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By Kate Silver

In Chicago, new hotels are opening up faster than a doorman can ask, “Checking in?”


Boutique hotels, luxury brands, budget offerings — every style at every rate finds a home here in the Windy City. According to Choose Chicago — the city’s official destination marketing organization — the downtown area alone is home to 135 hotel properties with nearly 44,000 rooms, all just a quick walk or ride to major Chicago sights, shops, restaurants, bars, coffee houses, and more. In fact, in the past five years alone, Chicago has cut the ribbon of 37 hotels, adding another 8,100 rooms.

To experience that new hotel smell, book a room at any of these recent arrivals to Chicago’s hotel scene.


The Hoxton

Hands down, this was the most talked-about opening of 2019. The Hoxton brand is known for being trendy, locally inspired and design-forward, and it hits the mark on all of the above in Chicago’s West Loop location. From the raved-about restaurants and bar (the Peruvian-inspired Cabra Cevicheria is by Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat fame; Cira serves Mediterranean fare throughout the day, and Lazy Bird slings classic cocktails) to the hotel, itself, which is sophisticated, modern, and beloved for its rooftop pool. This is the kind of rare hotel opening that has even locals dreaming of a staycation.


Hotel Essex

While its roots — and the iconic “Essex Inn” rooftop sign — date back to the 1960s, the interiors at this glass-lined, South Loop boutique hotel are all new. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows, and if you’re lucky to get an eastern-facing abode, you’ll get to gaze out at Grant Park, the Museum Campus, and Lake Michigan. A French bistro — Grant Park Bistro — serves French classics, charcuterie and wine, and the two-level SX Sky Bar cocktail lounge and nightclub offers Asian-inspired bites. On warm days, the lounge’s retractable walls allow in a fresh, open-air breeze from Lake Michigan.


Found Hotel

Backpackers, budget travelers, and urban explorers of all kinds have a new accommodation option in the River North neighborhood with Found Hotel, recently opened in the vintage cast-iron and tin-clad Olympia Building. While it bills itself as a hotel, it has whiffs of the hostel life. Guests can opt for both private bedrooms and shared spaces with four bunks to a room. While rates tend toward budget, this isn’t a hotel looking to cut corners. Rather, it’s aimed at travelers who are more interested in exploring the city and meeting likeminded pals than disappearing into their suite. To that end, community rooms are primed for mixing and mingling, including a lounge with board games, karaoke bar, coffee bar, and cocktail bar/restaurant.


The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare

Situated in Rosemont’s recently developed Pearl District, The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare, a Tapestry Collection by Hilton is the closest off-airport hotel to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The Rose offers an upscale experience by providing highly personalized service, the finest amenities, and a quintessential destination for both Chicagoland residents and visitors alike to enjoy. The property holds 165 guest rooms and suites, 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, a signature restaurant and bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

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