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19 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611-2707
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Traveler (352)
360
Panoramas (14)
Room & Suite (337)
Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
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Updated 02/03/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Freehand Chicago
Updated 02/03/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

About

#13 of 135 Specialty lodging in Chicago
Location
4.7
Cleanliness
4.1
Service
4.1
Value
4.0
Freehand Chicago, located just 2 blocks from Michigan Avenue in the heart of River North, offers comfortable accommodations and great dining all in a building featuring the designs of renowned firm Roman & Williams. Our hotel features queen and king bedded rooms as well as rooms featuring 2 sets of bunk beds (4 twin beds in total), and two Penthouse Suites in a historic building. We have a coffee shop, Café Integral, as well as an award-winning cocktail bar, Broken Shaker.
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Property amenities
Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Business Center with Internet Access
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
24-hour check-in
Wifi
Restaurant
Shared lounge / TV area
24-hour front desk
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
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Room features
Air conditioning
Room service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Trendy
Centrally Located
Languages Spoken
English
934Reviews27Q+A100Room tips
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Layan E wrote a review Sep 2022
2 contributions
Female quad: I booked a bed in a FEMALE quad. I checked in and went to the room to find men’s clothes hanging and men’s shoes. I went back to the front desk telling them I paid extra money to be in a female quad and there is a man in the room. She said the person is a woman but she wears men’s clothes. I went back to the room, the second I open the door, a black man jumps into his bed and closes the curtains. I came closer to him and said hi, he ignored me and used a towel to cover his face. I went back to the front desk, they sent a security to check. The security man didn’t let me be in the room with him, and asked me to leave the room so he can have a word with him. 5mins later, the security man comes out and says its a girl, but I defiantly saw a man. I went back to the room and the man still tries to hide his face by a towel. Went back to the front desk and asked to put me in a bother room as I don’t feel safe sleeping in this room, they refused to transfer me. Then I asked to cancel my reservation and refund me and they refused to do so. I ended up leaving and going to another hotel. Hotel: The hotel and room doesn’t look like what they advertise on their website. The room is very very small to the point that there is no room to open your suitcase on the floor. The bathroom is very disgusting with no room service to clean. There is even no enough lighting in the room or the bathroom. The elevators looked like a coffin, very dark with no light and slow. There is no lobby to sit and socialise with other. They will charge you if you use the lobby. Front desk: The people at the from desk are very rude, especially the short black woman. She has no customer service skills, rude and yells at people. She could be a janitor, plumber, car mechanic but not receptionist. Clearly the hotel doesn’t care about providing good customer service. Deposit: they will charge you $50 despot at check-in and claim that it will be refunded after checking out. Be aware, it won’t be refunded. I didn’t stay at the hotel, despite that they refunded only $44. I called asking why did you charge me $6 if I didn’t stay at the hotel, the black woman yelled at me and ended the call after telling her I don’t understand what she is saying. I emailed them asking for a refund, no answer.
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Date of stay: September 2022
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 3 days ago
Thank you for all of your feedback! I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay. Your deposit was retuned less the urban fee which is $5 plus tax. All issues above will be addressed with the team. We hope that you will come stay with us again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Judy P wrote a review Sep 2022
Hartford, Connecticut2 contributions
I had an excellent stay in the heart of downtown Chicago. I often travel alone and look for the bargains. The Freehand offered great social life and I felt very safe. The location, staff, cleanliness were all perfect! I also had a walking tour with Trip Advisor. “Dash,” our guide, was phenomenal! I’ve never had a bad experience with Trip Advisor! Thank you!
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Garad wrote a review Sep 2022
1 contribution
The place has a hip almost Arts and Crafts / Southwestern veneer but the rooms are cramped and they lookout on either a grizzly parking garage or a large pit of a dank light well. All the walls are dark colors not unlike the bathrooms of college town bars. And, I suspect the reasons for this are more or less the same, if you know what I mean, and I think you do! For example, there are a limited number of mini refrigs. If you ask early, a hulking staff member drops one in your room but then you have trouble either getting into the bathroom or out of the room. I have the feeling the Freehand folks bought a tuckered out Flop House and added a touch of paint and panache and it's been a gravy train ever since. This was my mistake. Maybe we can all learn from it. Customarily I write positive reviews, as who wants read yucky stuff but this review is, if not the truth, then at least my truth. Buyer beware!
