Best hotels for families, stocked with some amazing amenities
Chicago has no shortage of kid-friendly hotels. In fact, it seems that they become more kid-friendly by the day. All of the hotels included here go above and beyond for their smallest guests. Between fully-stocked kids’ suites with games and toys to an ice cream sundae cart that visits your room, these hotels are truly welcoming.
1/Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
120 E. Delaware Pl., Gold Coast
Who knew that high-end could meet kid-friendly in such a great way? The gorgeous accommodations (child-proofed upon request for extra fee) and the views are almost as fun as the ways that Four Seasons Hotel Chicago accommodates its youngest guests. There's a kids’ clubroom with video games, a foosball table, board games, arts and crafts, and a movie area. My personal favorite is the hotel’s very own ice cream man that visits your room with a cart loaded with toppings, so that you can make your own in-room treat. The hotel is nearby the Oak Street Beach and shopping. Starts at $284/night.
2/Omni Hotel Chicago
676 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile
The Omni Hotel Chicago does not disappoint. It’s located perfectly near Water Tower Place, one of our favorite shopping centers with plenty of dining options, American Girl Place Chicago, and The Lego Store. The pool is on the small side but definitely the most kid-friendly downtown, as it doesn’t get any deeper than four feet. The suite arrangement is perfect for little ones that still have an early bedtime. There’s plenty of outdoor space on the patios for running around, enjoying the sunshine, and checking out Chicago from above all of the hustle and bustle. Starts at $152/night.
505 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile
Location, location, location. This Magnificent Mile gem is very close to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, as well as some of Chicago’s best dining options. InterContinental Chicago is grand and gorgeous. It’s the perfect combination of historical landmark and modern luxury. We were greeted by Garrett’s Popcorn, a deck of playing cards, and a Wii console with a stack of games in our room. While a fantastic touch, the real treat was family swim time. Their junior Olympic-sized swimming pool was installed in 1929, and while a little cold, it’s perfect for those looking to cool down on a hot summer’s day. The hotel’s also an ideal spot to watch Chicago’s seasonal fireworks. Starts at $199/night.
4/Hotel Palomar Chicago
505 N. State St. River, River North
With a wide variety of kid-friendly amenities, Hotel Palomar Chicago goes above and beyond for their littlest guests. They provide difficult-to-pack items at no additional charge (cribs, outlet covers, night lights) and kid-sized robes. It has Guppy Love program, where a loaner fish is delivered to your room. How fun is that? It’s centrally-located and very close to Michigan Avenue, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan. The boutique hoteloffers kid-friendly drinks at the daily happy hour. There’s also an indoor, heated pool, which is pretty much a must when visiting Chicago. And the hotel is pet-friendly, in case your little ones don’t like spending too much time away from your family’s pooch. Starts at $168/night.
5/Key Lime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort
1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee
Located about an hour north of Chicago, Key Lime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort is definitely the most family-friendly on this list. The one- and two-bedroom suites give adults an opportunity to have some quiet time after the kids have gone to bed. You truly don’t need to leave the property for anything; there are several restaurants, snacks shops, and scheduled activities (including arts, balloon twisting, magic, and dance parties). The waterpark is divided into three age-appropriate areas. Your wristband acts as your room key and hotel credit, so there’s no need to carry cash or cards. The Riptide Arcade has some pretty fantastic games, as well as a blacklight mini golf course and three small bowling lanes. It’s located adjacent to Six Flags Great America and has a complimentary shuttle to take you there. Starts at $166/night.
KidTripster Tip: Call ahead for early check-in to get more time at the waterpark.
1816 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
This trendy, neighborhood boutique hotel goes above and beyond for its pint-sized guests. The staff at the Hotel Lincoln has been known to bring milk and warm cookies, crayons and coloring books, and anything else your little ones may need to make their stay more comfortable. The family suite is two rooms and includes a pull-out couch, bunk beds, craft table, toys, and two bathrooms with hooded towels for kids. The J Parker, the rooftop bar, has delicious cocktails and the best view of the city imaginable. Close to everything and across the street from free Lincoln Park Zoo, you can’t go wrong here. Starts at $100/night.
7/The Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior St., Magnificent Mile
While it’s surely not the most affordable of stays, the The Peninsula Chicago has clearly put great thought into the needs and desires of its youngest guests. Be sure you mention your children’s ages and interests upon making the reservation, so that the hotel can properly personalize your stay. You may get a visit from Peter Bear, special in-room amenities like a Playstation or Wii or kid-sized robes and slippers. All of the restaurants (including afternoon tea in the lobby) have great kids’ menus. The Peninsula Academy Programmes are sure to keep them busy; consider Little Bakers, a pastry class for aspiring chefs, or a Chicago firehouse excursion for your young firefighter in-training. Starts at $374/night.
KidTripster Tip: Need a little more space? The hotel offers a 50% discount on an adjoining room.
8/Park Hyatt Chicago
800 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile
All children receive a backpack and a coloring book upon arrival at the Park Hyatt Chicago. The hotel has an indoor, heated pool with pool toys and offers children’s spa services. All restaurants on the property have kids’ menus. The location can’t be beat, as it’s adjacent to Water Tower Place and the Red Line train that takes you to the North (Chicago Cubs) or South Side (Chicago White Sox). Starts at $444/night.
9/The Langham Chicago
330 N. Wabash Ave., North
New to Chicago, the word is out about The Langham Chicago. It has incredible views, an incredible pool, and a high tea that locals are raving about. The hotel has thought of everything; there’s even a private screening room, so don’t forget to bring your own movies or borrow one of its kid-friendly selections. Popcorn and candy are available through room service. The vibe is very high-end but still approachable and great for families that like a hotel near all the action. Starts at $350/night.
10/The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
160 E. Pearson St., Magnificent Mile
Absolutely incredible! The Ritz-Carlton Chicago may even treat children better than their parents. When you arrive, you’re welcomed with a toy wagon and kid-sized robes and slippers. There are a ton of activities for the little ones, including baking with the hotel’s chef, dance parties, treasure hunts, and so much more. You will likely get a visit from the candy cart and never want to leave. There are great views of Lake Michigan and top-notch service for moms and dads, too. Starts at $264/night.
Christa Reed is a TV fanatic and philanthropist. She enjoys drinks with umbrellas, unreasonable amounts of caffeine, and watching the Cubs. She lives in her dogs’ Chicago home with her 4-year old son and husband.
This writer received some complimentary stays for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.