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Planning a staycation? We've scoped out the city's newest hotels-and they're all worth a visit.
Central Loop Hotel
(111 W Adams St, 312-601-3525, centralloophotel.com)
Formerly occupied entirely by the private hotel Club Quarters, this Loop locale opened 109 of its rooms (including corporate apartments for extended-stay guests) to the public in mid-July under its new name; the designated private rooms remain under the hotel’s original name. What this place lacks in frills and fashion, it makes up for with convenience and ease. Checking in and out with the automated computer system takes no more than 12 seconds; machines with purified, chilled water and empty bottles sit on every floor beside a 24-hour closet with basic amenities like an ironing board; the lobby-area lounge offers free Wi-Fi, coffee and newspapers; and the two pricier types of rooms (studios and one-room suites) come with kitchenettes. The shoebox-size single just barely fits the double bed (there’s a queen in every other room), desk and chair, so if you plan to do anything other than sleep, upgrading to at least the standard—even if it means ordering PBR instead of Stella at the bars—is worth it.
Dining: A glass door joins the hotel lobby with the neighboring Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant, a basic British pub that attracts happy-hour-seeking Loop workers, boys in ball caps and probably a good many tourists, too.
Bar scene: See dining, above.
Fitness/spa: A basement-level facility, sparsely adorned with a few vintage Chicago posters, provides your basic exercise necessities: a handful of treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines plus two TVs.
Room service: Variety is the operative word here. A binder of menus offers delivery from Elephant & Castle, Bella Luna, Bella Bacino’s, Nan’s and Ranalli’s, which means you can have your chop suey while your friends feast on deep-dish pizza or fish and chips. While none of these locales deliver entirely around-the-clock, Ranalli’s sends out its mishmash of American, Italian and Mexican cuisine until the wee hour of 5am.
Best for: Weekend crashers (like sibs and college pals)
Room rates: Start at $114. —Jessica Herman