7 of the Best Affordable Hotels in Chicago

by Paul Joseph  |  Published September 28, 2021

Chicago’s hotel scene is as diverse as the city itself, with every budget and taste catered for, including a number of options that won’t break the bank.

The opulent lobby at The Congress Plaza Hotel (Photo:

One of America’s largest cities, Chicago attracts huge numbers of visitors every year, many of whom need accommodation during their vist. If you’re planning a trip to the Windy City and would like to find somewhere affordable to stay, we’ve picked out some of Chicago’s best cheap hotels, ordered based on proximity to downtown.

The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center

Situated downtown on Michigan Avenue, one of the city’s most prestigious addresses, this 3-star hotel puts guests at the heart of the action. Housed in a historic high-rise building, the hotel combines a privileged location with, elegance, luxury and – crucially – affordability. Guest rooms feature high ceilings, large private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and desks, and some also offer separate living areas. Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s a 24-hour fitness centre, barbershop, business centre, dry cleaning and shoeshine services, cosy lounge area, and on-site restaurant serving all day food. For respite from the city hubbub, Millennium Park is directly opposite. From $124 per night.

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The St. Clair Hotel

The aesthetic at this smart, stylish 3-star hotel is characterised by a minimalist, neutrally toned décor punctuated by dots of colour. Situated 1.3 miles north of downtown, seconds from the busy Magnificent Mile, it’s housed within a historic European-style high-rise building with exceptional views. Yet despite this rich heritage, in terms of amenities it’s also among the most modern of the city’s affordable hotel offerings, featuring newly-renovated guest rooms complete with silky bedding and spa-inspired bathrooms, flat-screen Tvs, work spaces, and coffee makers, while some rooms also come with a microwave and mini-fridge. There’s no end of nearby attractions on your doorstep too, whether it’s shops, bars, restaurants, sightseeing spots or cultural venues. From $131 per night.

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(Photo: The St. Clair Hotel)

Found Hotel Chicago River North 

One of the more recent additions to the city’s hotel scene, this funky 3-star hotel can be found in Chicago’s River North entertainment and dining district, offering plenty of opportunities for after dark recreation. Just over 1.5 miles north of downtown, and a 10-minute walk from the Magnificent Mile commercial neighbourhood, it is both excellently located and well appointed with amenities. There’s an on-site restaurant, a shared lounge, a business centre, and 24-hour front desk. Guest rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom, and some rooms also afford impressive city views. For culture vultures, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art is a short walk away. From $82 per night.

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Chicago South Loop Hotel

Located just over two miles south of downtown in the bustling South Loop neighbourhood, this boutique hotel is surrounded by classic bars and diverse restaurants. Hotel amenities include a spa, a fitness centre, and a business centre. Guest rooms come with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom, and iPod docking station. There’s also free WiFi and free parking for guests arriving in their own transport. Museum Campus, home to some of Chicago’s leading cultural institutions, is a short walk away and Prairie Avenue Historic District, lined with 19th-century mansions, is also nearby. From $167 per night.

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Hotel Chicago West Loop

The only two-star hotel on this list, you can expect basic but clean and functional amenities at this well regarded hotel in the city’s West Loop district, a former industrial zone but now a dining and nightlife hotspot. Purple neon lighting inside and out lend the hotel a hip vibe, while a fitness centre, 24-hour front desk and free private parking add comfort and convenience to the guest experience. Guest rooms feature a flat-screen TV, coffee machine, microwave and work area, and some also have a seating area. As well as the vibrant Restaurant Row, the area is also awash with pubs, bars and live music venues. From $125 per night.

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Best Western Plus Chicago Hillside

If you’re happy to be based out of the centre, this 3-star hotel, 14 miles west of downtown in the small town of Hillside, could fit the bill. Quiet and clean, the hotel offers an on-site restaurant serving traditional American fare, a lounge offering cocktails and snacks, and an outdoor pool. Guest rooms are equipped with satellite TV, a microwave and a fridge. There’s also a 24-hour transfer service to O’Hare Airport, which is around a 20-minute drive north. Nearby attractions include the Brookfield Zoo and for retail therapy head to the shops of Oakbrook Mall. From $176 per night.

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Poolside at the Best Western Plus Chicago Hillside (Photo:

Hilton Rosemont Chicago O’Hare 

A few minutes’ drive from O’Hare International Airport, this 3-star hotel is an ideal choice for those needing somewhere to stay after a late-night flight into Chicago or before an early getaway by air. There’s a complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle service, allowing you plenty of peace of mind before or after your flight. Guest rooms contain a flat-screen TV and an alarm clock to add to your reassurance. Hotel facilities include a meeting space, a grand ballroom, a fitness centre, and a tavern serving American foodie favourites and cocktails. Business travellers needing to attend The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center will find the venue just across the street. From $151 per night.

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