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The 13 Best Chicago Hotels

Like the city’s winds, visitors blow into Chicago and find the charms of this Midwestern gem at nearly every corner. With a lake that could easily be mistaken for an ocean, 57 acres dedicated to museums and a skyline designed by some of the world’s finest architects, Chicago is undeniably one of the United States’ finest cities, though it’s often overlooked in favor of New York City’s flash or Los Angeles’ sunny forecasts.

Whether you seek an art deco marvel or a midcentury modern stunner, you can trust Forbes Travel Guide’s exclusive list — we have been rating hotels since 1958 using an objective and independent process. To find the best hotels in Chicago, our incognito inspectors posed as ordinary guests and stayed multiple nights at each property. The inspectors tested hundreds of exacting standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, which accounts for 70% of a property’s rating. The remaining 30% comes from the quality and condition of the facilities. FTG does not require a business relationship from the properties it rates, and it does not earn a commission if you book one of the following hotels.

FIVE-STAR HOTELS IN CHICAGO

The Langham, Chicago

The Langham, Chicago occupies the first 12 floors of a soaring 52-story landmark designed by midcentury modern master architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Inside the hotel, you can see nods to the building’s heritage — large, elegant guest rooms have subtle bronze accents while gorgeous travertine tiles are found in bathrooms and public spaces.

Although it opened in the Windy City in 2013, the hotel reflects the centuries-old heritage and European hospitality sensibilities of the original 1865 Langham in London.

Guests can take afternoon tea in the open and airy Pavilion, dine on seasonal American fare at Travelle (designed by David Rockwell), indulge in a treatment at the Asian-inspired Five-Star Chuan Spa or retreat to the 12th-floor club lounge for cocktails and magnificent views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. See more.

The Peninsula Chicago

A retreat of choice for stars and notables, The Peninsula Chicago is an impeccable address for those longing for discreet, attentive service that’s delivered by a staff trained in the art of gracious hospitality.

Luxurious guest rooms are bright with light wood and muted earth tones, and the marble bathrooms have oversized tubs where you can soak while catching up on your favorite shows on the flat-screen TV. But if you’re looking for reasons to leave the comfort of your spacious, contemporary guest room, the skyline-level Four-Star spa and Four-Star Shanghai Terrace restaurant are two great ones. See more.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

The 92-story glass and steel tower in which the luxurious Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago resides brings a dose of glamor to an already-glitzy skyline.

Inside, the splendor continues, with rich, clubby woods and neutral tones balancing the sparkle of the views outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. The modern, slate-gray rooms are filled with custom-designed furniture and many boast fully stocked state-of-the-art kitchens.

During your stay, enjoy a relaxing day at the newly redesigned Four-Star spa or head to Terrace 16 to sample modern American cuisine amid iconic Chicago skyline views. See more.

FOUR-STAR HOTELS IN CHICAGO

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

With its prime Magnificent Mile location and attractive, contemporary rooms, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is a top choice for visiting celebrities and anyone else who appreciates the peace and quiet the polished property promises.

Stay here for the views: many of the soothing neutral-hued rooms come with leather window seats overlooking Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast, and the hotel boasts the highest suites in the city.

Additionally, the lobby, grand ballroom and restaurants and the larger suites and apartments received updates in 2020 from renowned architecture and design firm Rottet Studio. But even with the refresh, two things haven’t changed: the wonderful, personal service and the location. See more.

Park Hyatt Chicago

The personality of Park Hyatt Chicago reflects what the Illinois metropolis is known for: stunning art and design, great food and warm Midwestern hospitality. Its exclusive Gold Coast address along the Magnificent Mile speaks to the type of place it is — a luxury hotel with thoughtfully crafted amenities, a well-curated art collection and elegant design.

Park Hyatt Chicago debuted a $60 million renovation in 2022, bringing understated, contemporary luxuriousness to everything from the public spaces to the accommodations. Upon arrival, the hotel welcomes you with a sense of home, attentive staff and well-appointed décor. Unwind in the cozy “living room,” just off the lobby area, while perusing an array of art books and watching the city go by through floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto bustling Chicago Avenue. See more.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

One of the city’s most stylish luxury hotels, Waldorf Astoria Chicago revealed a makeover across the grand-chateau-style property in late 2022. The art deco jewel, which was inspired by the style of Coco Chanel and French design masters, has a style and grace that can be seen across the updated social spaces and accommodations.

The hotel draws from the past with its old-fashioned motor court and antiques while remaining firmly au courant with its crisp gray color palette and slick surfaces. Guest rooms are spacious with fireplaces, terraces, white marble baths and impressive wet bars.

The lavish property is also home to Brass Tack, an American brasserie with Chicago influences, on the hotel’s third floor; the Veuve Clicquot courtyard Peacock Garden; Bernard’s, an intimate craft cocktail and champagne bar; and a lavish Four-Star spa with Greek columns and a mosaic pool covered in thousands of tiles. See more.

RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN CHICAGO

Hotel Arista

This suburban Chicago property avoids the cookie-cutter hotel experience by adding thoughtful touches to your stay. Beyond the latest in cardiovascular machines and free weights, Hotel Arista’s onsite fitness center provides Zumba and personal training services. The restaurants and cafés peppered throughout this property vary in style and mood. Once you’ve exerted yourself, bask in all that the 6,500-square-foot spa has to offer.

