 01:38 PM
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We stayed at the Allegro when we were attending an event at the Merchandise mart, and liked it very much. There was a wine reception in the evening and breakfast delivered to our room in the morning. There were plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
abram is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Chicago is a city that you HAVE to stay in to really appreciate. It is gorgeous at night. Congrats on the good hotel bid. You will not regret staying downtown. The weather then should be amazing.
kelliebellie is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:18 PM
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Someone just won the 3*5 Allegro for $85 through www.priceline.com for those dates
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Sorry. didn't read ALL the posts. Good going!
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 21st, 2009, 11:53 PM
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I'm very glad for you that I was incorrect in this instance, too, hikerboy, and you were fortunate to get something in your budget range.

I know from friends who were thinking about coming at that time that the specials currently showing on Travelzoo (and there are some mighty good ones, I might add) have May 15-17 as blackout dates. They prefer not to use Hotwire or Priceline because, by making reservations directly through the particular hotel, they have the hotel's cancellation provisions available in the event of change of plans. I happen to agree with them because I've had to change vacation plans aplenty in the past and that is a good option to have, just in case. Just call it personal preferences.

Even though you are staying in the Loop, please take some time to visit at least two or three of the outlying neighborhoods of Chicago. That's where you will experience the *real* Chicago, IMHO.

I just wanted to mention something about the Great Places & Spaces event. You have to reserve in advance for some (if not most) of the tours. If they have it this year (and there is no reason to think they won't), since the Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise is so very popular, and there being usually only one cruise which is free, it is one of the first to be booked up. (You can still take the River Cruise for a fee the other times it runs during the day, of course.) Keep checking that website for the next week so you can try to get on that one.
exiledprincess is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 11:12 PM
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$100 for the Allegro sounds like a good deal. It's a nice hotel and it's in a good location.
andrews98682 is offline  

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