Chicago is a great city in which to enjoy a weekend away from home (...what I refer to as a "stay-cation"). Unfortunately, affording such a weekend at any of the hotels in the city's trendy River North or Mag Mile neighborhoods can be hideously expensive, especially as the weather gets warmer. Making matters worse, most reasonably-priced hotels in Chicago are either in a suboptimal location or are in dire need of renovation.
Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I came across the new Aloft Chicago City Center hotel upon scouring several internet travel sites a couple weeks ago. Not only is this hotel BRAND NEW, it is literally in the heart of River North on the corner of Clark and Grand. Walking to any of the amazing area restaurants (ahem...Naha...ahem) or bars on Hubbard or Kinzie is a breeze. Oh, and I almost forgot the best part -- it's reasonably priced! Our room rate before tax was $87 (and that was over a weekend!).
The hotel itself has a very modern "trendy" vibe going on. The rooms are very small and "studio-esque", but make the best use of space possible. A large LCD TV is mounted on the wall opposite the bed and floor-to-ceiling windows offer good views of the city. A small mini-fridge helped keep some sparkling brut rose and a couple beers cool while my wife and I got ready for dinner (...did I mention that Naha is right across the street?). The rooms are also outfitted with a charging station/USB hub for plugging in your portables.
Since the hotel is in the center of a big nightlife area, it can get pretty loud around 2:00am (when bars let out). I would therefore recommend a room on a higher floor and/or a room which faces Grand Avenue. We personally had no issues with the noise, but understand that some may not sleep as deeply as we do.
A note on parking: Parking in Chicago is SUPER EXPENSIVE, especially overnight parking. DO NOT PARK THROUGH THE HOTEL. They will charge you an arm-and-a-leg (as will any other hotel in the city). Do yourself a favor beforehand and visit any of the awesome Chicago parking websites which allow you to prepay for parking at numerous garages throughout the city. I was able to find secured covered parking in a garage only 1 block from the Aloft for $20/night.
After a night of partying, we slept right up until check-out time at noon. While we didn't visit the hotel's restaurant Beatrix, know that it gets rave reviews and is also very reasonably priced. We will be stopping here for brunch next time we stay at the Aloft! Lastly, while we didn't have much interaction with the hotel staff, they were very responsive and pleasant during check-in.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloft Chicago City Center is located in downtown Chicago's River North, one of the city's trendiest neighborhoods. Located between the Loop business district and premier shopping on the Magnificent Mile, our Chicago River North hotel will put you right in the center of it all. Aloft Chicago City Center features pet-friendly guest rooms with free WiFi, 42" LCD TVs, plush bedding and beautifully-appointed bathrooms with walk-in showers. Guests can enjoy Chicago's hot-spot, Beatrix, for a full menu and bar in the lobby, order room service or check out many of the city's top restaurants and bars right outside our door. Valet parking is available (fees apply). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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