The best new hotels in Chicago of 2021 and 2022

From luxurious downtown addresses to those offering access to the city’s most colorful neighborhoods, Chicago’s new generation of hotels aims to serve the community and the environment with high standards of sustainability.

Admittedly, the pandemic has had a brutal effect on hotels, many of which have closed. But the good news is that many have reopened in 2021 or 2022, and if they don’t have the original owners, at least their investors are recycling these stylish properties.

Here we celebrate 10 of the best new hotels in Chicago.

Sand at Navy Pier

  • What to expect: Nautical design and panoramic lake views
  • Location: navy wharf
  • Book now

The 3,300-foot-long pier that juts out into Lake Michigan from downtown, Navy Pier has long been the state’s most popular tourist attraction, where carnival rides and boat rides on Lake Michigan mingle with cultural sites, including the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Sable, which opened in the spring of 2021, offers fans a place to stay after the tour, dinner, or show with 223 nautical-inspired rooms offering panoramic views of the lake and skyline.

No one would blame you for being distracted by the beautiful boat-shaped design of the rooms, with brass accents and a marine color scheme, or the sprawling 20,000-square-foot Offshore rooftop bar. The LEED-Silver certified hotel has also planted a secondary green roof to support birds on the Lake Michigan flyway and recycles leftover toiletries to provide hygiene kits to impoverished communities.

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Chicago’s Pendry is the latest in a series of tenants in Chicago’s Carbide & Carbon building.

Photo by Christian Horan Photography

Pendry Chicago

  • What to expect: Luxurious rooms in a historic building
  • Location: Downtown Chicago
  • Book now

One of Chicago’s most recognizable skyscrapers, the 1929 Carbide & Carbon Building, which looked like a bottle of champagne when it was built in the bubbly pre-Depression Art Deco era, has seen a remarkable turnover of tenants in recent years. But its most recent incarnation, opened in May, Pendry Chicago, is the most lavish. Enjoy the trek-worthy French brasserie Venteux on the ground floor – cling to one of its comfortable padded banquettes and settle in for a service of caviar and a whole aged duck – and the intimate Château Carbide where rosé is the pint of the day on the roof.

You’ll never want to leave the beautiful rooms, which have different layouts due to the historic building, but are decorated with classic architectural photos. Pendry is doing its part to reduce single-use plastics by offering MiN New York refillable toiletries, as well as linen-free tables at the banquettes, food composting and a seasonal herb garden in the rooftop lounge.

LaSalle Chicago, autograph collection

  • What to expect: A Upscale, sophisticated Marriott that does wellness well
  • Location: The loop
  • Book now

Occupying the top five floors of an iconic Loop skyscraper designed by Daniel Burnham, Chicago’s original urban planner, the new LaSalle Chicago makes a sophisticated argument for staying in the Financial District. High-backed leather chairs, tufted sofas and dramatic lighting set a clubby tone in the 21st-floor lobby, an extended vibe at Grill on 21, serving a steak tasting menu (and plant-based choices) to guests in velvet booths. Its 232 gentlemanly rooms embrace opulence — Calcutta marble-topped bathrooms and gold chandeliers — balanced by soft tones and crisp linens. Wellness features are 100% contemporary, including in-room meditation videos, private chakra healing sessions, and access to an expansive spa at JW Chicago a few floors down.

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Don’t leave Nobu without tasting the salmon sashimi.

Photos by Henry Hargreaves

Nobu Hotel Chicago

  • What to expect: Many Take-me-to-Japan features
  • Location: West loop
  • Book now
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Location meets reputation in the new Nobu Hotel Chicago, which opened in 2021 by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and partners (including actor Robert De Niro) in the restaurant-centric West Loop neighborhood. The 115-room Nobu has the chef’s signature restaurant, of course, and other take-out-to-Japan features like the oshibori hand-washing ritual upon check-in in minimalist rooms (some with teak soaking tubs) and a 40-foot indoor tranquility pool.
Guests can still party at the friendly restaurants, including a rooftop lounge on the 11th floor, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars to discover nearby. It gets green cred for its energy-saving heating and cooling system, LED lighting that uses 75% less energy, motion lights in the bedroom, and rooftop garden that covers half from space.

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The 21c Museum Hotel Chicago showcases the city’s finest artists.

