Subway: Red to Harrison(312) 939-2800 essexinn.com41.871574 -87.624747 800 S Michigan Ave (at 8th St) South Loop, Chicago
The 1999 makeover of this '70s-style hotel, located in the shadow of the hulking Hilton, has placed it squarely in the ‘best buy’ category. The 254 rooms aren't dazzling, but they are clean, comfortable and decorated in good taste. The hotel shuttles guests free of charge to the Magnificent Mile. The key attraction is the retractable glass roof atop the indoor pool, offering million-dollar views. *High-speed internet (free via cable in business center; $5.95 wireless in rooms).