Freehand Chicago is a trendy boutique property with private and shared rooms in the artsy neighborhood of River North. With a rad bar and a cool design, it’s sure to make a stay in Chicago great
OUR ARTICLEBY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer
Surprising enough, Chicago isn’t nicknamed the windy city because it’s particularly windy. No, it received its nickname for its “windbag politicians” in the late 1800s. We’re used to people and institutions blowing hot air and it can sometimes make us jaded and wary of boasts. There’s one place in Chicago that isn’t adding to the wind, and it’s called Freehand Chicago. It’s a hotel and hostel with a nation-wide reputation, and if we’re endorsing it, you can trust it’s true.
Freehand Chicago is set in a 1927 building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, a spot that’s surrounded by some of the top art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in Chi-Town. Plus, the property is just a seven-minute walk to Magnificent Mile, making it easy to see and do all that Chicago has to offer on foot. Inside, there’s a sexy 1970s vibe to the wood-heavy lobby areas with their low yellow-tinted lighting and trendy furniture with touches of Native designs and soft furry fabrics.
In the evenings, you’ll start the party at Broken Shaker, a spot with a street food menu and fancy cocktails whipped up with the most exotic ingredients from around the world.
Guests are sprawled around the lobby couches using the free Wi-Fi and enjoying Nicaraguan Coffee from Café Integral. Others are making a quick snack in the guest kitchen or relaxing and chatting until the next hotel-hosted outing, like an Architectural Walking Tour, begins.
Other guests run up and down from their rooms, which include private units with en-suite bathrooms and others that have four shared wooden bunks with lockers. Private rooms are bright and airy with city views and flat-screen TVs. If you’re rolling solo and want to meet others, booking one of the bunks in the Quad shared rooms allows for that and a reading light and outlet in your bunk.
Guests here aren’t going to want to stay in their rooms for long, not when there’s so much going on. Café Integral serves breakfast in the mornings and has a light menu throughout the day. Try one of their coffee-infused cocktails if you need a morning kick. In the evenings, you’ll start the party at Broken Shaker, a spot with a street food menu and fancy cocktails whipped up with the most exotic ingredients from around the world. After that, head out into the night and see where the wind takes you.
From a trendy design to a cool bar, there’s a lot for Freehand Chicago to brag about, but even so, they won’t. They’re a modest property who lets their hotel speak for themselves. And it’s saying: Stay here – we’ll meet your needs and then some.
Built within the former Tokyo Hotel Building, The Freehand is in the vibrant and always happening River North neighborhood
Lots of options: A mix of private or shared rooms, and penthouses — choice is yours
The majority of rooms are private ones, so it’s easy to score your own room and bathroom
Head upstairs to the dimly lit Broken Shaker, where a tropical niche collides with a city spirit, offering unique and intricate cocktails