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Freehand Chicago

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Traveler (371)
360
Panoramas (14)
Room & Suite (340)

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About

#4 of 8 hostels in Chicago
Location
4.7
Cleanliness
4.0
Service
4.0
Value
3.9
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
3.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Centrally Located
Languages Spoken
English
968Reviews27Q+A100Room tips
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Sus G wrote a review Apr 16
Guayaquil, Ecuador3 contributions
I went to Freehand Chicago with a friend, we were looking for an affordable, safe and dynamic place to stay and that's just what Freehand is!. In the coliving areas we met amazing people. It was kind of weird to share a room with strangers, but since they are people traveling in the same condition as you, it is interesting! The beds were fine, not the best but I wouldnt complain given the price of the room. The only bad thing was that it doesnt matter how quiet you try to be, you will always wake up your roommates.
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Date of stay: November 2023
Value
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Alicia wrote a review Apr 13
3 contributions3 helpful votes
We came to the freehand with the idea in mind that we wanted to stay in a boutique style hotel, with an edge rather than a large soul-less hotel chain. That said the images on the website and the price of the room (180$/night for a king standard) indicated that a certain level of comfort was to be expected. oh how wrong were we. Upon our arrival at check-in, there seemed to be a sex worker hanging around front desk, obviously high. We got to our room and we were disappointed to say the least. The room was extremely small, outdated and dirty. Carpets had stains, the walls were cracked and peeling and the door barely blocked the sound from the busy hallway. Many promised amenities were missing such as the bathrobes and the safe was not attached to any surface and could easily be picked up and stolen. At that moment we knew we could not stay in there because we were quite uncomfortable. We immediately decided to book another hotel and to check out. We would NOT recommend staying here because of the deceitful promotion of the property. Had we paid 40$ a night for the room we would have tolerated it but you can get a much nicer place for less than this right around the corner.
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Date of stay: April 2024
Value
Rooms
Location
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Service
Trip 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Mike A wrote a review Apr 11
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Great location! Convenient to everything. The beautiful macrame on the wall, light fixture, and pillow was the best thing, besides the location, about Freehand Chicago. The hip vibe on the website was quite misleading. Smallest bathroom on the planet, longest elevator wait time in history, smelliest rug on the stairs which wafted through the lobby, and dismal customer service. From checking in when our host at the desk said, “Wow, you’re early,” instead of greeting us, with,”Welcome to Freehand,” to the next host saying, “You can get your bags. They’re in the back,” to never getting new towels nor toilet paper. I called the front desk, using the room phone on three separate occasions, and the one time someone answered, he hung up on me. Not a good experience at all, as we came in with high hopes. Hopes that were dashed from the start.
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Date of stay: April 2024
Value
Rooms
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Expect little customer service, coming from an easy traveler
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Dream28623108091 wrote a review Mar 2024
1 contribution1 helpful vote
The pillows are horrible. The bed curtains were filthy and the cushions to the couch were also filthy. The staff were helpful and courteous. The staff were very accommodating with my room change due to me being placed on the top bunk, I have epilepsy and require a bed/bunk closest to the floor. The housekeeping supervisor lady was very helpful and informative, I really appreciate herself
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Date of stay: March 2024
Value
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Location
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Ask for washcloths because they do not automatically placed them in your 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Jess P wrote a review Mar 2024
2 contributions1 helpful vote
Despite its charming ambiance, our stay at this hotel was marred by a distressing incident. In the early hours, we awoke to find our room flooded with unsanitary toilet water, reaching a depth of two inches. Shockingly, the flood extended down four floors, causing significant damage to our belongings. Our clothes and even shoes were saturated and ruined. Our laptops almost completely soaked. Despite requesting assistance to change rooms and clean our belongings, we encountered delays and were left to deal with the situation on our own. Furthermore, we were unexpectedly charged for cleaning our contaminated clothes. The unsanitary conditions left us feeling deeply unsettled and unsure of how to proceed. This experience falls far below acceptable standards of hygiene and hospitality.
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Date of stay: March 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 4 weeks ago
Hi Jess- Thank you for taking time out to write a review. After speaking with you, we agreed to refund your stay although the over flow was no fault of the hotel. The refund was made prior to your departure and communicated directly to you. The team took every measure to make sure you left as a happy customer. in addition our GM has attempted to contact you several times to discuss this matter. Jess, feel free to reach out directly if you wish to discuss further.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Passport27656221850 wrote a review Jan 2024
8 contributions2 helpful votes
