What We Love
- Triangular-shaped Corner Suites, which afford the best city views
- Le Labo bath products in all the rooms
- The rooftop bar prioritizes hotel guests
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- The hotel is a 15-minute drive or train ride from Chicago’s central business district, The Loop
- There’s no fitness center on the premises, but guests can access a neighboring gym for $25 a day
- Because of the hotel’s closeness to the L train, rooms are equipped with earplugs
Converting an iconic 1929 office building into a tony urban retreat was no easy feat. But after a hotly anticipated three-year revamp (which also included the hotel’s sister property, The Hollander, a 20-room hostel which sits in a refurbished 1905 warehouse next door), the tasteful transformation, carefully monitored by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, preserved the tower’s historic heart. Expertly restored features include a handsome marble and brass lobby, vintage arrow floor indicators in the elevator bank, and an ornamental rooftop spire. Upstairs, 69 guest rooms are refreshingly minimalist with earth tones and hardwood floors and lots of natural light, though certain quirks, like retro phones and mid-century modern furniture, add just the right dose of nostalgia. Marvel at Wicker Park’s six-corner intersection from the floor-to-ceiling windows at the street-level French-American bistro, or sip an espresso in the homey second-floor lounge. The real draw here, however, is the unobstructed Chicago skyline—Lake Michigan views included—best enjoyed with a nightcap from a low-slung sofa at Up & Up, the hotel’s glass-encased 13th-floor lounge.
In the Area
Wedged between scenic Wicker Park—Victorian homes, tree-lined streets—and trendy Bucktown, the hotel is one of the first to sprout up on Chicago’s West Side (four L stops from downtown). Boutiques abound, ranging from Shinola, where Detroit-made watches and bicycles steal the scene, and Bucketfeet, which stocks a dazzling collection of limited-edition tennis shoes and flip-flops. The neighborhood also brims with some of the most sought after eateries in the city, including taco stalwart Big Star, the original outpost of The Bongo Room (a popular breakfast institution that flips the most decadent pancakes in town), and The Violet Hour, a James Beard Award-winning speakeasy.
How to Get There
Nothing but great. Stay here. You won’t regret it. Perfect spot for friends staying together in one room. Thoughtful with lots of perks and very convenient access to the trains and both airports. Would gladly stay again.
The Robey is not joking when they say their hotel is conveniently located to transit—it’s practically on top of the Blue Line / Damen train stop.
Ultimately, you can hear EVERYTHING in this hotel, so it should come as no surprise that the room is outfitted with a noise machine and two pairs of ear plugs. It’s by far the loudest hotel that I have ever stayed in...
While you should get used to the train noise after a bit, this place is definitely not for light sleepers. If you are at all worried about noise levels, book somewhere else.
The rooms on the Annex side of the hotel are a concrete box. (I think the other side is like that too based on the website photos). They are not overly inviting and certainly don’t welcome you to spend much time in them. Their focus on a minimalist vibe limits much of their functionality. (No power outlets in the bunk beds, for example)
Also, if you end up on the 3rd floor, make sure they haven’t booked a party in the 2nd floor event space during your stay. We “enjoyed” a live band featuring a VERY enthusiastic (loud) drummer late into the evening during one night of our stay. The proximity of the event space to the guest rooms is a miss and, as such, the Robey struggle to offer an enjoyable stay for guests in their quest to stay hip and cool with the locals.
Food wise, the main floor restaurant offers convenience—and 20% off your bill as a hotel guest—but the city offers so many other more notable options. Our breakfast was good but, again, only for the convenience. Yelp your way to a more memorable meal instead.
Also, snacks—beer, soda, water, chips, candy and popcorn—stocked in your room are included in the $18 “resort fee” and refilled daily so take them all.
With the city offering so many amazing options, it’s hard to imagine that a hotel like The Robey becoming a destination for Chicago tourists... with the experience we had during our first visit, it’s safe to say we won’t be making a return trip.
This was my second time at the Robey. The Robey is my go to hotel when i visit Chicago mainly because i get a real feel for what Chicago has to offer (there's a great speak easy a short walk away called Dorians, as well as numerous other bars, thrift stores, and restaurants). We've done most of the touristy things in Chicago (like the bean) so its nice not to be in the hectic city center on vacation but can pay a visit with a quick train ride to downtown.
I previously stayed in The Tower Rooms but this time I stayed in the Annex Lofts. The Lofts were definitely a different feel from the Tower, and were more industrial and youthful instead of the classic style of the tower. The rooms were equally as comfortable, and the concrete floors and stone walls added an extra feature. The rooms were also very clean, with separate water closet and shower, and clean comfortable robes to wear.
We only ordered room service once for some wine which arrived quickly.
The front staff (Celia and were pleasant during check in and check out, reminded us of the amenities in the hotel (free coffee in the morning, and cookies, coffee and fruit infused water in the afternoon), as well as the two roof tops for drinks and an incredible view.