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
- 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
Stayed in a regular, non-hostel room. It was quiet, sparkling clean, had a very large shower! Quirky touches from old Chicago office buildings, the mail chute was a great touch. Room was small, but had queen size bed, desk and small closet. Nice big window, actually with a view of downtown - although other rooms in the courtyard could then see right into your room. Used Parkwhiz app to find parking nearby.
Excellent feature is the keycard activated elevator to the guest rooms.
This was the second time we stayed here but will never again. I recommend stay away from this hotel. Rooms are dark and dingy. Bathroom does not look clean. The tub was so slippery you almost fall when you try to get out. The bed was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever slept in. It is almost on the floor it sits so low. Staff are friendly when you check in and the bar downstairs is always loud and busy. Not sure if this is some hipster place but not my thing!
This hotel has a cool hipster-esque vibe. The coffee is fantastic and the location is great for those who will be seeing Chicago on foot - you can walk ANYWHERE from here. The room was a tad small, and of course, the interior is dated (that adds to the cool factor), but it was a very cozy stay. One of the most comfortable beds I have stayed in, actually.
I seldom use trip advisor, but I travel quite a bit for business. The towns great and this was a nice tucked away spot. The rooms were a bit small but the location and staff more than made up for the lack of space. It felt very cozy, and next time I'm back in Chicago I know where I'm staying.
Very comfortable acomodations, clean and cosy. Most of the personnel is very kind and helpful. Special thanks to my friend Alex over the bar and the cleaning ladies very nice people. Rooms are small but it's not a big deal. I'd definitely come back