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“All seems perfect except a minor con” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostelling International Chicago

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Hostelling International Chicago
1.5 of 5 Hostel   |   24 E. Congress Pkwy., South Loop, Chicago, IL 60605 (The Loop)   |  
Hotel amenities
Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“All seems perfect except a minor con”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2011

Pros: Room is pretty standardized with four bulk beds. Plenty of freebies like free breakfast, free pool, ping pong, and meeting room/TV room free to use.

Room is spacious compared with other hostels I have stayed. Mattress is soft and convenient. Location is close to CBD and tourist attractions, about 10 minutes walk to the Millennium Park.

Actually, I am not concerned about all these pros because the coolest thing to stay in a hostel is to meet people. I met some really cool guys from around the world, a French cook looking for a job in Chicago, a Danish boy coming for a physics conference, a Japanese artist for a vacation as well as a film festival, and me, a Chinese guy for getting a Hong Kong VISA. When all of these international facets mixed together amazing chemistry emerged out of the ground. We had a wonderful time wandering around the alleys looking for the most authentic and hottest Chinese food, drinking, talking, laughing and looking for bars all around. It was an unforgettable experience the one could possibly have in a lively city.

Cons: sink table (I am not sure how to say it, the one where you brush teeth and wash face) is not separated from the bedroom, it seems much hassle and disturbing when one brushes teeth with the light over the sink on while others are sleeping.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    25
    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mendocino County, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

I signed up at the last minute & reluctantly took a bed in a 10 bed woman's dorm. It turned out to be quite spacious & comfy, with bedding & a towel supplied, a wall light at each bed & an outlet close by to charge or power cell phones & other gadgets. Staff helped me get a lower bunk & also were extremely helpful with local info and maps.
Free breakfast was a great extra, oh and a laundry area near my room.
There was outside construction that made it a bit hard to find the hostel but that may be finished by now.
Walking distance to many Chicago sights.

Room Tip: If you sign up well ahead of time you have more choices. Tell them what you need/want and they are v...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MARSHALLTOWN
Top Contributor
341 reviews 341 reviews
84 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
431 helpful votes 431 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2011

Hostel International Chicago: great location, good value, all ages welcome. I do not know why TA calls this a "summer" hostel.


When I needed a Chicago hotel room the night before a long flight to New Delhi, I opted for the HI Chicago when I could not find a reasonable rate at any downtown hotel.

The hostel’s location is ideal, in the SE corner of the loop within easy walking distance of Michigan Avenue, the Art Institute, and the CTA transit system (including the trains to O’Hare and Midway airports).

Although I am a senior, I have occasionally stayed in well-reviewed hostels and found them convenient. Roommates have never been a problem. In fact, everyone I have met (an international crowd) has been interesting and friendly.

I stayed in an 8-bed (4 bunk) room with its own toilet room, shower room, and double sink within the room itself. Additional bathrooms are available on the same floor, but were not needed by me.

Beds are assigned, and I recommend you request a lower bunk when making your reservation, especially if you are not an agile ladder climber. Rooms and bathrooms were clean during my stay, no problems.

The El trains are right outside the second floor, but they make less noise than expected since they travel slowly as they turn the corner. Climate control in the rooms is excellent, so windows can stay closed.

A modest but plentiful buffet continental breakfast is included in the room rate. You wash your own dishes afterward -- more symbolic than effort.

Internet is available for a fee (I think the lobby wi-fi is free), but the huge new public library with free internet is just 3 blocks west.

The day I stayed, a free folk concert and free ice cream social were provided by the hostel. They also go out of their way to help travelers navigate the city (an information booth in the second floor lobby has local volunteers).

Remember to bring a padlock for your room luggage locker (or lobby locker if you checked out) and buy a transit pass for all trains, buses, and subways in the city (one day passes are sold in person, 3 and five day passes in machines).

The only possible drawback is the rate -- $4 for the reservation on the internet, $33 for the dorm bed, and $3 for non-HI members makes a hostel bunk $40 per night. A relative bargain for old folks like me, but pricey for students on a budget.

Room Tip: Get a CTA transit pass (covers the whole city and both airports) and remember to bring a padlock for...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cordoba, Argentina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

I was ther 3 nights by 10/01/2011. Really great location! If you travel alone and don't want to spend so much in accommodation: THIS IS THE PLACE.
Very secure, always clean, personnel amazing (except Liz, at Front Desk).
I highly recommend it!

Room Tip: I stayed in a Private Room with shared bathroom. Better rooms facing Congress Ave. because the Eleva...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyon, France
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2011

This reliable, huge hostel has the best location in Chicago, one block from Michigan Avenue and the L station to both airports, the Near North Side, everywhere. Inside it's usual high HI standards : free wireless (although it was spotty at times), free filling breakfast, free travel information. The dorms are large, aerated and mine had a view on the L tracks ! People are really friendly there and the staff will give you some insider tips on how to enjoy the city. I'd come back there on my next stay in Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

I stayed here for 4 nights for Lollapalooza 2011. This is seriously one of the best locations for the festival and you can't beat the price either. The staff was very helpful and polite. The rooms were large (8 bed fem dorm) and clean. Everything is in walking distance and it seemed pretty safe in the area. The breakfast provided was also good. HI Chicago is def one of the best hostels i've been to. If i make the trip for Lolla next year I'll def stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

A great hostel in central downtown Chicago. Clean, tidy rooms, great communal areas and a really warm and welcoming atmosphere. Breakfast was also good - normal fare expected for hostels. Close to mass transit as in "the Loop", so very easy to reach other neighbourhoods from the hostel and to get to/from the airport. Great for group travel, also looked like solo travellers were well catered for!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Chicago

Address: 24 E. Congress Pkwy., South Loop, Chicago, IL 60605
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > The Loop
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Hostelling International Chicago 1.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International Chicago Summer Hotel Chicago

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