May We Present: The 5 Most Eclectic Hotels in Chicago

Kristine Hansen | February 06, 2018

Some Chicago hotels just aren't like any other--and that's precisely what makes them special. Maybe it's a theme carried out to every little corner (like Hotel EMC2, a new property in honor of Einstein) or a flashy hotel for jet-setters (cue Richard Branson's first Virgin Hotels property). If you truly want a hotel that you won't find anywhere else, here are a few options. Just be warned that these boutique hotels have tons of character, to the point that you might never want to leave the hotel.

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Publishing House Bed & Breakfast

Why it made the list

When you think of a B&B you probably imagine lacy curtains and antique furniture. Last year this brick building in the West Loop (a former publishing house) was transformed into its current chapter as a B&B, with communal spaces that feature a look-through fireplace, potted ferns and '60s-style paper-thin lampshades. And instead of an armchair by the bed, a swing is suspended from the ceiling.

Immaculately restored to its original splendor, this 110-yea Read More


Virgin Hotels Chicago

Why it made the list

With Richard Branson at the helm of this hospitality brand, could it be anything but eclectic? Cerise is the rooftop bar and it's not uncommon to find a burlesque show happening in the hotel, too. In lieu of a standard check-in area (there's a desk but that's about it), guests are shuttled up to the Commons Club with vintage clothbound books woven into the decor and a private room (dubbed the Shag Room) that looks like it was ripped right out of the '70s with an arc-shaped sectional sofa filling the entire room. In each room is a cherry-red mini SMEG fridge.

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


Freehand Chicago

Why it made the list

Forget what you think you know about hostels because this one is actually stylish (not grungy) and you aren't resigned to bunk beds (a few private rooms are available, including the two-story Penthouse Suite). Tucked into a 1927 building in River North (the former Tokyo Hotel), the hardwood floors throughout and '70s-like decor (macrame hangings, fluffy throws, wood paneling and woven tapestries) feel very homey. Grab a drink in the Broken Shaker cocktail bar for the full effect, or start your day with avocado toast in the attached Cafe Integral.

This funky, eclectic hotel in River North is steps from all Read More


Longman & Eagle

Why it made the list

Many Chicagoans don't know this Logan Square inn exists although they do recognize Longman & Eagle, the tavern downstairs with a nose-to-tail menu. On the floor above are six rooms with design details that include painted exposed-brick walls, antique mirrors, air plants and locally procured art...and a vintage cassette-tape console. For a beer, just head downstairs, duh.

Six rooms above a cool Chicago restaurant designed by a Jame Read More


Hotel EMC2

Why it made the list

An homage to the most venerable scientist ever--Albert Einstein--this property opened in late 2017 as part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. There's even a hotel named for him: the Albert, with an open kitchen and comfort-foods dishes like lamb shoulder smoked with black garlic and "from the oven" assorted cookies for dessert. Back at the room are tons of chrome accents, a horn attachment to the custom light fixture, and a cloud mural.

Bearing somewhat of luxe vintage meets high-tech design, thi Read More

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