The Whitehall Hotel
What We Love
- Cocktails at the Whitehall Place Lounge, one of the first bars to start serving liquor after Prohibition ended in 1932
- Being able to access lots of the city’s attractions without setting foot on a subway or in a taxi
- The warm staff, who go out of their way to be helpful
What To Know
- There are no coffeemakers in the rooms, but morning coffee is provided in the lobby
- Rooms are on the small size, so if you’re traveling with family be prepared for close quarters
- Free WiFi
- A mini-fridge can be provided for an additional fee
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
The Whitehall’s central location in Chicago is one of its biggest draws. Within walking distance from many of the city’s most important sights, it’s an excellent base for visitors. The old-world charm of the lobby—wood paneling; oil paintings—gives way to guest rooms that underwent a major renovation several years ago but still retain a sense of atmosphere with restored antique furniture, exceptionally comfy (Hypnos cashmere) mattresses dressed in Egyptian linen, and marble baths. The rooms are also heavy on earth tones and warm fabrics—a luxury during those bitter Chicago winters—and there are original art works on the walls. While there are just two onsite restaurants, including one gourmet Italian spot and another more casual Chinese restaurant, the neighborhood is full of excellent dining options. Perhaps the most necessary feature: a small fitness center for working off all that Chicago-style pizza.
In the Area
Convenient to nearly all the tourist attractions in Chicago, the Whitehall is especially good for shoppers looking to plunder the high-end stores of the Magnificent Mile. Pre-game first with breakfast at Hendrickx, a standout Belgian bakery just around the corner from the hotel that turns out fabulous breads, waffles, and croissants—so good you may find yourself here every morning. The Purple Pig, a 10-minute stroll south, serves creative small plates and a fascinating selection of house-cured meats (a Chicago specialty) in cozy surroundings. The world-class Museum of Contemporary Art is a half-mile away, as is the Water Tower, a 19th-century Gothic landmark with its own gallery. Oak Street Beach and the lakefront walking and running trails are a few minutes walk, and the nearest “L” train stop is five blocks from the hotel.
How to Get There
This place is our hidden gem from Alex, the bellman to Mei's Restaurant, everything is the outstanding. Alex has been there 25 years and goes out of his way to help us and ensure our stay is tremendous. The two restaurants are outstanding and Don the bartender will ensure you get meals delivered from both restaurants. We go every six months with 3 other couples and would not go anywhere else.
We were absolutely shocked at the level of shabbiness of our supposedly 4* hotel room. The wallpaper was peeling everywhere, the fixtures were decades old (not vintage but think '80's), discolored and very difficult to turn on and off, the window shade was sagging on one end, the air vents were disgustingly dirty, the carpet was dirty especially along the baseboards and the sheets were very rough and uncomfortable. We also were surprised that there was no coffee service available in the room and the complimentary coffee and hot water that was available during the morning hours only off of the lobby provided coffee and water that could barely be considered hot. Given the historic status of the hotel we expected the room and bathroom to be small, but given the 4* rating we did not expect the condition. We would never choose to stay here again.
Booked a room at the Whitehall for a valentines getaway and couldn’t have asked for a better hotel. Perfect location, amazing staff and all around just a phenomenal hotel! Definitely plan on returning soon :)
We were guests of a private club that booked us into this hotel, so not our choice. We had a Jr. Suite, which meant a slightly larger room with a love seat and coffee table at the back of the hotel. The bed was fine, but the room was dark and overall the renovations lacking. Again, someone’s strange idea of a “boutique hotel” aesthetic, but without getting rid of the old furniture which is sort of bad Spanish Colonial. Online, they show more stylish updated rooms, but that was not our reality. The lobby is small and not particularly welcoming. This older hotel is SO well-located (ironically right across from the Four Seasons) that it should be given a proper gutting and redo to bring it into line with other hotels in the area. Right now it is ½ step above budget.
Stayed here with another couple. They went to a Blackhawks game and we went to a concert a little further north. Great location, and easy to Uber to many areas of Chicago. Staff was nice and efficient