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“One of the best hostels thus far”

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Hostelling International Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the best hostels thus far”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights and it had everything you expect from your typical hostel.

Free wifi? Check.
Free breakfast? Check.
Friendly service? Check.
Clean pillows and towels? Check and double check.

There is even an area where you can watch TV, play pool, and ping pong. Not only that, they also have a friendly service where you can inquire where to go and they give you coupons and maps - all free.

You also can't beat the location since it is right next to Millenium Park so everything is a stone's throw away.

My ONLY gripe is that you have to pay to use their computers to get online. I guess in today's day and age we bring laptops and have iphones, but for some of us travelers who don't travel with expensive equipment, that sucks.

I was about to give it 4 stars because of the computer service but seriously, with the fantastic location, friendly service, and free breakfast/wifi, I give Hostelling International Chicago 5 stars. Definitely one of the BEST USA hostels I have been to thus far.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben q
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
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758 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    419
    271
    48
    15
    5
See reviews for
36
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365
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

I have never stayed in a hostel, nor did I want too, but as hotels were super expensive in Chicago we thought we would try a hostel, and I'm so glad I did! It exceeded my expectations, was nothing like I imagined! The hostel is more secure then a hotel, having to use your room key to get in the building and to the lifts. I stayed in a private room with my two friends, so we had a bunk bed, and the room was quite small, but it was fine as we weren't there to spend time in the room. The private room had a bathroom, kitchen, and a sitting area which were shared between four different rooms.
Breakfast was good, with a variety of cereals, toast, bagels, muffins and fruit :) my only fault is the beds were uncomfortable!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chelsea G
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saluda, North Carolina
Level Contributor
288 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

This hostel was huge! I stayed in a six person female only dorm. It was cleaned daily but the bathroom still got pretty dirty. They provide lockers in the room (bring your own lock), shampoo, a hair dryer, towels, linens, and individual reading lights. I really wish they'd had more outlets in the room; individual outlets for each bed would be great. The free breakfast was decent (toast, bagels, muffins, juice, cereal, cheese). They have an information desk and tons of brochures and info for travelers. The location was great - near the subway, straight shot to O'Hare, walking distance to Grant and Millennium Parks. I felt safe walking around at night alone.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iselynjenniep
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Beautiful, huge building both inside and out with high ceilings and enormous windows - my experience staying here was much more like being in a hotel than a hostel. I stayed in a dorm for 10 people but the room was so big and well laid out that it didn't feel at all crowded. The bed was really comfortable and the personal light, table and plugs were a real bonus. I didn't think that one bathroom per floor would be enough but I actually never had any problems with busyness. The kitchens on each floor were well equipped and all the social areas were great for meeting people. The laundry and computers were also cheap and easy to use and there's posters and literature everywhere on things to do so you're never stuck for ideas.
Free breakfast was good although not as much choice as other Hostelling International Hostels I've stayed in and I didn't find the staff as friendly as I'd expected either. Location wise, it's really easy to walk to the main attractions like the Cloud Gate and several loop stations but it did feel a little iffy with lots of homeless people around. You could avoid the worst areas by taking a different route though so don't let it put you off.
Without doubt I would stay here again, I still can't believe how little I paid for such a great experience.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TheVagueWanderer
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013 via mobile

Clean, safe, friendly and well run hostel in a superb downtown location. We stayed in a private room. Double bed with duvet which beats bunks and sheet bags :-)

Basic but ample breakfast. Good facilities. I had a complaint about noise on the first night that front desk dealt with immediatly. Was worried about noise from elevated railway but that stops before midnight (or at least I slept through it and I sleep light).

Toilet facilities may have been crowded if the hostel was full and one toilet was blocked for the 3 days we stayed.

Great location for lakeside, millenium park with its great art inc. The bean and great public transport links. Come to this great city and stay here!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil_in_wolvo
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guernsey, Channel Islands
Level Contributor
417 reviews
156 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 312 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013 via mobile

Really enjoyed this high-end hostel. Location faultless. Found reception staff incredibly helpful with general advice. Info on 2nd floor also excellent. Guests really friendly i felt comfortable here. Super old building with high ceilings. Stayed in private room, arranged next to a few others with common area/kitchen. Room was huge. Overall good value considering location.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GlynCarre
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 review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
90 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013 via mobile

Prior to this trip my only experience with hostels was in Mexico. I didn't have high expectations when I booked, although the pictures made it look really nice. I was very pleasantly surprised when I got there.

It is conveniently located near rail and bus lines, so getting there from Union Station was a breeze. The building is spacious and in fantastic condition. Staff was attentive and allowed me to use the facilities while I waited to check in (I arrived several hours ahead of time).

Rooms were immaculate, spacious and comfortable. Loved that they had big lockers in the room, but keep in mind you need to bring your own lock. All guests I shared rooms with were very respectful of others at all times.

Bathroom and shower facilities were exceptionally designed and maintained. There were enough facilities that I never had to wait to use toilet or shower.

I was slightly disappointed with breakfast because it had too few options. They served mostly wheat products and only fresh apples. So it helps you start your day, but you still have to plan on completing your breakfast elsewhere or bring your own food to complement.

I liked that people of all ages stay here (not just young party-minded backpackers like there seem to be in other places) and that they also have rooms for meetings and events. I mean, this place was so nice I'd bring my mother here.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul C, Owner at Hostelling International Chicago, responded to this review, September 5, 2016
Thanks for the 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

Property: 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 #2 of 57 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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