The first hotel to be LEED-certified in Illinois takes pride in every detail: The Living Room lounge’s fireplace has no carbon footprint, and every room has a hook placed high enough to air out a three-piece suit — or keep a freshly pressed wedding gown wrinkle-free. See more.

The LaSalle Chicago, Autograph Collection

Soaring 21 stories above the Financial District, The LaSalle Chicago, Autograph Collection has a stellar view of things. Visionaries behind the property could see that people were looking for an in-town stay that didn’t compromise on sophistication. So, this meticulous stunner wrapped itself in Calacatta marble, Frette linens and Egyptian rugs and opened its doors in 2022.

The Chicago hotel knows that locals and visitors have high culinary expectations, so it cooked up Grill on 21, a modern steakhouse with an exhibition-style kitchen. And you can rest assured The LaSalle Chicago heard all the bickering about properties being too far from area landmarks, which is why walks to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Willis Tower and Millennium Park take less than 15 minutes from your room. See more.

Loews Chicago Hotel

Chicago doesn’t want for fabulous hotels, so when Loews Chicago Hotel was built from the ground up, the Loews luxury chain had its work cut out to grab travelers’ attention. The result? A modern, welcoming 52-floor tower in the heart of Streeterville.

A couple blocks east of the Mag Mile, near the business-centric Loop and less than a 10-minute walk to Navy Pier, Loews Chicago is primed to please both leisure travelers and those on business.

The luxury hotel also has a wonderful sense of place, harnessing Chicago’s rich history of all-star architects, artists and designers. A chef-driven restaurant, a spectacular rooftop lounge, a fitness center and a 75-foot lap pool all make Loews a standout urban hotel. See more.

Pendry Chicago

The Windy City’s design-focused hotel scene got a major upgrade when Pendry Chicago’s doors blew open in 2021. The 364-room property carved from the polished granite walls of the art deco Carbide & Carbon Building, erected back in 1929, makes a statement. Gilded elevators, black-and-white flooring and an air of confidence and sophistication float through these corridors.

Pendry Chicago’s aesthetic sits at the corner of past experiences and present expectations. Here, you can spend an evening sipping scotch in the moody, leather-draped Bar Pendry before working out with the latest exercise equipment in your room the next morning. Venteux, a Parisian-inspired restaurant, and Château Carbide, the seasonal rooftop escape, are timeless spots with Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. See more.

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago’s location in the center of the Magnificent Mile on the exclusive Gold Coast can’t be beaten. Shopping mecca Water Tower Place houses the hotel as well as some of the best stores and restaurants in the city.

Beyond the prestigious shopping and fine dining, the luxury Chicago hotel is also an ideal location to enjoy the savviest sightseeing in the city. Spend an afternoon perusing works from Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Dalí at the nearby Art Institute of Chicago; walk across the street to see the historic Water Tower, one of a few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871; or stroll over to popular Navy Pier along the lakefront. See more.

Thompson Chicago

Surrounded by historic mansions and top-shelf designer boutiques, Thompson Chicago is a cozy, stylish getaway in downtown. From the first step off the tony Gold Coast streets and into the industrial-turned-chic lobby, you are enveloped in an atmosphere that feels unmistakably cool.

The 247-room luxury hotel’s eclectic artwork, midcentury lines and abundance of leather and velvet create a warm setting that draws the fashion set as well as weekend vacationers.

Keep an eye out for a soon-to-debut hotel eatery from Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants. The family-owned and -run company is behind favorite local institutions like Tuscany and Stefani Prime. In the meantime, visit popular restaurants like Maple & Ash and Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, both of which are within a two-minute walk of the Thompson. See more.

Viceroy Chicago

French novelist Marcel Proust once wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” You’ll ruminate on those words upon walking into Viceroy Chicago’s lobby and seeing the quote and others from the writer inscribed on a 30-foot-tall teal wall.

While this isn’t a new landscape — the brick and terra cotta structure housed the Cedar Hotel in the 1920s — TAL Studio approached the historic building with a new set of eyes. A rich palette of gold and the same alluring teal in the Proust piece shades the 180 rooms and suites; midcentury furniture lends a timeless feel; and quirky touches like different colored guest room doors add character.

But there’s more to see in and around this Gold Coast hotel. Viceroy’s signature restaurant Somerset turns out seasonal American fare while buzzy rooftop bar Pandan slings cocktails and city views. See more.

HOW WE RATE

Forbes Travel Guide is the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises. Started in 1958 as Mobil Travel Guide, FTG created the original Five-Star rating system for hospitality.

  • Our highly trained inspectors stay at every property we rate, evaluating based on up to 900 objective criteria. Our hotel stays span multiple nights.
  • We pay our own way. No one can buy a rating; all ratings are earned through our objective inspection process.
  • Our inspectors, a team that spans the globe, are anonymous, so they have the same experience as a typical guest.
  • While we inspect both service and facility, our Star Rating system emphasizes service because your experience at a hotel, restaurant or spa goes beyond looks — how it makes you feel is what you will remember most.
  • The standards cover every touchpoint of the guest experience, from reservation to departure, encompassing topics like cleanliness, efficiency, sense of luxury, guest comfort and more. A property’s commitments to wellness and sustainability also factor into the rating. Properties are regularly reassessed.
  • Our Standards and Ratings group independently refines the standards annually, ensuring they reflect luxury guest expectations and evolving industry trends. This rigorous process includes input from our Standards Advisory Committee, a panel of top hospitality industry executives.

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