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hotel prices and location on a budget

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Missouri
posts: 29
hotel prices and location on a budget

There will probably be 6 of us in our 50s planning to spend 2 or 3 nights in Chicago and looking for the best prices in a safe location. We are planning on going to the Field Museum, Science & Industry, and Shedd Aquarium. Also probably the Sears tower. Would love to stay downtown and been shopping for deals but really can't afford the prices and would like to find hotel for no more than $150 a night. I've found deals close to O'Hare for Fri & Sat nights (Hilton for $99) but don't want to spend a fortune to get downtown each day. Any suggestions?

Dates are a little flexible as we could check in Thur & checkout Sun or check in Sat and check out on Tues.

Or, have wondered if we could get everything done if we only stay 2 nights. will be arriving by train on the first day around noon. and could either leave early or around 2PM on the last day.

Are hotel prices better in the spring?

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 31,981
reviews: 66
1. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

Hotel prices here run all over the place as Chicago is also a convention destination. Have you played with your dates at www.hotels.com or similar sites? Downtown hotels are in safe locations. In addition, you might want to consider Hitwire or Priceline.

Staying out by ORD involves about an hour commute downtown each way using the CTA blue line train. It's the time vs money savings equation that only you can answer.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Chicago
posts: 5,677
reviews: 17
2. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

I think that two nights would be much too few if you are arriving at noon and leaving at 2 PM.

That's a great price for the airport Hilton, and the train to downtown (the Blue Line) is almost directly below the hotel. The Blue Line runs 24/7 with departures about every 10 minutes. The fare is $5 inbound (O'Hare station only) and $2.25 outbound (all other stations), and the trip is about 45 minutes. A 3-day unlimited pass is $20, and would certainly save you money.

If you are considering the O'Hare airport area, also look at the Renaissance Suites, a Marriott. It's a couple of stops closer than the Hilton, and a short walk to the Blue Line. Near Union Station, check prices on the LaQuinta at Franklin and Madison.

One difficulty will be what to do with your luggage on arrival day. If you stay by the airport, you would have to try to store it at Union Station to avoid dragging it all over. Be sure your group packs lightly!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 6,367
reviews: 75
3. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

It would be a lot to fit in a two night stay given that two of your three days would be partial days. The Field, Shedd,and Science and Industry Museum are big enough that they could each fill a whole day.

Staying out by the airport definitely costs less, but does require an hour commuting each way. Your choice whether you'd rather spend the money or the time. If you're not picky what hotel you stay in, you can sometimes get deals on hotwire and priceline. Also, since you are flexible with your schedule, you can wait until you find a good hotel deal downtown and then book the trip.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,636
reviews: 88
4. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

Up your budget and enjoy yourselves. You haven't alloedt enough time, enough money and a decent location. If you stay at the airport you will spend 2+ hours a day commuting to your vacation. That's no vacation. If you stay downtown, where everything tourist is, you have a large party that might want to do different things at the same time.. . You can have a decent time.

Missouri
posts: 29
5. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

thanks everyone for your comments. What do you think about a hotel in the McCormick Place area? I found one on Hotwire for $107 for a 3 star hotel. It says McCormick Place - South Loop - Soldier Field boutique hotel. any idea what hotel this might be? I tried to find on betterbidding.com but couldn't. Is this a safe area with easy access to the buses? Also, are there many restaurants that we could walk to for supper?

Illinois
Destination Expert
for Chicago, Illinois
posts: 31,981
reviews: 66
6. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

The area around McCormick Place is a bit out if the way from a visitor's perspective. Limited public transit options. Not much to see/do. Convenient if you're attending a convention. It's a good value during non-convention dates.

Walking around the immediate area isn't a great idea. However, you're a quick cab ride from Chinatown.

Edited: 10:37 pm, August 25, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 10,636
reviews: 88
7. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

There is no there there around the Convention Center. It is isolated but better than staying out at an airport. Find one of the 50+ hotels in the Loop or River North.

chicago
posts: 6,646
reviews: 18
8. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

McCormick is better than staying by the airport but stillnot ideal, very isolated

London, United...
posts: 53
reviews: 40
9. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

I've stayed at the McCormick and second what everyone else has said there is very little around. You may want to consider that if breakfast is not included in your room rate. Have you looked at Essex inn or best western in the grant park area? Walking distance for the shedd and field?

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 342
reviews: 52
10. Re: hotel prices and location on a budget

The hotel that you located on Hot Wire is likely the South Loop Hotel, which is more properly described as located in "Bronzeville" than the "South Loop" or "McCormick Place" area. Read these TA reviews carefully and think about whether you will be comfortable in this area: tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g35805-d1075753…

If it is the South Loop Hotel, you should note that there are no good public transportation options nearby.