21c Museum Hotel Chicago

  • What to expect: On-site art galleries and wallpaper designed by Nick Cave and Bob Faust
  • Location: Downtown Chicago
  • Book now

The art-filled 21c Museum Hotel Chicago opened just before the pandemic hit, missing the chance to fully shine. But it deserves your attention for the significant investment that the hotel group is making in contemporary art. Founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown are renowned collectors and make much of their collections available to guests in on-site galleries that are open 24 hours a day. Shows rotate between venues, but each hotel has artistic programming that engages the local community.
Here, the 297-room hotel — adaptively repurposed from the former James Hotel — commissioned Chicago-based artist Nick Cave and his partner Bob Faust to design nine distinct wallpaper patterns that hang in the lobbies. ‘elevator from floors 2 to 17. (We suggest pulling a Elf and pressing all the buttons.)

Selina Chicago

  • What to expect: A digital nomad pad with berths and coworking spaces
  • Location: Golden Coast
  • Book now

Opened last fall, Selina Chicago reinvigorates the former Hotel Tremont — a quiet classic in the tony Gold Coast neighborhood just off Michigan Avenue — by adding colorful design, communal living and working spaces, and a range of amenities. accommodation options from shared bunk rooms, which start at $40/night, to one- and two-bedroom suites and a penthouse apartment for a total of 600 beds. Popular with digital nomads, Selina enlivened the space with tropical-print wallpaper, neon accents, and crash-pad style pillows and ottomans. Attracting both locals and guests, the coworking space offers meeting rooms for rent and private phone booths. Residents have access to a communal kitchen, fitness center and comfortable screening room.

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Hotel Emilia

  • What to expect: Artists with studios alongside guests who love funky, utilitarian vibes
  • Location: Fulton Market
  • Book now

Pioneering Canadian painter Emily Carr is the namesake of the Emily’s Hotel in the Fulton Market area, a tribute confirmed by her Artist-in-Residence program, providing creatives – who can contribute murals and designs for key cards – a studio space. A community center, the newcomer is home to a work-from-anywhere coffee bar in the lobby, an outdoor theater showing films from get out at Freedmen, and Selva, a rooftop bar offering handcrafted mezcal cocktails; Fora, a Mexican restaurant with a bohemian atmosphere, will open in August. A former Ace Hotel, the Emily channels a funky utilitarian vibe into 159 rooms, many with minimalist frame beds and wooden shelf-like desks that stretch out over floor-to-ceiling windows.

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Lincoln Park’s Neighborhood Hotel has only 14 suites.

The neighborhood hotel

  • What to expect: Family suites with full kitchens and multiple bedrooms
  • Location: Lincoln Park
  • Book now

Chicago has 77 official neighborhoods and visiting at least a few of them is essential to getting to know the city, but Airbnb is usually the alternative to staying in one – often critics complain, driving up rents for locals. Opening summer 2021, the Neighborhood Hotel offers guests the opportunity to stay in Lincoln Park, one of the North Side’s liveliest neighborhoods, about five miles north of downtown Loop, without entering this debate.

The 1893 German Renaissance-inspired building with limestone cladding and floor-to-ceiling windows houses 14 residential-style suites with well-equipped kitchens and often multiple bedrooms. Local shops and restaurants are nearby, as is the 18-mile lakeside recreation trail and the free Lincoln Park Zoo.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chicago Chinatown

  • What to expect: Lots of space and convenience
  • Location: Chinese district
  • Book now

While many Chinatowns across the country are gentrifying, Chicago’s Chinatown on the south side, about three train stops from the Loop, is growing. Asian American residents rose 31% in the last census, a testament to the vibrancy of Chinatown, a bustling district of Chinese restaurants, shops and grocery stores marked by the iconic Chinatown Gateway.
With the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chicago Chinatown, the neighborhood gets its first branded hotel, where suites have separate areas for sleeping, working and relaxing; breakfast is included in the rates. The hotel is near the Chicago Red Line L, which is convenient for getting around, including getting to the White Sox baseball stadium a few stops south.

The study at the University of Chicago

  • What to expect: UChicago Student Families
  • Location: Hyde Park
  • Book now

For all of its history, Hyde Park has relatively few hotels, which makes the University of Chicago study a welcome addition. On the greenway known as Midway Plaisance, halfway to the 1893 World’s Fair, bordering the neo-Gothic campus, the 167-room hotel welcomes University students, families and faculty from Chicago, but is well located (near the Obama Presidential Center under construction) for those curious about the south side. Public spaces celebrate academia, including a library curated by the Strand Bookstore and a student art gallery. The fire-lit English Tavern Truth Be Told is a culinary soulmate of Oxford architecture on campus. Rooms match with leather reading chairs and wooden desks.

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