I get a lot of people who ask me, "Where's a good place to stay in downtown Chicago?" There's a lot to choose from, but one place that I always recommend is the Hilton Garden Inn.
Located at the corner of State St. and Grand Ave. (see map), the Hilton Garden Inn is just three blocks from Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile stores. Nordstrom is literally caddy-cornered from the hotel. And the State St. stores south of the Chicago River - such as Macy's - are a 10 minute walk away.
And the Weber Grill Restaurant is located on the main floor of the hotel. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Actually, their breakfast buffet which includes made to order eggs, french toast and pancakes is surprisingly good. You can smell the Weber Grill restaurant all the way up to the upper floors of the hotel. I swear they purposely vent the smell of cooking meat on the briquette grills into the hotel's corridors. You instantly get hungry when you walk out of your room.
In addition to the Weber Grill Restaurant, there are a number of great restaurants within a two to five minute walk from the hotel. Harry Caray's, Heaven on Seven, Pizzeria Uno, Gino's East, Sullivan's, P.F. Chang's, Vong and Shaw's Crab House are just a few of some of the wonderful places to eat very near the Hilton Garden Inn. For the sports minded, the ESPN Zone is just around the corner. And for the youngsters, the Rainforest Cafe, the Rock and Roll McDonald's and the Hard Rock Cafe are just a couple blocks away.
The rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn aren't huge, but they're comfortable. When we've stayed there I've asked for a room with a northerly view. The view on the north side of the hotel shows a number of the skyscrapers on the north end of Michigan Ave. with a great view of the John Hancock building.
Through the week, prices at the Hilton Garden Inn range from about $135 to $159. They offer a number of packages that include shopping and romantic getaways. However, weekend rates can skyrocket to $249 a night and up. But sometimes you can find a good deal on the weekend. We got a great deal the last time we were there for the Christmas weekend. We paid $139 a night for two nights and got the third one free.
Parking at the Hilton Garden Inn is steep - It's a minimum of $22 bucks each time you park and leave. But, actually, it's not bad for downtown Chicago. However, the Hilton offers valet parking with unlimited in and out for $36. But it's best to park the car yourself and cab it around town if you need to go any where that isn't walking distance from the hotel.
We like staying at the Hilton Garden Inn for the comfort, the central location and the close proximity to shopping and restaurants. If you want to stay at a place at a medium price for hotels in downtown Chicago, I fully recommend the Hilton Garden Inn.