The 6 Most Historic and Architecturally Interesting Hotels in Chicago

Kristine Hansen | February 06, 2018

As one of the most architecture-rich cities in the world, travelers expect to be immersed in that kind of environment when checking into their Chicago hotel. Many of the city’s most significant historic buildings have been thoughtfully preserved into luxury accommodations in recent years, bringing new life to former warehouses, banks, factories, and clubs.

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Hotel Allegro Chicago

Why it made the list

In 2015, a massive renovation dialed back the hotel’s design to its heyday (the 1930s). Now, the lobby is one of the city’s best examples of Art Deco design with peacock-blue and indigo plush fabrics, an Old Hollywood look and lots of metallic. Even walking up the grand staircase from the street is a spiritual experience if you’re a lover of historic design. Near the Theatre District, consider dropping by before curtain call.

Theater lovers will relish a stay at this art deco–themed ho Read More


The Alise Chicago

Why it made the list

Formerly Hotel Burnham, The Alise Chicago—inside the 1890 Reliance Building—boasts an elevator so gorgeous you’ll want nothing more than to zip and down in it. The gold and iron work on the structure is stunning. Cocktails in Atwood Café will make you swear you’re back in the 1920s. Daniel Hudson Burnham ranks as one of the top three Chicago architects of all time and this building was one of his designs.

With fun perks like pineapple cupcakes and a pet-friendly pa Read More


Virgin Hotels Chicago

Why it made the list

Now part of Richard Branson's hospitality empire, Virgin Hotel Chicago (the first of the brand, with more to come nationwide) sets a second chapter for the 1928 Old Dearborn Bank Building. Today this Art Deco building is home to quite a few entertainment venues, including the ground-floor diner concept called Miss Rickey's and a rooftop bar called Cerise. Entering the hotel, there's a huge historic staircase to the right covered with red carpeting for a glam effect. While the rooms don't show much sign of the historic past, the rest of the hotel does, which is a good thing.

The world's first Virgin Hotel offers loads of tech-age amen Read More


Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/N Loop/Michigan Ave

Why it made the list

Imagine walking into a Hampton Inn and seeing vintage cars (Model As) propped up on risers. That’s because this branded hotel—reopened in 2015—is tucked into the former Chicago Motor Club headquarters (look for the logo out front). In the lobby are Art Deco features (such as a chandelier), terrazzo floors, pastel hues and a wall-sized mural map of America’s highways.

Adorned with Art Deco detailing, this Hampton Inn opened in Read More


Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel

Why it made the list

Serious eye candy for anyone who adores the Gilded Age, this huge Loop property perished in the Great Chicago Fire 13 days after it opened in 1871 but was fortunately rebuilt thanks to its wealthy owner, Potter Palmer. A top-to-bottom historical renovation—not that the hotel was in disarray—between 2007 and 2009 ensures the property will continue to sparkle. In the glam lobby alone are Tiffany chandeliers, gold-leaf ceilings and Art Deco adornments.

The epitome of a grande dame, this massive property in the h Read More


Chicago Athletic Association

Why it made the list

Once a men’s club, dating back to 1890, this Venetian Gothic property reopened in 2015 as a boutique hotel, with a Shake Shack on the street level and Cindy’s Rooftop coaxing in the cool kids all day and night. (The glass-enclosed vaulted space overlooks Millennium Park. There’s also an eight-seat counter called Milk Bar pouring coffee in the morning and transforming into a speakeasy at night. Rooms are stocked with preppy plaid motifs.

Harkening to the city's Golden Age of architecture, this his Read More

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