The best way to completely relax on your annual vacation is to feel truly comfortable, at ease, and at home. For LGBTQ travelers, couples, and families, feeling welcomed while in a strange city can be especially important. Fortunately, Chicago hotels take pride in noting that they’re LGBTQ-friendly, though some establishments have a stronger reputation than others.
In terms of the ideal hotel location connected as closely as possible to the out scene, Boystown is a historically LGBTQ community a small neighborhood between Lake View, Wrigley Field, and Lincoln Park. It’s known as America’s first officially recognized gay village. Further north bordering Rosehill Cemetery and almost up to North Broadway, Andersonville is home to locally-owned businesses – there are no national chains – and another large LGBTQ community.
In Boystown, you’ll find guesthouses, hotels, and hostels ready to accommodate and near to bars, clubs, shopping, and nightlife. City Suites Chicago, The Willows Hotel, Hotel Versey Days Inn Chicago, and Hotel Lincoln are in just the right location. The Days Inn is a comfortable and and affordable choice, with a funky lobby and look, concierge, and onsite parking. The Willows Hotel, a self-described “European-style boutique hotel” provides breakfast for free and 24-hour coffee and tea. City Suites Chicago touts their love of Art Deco design and features a large dining area for guests to meet up and plan their next outing.
If you wish to check other chains or more downtown hotels, perhaps a luxury skyscraping hotel, it might help to check the hotel’s web site to see if they believe they’re LGBTQ-friendly. The true test will be if the staff are well-versed on the local scene, businesses, bars, and clubs, and are connected to what’s going on. The staff should be welcoming and friendly, and it should be easy to meet new acquaintances and friends.
Finding a casual, accepting, warm and pleasant place to stay can be a challenge for anyone, but Chicago hotels have a reputation for upholding the highest standards in service and in making positive connections with their guests. If you’re at all in doubt as to whether a hotel is going to suit your needs, don’t hesitate to call and ask directly if the establishment considers itself LGBTQ-friendly. If the staff hem and hesitate, you have many other options to consider immediately, so a preventative phone call can be a help in advance of laying down dollars.