I had previously stayed in a Hostelling International property during my layover in Iceland and felt that it was one of the better hostel brands that I had stayed in, so when I had the opportunity to stay with the chain again, I was elated!
The Location & Property
Hostelling International Chicago is located in the downtown area within walking distance of five subway lines (Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Blue), making it very convenient and easy to reach all areas of the city and the airport. It is also a short walking distance from Grant Park and the Buckingham Fountain, two major areas of interest to tourists.
The property, which is quite large comes with a number of services, amenities, and information. The hostel is equipped with small kitchens on each floor and there is also a storage area for holding luggage (free of charge), small meeting rooms on each floor, and an in-house laundry facility.
In addition, there is a large meeting room on the second floor with games and a computer lab, a tourism information section filled with brochures and information about points of interest in the city, and if you forget to bring a lock with you (like I did), one can either be purchased directly in the hostel or at the drugstore on the corner. Finally, the property is very safe and has staff members at the check-in desk around the clock and requires keycard entry to get into both the dorms and onto each floor.
One thing that I really liked about the property was the different pieces of art around the entire hostel. There were photographs by travelers in the dining room, paintings and artwork by the local Girl Scouts troop in the hallways, and my favorite of all the murals about Chicago lining the stairwells painted by a group called Connect Force.
I stayed in the 6-bed female dorm (but there are many different room options from private rooms to co-ed dorms). The room that I stayed in came fully equipped with a shower, a toilet, a sink area, and individual lockers.
The beds were comfortable and there were fresh linens upon my arrival. Each bed was also outfitted with a personal lamp for reading. The room had swipe key entry, which made me feel very secure.
The only thing that I did not like about the room was the small number of outlets available; luckily there were only three other girls in the room with me and we were able to share, but had it been a full room, it would have been more difficult to find an area in the room to recharge.
A complimentary continental breakfast is served every morning from 7 am to 10 am in the dining room. All guests have access to free wifi in the hostel and there are free walking tours provided by the hostel as well.
I took the free city tour, which gave me a brief hour-and-a-half history of some of Chicago’s architecture, gangsters, and crime that plagued the city. My tour guide was very knowledgable and took us to some of the most notoriously famous areas in the neighborhood including the spot where the first car murder in the United States happened and where Eliot Ness and The Untouchables had their headquarters.
My stay at Hostelling International Chicago was both comfortable and enjoyable.
The property was very clean, safe, and spacious. The staff was very friendly, knowledgable, and helpful, and the international travelers that I met during my one night stay were great. I
would definitely recommend this property for anyone looking for an affordable accommodation option in a centrally located area in Chicago.
Hostelling International Chicago provided the accommodation mentioned in this review, however all thoughts and words in this review are my own.