Smart Stay

The Robey

by Katie Hammel
Guest Room
Photo: Guest Room / Courtesy of The Robey Chicago
by Katie Hammel
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Cafe Robey
Photo: Cafe Robey / Courtesy of The Robey Chicago
by Katie Hammel
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Set in a 1920s-era former office building that was fully renovated in 2016, Chicago's The Robey is an 89-room, 13-story boutique hotel. The property's distinct Art Deco style hearkens back to the city's prohibition days, but never skimps on modern conveniences. With a prime location in the hipster heart of Wicker Park (and amenities that rival those of any larger hotel), it's a great alternative to the bigger chains of downtown Chicago. 

What You Need to Know

The Look of The Robey

It's All in the Details

While traces of the hotel's former life as an office building remain — frosted glass doors, marble walls, brass and gold fixtures — it's anything but dated. The swanky Art Deco style feels modern and hip. Rooms have hardwood floors, built-in seating nooks, Calacatta marble tabletops, hanging light fixtures, and mid-century modern furniture. Woolrich blankets, Japanese cotton washcloths, and felt slippers keep things cozy. And, thanks to the building's triangular shape, every room has sweeping city views. 

The Vibe at The Robey

Guests are as hip as the surrounding neighborhood, with younger couples and friend groups the dominant demographic. The hotel's location away from the businesses of downtown means it's mostly leisure travelers, but step up to the 13th floor and visit the 50-seat Up Room and you'll find yourself surrounded by locals, too. Thankfully, hotel guests get priority on the waitlist at the always-buzzing bar.

Who Will Love The Robey

Travelers looking for more local flavor will appreciate the property's Wicker Park location, while those who still want to explore the highlights of Chicago will love its proximity to the Blue Line train for quick jaunts downtown. 

Who Might Not Love The Robey

The hotel's thin walls and quadruple-paned windows are no match for the rumble of the city's "L" trains, which pass right by the hotel. Light sleepers may want to look elsewhere to ensure a quiet night. 

Best Amenity at The Robey

Located on the 6th floor of the connected hotel next door, the seasonal, indoor-outdoor Cabana Club pool opens for hotel guests two hours before the general public (which is good, considering you'll need to get there early to snag a spot). While the pool itself is on the small side, the appeal is more about the frozen cocktails, clubby vibe, and panoramic views. 

Money Matters

What's Included at The Robey

Your stay includes wifi, in-room coffee, and access to the swimming pool located at The Cabana.

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About at The Robey

The Robey charges a nightly amenities fee of $24.65. Plus, on-site parking is an extra $49 per night.

How to Get a Deal at The Robey

For the cheapest room rates, plan a stay in the off-season (winter). Also, mid-week stays are generally less expensive than weekend ones.  

Getting There

In the Neighborhood of The Robey

The Robey is located at the intersection of three busy streets — N. Damen Avenue, W. North Avenue, and N. Milwaukee Avenue — in the heart of the Wicker Park neighborhood. The walkable neighborhood is known for its plethora of trendy boutiques and popular bars and restaurants, including Big Star (an amazing taco jaunt), The Violet Hour (which serves up creative cocktails), and Piece Brewery and Pizzeria. When it's time to explore farther afield, downtown Chicago is just 15 minutes south on the Blue Line train. 

Nearest Airport to The Robey

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is around 15 miles from the hotel. The fastest and cheapest way to get there is to take the Blue Line train from the airport to the Damen stop, which takes about 30 minutes. From the Damon stop, it's only a few hundred feet to the hotel. Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts are also an option; expect to pay about $40 for a 45-minute (or longer) ride. 

Nearest Public Transit To The Robey

The Blue Line Damen stop is a one-minute walk from the hotel, which makes it easy and convenient to head downtown or farther north to Logan Square. Dozens of busses also run up and down the three major streets where the hotel is located.  

The Bottom Line

The property's vintage vibe, Art Deco design, and popular onsite bars are great for those who want to explore a different side of the Windy City — without sacrificing easy access to downtown Chicago. 

It's All in the Details