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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
The hotel is perfectly situated near Michigan Avenue, if you’re there to shop (which I wasn’t), and Northwestern’s downtown campus (the purpose for my visit). Staff is great! The hotel is a little tired, though, and needs a facelift. Wallpaper was peeling, bathroom fixtures were rusty, tub tile looked like it was from the 70’s, and the furniture was dated, or wobbly in the case of lamps (which looked like they could have been lifted from my 85YO mother’s house). The restaurant was limited but the veal meatballs with bread are amazing! No in-room coffee; printer was out of order; workout facility very limited! Don’t count this property out but know that it needs some TLC!
Met my wife when staying at the Whitehall 20 years ago. Although the hotel has been renovated the heart has not changed...the Staff is extremely friendly and service oriented. Upon learning we were celebrating 20 years the Staff went out of their way to make us feel welcomed. Even many signing a card of congratulations that we found in our room when we returned from dinner...with a bottle of champagne!
Very comfortable stay. Beds were amazing, very clean, and loved that there was the option to stream Netflix from the TVs. Debbie at reception was exceptional and went above and beyond to accommodate our stay. Be aware of the sirens at night given the location of the hotel.