We have curated a list of cheap hotels in Chicago gathering all our memories as young, carefree students travelling across the Windy City. There are several hotels, inns, and hostels on our list that cater to people with tight budgets ranging as low as $40. Without skipping on any modern amenities and comfort, these are the top 20 Cheap Hotels in Chicago.
This Freehand hotel is located in the not-so-budget-friendly River North neighborhood and thus it can be surprising to hear its name on the top of a list that says, “Cheap Hotels in Chicago”. It surprised us with its vibrant, fun ambience, tasteful design, and thrifty crowd, all of which comes at an extremely pocket-friendly price.
The boho-chic décor from Roman and Williams can be seen all over this 1927 building and the lobby with its 70s-era vibe gives an edgy and upscale vibe. There are lots of cheap hotels in Chicago which give you exactly what you paid for less but even the cheapest Quad rooms in Freehand are tastefully designed with bunker beds and sofas and windows to give you plenty of natural light.
As you will see with many hotels in Chicago, the Quad rooms (rooms with 4 bunker beds) have shared bathrooms while private rooms get their own personal bathroom. However, the bathrooms are clean and the tiling makes it feel more expensive than it actually is. The Broken Shaker cocktail bar in the hotel pulls a lot of people during the weekend, while there are several great restaurants nearby like Café Integral, Purple Pig, and Shake Shack.
Chicago Getaway Hostel
The second entry on our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago“ list is not exactly a hotel, it’s a hostel. But let that not deter you because this is one of the most vibrant and enthusiastic places to be without burning a hole in your pocket.
While so many hotels in Chicago and for that matter all over the US are bland, Chicago Getaway Hostel is a hip place full of upbeat globetrotters defying the title of “best Hotels in Chicago”. The 119 room establishment is bright, airy and spacious. It offers you dorm rooms with shared bathrooms to private rooms with shared, half or full bathrooms so you can decide depending upon your budget.
Lake Michigan, Wrigley Field, and Fullerton subway station are all a short walk away, so you are never really away from the Downtown area. The hostel itself is located in the lovely neighborhood of Lincoln Park so Lincoln Park Zoo, North Avenue Beach and several restaurants are nearby. The property has its own kitchen and also serves a complimentary breakfast with wonderful oatmeal, fruit, cereal, and coffee making it one of the most all rounded entries on our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago”.
The Willows Hotel
The list is about cheap hotels in Chicago but when you step in the Willows Hotel, it feels everything other than cheap. As soon as you see the building, an old world French charm strikes you and the Lake View East neighborhood with the tree lined street has a quiet ambience to it. The location is absolutely perfect as it is near Lincoln Zoo, Lakefront Trail and several picnic spots making this one of the most picturesque cheap hotels in Chicago.
The lobby is funky and the rooms are spacious with all modern amenities and a clean bathroom. Complimentary breakfast and afternoon cookies are served while there are loads of French and Italian restaurants nearby the hotel. It is undoubtedly one of the best cheap hotels in Chicago for families and people who are looking for quiet and calm but still wanting to be near all the action.
Red Roof Plus+
There is no way we couldn’t mention Red Roof franchise when it comes to cheap hotels in Chicago. The franchise is almost half a decade old and has over 600 properties. Surprisingly, they have expanded to Curitiba and Victoria, Brazil in 2015 and Osaka, Japan in 2016.
However, since we are talking about cheap hotels in Chicago, Red Roof has ten properties in here, four out of which are Red Roof Plus+ properties. A $150 million investment in 2013 saw some of the pre-existing properties get an upgrade in bedding, flooring, bathroom upgrade, and addition of modern amenities like a flat-screen TV and high-speed Wi-Fi turning them into Red Roof Plus+ inns and giving them an edge over other cheap hotels in Chicago.
The Red Roof Plus+ properties lie in Willowbrook, Northbrook/Deerfield, Naperville, and Hofman Estates. The Willowbrook property is by the interstate so it might get a bit noisy in some rooms but it is near Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Brookfield Zoo, Oak Brook Mall, and Darien Sportsplex. Hofman Estates Red Roof Plus+ is one of the best cheap hotels in Chicago for sports lovers as Soldier Field, United Center, NOW Arena, and loads of other sports venues fall nearby.
Every property is smoke-free and has a common coffee and tea lounge area nearby the front desk. Room service is provided daily, a snack box on arrival and another in the room and the rooms are surprisingly spacious with clean bathrooms. Red Roof Plus+ is one of the best cheap hotels in Chicago for families.
Motel 6 Elk Grove Village
Next entry on our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” is barely 5 km away from Lake Park and Allstate Arena. The Motel 6 Elk Grove Village is located in Touhy Ave and is a 117-room establishment. On the first glance, this lanky, blue-striped building may look like a school from the outside but the advantage to that is you get free self-parking which can be a rare thing in many cheap hotels in Chicago.
