Family friendly amenities like self-serve laundry, high chairs, and kids' menus
Concierge, valet, and porter service, plus dinner room service
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Parking is pricey
Breakfast not included in room rate
Decor is generic and can feel slightly dated
This Hilton Garden is a solid mid-range option just two blocks from the Magnificent Mile and a one-minute walk from the metro. While decor here is generic, convenience here is key and the property offers more than the expected amenities: a decent bar and grill, a 24-hour mini-mart, a mini Starbucks in the lobby, a small but attractive pool area, and a well-equipped fitness center. The hotel's 357 rooms are spacious with amenities like Keurig coffeemakers, mini-fridges, microwaves, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Downsides besides the generic decor include pricey parking and a breakfast that isn't included in the room rate. The boutiquey hotel right around the corner, ACME Hotel Company Chicago, offers more inspired digs, but has smaller rooms and fewer amenities.
Large chain hotel with amenities geared toward convenience
The Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile is a large, well-equipped chain hotel situated in a 23-story beige high-rise in the heart of Chicago. Decor is typical for a chain hotel -- tasteful but somewhat generic and occasionally dated. The lobby pairs white tiled floors and white walls with gray upholstery and orange accents. Small sitting areas feature high-backed armchairs and cushioned bench seating gathered on striped carpets and finished with potted plants and drum pendant lights. Flanking the lobby is a small Starbucks counter that serves coffee in the mornings and a Weber's Grill, a full-service restaurant with a traditional feel that features rich wood and exposed brick accent walls. Location and convenience are key here, and the hotel gets a range of travelers from business guests to families traveling with children.
Located in River North, two blocks from the Magnificent Mile
The hotel is located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, known for its fine dining, boutique shopping, and more than 100 art galleries. It also offers a variety of nightlife options, from upscale clubs to restaurant bars. The Magnificent Mile, an iconic stretch of North Michigan Avenue known for its upscale shopping and famous landmarks, is two blocks away. For sights farther out, the Grand Metro Station (Red Line) is just a one-minute walk from the hotel and connects directly to iconic spots like Wrigley Field. Self- and valet-parking are available, but the fee is steep.
Four-minute walk to the Magnificent Mile
11-minute walk to Chicago Water Tower
14-minute walk to John Hancock Observatory
15-minute walk to Millennium Park
15 minutes to Lincoln Park Zoo via public transit
16 minutes to Wrigley Field via the metro
17 minutes to Museum Campus via the metro
35 minutes to Chicago Midway International Airport via metro
One hour to O'Hare International Airport via metro
Spacious -- if generic -- rooms with convenient amenities like Keurigs, microwaves, and mini-fridges
Rooms are pleasant, if not generic, with gray and black windowpane carpeting, neutral walls, white bedding, and dark wood furniture. The style has a traditional yet contemporary feel, with the occasional dated detail, like brown striped armchairs with orange accents. Bathrooms are basic but tasteful with a white, beige, and brown color palette and combination showers and tubs.
Rooms are air-conditioned and include small sitting areas, desks with ergonomic chairs, and beds with down comforters. Rooms also include 32-inch LCD TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi, along with mini-fridges, Keurig coffeemakers, and microwaves (microwaveable meals and snacks are available for purchase in the hotel's 24-hour Pavilion Pantry). Guest rooms measure a nice 300-square-feet while suites add space and extras like small kitchens, living rooms, and Bose stereo systems. All rooms have city views, and some look out over the Magnificent Mile.
Restaurant, fitness center, and lap pool -- but parking and breakfast cost extra
For a mid-range city hotel, this property has a nice set of amenities geared toward a range of busy travelers. The hotel's main dining area, the Weber Grill, is a full-service restaurant offering classic dishes like BBQ, steak, and burgers. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, though breakfast isn't included in the room rate. The grill is also the home of Smoky Joe's Bar, a small but homey wood bar with a classic feel. Guests can make use of in-room microwaves with frozen foods from the mini-mart style Pavilion Pantry, which is open 24 hours and also sells other snacks and drinks. In the mornings, a small counter in the lobby offers Starbucks coffee for sale. Dinner room service from the grill is available.
The hotel also has wellness facilities on the 12th floor, which include a fairly generic but roomy and well-equipped gym with a nice range of weightlifting and cardio equipment, including ellipticals and treadmills with individual TVs, plus free weights and medicine balls. The gym looks out onto a pool area, which includes a lap pool and whirlpool and is surrounded by loungers and cushioned armchairs. While the pool's small, it's an attractive spot with lots of natural light from both a skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows.
A business center includes several desktop computers for guest use plus other standard office tools like a printer, shredder, and an office-grade photocopier. There's also an on-site meeting room. Wi-Fi throughout the hotel is free.
The property has a 24-hour desk and offers some services more typical of higher-end hotels: concierges, porters, and valets are all on staff. However, guests complain about the parking fees, which are particularly steep for valet service. Family friendly amenities include coin-operated laundry, cribs, kids' menus, and high chairs.