Take a look at the best kid-friendly hotels in River North.
This three-pearl chain hotel has a prime location in Chicago's bustling River North neighborhood, surrounded by restaurants and within walking distance of most downtown attractions, including the Magnificent Mile. The public decor is updated and mostly modern and a basic breakfast buffet is included in the room rate, as is speedy Wi-Fi. A pricey market in the lobby sells beverages and snacks, including wine and beer. The 180 rooms are spacious, particularly in the bathrooms, some of which are equipped with roomy stall showers, but the decor is generic. Light sleepers should request an interior-facing room, though they don’t get a lot of light. Overall, guests are paying high rates for a standard chain hotel with a superb location. The nearby Best Western Plus River North Hotel has a pool and more modern rooms.
Located in River North, the three-pearl Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago-Downtown is a solid choice for business travelers and families, offering a prime address less than two blocks from the Magnificent Mile. The hotel, renovated in mid-2016, has 233 spacious suites that feature full kitchens, sleeper sofas, and roomy bathrooms. Value-added amenities include free hot breakfast, a free grocery shopping service, and weekday evening receptions with free food and drinks. A rooftop indoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and a laundry room enhance its appeal. Those looking for a hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar may prefer the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile.
The James is one of Chicago's top luxury hotels, and is located in River North, a block from the Magnificent Mile. The public spaces are modern and sometimes quirky, while the 297 rooms are crisp and clean. They're minimally decorated without being stark, and some have clever design to maximize space, as well as big flat-screen TVs, impressively stocked minibars, and comfortable beds. Bathrooms are modern and minimalist too, but not all have tubs and some are on the small side. In addition to a well-equipped fitness room, the James also has two art galleries along with art and sculpture present throughout the lobby. The hotel is also home to the excellent restaurant, David Burke's Primehouse, and the Primehouse Bar. Appealing hotel extras include a free car service, which can come in handy as parking is quite pricey.
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.
The Best Western River North is a mid-range hotel for the budget-conscious business traveler in the center of Chicago's trendy River North neighborhood. It's on a touristy block surrounded by high-rise loft condos and theme restaurants. The rooms are clean, but 2011 renovations are already wearing thin, and the hotel needs an overall update. The hotel provides amenities to business travelers, with ergonomic work chairs (and free Wi-Fi), but lacks the on-site breakfast comparable hotels offer. Low rates and free parking, a rarity in Chicago, make this a good choice for travelers who want to stay near the Magnificent Mile, but the worn carpets and overpowering scent of cleaning products in the hallways might turn away others. The nearby Hampton Inn & Suites trades free parking for a less appealing free breakfast but significantly more updated decor.
The Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North is a stylish, upper-mid-range hotel in the heart of downtown, perched atop the Chicago Sun-Times building. Its peculiar position means that guests have to go through two different lobbies, but the upside is incredible city views from the upper floors that the hotel occupies. The rooms are all large, although some still have loud, aging air conditioners. It's an ideal spot for guests attending events at the Merchandise Mart, or for tourists who want to be near the downtown Loop at a reasonable price. For even more budget-conscious travelers looking to avoid steep valet fees, the nearby Best Western Plus River North Hotel has free parking but can't compare with this landmark location's amenities.