Most importantly, the cleanliness in Motel 6 is absolutely on point. I am pretty sure there are many cheap hotels in Chicago where you compromise cleanliness for a bargain price but not here. Not just us personally, but every single review on Motel 6 mentions how clean the rooms are.
SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Chicago Lombard
Another hostel on our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list and another really convenient place to stay on a budget. Located on 22nd Street in Lombard, SureStay is barely 2 km away from Yorktown Shopping Center and also near Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. There is also free self-parking if you decide to drive up, a rarity among many cheap hotels in Chicago.
Visitors can choose between 5 different types of rooms with smoking and non-smoking rooms being separate. The rooms and bathrooms continue with the boring but clean theme with blue doted carpet, bland furniture, and clean bathrooms with all amenities that are needed for a comfortable stay. For its basic but solid service, SureStay definitely deserves an entry on our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago”.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
Situated on East Grand Avenue in Bensenville, our next entry on the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list is located barely 2 km away from popular local attraction Edge Ice Arena, Allstate Arena, Brookfield Zoo, and Rosemont Theatre. Unlike many cheap hotels in Chicago mentioned above, Country Inn & Suites is a three star establishment with just 92 rooms available.
For business travelers searching for cheap hotels in Chicago, the most convenient thing here is the free shuttle to O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The lobby is inviting albeit a bit dated, there is a common coffee room with fresh cookies and waffles, an indoor heated pool and a small fitness center. Unlike many cheap hotels in Chicago, the staff was incredibly helpful and eager and all the rooms were lengthy, decently spacious, and clean.
Best Western River North Hotel
Located in the trendy neighborhood of River North, our next entry on the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago“ list is an absolutely great place for the young, hip crowd wanting to be near the action. However, families with kids might not enjoy as much because it can get a tad bit noisy. Apart from that, it’s absolutely one of those cheap hotels in Chicago that gives you bang for luck because of all the amenities like indoor pool and outdoor sundeck and friendly staff.
Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago
For a hotel on the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list, Travelodge by Wyndham is quite a bit upscale from other properties listed here. Travelodge by Wyndham is right next to Grant Park and is a walking distance away from Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Thus, you know the location is top notch setting it apart from many sub-urban cheap hotels in Chicago.
The lobby maybe a little stereotypical budget hotel-ish but the coffee shop/dining area provides with quite a welcome pop of colour. Visitors can order breakfast as per their order here along with coffee and enjoy free Wi-Fi. There is also an ATM inside the hotel which is quite unique among cheap hotels in Chicago. The rooms are clean if a bit devoid of character with clean bathrooms and even microwaves inside the room.
The chic, boutique hotel kind of aesthetic of Found Chicago might seem in contrast with the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago “ list. However, in the of season, the lowest prices can go as down as $24 and this establishment is anything but cheap when it comes to feel and service. This is an absolute bargain considering the fact that the hotel is located in River North, one of Chicago’s swankiest neighborhoods making it a deserved entry on our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list.
Relatively new, it was established in 2018 in the original Olympia Building and the hotel stands out from other hotels in Chicago with its black, iron exterior façade. Not just the age but the hotel is also new in its attitude and culture which makes it stand in contrast with other hotels in Chicago. It has a more community and apartment-like vibe with 9 shared rooms (with bunk beds and lockers) out of which one is reserved for women and other private rooms with bigger beds.
St. Clair Hotel
St. Clair Hotel is one of those cheap hotels in Chicago that is perfect for people who like to stay more outdoors rather than spend most of their time inside hotel rooms. This isn’t a knock on the hotel as it provides every amenity that you could ask from a modern hotel in a modern city at an affordable price. Part of Red Roof’s “Red Collection”, this hotel is the best hotel in Chicago for people looking to be near the shopping hotspots of the Windy City.
The hotel has 208 rooms with all modern amenities like fast Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with cable channels, work desks, and spa-inspired bathrooms. Also one of the best hotels in Chicago for large families, there are Elite rooms with two full king-sized beds.
As you can already tell by now, a lot of hotels in our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” are very much different from traditional hotels. These hostel/dormitory-styled accommodations are aimed at young crowds who prefer a communal kind of space to crash after a day out and about in the city. Selina whose community rooms start as low as $40 caters exactly to that crowd.
The locality is absolutely perfect like a lot of other hotels in Chicago in our list. It is situated on the Gold Coast and is minutes away from Magnificent Mile, Lakefront Trail, and Oak Front Beach. Of course, the shared and private rooms have all modern amenities and for business travelers who have to squeeze in remote work, there is a separate comfortable shared workspace near the entrance.
