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Chicago Hotels

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by NYNYGirl, Dec 29, 2015.

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  1. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    One thing my family and I enjoy are Boardwalk type areas. So we want to go to Navy Pier in Chicago this summer. Was originally planning for June, but got notification that their Annual Taste of Chicago is in July so willing to move plans up by one month.

    From what I've researched I believe these two are within approx. a mile of one another. So hoping to find a hotel where we can stay at to be able to walk/taxi/bus to both events. Even though we will be driving to Chicago, the only time we want to drive in the city is to come and go. So will need a hotel with parking so as to leave the car as we venture out. Any ideas for hotels.

    As well as any idea how much time we would need for these events. Also plan to visit the Willis Tower and Lincoln Park.

    :beer:
     
  2. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Anything on Michigan Ave or in the Millennium park area would be good. We have a good public transportation system and of course any downtown hotel can get you a taxi.

    Parking downtown though... man that is expensive sometimes upwards of $50 a night.

    I have used this website http://chicago.bestparking.com/ to find cheaper parking near the hotel if costs matter.
     
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  3. sailboat310

    sailboat310 Low-Roller

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    Don't park at hotels. It's hard to find $50 overnight downtown at a three star or above joint. Use luxe app or spot hero for some cheaper parking.

    As mentioned, Chicago has great public transportation, but sometimes using uber for convenience is better. Definitely cheaper than taking the car around.
     
  4. Read_Iculus

    Read_Iculus Newbie

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    Parking is crazy as stated. Cabs/Uber are quite easy to get around in.

    Based on your itinerary looks like you'd like to stay in the near north side (just west of navy pier) or the loop (just west of grant park)

    Near North tends to have the top dining choices and more nightlife.
    The Loop contains the theater district if you were looking to see a show, but tends to shut down early as far as night life goes.

    Willis Tower (still sounds weird) is a quick walk to/from the Taste. However there is likely to be a pretty long line because of the Taste crowd.
     
  5. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    I don't mind using public transportation or taxi or even walking (as long as it is within reason) but not understanding why not to park at the hotel we would be staying at. Don't they have parking garages or the like...?
     
  6. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Some do.. some have valet only... the palmer house is 50 per night... Knickerbocker is 60. That is all.

    We have parked off site and walked when we did a staycation to s a very money. Often I use priceline and get Hyatt for 75 or so... I can park a few blocks away and use pedway system and save $30 dollars.

    Parking at hotel is okay if you do not mind costs.
     
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  7. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    Ok. Thank you for that. I was beginning to rethink driving there. I will certainly look for other places to park but just good to know if I do end up having to park right at our hotel, that I can. Yes, I understand for a price.
    Thanks for all the responses and suggestions.
     
  8. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I can recommend two hotels in the area. They are not cheap but not totally outrageous.

    1. Hilton Garden, Grand and State. Probably my first choice.
    2. Hampton Inn, Illinois and Dearborn. Just a couple blocks from #1.

    As for parking, I seldom have or want a car in Chicago. Subway/El, bus, and taxi are cheaper than parking and far more convenient.

    One guy I know who drives to Chicago parks in the long-term lot at Midway and then takes the train into the city.
     
  9. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    We've come to appreciate Hampton Inn esp when staying in NYC, because of the free breakfast. But will definitely look into Hilton as well. And will certainly do research on that Midway Lot as well as train fares.
     
  10. Hendricks1

    Hendricks1 Newbie

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    A few hours at the taste and you'll get all you need from it, unless you're going to watch the live entertainment they offer as well, then I would plan for an afternoon/evening.

    Navy Pier you won't need more than a few hours to take it all in.

    If it's your first time to the city, there's so many other cool things that make Chicago a great city. Recommendations would depend on the ages of those going though.

    For hotels, if you give a budget of what you're looking to spend, can definitely make some solid recommendations. Lived in Chicago for most of my life and go back to visit often.
     
  11. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    LOL, the "free" breakfast at Hampton gets old after a few days. :) I know I'm spoiled. :) For NYC I've been using a couple of those places right across the bridge in Long Island City.

    Navy Pier is an easy walk (assuming you like to walk) from both of those hotels. If you're feeling lucky you can do lunch at the original Billy Goat Tavern (LOL, if you can find it) :) :) :) on the way. (Cheezborger cheezborger!) :)

    Now for train fare, it's simple, but a lot of newbees just don't seem to "get it" and stand around the machine asking questions. Just buy a Ventra card at the machine and put on a "Visitor Pass" for how long you are staying. You can get various number-of-day passes. It's kind of like a Metrocard except you don't swipe, you just touch the black circle kind of like the newer hotel locks. It covers all subway/El and city buses. It used to cover Pace (suburban) buses but those are extra now.
     
  12. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    This definitely will be our first time to Chicago, hopefully not our last. But I know they have many museums there and that is something my daughter enjoys. Still checking tripadvisor for that and other things. Not sure how much to spend for a good downtown hotel. But if its within Navy Pier and Taste of we may be willing to go with it. Pretty much a girls trip age range 20-40 four of us...

    Yes breakfast at Hampton does get old that's one reason why on our last NYC trip we skipped Hampton and stayed at Ritz Carlton. Definitely love walking, which is why I don't mind parking the car for the days we will be there. May definitely try to check out that Billy Goat Tavern. Been looking into other parking ideas, it seems you can park at the airport...? Not sure if I am just misinformed...
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    You will spend in the $200-ish range for anything decent in that area.