The room I stayed in was gross. The dude staying in there had not thrown out any of his food for awhile, the carpet was disgusting and the cushions were disgusting. I doubt it had been vacuumed this year and I’m not exaggerating. It smelt really bad. The first room I checked into a guy was already in my bed and the remaining bed was “wet”. So I went down stairs and got a room change. Somehow it got worse! At least i had a bed but it was like I was in a teenaged stoners room. One staff member was professional the others had that good ol Chicago customer service. The bar was cool and so were the staff there. Still smelled weird. A guy came right in off the street and asked me for money while I was in there. Nobody cleaned the bathroom the three days I was there and I doubt it had been the previous week either. I hate leaving bad reviews but seriously this was the worst place I've stayed and I’ve stayed in a lot of places. The room was cheap but I swear what I paid was more than the advertised price. It’s a good location and that’s it. Don’t do it unless you have no other choice.
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Date of stay: January 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Keep looking you’ll regret it otherwise.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Melissa wrote a review Nov 2023
Perth, Australia7 contributions5 helpful votes
My partner and I stayed for three nights at the Freehand Chicago before doing Route 66 in a private room with a queen bed. We knew we wouldn’t be in Chicago for long, so opted for a ‘cheaper’ accommodation. It is is clearly specified online that it is a hostel so we didn’t expect too much. Location is great and the bed was comfortable, bathroom lovely and clean. Most staff that we spoke to were very friendly and helpful. However, we did come across a few issues. The rooms are incredibly dark, even with all lights on. We had a few suitcases between us which was hard to navigate in such a small room but again, expected in a hostel. We found ourselves waiting a long time for the lifts. We were relying on doing a couple of loads of washing while at the Freehand but this was near impossible. If the place had a coin machine, that would be extremely helpful. Overall, I would say this accommodation is reflective of the price that my partner and I booked it for. We definitely could have stayed at a lot worse places for this price.
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Date of stay: November 2023Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Bring quarters if doing washing.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Denis N wrote a review Oct 2023
Swindon, United Kingdom2 contributions1 helpful vote
Some of the staff at the reception is very rude. Hiked the prices to astronomical $250 per night for a bed in shared room for days before and after the marathon. No security whatsoever. Random drunk/drugged not even registered guests, shouting, vomiting, breaking things in the middle of the night, police getting involved etc Aggressive psychopath moving in on the second night forcing us to change rooms. Asked for some compensation, the manager promised partial refund but after check-out I am completely ignored! Stay away at all costs!
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Date of stay: October 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Kevin McMullin, Guest Services / Front Office at Freehand Chicago
Responded Oct 29, 2023
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your stay. We always try our best to provide the best experience. It looks like we have failed on this occasion. We are very sorry that your stay was disrupted by other guests. Our security did promptly respond to the situation as soon as we were made aware of it, and they did handle it to the best of their ability. While we wish we were able to ensure that every guest is well-behaved, unfortunately, we can only respond to issues as they happen. I do want to assure you that we did issue the refund that was discussed. We would love for you to give us another chance next time. Your comments have been shared with the team to learn and assess what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future. Freehand Chicago
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Aniket Ravan wrote a review Oct 2023
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan8 contributions
- Conveniently located in downtown Chicago: easily accessible by public transport - Has a small gym, a laundry room, potable water in the basement Overall, a great place if you just need a bed for the night during a short stay in Chicago
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Date of stay: October 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Shared rooms with multiple beds have a cabinet for each guest. Be sure to carry a small lock to...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Kevin McMullin, Guest Services / Front Office at Freehand Chicago
Responded Oct 31, 2023
Thank you for your kind review. We're really glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, and we hope to see you soon in one of our locations! Freehand Chicago
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Namechan wrote a review Oct 2023
Cleveland, Ohio22 contributions11 helpful votes
The hallways and the carpet stains were really unacceptable and made me instantly wish we had booked a hotel elsewhere. The room was so small there wasn’t anywhere to put anything. Bathroom was clean and the bed was clean and comfortable. The carpet in the room just felt and appeared unclean. It’s really a hostel, not a hotel. We would choose a different place next time without a doubt. It was very expensive for the weekend we were visiting Chicago as well. The lobby and bar area had a very nice vibe.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: It’s worth spending a couple hundred more somewhere else. Trust me.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Kevin McMullin, Guest Services / Front Office at Freehand Chicago
Responded Oct 29, 2023
Thank you for taking the time to feedback on your stay with us, Namechan. Our housekeeping team does work hard to make sure everything is looking it's best, I will however pass this on to them to make sure it will improve in the future. Freehand Chicago
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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PRICE RANGE
$75 - $165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United StatesIllinoisChicagoCentral / Near North Side
NUMBER OF ROOMS
217
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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FREEHAND CHICAGO $89 ($̶4̶0̶4̶) - Updated 2024 Prices & Hostel Reviews - IL

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 (0.08 miles), and Richard H. Driehaus Museum (0.1 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 Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken - Streeterville, The Capital Grille, and Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.
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 Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (2.9 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.