Where to stay in Chicago: Westin Chicago River North

The moment we entered the elegant lobby of the Westin Chicago River North at the blustery, snowy start of our winter Chicago weekend, we felt awash in warm and hospitality. While our hands and feet warmed up quickly, that cozy feeling never went away. For the entirety of our two night stay, we were met with smiles, helpful staff, beautiful surroundings, and convenient amenities. Here’s why we’ll definitely be back:

winter-chicago

Westin Chicago River North provided impeccable service and hospitality from start to finish. Every question we had was answered promptly and competently, our room was spacious and had everything we needed, and the location was ideal for a fun weekend in the city.

We stayed on the 9th floor, with wonderful river views. We had a double with a full bath and shower, plenty of sink and counter space, and a spacious closet. WiFi is free for SPG members (free to join) and we had robes and a large flat screen TV with plenty of free channels so we could settle down comfortably during the chilly nights we visited. Out our window, we could watch the snow fall on the the Chicago River and enjoy the skyline.

westin-chicago view

River North has a club level lounge, which we took advantage of. For an added fee to your nightly rate, guests can access this lounge on the 20th floor, which puts out a full breakfast every morning, snacks during the day, and appetizers and small plates in the evening. All day long, a fridge with soda, water, and other non-alcoholic drinks are on offer. We find that with a family of five, this upgrade is always worth the money. Our rule of thumb: if we’ll be at the hotel to enjoy breakfast and at least one other trip to the lounge per day for snacks, the value is there. During our stay, the lounge put out several appetizers, cut veggies and dip, fruit, cookies, and a soup of the day each evening. We found this to be more than enough for us for dinner. At very least, it’s enough to feed the kids before having a dinner out for the adults. Wine and beer is also available in the lounge for an added fee. Other guests can also use the lounge, during which they pay $15 per visit per person. (Don’t do it this way…it won’t be worth it!)

Executive-Club-Lounge

From the River North property, we were only two blocks from the CTA lines we needed both for the train and the bus. We could easily visit the Sears (Willis) Tower, Millennium Park, and the Museum Campus (all in different directions) within 15 minutes by public transit. We loved being right on the river for a genuine Chicago feel. Note: Chicago’s CTA (Chicago Transit) is different than the Metra (short for Metropolitan Rail), which services the suburbs.

Special Westin touches:

I love Westin’s StayFit program, which allows you to rent exercise clothing and shoes for only $5. The gear is clean and stylish, and saves me room in my carry-on bag. The exercise facility on site is convenient and contemporary, and while not terribly large, it met my needs just fine.

Westin also provides a SuperFoods menu among their room service offerings in many hotels, including River North. Anything I can do to stay healthy and eat well during a trip, I’m grateful for!

I can’t say enough good things about the Westin River North concierge desk. During my stay, I was helped by three concierge staff members, and all three were excellent. I got wonderful recommendations on what to do in the city, then very specific directions when I needed them, and a swiftly called cab exactly when necessary (at oh-dark-thirty for a trip to the airport). Trust me, this doesn’t always happen!

westin-lobby

The front desk staff at River North always greeted us with a smile, asked if we needed any bottled waters before heading out in the morning, and had infused water on hand in the lobby. Bowls of fresh fruit were abundant, and every public space was clean, well-lighted, and welcoming. When we returned after the end of a busy day in the city, we felt the sanctuary of a home away from home.

Rates:

Nightly rates started around $150 at the time of our visit (non-holiday weekend). Upgrading to club level was an additional $50 per night, which would definitely pay for itself.

westin-club-level

Location:

The Westin River North is located at 320 N. Dearborn. We arrived from O’Hare, and took the Metra train Blue Line easily to the property. Valet parking is available if arriving by car.

As I disclose whenever applicable, we were hosted at Westin Chicago for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

Photo credit: Amy Whitley, Westin

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. The second photograph is awesome. I love the places, Great suggestion.

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