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“Awesome experience!”

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Hostelling International Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

We had a great girls only weekend on a budget! The private co-Ed room was spacious enough for three of us to be comfortable. Most of the staff was friendly in assisting us with questions about the city. The Hostel location was within walking distance to all CTA routes and rails. In addition to the accommodations, it's only a few walking blocks from the Magnificent Mile.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank classysun27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

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Reviewed October 6, 2012

We are from Chicago area, but went on a field trip with girl scouts. Rooms accomodated 6-8 people, and we did not need to share with anyone else. Each room has its own bathroom and shower. We hosted the shared friday night meal and the girls were able to meet with at least 12 other travelers from other countries. Ping pong and vending machines in building. Great location, close to everything: metra and "el", art institute, Michigan avenue. We rented bikes from Bobby's Bike Hike -- really great tour through downtown, lakefront and Lincoln Park with Mike. Downstairs from the Hostel is Cafecito - great little cuban restaurant quite reasonably priced. Dairy Queen is also downstairs.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank madisonmonroe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

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Reviewed October 3, 2012

We really liked this hostel. Two of us had booked a private room (bath outside the room) at a very reasonable rate. Building itself is beautiful. Rooms and common areas were all spotless when we got there.

Our room was huge, with a bunk bed (double on the bottom, twin on the top), large window with desk top under it and a chair, radio/alarm clock. Each 'unit' had several bedrooms off it, a small kitchen area and a lounge area. A connecting hall with a gender segregated toilet and shower off of it led to the unit next door.

Hostel also has a very large lounge area for the whole hostel as well as a very well stocked kitchen that is available if you want to self cater. Everything was clean and in good condition.

When we arrived our room wasn't ready yet so we stored our luggage in their luggage room and went on a free 'architecture of Chicago' tour. The tour was excellent, and itself was worth the cost of our stay that night. A volunteer guided us by and into buildings that we never would have found on our own.

Breakfast is included and was very good and filling. The usual continental breakfast things - toast, waffles etc. This is a hostel, so you have to do your own dishes after breakfast. Great views from the dining room of nearby buildings and the el.

Our only complaint (and the reason for 4 rather than 5 'hoots') was that in the attached unit there were 'gatherings' every night, and that common room was a complete disaster. Luckily the noise from there was far enough away from our room that it didn't bother us, but we met an older couple who were not so lucky. We saw the staff walk in and gently mention that 'they would clean this up when they were done right?", but other than that staff showed no concern to the noise or the mess. When I checked out I mentioned it and the two staff members on the front desk just shrugged. My worry is that it is possible to end up in a room with noisy inconsiderate guests outside your room, and staff don't appear to be responsive to problems such as this.

Overall though I highly recommend this hostel and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

ktown

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank ktowntravllr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

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Reviewed September 26, 2012

I stayed here three nights when I came to Chicago to drop my son off at the University of Chicago. Overall it was a very good experience and I highly recommend this hostel to anyone looking for reasonably priced accommodations in Chicago.

The hostel is a large 7-story building in a really great location at Congress and Wabash, at the Southeastern edge of the Loop, within easy walking distance of a great many Chicago attractions and many public transportation choices.

We flew into Midway airport, and it was a easy and inexpensive 30 minute ride on the Orange Line to the Harold Washington Library Station. From there it took less than five minutes to walk the two blocks to the hostel. The hostel is also close to the train from O'hare airport and the Metra commuter trains.

The first night we had booked a private room with a shared bath for the two of us through a hotel booking website. The room was very clean and not huge but had two beds, arranged in bunk bed fashion, with a queen-size bed on the bottom and a twin-size on the top. The room also had a desk, a chair, and a small closet. Bedding and towels were provided.

It was part a suite of five other rooms opening onto a shared living room with sofas and chairs and a shared kitchen with a stove that had all the burners removed (fire regulations?). There was a shared bathroom in the suite, but for some reason it was for women only. There was an unlocked internal door connecting this suite to another just like it next door, that had a shared male/female bathroom, with an individual shower/toilet area that could be locked for privacy and a public sink area. It seems strange that they had a dedicated female bathroom, but not a dedicated male one. Maybe women use the semi-private rooms a lot more than men?

The shower/toilet area was nice. Unlike some hostels I've stayed in, it had plenty of shelves and hooks to put your stuff on while taking a shower. The shower was a water-saving one with a very weak flow, but was still usable.