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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urszuladjames wrote a review Sep 2022
8 contributions4 helpful votes
I recently visited Chicago on a work trip and booked one night in the city at what I hoped would be a unique affordable stay in the Chicago downtown area. I booked a premium queen room hoping for the bigger advertised room layout and specifically asked for a room away from noise as I am sensitive sleeper. I was hoping for the spacious room advertised in their website as a premium and got a room that looked like the advertised basic queen and found it to be cramped, dated and dusty. When I inquired at the front desk if there was a mistake I was told that there wasn’t and I was in the premium. When I questioned it the manager on duty informed me that the pictures do not represent the actual rooms and are more for promotional purposes. Very confusing as a customer who is paying more for a premium room. When I said that I wanted a different room layout as pictured in the premium queen advertisement I was put in a room with similar layout on the third floor. What I was not aware of when the manager proposed this switch was that I was directly beside the air conditioning unit for the hotel building. As a sensitive sleeper wanting a peaceful nights rest on a work trip this was very disturbing and consequently I did not sleep that night. I was very disappointed in the level of customer service and lack of concern for my requests as a polite paying customer. Instead I felt like I was penalized for having spoken up. This experience was very disheartening and I will never feel comfortable to stay at this hotel again nor would I recommend it. Staff should really be more attentive and less dismissive to the polite and reasonable requests of their paying guests. I had a horrible night and it has made for a difficult start to an important work trip. On a positive note, I found the security staff to be most friendly and helpful.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Tony M wrote a review Sep 2022
Bembridge, United Kingdom536 contributions164 helpful votes
Stayed in the Freehand, and have to say that it's locally known as a Hostel and not a Hotel, and the character of the place was more like a Hostel. The bedroom was tiny and for 2 people a tight squeeze, of note the Mattress was atrocious. That said it was value for money as its price is much less than other Chicago Hotels within 'the loop'. It was clean and tidy, and all in all, served its purpose.
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Date of stay: September 2022
Value
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 2 weeks ago
Thank you for your feedback! We are in the process of replacing all mattresses, I am sorry your room did not have a new one yet. We hope you will come back in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Rachel M wrote a review Sep 2022
14 contributions4 helpful votes
DONT BOTHER. I'm really disappointed. We've stayed here before and loved it for the cute rooms and great location. However, when we booked hostel beds this time everything went wrong. We booked two people together and they put us in separate rooms, denying we were booked together despite being under one name/card/booking time. They repeatidly said we are not one reservation despite the emails showing we are.. They refused to move around any reservations so we could stay together. We're here 3 nights, great. In addition when we asked if we could have early check in, despite the rooms being ready we were told it would be $50 a person. The booking itself was $60! Already high for a hostel single bed and they wanted to double the cost despite the room being ready and being only an hour before regular check in. Never have I ever heard a hotel charging you to get in your room that is already ready, and they want to charge almost the entire cost of the night?! So we sat and waited an hour for rooms that were already ready so we weren't out $100... One elevator always out of service so if you're on a higher floor be prepared to wait at least 10 minutes every time you need to use it. Common room closed at night so they can make it a club so if you are doing a hostel room be prepared to sit in the room with you bunkmates regardless if they are sleeping and you want to be up. This also sucks for us a couple since we got the different rooms and have no common space to hang out together for the next few nights we booked.. we're so upset. What's the point of booking together and we can't even be in the same room? Agreeing with most of the other negative reviews staff acts like you are a burden just for being there. Maybe they need more people. We are super friendly service industry people - not Karening - but they'll make you feel like you're being too much for asking simple questions. Wanted this to be our regular Chicago stay but we will definitely not be back.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Very busy very loud, not good for hostel travellers
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Miss A wrote a review Aug 2022
2 contributions1 helpful vote
I enjoyed my time at freehand, however, I will say they are cheap and stingy about what they provide for you. The staff is rude and you can obviously tell they don’t want to be there. The rooms are fine and the location is hard to beat. I want to give a special shoutout to the kindness from housekeeper Terrah and front desk associate Ashley.
