Having stayed in hostels around Europe, the first place I check for now when I travel, is a hostel, preferably an international one. Hostelling international has become my new favourite chain in the USA and in fact I have joined their membership programme. My past experiences with the overpriced and crampy hostel chains in Europe makes me always want to compare such chains and I can say for sure that HI has full 5 stars from me.In terms of three key things that every traveller looks for viz.,(1) Location (2) Services for the rent you pay and (3) cleanliness, this trumps all my past experiences. Located within the downtown area, it is walking distance from most centre-city attractions. The metro rail system crisscrosses the area all throughout, so getting around is easy and cheap. Dorm rent is way cheap for the area; they provide free walking tours of the center city twice a week; a decent free breakfast everyday; lockers (bring your padlocks) and extra safe storage at the counter if you need them. The building in general and the rooms in particular are spacious, with plenty of extra showers and toilets outside the rooms. There are communal spaces on every floors in addition to the dining area on level 2, a huge launge in the lowest level plus very good WiFi support. All entrances to the lifts and doors are swipe -key operated and very safe. The locality is also quite safe (located amidst a few colleges/universities) and you get to meet lots of interesting international travellers. The rooms are clean and have a decent supply of towels, toiletries, extra blankets and duvets; with the staff always at your service.
I was at the place during what I would call a slow week perhaps due to the snow, but still met people from Ukrain to Brazil and New Zealand.
I will certainly be back to reap the full benefits of staying here soon. And the fact that they send you a followup e-card for feedback means they care about quality.
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- Also Known As:
- Hostelling International Chicago Summer Hotel Chicago