The room was on the sixth floor and overlooked the Southeast corner of the loop, and there were a lot of trains going by, but they weren't as noisy as on the other side of the building where I stayed later. Being on the sixth floor there was a nice view from the window.

The staff at the hostel seemed efficient and competent, but not as friendly as the staff at other hostels I've stayed in. They were someone curt, and seemed annoyed when I needed a place to store my bags before check-in. Because I didn't have a membership in Hosteling International, I had to pay an extra $3 each night I stayed. That coupled with the local 16% hotel tax made my stay a bit more expensive than I expected, but a lot cheaper than any other decent Chicago accommodations.

The free continental breakfast was pretty good. There was bread for toast, small waffle sticks, and bagels, along with a machine to toast them in. There were also croissants that could not be toasted, along with plenty of cheese slices, cream cheese, jam, cereal, and milk. Everyone had to wash their own dishes in the nearby kitchen, which is not unusual for hostels, but always makes me worry a little about how sanitary the dishes are, since they were all hand-washed by probably inexperienced people.

My second and third nights at the hostel I was alone, and stayed in a 10-bed male dorm room. I thought would be horrible with so many people, but the room was specious, and my roommates were very considerate, and I slept well. This room was on the third-floor, and right outside the window were the elevated train tracks, just like Elwood's room in the Blues Brothers. The trains went by literally every minute, but the noise wasn't so bad. The only thing that made it hard to sleep was the snoring of the guy in the bunk above me, and after a while, he turned over and quieted down.

There were roomy lockers provided in the room, but you need your own lock. The room also had a few chairs, and each bed had its own light, which I hesitated to turn on at night, because they were pretty bright and might disturb those trying to sleep.

The bathroom for the dorm was right down the hall, and had two showers with plenty of hooks in the shower to hang things from. A small bench in there would have been nice though. The bathroom was very clean.

All in all, I had a very nice stay at this hostel, and would gladly recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Rooms on the east side are right next to the elevated train line.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank everyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Thanks for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed September 25, 2012

First of all, I love Chicago. I've been four times and I never get bored.
I stayed at the HI Chicago in 2008 with 9 friends. (apologies for the late review only I've just joined tripadvisor)
Its a reasonably central location, just round the corner from the Grant Park and Lake Michigan.
The building itself is pretty easy to find and the area around it isn't too bad.
We booked a room which was supposed to be for our exclusive use but could sleep maybe 18 people. On arrival the booking in process was easy and we were in our room within 10 minutes. However, when we entered the room we found that other people were staying there also. A quick word with the manager resolved this and then we had the place to ourselves.
The room was large with a living area we could hang out in as well as a private bathroom / toilet area. This was ok for the men but not so good for the ladies as there was only 1 shower and 1 toilet so we had to make sure we gave them plenty of notice to get ready (sorry not being sexist).
There were 3 bedrooms fitted with bunk beds,each room being capable of sleeping 6 people.
We had an amazing view onto two streets as we had a corner penthouse, a nice touch as well was the fact the room also had a large refridgerator.
In the restaurant area in the morning we had a free breakfast which consisted of cereal and toast. There was a communal kitchen which you could use for free and this was ideal for knocking up massive pans of scrambled egg to keep us going while we looked around the city.
I could go on for hours about where to go in Chicago but this review is about HI.
So in short, stay here. It's ideal if you're on a budget or if you'd like to stop somewhere different from the norm.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank CalmingThunderstorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Thanks for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Located in The Loop, close to subways and bus stops with Grant Park 2 blocks away. I stayed here cause of the prices and the great reviews I've read, and they were all right. Awesome place to stay! As long as u dont mind sharing a room with 6-8 others, kinda like a summer camp. I dont mind, so I really enjoyed my stay. Just have a hotel in mind incase you end up leaving the club with a girl cause this might not be the best place to bring her, haha.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Jimmy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Thanks for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

This is a nice place. But I was suffering from bedbugs bites. Even after changing bed sheets, still got bites. The receptionist seemed reluctant to admit there were bedbugs. " I couldnt have even imaged these were bedbug bites" ... And I did find rotten color on the linens. I live Chicago but this is the worst part of my staying in Chicago. Return home with bug bites around the neck :( :(

  • Stayed: September 2012
    • Value
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Thank GlobalTrotter81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Manager at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Thanks for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International Chicago

Address: 24 East Congress Parkway, South Loop, Chicago, IL 60605-1226
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 58 Specialty Lodging in Chicago
Price Range: $43 - $174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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