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Ivanneth S wrote a review Aug 2022
4 contributions
Stayed there for Lollapalooza 2022 for about a week, my experience was great I picked the female quad room, everyone there was really cool bunkbeds for everyone, the water there was really cold and enjoyable especially after a long day of walking, but what I enjoyed the most was the customer service when I first arrived there the air conditioner was not working when I told them downstairs they fixed it immediately, will come back again
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Dave D wrote a review Aug 2022
Norton, Massachusetts2078 contributions1412 helpful votes
We stayed here for 3 nights and while we enjoyed the location and how easy it is to get to and it's proximity to many restaurants and shops, there were a lot of things we noticed. Leading up to our stay, I tried calling several times to get some information from the staff. The phone kept ringing and ringing with no one answering or the option to leave a voicemail. This was extremely frustrating and made me worried about the status of our reservation and why a hotel wouldn't answer a phone. I was finally able to get a hold of someone, but only by email. As mentioned in other reviews, it is dark in the common areas. The elevator was the worse offender and I really had to make sure I was hitting the right button, same thing in the hallway. After the first night, we noticed an ant infestation in our room around the phone on the desk. We called the front desk right away and they said maintenance would be notified to take care of it. When we got back, we noticed a number of ant traps placed around the area. While it fixed the issue, it is alarming that they have an ant infestation. As we were leaving, we asked the front desk if they could store our luggage until we came back later closer to our flight time. The lady working the front desk acted like we were bothering her by asking and had quite an attitude about it. My wife mentioned that she had a pair of shoes she was looking to donate since she didn't need them anymore and the same lady mentioned that there might be some donation bins nearby since "there are a lot of homeless people here". Not exactly the right thing to be saying to guests of your hotel, let alone repeat it a couple of times. The room itself was nice. We had a king size bed, which was very comfortable. The bathroom was rather small, but to be fair, we weren't spending a lot of time there. It is important to note that Freehand Chicago is part hostel and part hotel. When booking, make sure you book a private room if that is what you want. Again, overall it is in a great location, but there is so much potential when it comes to the overall atmosphere, staff professionalism and overall experience. I hope that management gives this review a read, reflect on it and make some much needed changes to this place.
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Date of stay: August 2022
Value
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Room Tip: Make sure you book a private room and not a shared room
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Jesse Y. wrote a review Jul 2022
Brooklyn, New York5 contributions1 helpful vote
I have never been to Chicago before, so maybe all of the hotels are expensive, but I was surprised to find that I had paid so much for what is essentially a slightly upscale youth hostel. I was not surprised to learn that this building was a flophouse until 10 or so years ago, before it got sold to a boutique hotel chain and this vintage hipster veneer was added. While we had a private room with a king bed, it was very small with a window facing directly out into a parking garage which provided car alarms intermittently throughout the night. The overhead light flickered, 2 of the 3 electrical outlets didn’t work, and the thermostat on the split AC unit was impossible to read. And this was not the cheapest king room! Adding to the depressing atmosphere, the hotel is very dimly lit throughout. This might be intended to hide the fact that it is not very clean. The carpet in the hall and the curtains in our room were stained. The television was very dusty, which I noticed while searching in vain for a single accessible HDMI port for plugging in a streaming device. Another major irritation was the cramped elevators. There are two, they are small, and they service at least 16 floors. We often had to let one go because it was too packed. On the plus side, our bed was comfortable, some of the staff were nice, and the location was great. If you are looking for a place to crash and nothing more, I suppose it might suit you. But I have to believe there are better deals to be had.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PRICE RANGE
$104 - $257 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United StatesIllinoisChicagoCentral / Near North Side
NUMBER OF ROOMS
217
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Frequently Asked Questions about Freehand Chicago
Which popular attractions are close to Freehand Chicago?
Nearby attractions include The Magnificent Mile (0.2 miles), The Escape Game Chicago (0.09 miles), and EscapeHouse Chicago (0.10 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Freehand Chicago?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Freehand Chicago?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Freehand Chicago?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Capital Grille, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken - Streeterville.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, guests have access to a fitness center during their stay.
Is Freehand Chicago located near the city center?
Yes, it is 1.0 miles away from the center of Chicago.
Are any cleaning services offered at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Freehand Chicago?
Many travelers enjoy visiting Garfield Park Conservatory (4.7 miles), The Rookery Building (0.9 miles), and Macy's on State Street (0.6 miles).
Is Freehand Chicago accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access, reduced mobility rooms, and facilities for disabled guests. For specific inquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.