January 11, 2023
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Here are the five best pet-friendly hotels in Chicago, Illinois. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.
By now the Thompson brand’s international ambitions are out in the open, and if the Thompson Chicago already feels familiar, it’s because the Thompson boutique-hotel recipe is fairly well understood: equal parts classic, eye-catching modernism, luxe yet attainable comforts, and inviting, magnetic public spaces, where travelers and locals meet and mingle over a cocktail or a meal. The look is sharp and fairly sunny, the vibe is hip but not exclusionary, and the details are thoughtful enough to remind you that hospitality is best handled with a personal touch.
The Gold Coast location is quintessential urban Chicago, and makes for the best possible introduction to the city. The best rooms look out over Lake Michigan, but the city view’s far from shabby, and all are framed by the Thompson’s typically sharp interior design. All mod cons, as they say, are present and accounted for, and some of the finer points are very fine indeed: 400-thread linens, rain showers, minibar snacks by Dean & Deluca.
Chicago’s architectural story began before modernism — this Venetian Gothic landmark, previously a private club for the city’s (male) movers and shakers, dates back to the final decade of the 19th century. But now, after a renovation by architects Hartshorne Plunkard and an interior redesign by hospitality wizards Roman and Williams, the Chicago Athletic Association is a thoroughly up-to-date boutique hotel, in that retro-modern, luxury-boutique sort of way.
These sorts of things live and die by their raw materials, but rest assured that this one is a true gem. It’s not just any old building, but a beautiful old building, and there are clearly plenty of tricks left up Roman and Williams’s collective sleeve. It doesn’t hurt that you’re looking straight out over Millennium Park, but there’s plenty worth looking at indoors as well — much of what you see is custom-designed, what’s not is expertly sourced, and a little originality in hotel design goes a long way these days.
Nearly lost in the excitement about the birth Virgin Hotels is the fact that it’s a real hotel we’re talking about, in the actually existing city of Chicago, Illinois, in a restored 1928-vintage building inside the Loop, the city’s central business district. At the moment Virgin is threatening to kill off quite a few of the industry’s pet peeves all at once: they promise wi-fi that’s fast and truly free, a minibar with prices that match the corner shop, room service without the extortionate delivery fee, as well as plentiful closet space and lighting that’ll enable you to doll yourself up with confidence. (This last bit, they say, is aimed at women, but we say a well-lit vanity is a must for any gender.)
Virgin also promises solutions to problems you didn’t know you had. The bed, apparently, is convertible into something of a multi-use lounge space, with headboards and footboards that turn the whole thing into a kind of inward-facing sofa. A nice touch, especially considering the abject uselessness of most hotel-room seating. And the rooms, even at the entry level, can be divided in two by sliding doors — great for traveling companions whose sleep schedules aren’t quite aligned.
New York certainly has its architectural charms, but only in Chicago can a hotelier reasonably hope to set up shop in a masterwork like the 1929 Art Deco Carbide & Carbon Building, with its stately dark stone and immaculate gold trim. It’s a perfect fit for Pendry, the urban luxury-boutique cousin to the Montage resorts; Pendry Chicago combines contemporary boutique-hotel good looks with upscale comforts and impressive views of the distinctive Loop cityscape.
Beds come dressed in Fili D’Oro linens, bathrooms clad in marble with custom-made bath products, and rooms come supplied with modern necessities like Bluetooth speakers and espresso machines, plus the ageless temptation of a well-stocked bar. The look is serious, dignified, but far from stuffy — it’s a tribute to the era of the building’s construction and to the Modernist golden age that followed. Venteux, the Pendry Chicago’s flagship restaurant, is a Parisian-style brasserie and oyster bar serving French flavors with a Chicago accent — even the name is French for “windy.” Bar Pendry, meanwhile, is a classic cocktail bar, as is the Billiard Gallery, whose leisure attractions are self-explanatory. And on top of it all is the rooftop bar, Chateau Carbide, an unlikely combination of Cote d’Azur ease and Chicago urbanity.
When the original Hoxton opened it seemed inextricably bound to the East London neighborhood that gave it its name. Further expansions in England, Europe, and now the United States, however, make it clear that it’s a concept that travels well. Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood is the kind of post-industrial environment that’s perfectly suited to their 21st-century boutique-hotel aesthetic, and it’s here that a disused meatpacking warehouse has been transformed into the Hoxton Hotel, Chicago.
Local architects GREC and hospitality designers AvroKO worked with Ennismore Design Studio, the Hoxton brand’s in-store creative team, and the result is not just stylish enough for Instagram but rewards closer inspection of the details. The rooms, sensibly sized Snug, Cosy, and Roomy, are smallish but full of visual interest, from the brass fittings and leather headboards to the custom-designed bedding and the marble-and-tile bathrooms. And while you won’t mistake the Hoxton for a full-on luxury hotel, the comforts are more than adequate, to say the least.
There are no shortage of pet-friendly hotels in Chicago, Illinois. Here is every pet-friendly hotel in Chicago:
The Peninsula Chicago
The Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel Chicago Loop
Royal Sonesta Chicago River North
Chicago Athletic Association
Virgin Hotel Chicago
Kimpton Gray Hotel
The Hoxton, Chicago
If you have any questions about the rules and regulations about bringing your pet to a pet-friendly hotel, you can always contact our Travel Specialists for specific information. Below are a few frequently asked questions.
Usually a pet-friendly policy applies to dogs and cats, but sometimes only one or the other is allowed — and sometimes other types of pets (birds, lizards, unicorns), are allowed as well. Please note that certain hotels may also have a weight restriction for pets.
When we say pet-friendly, we mean a policy that allows pets -- but often there is a nightly or flat fee (sometimes called a "cleaning fee") as part of the policy.
Certain hotels specify that you may not leave your pet unattended. However, some offer daycare or dog-walking services.
Oftentimes, a pet-friendly policy will allow your pet outdoors at the hotel but not in public areas. You can always bring them a doggy bag.
Especially pet-friendly hotels provide pet amenities like food and water bowls, special beds, or treats. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.