of the most color ful histories of any Chicago hotel. G uests have included Queen Eliza-
beth, E mperor H irohito, and ev ery pr esident since FDR. The classical-r ococo public
spaces—including the Versailles-inspired Grand Ballroom and Grand Stair Lobby—are
magnificent, but the rest of the hotel is firmly entr enched in the present. The hotel is a
solid choice for families: Children 17 and under stay fr ee in their parent's room. There's
plenty of space to wander , and it 's close to all of the major museums and G rant Park
(great for when the kids need to burn off some energy). E ven better, there's a heated
swimming pool and a fitness center with a whirlpool and sauna, all open to kids.
Some rooms are on the small side, but all are comfortable and warm; and many of the
standard rooms have two bathrooms—great for families. Adjoining rooms are available;
ask when y ou call for r eservations. The vie ws fr om those higher up facing M ichigan
Avenue offer a sw eeping view of G rant Park and the lake. The hotel's Executive Level
rooms offer a separate r egistration ar ea, upgraded amenities (including r obes), and a
lounge serving complimentary continental br eakfast and ev ening hors d 'oeuvres (you'll
pay about $75 above the standard rate for these rooms).
720 S. Michigan Ave. (at Balbo Dr.), Chicago, IL 60605. & 800/HILTONS [445-8667] or 312/922-4400. Fax
312/922-5240. www.hilton.com. 1,544 units. $129-$399 double; from $179 suite. Kids 18 and under stay
free in parent's room. Rollaways $40/stay; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $45; self-parking
$41. Subway/El: Red Line t o Harrison/State. Amenities: 4 restaurants (cafe, American, steakhouse, Irish
pub w/live music); 2 lounges; indoor pool; health club w/indoor track , hot tubs, sauna, and steam room;
concierge; business center; 24-hr. room service; massage; babysitting; laundry service; 24-hr. dry clean-
ing. In room: A/C, TV w/pay movies, high-speed and Wi-Fi I nternet access, minibar, coffeemaker, hair
Travelodge Chicago Downtown Value You won't be reveling in luxury, but Trav-
elodge promises and delivers neat, clean rooms at reasonable prices. The hotel's location
near the Loop and M useum Campus is ex cellent: You are half a block fr om Grant Park
and all the summer festiv als, and only 4 blocks fr om the Field Museum. This 12-story
hotel is one of fe w budget lodgings y ou'll find in the hear t of the Loop . The hotel was
built in 1925 as the H arrison Hotel, and for many y ears was one of the pr emier hotels
in the city. Ever since Travelodge acquired the property, they've been promoting it as “a
touch of old Chicago” and working to restore the property. To date, all guest rooms and
the lobby have been renovated.
Families should request one of the “S leepy Bear Den” rooms, which offer priv acy for
parents and for kids—but not too much priv acy. The room is separated into two ar eas
with an archway: On one side is a king-size bed for the parents, and on the other side is
a double bed for the kids, specially decorated with whimsical curtains and bedding. Each
side has its own television and VCR; the kids' side is stocked with children's movies. Also
included are a micr owave and r efrigerator. Other rooms suitable for families offer two
beds and two bathrooms. There's no pool, but two in-hotel r estaurants cater to families:
Chicago Carr y-Out offers full br eakfasts and sandwiches, and Charming Wok ser ves
inexpensive Chinese fare from 11am to 11pm.
65 E. Harrison St. (at S. Wabash Ave.), Chicago, IL 60605. & 888/515-6375 or 312/427-8000. Fax 312/427-
8261. www.travelodge.com. 250 units. $105-$165 double. Kids 17 and under stay free in parent's room.
Rollaways $10/night; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Indoor garage parking $15 car or small van, includes
1 in/out per day at no charge. Subway/El: Red Line to State/Harrison. Amenities: 2 restaurants. In room:
A/C, TV w/pay movies, fax, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron.