What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Style Steal
- Occupies the old Tokyo Hotel, a 1920s landmark close to the area’s best shops and restaurants
- Hostel friendliness with big-hotel perks, including free WiFi, 24-hour front desk staff, a restaurant and bar, guest lounge and more
- Playful design courtesy of the team at Roman and Williams (they've worked with Ace Hotel NY, Viceroy New York and more)
- Cocktails and street-food fare at hotspot Broken Shaker, plus coffee and Mesoamerican comfort food at Café Integral
What To Know
- Expect a young crowd and social atmosphere
- Around 40 percent of the rooms are for shared occupancy, but don't worry, your Jetsetter room will be a private one
- The hotel is located in Chicago’s hip River North neighborhood
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The second property from the trailblazing Freehand brand, this 217-room design hotel opened in a revamped 1920s landmark in Chicago’s increasingly hip River North neighborhood. Part hotel, part hostel, the Freehand all about honest but playful design. Like its Miami sibling, around 40 percent of its guest rooms are for shared occupancy (but don’t worry, your Jetsetter digs will be private). Expect a young crowd and social atmosphere whether it’s over breakfast in Cafe Integral, cocktails in it-bar Broken Shaker, or a midnight feast in the communal kitchen. Private rooms are on the small side but outfitted with all the modern comforts (WiFi, TVs, en-suite bathrooms stocked with posh Argan products, and more) in a high-style mix of wood, leather and vintage accents. The design team at Roman and Williams (Ace Hotel NY, Viceroy New York, the High Line Hotel and more) lean on the Windy City’s rich architectural history and Frank Lloyd Wright connections to craft a highly tactile, heritage look from the dark wood wainscoting and vintage textiles to the bespoke furniture and statement light fixtures.
In the Area
Rent a Divvy bike and roll through the lakefront, past the Chicago River, across the Navy Pier and around some of the city’s famed neighborhoods. Now that Chicago has its very own Michelin guide, eat at some of the city’s starred restaurants. Within walking distance are Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, and Carrie Nahabedian’s Naha. Don’t miss the laughs at the world famous Second City, where such luminaries as Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carell and Tina Fey have performed. The downtown Art Institute houses famous works including American Gothic by Grant Wood and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. And don’t miss the Freehand’s own insider guides for the best places to get cultured, where to shop and where to eat in the Windy City.
How to Get There
I really doesnt like hostals in America, but this one was a great exception, clean, really Nice decor of the lobby, the rooms whith only 4 beds and a badroom, breakfast Ok. They have a lot of events in the lobby/bar, djs or something.
Hotel and hotel rooms. We had a private room, room was small but very clean and serviced daily.
Great location to get to all areas of the city.
Continental breakfast included with cereals, toast and tea/coffee.
Worst hostel experience I’ve ever had. And I’ve stayed in hostels all around the world, including the Freehand in LA.
Basically checked in for 2 nights on Oct 22nd. I came back the 2nd night and my key was not working. Ends up they had removed all of my clothing, suitcase, and toiletries while was away. And changed my room (did not mention anything at check-in). Worst of all, the staff had no idea where all of my stuff was and I spent 45min waiting for them to find it.
I am still missing my toiletries including a full shampoo and conditioner. I was told by the front desk that a manager would contact me and have still heard nothing since.
Absolutely terrible communication and experience. Unless you enjoy checking in and having your belongings lost by management, I would highly recommend staying elsewhere.