We’re pretty picky travelers when it comes to choosing the right hotel for our family get-away. The last thing we need is poor sleep, cranky kids and overtired parents in an unfamiliar environment. Not only do we travel with two little buddies ages 7 and 4, we also have food allergies. Most of the time we roll with it, but we do like to know in advance how much we can eat as a family at the hotel, or if we need to stock up on safe snacks.
Chicago is a place we travel to fairly regularly, either as a couple or family for some fun activities and good eats. Today I wanted to share my top 4 personal favorites for family friendly and allergy friendly places in the Windy City.
4. Hilton Homewood Suites Chicago – Downtown: We fell in love with Homewood Suites two years ago when they rescued us from our Airbnb “Buggy Bungalow” in the Vanderbilt Neighborhood of Nashville, TN. Homewood Suites welcomed us with open arms and little did we know that every room was a large suite! We all had our own beds, and a cute newly renovated kitchen to make nut-free meals for our daughter.
The best part about Homewood Suites is the continental breakfast where most of the items are nut-free. The willingness and time the staff took to get to know our family and our food allergies was amazing. Most week-nights Homewood Suites offers a cocktail and snack hour which can double as dinner if you have littles traveling with you. Family friendly + allergy friendly, I highly recommend Hilton Homewood Suites. This is a budget friendly hotel at $125 / night. This hotel is also partnered with American Girl – Chicago and offers extra fun for your little ladies.
3. Ivy Boutique Hotel Chicago: This hotel is our standard “go-to” when we visit Chicago and I have my best friend to thank for finding this. She’s an incredible CPA and will always find the best of the best for the best price.
Ivy is a small, 16-story hotel off of Ontario + Michigan. It’s quiet and out of the way of the hustle of Michigan Ave. The staff is very personable and the rooms are HUGE. Personally, I like how each room feels like two rooms so we can put the kids to bed and still watch TV without them right there.
This hotel was recently renovated and the rain shower is incredible. Nightly dessert wasn’t too bad either 🙂
During the day, we visited the hotel’s roof top bar + restaurant, everyone was over the top about our daughters food allergies and made kiddie cocktails so the kids could enjoy the panoramic downtown city views like the big kids.
Ontario is sprinkled with quick service dining, so we had plenty of options for safe nut-free food. Garrett’s Popcorn is on this street as well, so if you’re a fan, you can beat the line! The price is right, usually around $259 on weekends, but during the week this hotel is only $159. A steal for how large the rooms are!
2. Omni Hotel Chicago: We’re excited to try this hotel since it seems like the most family focused hotel we’ve stayed at in a long time. The Omni Kids Crew Program offers:
- Activity book with stickers
- 2-in-1 card games
- Small tabletop game
- On their first night at the hotel, kids also receive milk and cookies delivered to their room.
The Omni is also an all-suites hotel so we’ll all have our own beds and solid night of sleep. This hotel is also partnered with American Girl ensuring even more special goodies for your American Girl Doll enthusiast. Free wifi, two sun decks and an indoor swimming pool, I think we’ll all have a great time! There is something for everyone and after speaking with the head chef at the 676 Restaurant, allergies will be a piece of cake. Rooms start at $189 during the week, and are a little higher during peak times + weekends.
1.Four Seasons Chicago: Hello family luxury. I just love the family focused offerings the Four Seasons has put together.
- Ice Cream Man: a cute ice cream cart is wheeled to your door and a fresh made sundae is custom made for your kids (and you too!). How fun!
- Martini Man: when the ice cream truck is done, Martini Man comes around for parents, helps take the edge of a fun day in the city. LOVE this idea.
- The indoor pool was featured in Home Alone 2.
- Kids Clubroom is full of activities for kids of ALL ages.
- Babysitters available.
- Children’s welcome program, kiddies are greeted with stuffed animals, games, etc.
- Free wifi
- House-car service for 2 mile radius
- Childproofed rooms upon request. ie: outlet covers
- Special VIP access to area attractions
What really drew me to the Four Seasons was the Family Fun in the City offer, a two night minimum, but worth it. Also, their attention to detail and food allergies. The Allium restaurant located inside the Four Seasons specifically calls out Sunbutter as their alternate to PB+J sammies. I know they get it. And that is comforting.
A standard room during the week is around $400 / night. This price looks steep, however, all of the extra services are worth the splurge. The Four Seasons offers laid back luxury that is perfect for any family looking to be taken care of, 100%.
Those are our favorites. The beauty about visiting a big city like Chicago is that there is SO much to choose from and while we have stayed at a variety of hotels (not listed here) there are many, many more to choose from that may have just as great or better experiences and prices. I love that part. Exploring a city and finding those nuggets of goodness. Traveling with kids is much different than traveling alone, so we’ve been re-discovering Chicago over and over again for the past 7 years 🙂