Upon arrival at the Chicago Getaway hostel, we were greeted by friendly staff in a clean and modern lounge/reception area. There are sofas, free computers and plenty of funky artwork on the walls, as well as free wifi that runs throughout the hostel. We got to know this lounge area pretty well as we arrived early in the morning and weren’t allowed to check in until 3pm…pretty ridiculous if you ask me, but apparently it’s just the hostel’s policy.
The whole hostel continues the modern theme throughout, from basement to top floor. As well as the lounge area on the ground floor, there is a very well equipped kitchen, large dining area, music room (with grand piano and guitars for guest use), outside seating area, and media room with widescreen TV, movies and games consoles. Every morning from 6:30 until 9:30 there is a substantial free breakfast available, consisting of a choice of cereals, bagels and toast, as well as different fruit everyday.
The hostel is in a great, safe location, close to a cta train station (that will get you straight into the city), and round the corner from many cafes, restaurants and bars. They run a weekly bar crawl, as well as many other events, such as a trip to the zoo and a tour around the Lincoln Park area (where the hostel is situated…just to the north of the city). They also allow you to bring and drink your own alcohol on the premises, although this does make for some noisy evenings in the dining area as people amp themselves up for a night out.
We stayed in an 8-bed female dorm with an ensuite bathroom, but the rooms range from privates to 10-bed dorms, all at varying costs (we payed $44 per night during our stay). Our room was quite large, with comfy beds, clean sheets and towels, and a locker to go with each bed. The rooms and bathrooms are cleaned daily and stay pretty spick n’ span the whole time (depending on how tidy your roomies are of course!).
Overall we had a pretty good stay at the Getaway, only slightly ruined by the fact that they had a huge influx of (very noisy and rude) Irish students who kept us awake all night with their shouting and comings and goings…the hostel did apologise for this after the fact and said they tried their best to contain the noise. So yes, while our stay had a few flaws, it is definitely a place I would recommend if you ever find yourself in Chicago looking for a good base.
Dates stayed: 23 – 27 May 2012
Value for Money: 70%