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
I stayed at the Freehand July 1-3. Chose based on price and location.
Exactly what I expected from Freehand. Stayed with my boyfriend (Didnt think I would like the accommodation if I brought my kids but I would definitely return with them)
- CHECK IN was fast. arrived early and a room was available so we got to check in right
- LOCATION close to lots of food! Mag Mile 3 minute walk. Millenium Park 20 min walk max. Navy Pier, Hancock Building and so much more walking distance!
- INTERIOR DECOR was cozy feeling.
- COMMUNITY - liked the community feeling. daily activities/recommendations. All staff very friendly and helpful. Even other guests were friendly.
- ROOM was bigger then I expected. Had everything you need.
- BATHROOM was CLEAN! fully tiled and it didnt look grimey at all.
- FREE BREAKFAST never got a chance to check it out
Nothing really horrible to say about this accommodation.
The bar in the lobby seems to get very busy. Maybe not suitable for people with very young babies. OH! Our view was a parking lot. So kept curtains close most of the time!
I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE!
The Freehand has a fabulous location. Right around the corner from the Redline L entrance, the gateway to everywhere. The staff was wonderful and happy. We just want you to be aware that the room you get may only have a platform which is like sleeping on the floor but with cable.. While this is probably great for younger guests, there was no room for a chair or dean to sit on to put your shoes on or tie your laces, etc. Our only complaint is that when we experienced an issue with noise from the bar one floor down that kept us from sleeping four out of the 6 nights we stayed there, nothing was done to assist us until the 5th night. Too little, too late. I really could not recommend this hotel to any of our friends because of the lack of correction or attention from management when we reported the issue the first evening. Things happen but management must act on the customers behalf and nothing was done. Very disappointing for such a high end chain.
We enjoyed our stay in a quad bunk room on the 7th floor. Tiny rooms but it’s Chicago and we found the room cozy and charming. Beds were very comfortable, with nice linens. Beautiful shower with lovely bathrobes. Highly recommend for families for a refreshing change.
This will now be my Chicago stay. When you find what you really like, why move.
My flight was two hours late so I missed the train at Union Station.
Almost in panic mode I found this place on Booking and so I took it. Easy to find, within walking distance to the trains and only $30.00. Yep that’s right, in Chicago.!!
This place has atmosphere plus. Great coffee(extra$) poor free breakfast. But what do you want for FREE.
There are worse places to be stranded.. Chicago is awesome!!
It is so nice there. it is heart warming... the staff are nice.... a little expensive but you get your money's worth.it is so nice its like a paradise in a building...id go back if i could... If you have not gone here please do go there is is so nice there.