Hotel Chicago-West Loop
Located on the Near West Side, our next entry on the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list is one that is sure to be the favorite of tourists that want to do all the touristy stuff in the Windy City. It is located near Pilsen, United Center which the home to Chicago Bulls, Restaurant Row, and Illinois Medical District.
As per the rooms, there are various options from bunk beds to queen and king-sized rooms. All the rooms are quite clean and have murals that reflect the local Chicago theme and are named The Annex. Self-parking, a fitness center, and washing machines are also available. For its unique artistic character and prime location, Hotel Chicago West Loop gets a deserved entry on our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago”.
Chicago Lake Shore Hotel
Our next entry in the “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list takes us to the upper middle-class neighborhood of Hyde Park. The Chicago Lake Shore Hotel is located near the University of Chicago Campus, a 10-minute ride from Soldier Field, and the Museum of Science and Industry is also nearby. Apart from that, you can cycle or walk on the nearby Lakefront Trail or visit Promontory Point which offers great views of the Chicago skyline. A feature that sets this establishment apart from other cheap hotels in Chicago is the presence of an outdoor pool which is open from 9s00 AM to 10s00 PM. The free parking is bound to save you a lot of money in these parts of the town. While the rooms are pretty basic, they have all the standard amenities and cleanliness is top-notch.
Homewood Suites By Hilton Chicago
This upscale hotel is located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago and is near all the dining and shopping attractions of the city. Particularly great for business travelers, Homewood Suites is near the Metra and Union stations. This 23-storied establishment is a unique addition to our list of cheap hotels in Chicago because it features 233 one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens all in a budget-friendly price.
So, you can cook your own food in your own room while the hotel also serves a complimentary breakfast buffet and evening reception at the in-house bar Fulton Tap. Apart from the modern amenities like fast-speed Wi-Fi, and clean bathrooms, what makes it stand out among other cheap hotels in Chicago is the amazing rooftop bar with complimentary grills.
Another hostel in our list of “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” but one that goes neck to neck with any high-end hotel. HI, Chicago has a central location in the university district and is near Lake Michigan, Millennium Park, Art Institute, and Buckingham Fountain. A great addition that sets this establishment apart from other in our cheap hotels in Chicago list is that staying here gets you discounts in many of Chicago’s best attractions.
There are 500 beds in this hostel and also a shared kitchen, TV lounges, and laundry service and you can choose between a shared dorm (separate for men and women) or private rooms. Unlike many other cheap hotels in Chicago, there is no lack of character, edge, and colour in the design and décor here which can be especially seen in the dining area where the complimentary breakfast is served. All in all, it’s absolutely bang for your buck.
Hotel Versey Days Inn
When you hear cheap hotels in Chicago, most of the time you think of some bland, budget-friendly establishment somewhere. However, this entry on our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list is quoted an iconic landmark. Formerly known as “Rock and Roll Days Inn”, it is housed in a 1920s building where once Louis Armstrong, Kurt Cobain, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers among other iconic groups stayed.
It is situated at the V-shaped block by Diversey, Clark, and Broadway and is near Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigley Field, United Center, and Lake Michigan. The rooms are all spacious and clean and unlike many other cheap hotels in Chicago, have an edgy Chicago-inspired décor.
Villa DuBois Guest House
One of the most unique places in our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list, the Villa DuBois Guest House is a small yet cozy place in South Calumet Avenue, Bronzeville, Chicago’s historic African American neighborhood. The rooms are small but give you a homely feeling with tasteful décor, living space and a clean and fully equipped kitchen. It offers comfort that is hardly found in many cheap hotels in Chicago.
Holiday Inn Elk Grove
There are loads of other Holiday Inn properties in Chicago however for our “Cheap Hotels in Chicago” list, we have picked the one in Elk Grove. Its proximity to the O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Woodfield Shopping Mall, Rainbow Falls Water park, and the entertainment district (Parkway Bank Park) set it apart from many cheap hotels in Chicago. Meeting space for businesses, free self-parking, pool, and a fitness center add to the spacious rooms with clean bathrooms here.
O’Hare Inn & Suites
To be fair, the décor of the lobby and the rooms does seem a bit dated, like it’s some motel from the 70s. However, O’Hare Inn & Suites makes into our list of hotels in Chicago for the friendly staff and all-around service it provides on a very pocket-friendly budget. Visitors who are tight on time and budget will find this place suitable as the area it is located in is convenient for air travel. Several options in rooms are available with free Wi-Fi, 36-inch LED TVs with cable channels, and even an in-house gym. If you don’t have any high expectations this is a convenient fit among cheap hotels in Chicago.