Say what you will about Hampton Inns but this 143-room property a block south of the Chicago River in the Loop is at a higher level of amenities than most. Walk into the lobby and you're greeted with a 1928 Model A on the mezzanine balcony, a reminder that this is the former Art Deco Chicago Motor Club building. It's also one of the few Hampton Inns to host a bar. The free hot breakfast and spacious rooms make both business travelers and families with young children happy.
This LEED-certified property does a lot to practice eco-friendly mantras and employed sustainable measures as much as possible during the building's extensive restoration.
Each of the 143 rooms in this 17-story building features the brand's Hampton Clean and Fresh bed. Turquoise armchairs and lamp bases, plus patterned floor-to-ceiling drapes, spruce up your average neutral-toned hotel room. There are family rooms available if you're traveling with young kids or on a girlfriends getaway and wish to spread out.
All-white baths--some with wood paneling throughout--are modern and new, thanks to the hotel's debut in only 2015. There's plenty of room to store toiletries and other items on the vanity countertop (as opposed to a pedestal sink). A tub/shower combo is in all rooms.
Hanging out in the lobby is a treat if you're a fan of solid architecture and design. There's 33-foot-high ceilings and a 29-foot mural designed by John Warner Norton depicting highways on a map of the U.S. Up on the mezzanine is a 1928 Ford Model A car. Furnishings are platinum-silver and cornflower-blue, true to the Art Deco era. Plenty of seating and table tops-this is where breakfast is served, too--are a great place to relax with your book, work on your laptop or sip a drink from the bar.
An on-site fitness center may not boast a pool or running track--two perks you'll pay much more for anyway--but it's filled with state-of-the-art equipment and gets the job done when you want to add a workout to an already packed schedule.
A grab-and-go market in the lobby helps satisfy hunger pangs or keep you hydrated. It's open 24/7.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There is not a restaurant on site, which is rare for a Loop hotel, and might make you pause if you seek a full-amenities lodging option.
This part of Chicago is very convenient to public transportation. You've got the State/Lake L station (4-minute walk) which can get you anywhere you need to go in the Windy City. Buses running up and down Michigan Avenue take you to the Museum Complex (home to the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium) and shopping on the Mag Mile (such as Water Tower Place). Uber and Lyft drivers are easy to locate. Like other Loop hotels, overnight parking will cost nearly 2/3 of your nightly room rate--and a car isn't needed.
Elephant & Castle's (3-minute walk) Brit-style pub serves gastropub fare day and night, plus daily drink specials. Whether it's your first time trying it or you're already a fan of the deep-dish style pizza that's native to Chicago, Giordano's (4-minute walk) is nearby.
Billy Goat Tavern (6-minute walk) is famous for its role in the Saturday Night Live skit but it's also a great place to sip beers, including the tavern's private-label beer. Dueling piano shows at Howl at the Moon (8-minute walk) are a fun form of entertainment.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you shy away from brands, reconsider this one because it feels more like an historic boutique hotel. Families love it because the hot breakfast is included with the rate and a grab-and-go market with snacks and drinks is right on site. Rooms are spacious and modern--given the hotel's 2015 debut--and the location puts you within a 15-minute walk of everything you need in the Loop.