The 272-room Aloft exudes a playful, relaxed vibe from the minute you walk into the lobby. The orange-and-white egg chairs look like a perfect place to curl up with a book; a pool table and game table promise engaging diversions; and sofas, barstools and a dining area sprawl across the open, spacious first floor.
The loft-inspired rooms are also modern, colorful and inviting. Our corner space held two green rocking chairs and a multicolor padded bench, along with retro accents like a yellow clock. The platform queen beds were comfortable. This Aloft doesn’t have sleeper sofas, so it won’t accommodate larger families as easily as some other hotels. Pets are welcome though. We stayed here just a couple weeks after the hotel had opened, so everything was clean and new. (Tip: Ask for a corner room on an upper floor; the space is larger, and you’ll enjoy better views and less street noise.)
On-site food options include a bar and the Beatrix restaurant on the main floor, as well as a marketplace with grab-and-go eats such as frozen meals, beverages, salads, snacks and a small selection of hot breakfast items ($7 for a breakfast burrito, $6.50 for a blueberry pancake wrap). The River North location is within easy walking distance of many restaurants and prime shopping areas. It’s only about a mile to Navy Pier or Millennium Park. Aloft also adjoins the new Hyatt Place Chicago/River North and Fairfield Inn and Suites Chicago Downtown/River North; all three properties are managed by White Lodging. Aloft room rates start at $189; parking is $60 a night for valet, or $45 to self-park for 24 hours.