    One thing to be aware of is that several of the lower-priced hotels in that area, even some of the name brand ones, are refurbished (more or less) older hotels. The reason I like the Hampton and the HGI in that area is that both of them are newer and the rooms have the look and feel of the expected HGI or HI rooms. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Wabash a few times and although it's perfectly decent, the rooms tend to be smallish and irregular in layout. Last time my bathroom was almost as large as the main bedroom!

    The Red Roof Inn on Ontario and St. Clair is getting somewhat seedy. I saw a friend's room a few years ago and it was very very small and very very plain!
     
  14. BreakEven

    BreakEven Low-Roller

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    The distance may be walkable, but is it safe? I worked in downtown Chicago ~15yrs ago, and obviously things change all the time. There were many places even not far from Michigan Ave where I didn't feel safe walking @ night. I'd assume during the taste there would be a lot of folks walking from Navy Pier to the park, and so that's probably fine (I assume there's a good walking path right along the lakefront). But aren't there some questionable areas between the park & the hotels that have been suggested here (esp. around Lower Wacker)?

    And the long-term parking idea seems like a great way to save money. But how safe is it? I know here in Seattle there have been a lot of problems with airport parking (even in the garage the airport manages). People come back to find their cars broken into or up on blocks. Bummer of a way to end a vacation.

    Ok, enough wet blanket stuff :)

    As far as museums, I always love the Museum of Science & Industry - http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/. My favorite part is the sub, but I recognize that this may not be as thrilling for a typical teenage girl.

    Seeing Sue the T-Rex @ the Field Museum would be suggested as well - https://www.fieldmuseum.org/at-the-field/exhibitions/sue-t-rex

    Several museums are a part of the Chicago Citypass - http://www.citypass.com/chicago. These sorts of passes can often be good deals IF you were planning to go to most of the places anyway. Make sure to do the math, and look for 2-for-1 offers for the individual attractions before buying these.

    If you have a Bank of America card, they have some free museum pass offers - http://museums.bankofamerica.com/mobile

    Have fun!
     
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  15. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    The Wit. Enjoyed my time there
     
  16. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    River North Area. Personally I like the Hyatt right at Michigan and Wacker. Short walk to Park, river north shopping / dining, easy access to garages at Millennium park to save money, or on lower Wacker for the hotel. Plenty of nearby garages as well. Second choice would be the Sheraton right down the street on upper Wacker.
     
  17. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Downtown Chicago is extremely safe. Don't let the news of violence get to you.... all that is in a few neighborhoods... where I happen to teach! Lower Wacker has been cleaned up... really no where downtown in the loop or in the lakefront you need to worry about. There is a bike bath that runs lake Michigan north to south....

    Seriously give priceline a try if you don't care about which hotel you get. I have gotten the palmer house, swissotel, Hyatt and one I cannot recall up north of hancock. Use millennium park as the first search.
     
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  18. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    Yeah that 200-ish is pretty much what we are expecting esp the time of year we are going. That is why I'm looking to book in the next couple weeks or so just to be sure we get to stay where we want. Took a look at the Hilton in that area seemed nice...will still look at Hampton too...

    Good idea with the 2 for 1 that would come in handy with the four of us. I know Chicago has a lot of museums to choose from so narrowing down but would def like going to the Money Museum at least...:thumbsup:
     
  19. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl High-Roller

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    Saw these on trip advisor. Rates seem decent or doable for that time of year and location, we may 4-5 days or so. Haven't looked at a Sheraton yet but will do so.
     
  20. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    There are everyday risks of course. You may get hit by a bus if you don't look out! I would be more concerned about falling ice this time of year.

    I've never felt unsafe in River North, even in the evening, walking alone. It's well-traveled and well-patroled. I've done nighttime photo walks there off and on for years, often solo.

    Most of those "Yet Another Chicago Shooting" news reports come from areas miles away.

    I mentioned Billy Goat Tavern. There's NO WAY I would venture down under that overpass in the dead of night! And that's right ON Michigan Avenue! However, upstairs by the Wrigley and Trib buildings I feel perfectly safe day or night. (Major client of mine is right in that area.)

    You can walk straight down Grand from both of the hotels I suggested to Navy Pier without venturing anywhere near there. Also the one thing I like about the Hilton Garden is that the door is literally steps away from the Red Line subway entrance. Hampton is a well-lit and well-traveled 2 short block walk from there. A few months ago I went to a special event in Rogers Park and took the train back, alone, at night (LOL, and somewhat under the influence) :), and never felt uneasy.

    One area that gives me the total creepies are the neighborhoods in suburban Indiana by the casinos, even in the daytime! (ObVegas) :) The casinos themselves (Horseshoe and Ameristar) are perfectly safe, just don't drive nearby for gas or a soda! If you have a free evening you can take the free shuttle from the Hyatt Regency to the Horseshoe.

    I've never done that, but you need to always be streetwise. Don't leave valuables in sight or stuff "hidden" under a towel or blanket or anything like that. Park near a light, roadway, or an entrance if you can.

    Hey, if you want an excuse to not do something, you've got it. Doodoo happens!
     
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