HI - Chicago Hostel is one of the largest hostels in one of the largest cities in America. This safe and friendly hostel welcomes travelers around the world from all walks of life. It includes all the standards of Hostelling International, but for just a few dollars more will also provide a great place to stay for non-members.
HI - Chicago is the most centrally located hostel downtown; most attractions are within walking distance. Although parking isn't offered, the receptionists are happy to call a taxi for you or give you walking or transit directions to anywhere you want to go. Because Chicago is difficult to drive, it has excellent pedestrian, bus, and train service, all of which are in close proximity to HI - Chicago. A train going by one side of the hostel around the clock can constantly awaken a light sleeper, but beside that, this area of town is fairly quiet for being such a major city.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorm rooms are kept fairly quiet; even in the largest ten-person dorm, most travelers could get some sleep at any time of day! Dorm rooms consist of bunk beds with assigned beds and coordinating lockers, which are large enough to hold most suitcases. Rooms are spacious, well lit, and, like the rest of the HI - Chicago Hostel, can access free Wi-Fi.
Gender-specific public restrooms are located on each floor. They are cleaned several times a day, although with the amount of traffic each restroom gets, they can get dirty fairly fast. While waiting for a shower may be necessary during peak times, they provide changing space, shelves and hooks, adjustable water temperatures, and free soap/shampoo.
One of the best features of HI - Chicago is the security. Each guest is given a key card to get to the upper levels of the hostel. Dorm floors can only be accessed by people staying on that specific floor, and rooms are also card-specific.
The first floor is the reception area. Anyone can access this floor, including those who have already checked out. Locker rental, seating area, and information are available here. The second floor is accessible by any guests currently checked in and includes more information and seating areas, a library, a computer room, the kitchen, and conference rooms. Buffet-style breakfast is served every morning, and guests can use this large kitchen during the rest of the day. Smaller kitchens and eating spaces are also located on dorm floors. The entire hostel is smoke- and alcohol-free. Bulletin boards on each floor provide information for hostel activities and other helpful information.
If there is anything you need to know about Chicago, ask the staff on the first or second floor. Need a cab? They'll call one for you. Need a recommendation for a pizza joint? They'll give you a map and point out their favorites. Need to explore Chicago on the cheap? They sell discount tickets to many of the popular attractions, including the famous Willis Tower Skydeck. Although HI - Chicago has hundreds of beds, this is a popular destination and can be completely booked at times. Be sure to book early to ensure you get a bed!