Traveling to Chicago: Places to Stay

April 5, 2019

Paul Kay


Here are reviews of some of the hotels we’ve stayed at in Chicago recently. Two are in the suburbs and one is in the city, just south of the Loop. And check out my history of Illinois and Chicago for some fun facts and insight.

The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus

The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Illinois

Mies van der Rohe meets Prairie-style

Grandson and student of Mies van der Rohe, Dirk Lohan, designed the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus. It combines the angular structure of van der Rohe with the Prairie-style promoted most famously by Frank Lloyd Wright. Fun fact: Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright were friends. They’ve done a lot with the grounds, and you’ll see geese and ducks in nearby ponds. The rooms are comfortable and most face the woods, so you feel like you are in the woods.

Pool at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Illinois

Breakfast was delightful with a broad selection of items and extremely friendly staff. The food choices were very nice, and the portions were large. We met Elizabeth and Lisa at breakfast, and they took care of us. Your view at breakfast is of the large pond and the ducks and the geese. It’s very peaceful and tranquil.

The Lobby at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Illinois

The front desk staff are very attentive and follow up with any requests. I had some questions for Alexa at the front desk, and she followed up quickly.

Arriving at the lodge is straightforward and parking is free. But here’s some advice: When you arrive, drop off your luggage first. It’s a long walk from the parking area, and you’ll go down a hefty set of stairs. There’s no elevator to the lobby level and you’d haul your luggage up those stairs. There is a valet person available most of the day and I’m sure they’d take care of your luggage. Depending on time of the day, you might be able to leave your car parked for 10 minutes while you get checked in, but the valet person would know.

Room at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Illinois

The rooms are well equipped. You’ll have lots of places to plug in all your gadgets. The room is tranquil and quiet with the woods surrounding.

You’re quite close to many amazing restaurants at Oakbrook Terrace which is two miles away. Wildfire, Maggiano’s, Mon Ami Gabi to name just a few.

Enjoy your stay!

Hyatt Regency Deerfield

Hyatt Regency Deerfield, Illinois

Interesting room concept; very good service; priced right

If you’ve visited the Chicago area, particularly downtown, hotels are expensive. If you want to park, it gets even more expensive. The Chicago suburbs offer great places to stay that are more reasonable and include onsite parking. Madeline and I went to high school in Deerfield long ago and simply wanted to have a nice hotel in the area.

Hyatt Regency Deerfield is conveniently located to highways and tollways. It also is close to plenty of shopping and restaurants and is less than 30 miles from Chicago’s Loop.

Guest Room, Hyatt Regency Deerfield, Illinois

The rooms are interesting. They are compact but make good use of the space. The room has a TV in the center of the room that easily swivels to the bed and to the living area with a couch and a desk. It feels more like a Hyatt Place than a standard Regency room but is quite functional. There is a desk for workspace and a three-place couch.

The bathroom is small and dated. The shower is in the tub.

Dining Room, Hyatt Regency Deerfield, Illinois

We enjoyed the breakfast quite a bit. We had very good servers. Luis took care of us most days. His sunny disposition and can-do attitude were infectious. Alan was also a solid server and took care of us when Luis had a rare day off. There are other good servers, and they place the emphasis on service. The food is quite good, and we asked for recommendations and followed them.

Lobby Hyatt Regency Deerfield, Illinois

The front desk staff were also very accommodating. We had a small problem with an electrical conversion appliance and the staff figured it out for us. Parking is free, and there’s lots of it.

Pricing for this hotel is very fair, particularly for a Regency. We’ve stayed here a couple of times already and will keep coming back.

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

Focused on the business convention trade but nice for leisure travel, too

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place because it was close to the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, where we were seeing a concert. It’s about a mile and a half walk to the venue, and the concierge explained how to get there. It was a nice walk through parks, around Soldier’s Field, and near the Planetarium and boat harbor.

Guest Room, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

The hotel connects to McCormick Place, Chicago’s main convention center. There’s a skyway walk linking the hotel to McCormick Place, which makes it easy to get around. We found the location in the South Loop convenient. The concierge offered a local map, and you can easily find other restaurants and bars within walking distance.

Lobby, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place was expanding when we were there. We saw construction workers inside and out making changes.

Bar, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

They have a large bar, and it has a very nice selection of food and drink. We enjoyed the pot roast nachos and bacon-wrapped dates.

Third Star Restaurant, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

The Third Star restaurant is somewhat small to accommodate the 1300 rooms available. There is no Regency Club; I would guess because of the sheer number of guests and convention traffic. Parking is expensive, but that’s the case at every downtown Chicago hotel.

This hotel is a little far away from the Loop, but you do get an easy walk to Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Huntington Bank Pavilion. Even though it’s focus might be convention travelers, the leisure traveler will enjoy their stay, too.


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