Smart Stay by

The Robey Chicago

by Katie Hammel
Guest Room
Guest Room / Courtesy of The Robey Chicago
by Katie Hammel
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Cafe Robey
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, The Robey Chicago is part of Grupo Habita, a trendy Mexican hotel group. The 89-room, 13-story boutique hotel has an Art Deco style that 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 

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

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 It

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

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 

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 (and good thing, as 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

There’s wifi access in common areas and guest rooms plus a host of other freebies, such as full access to the next door Bucktown Athletic Club, complimentary bikes, and in-room snacks, plus two bottles of water and two local beers per day. 

How to Get a Deal

Room start as low as $120 per night for winter midweek stays and go up to $370 per nigh on summer weekends. The hotel offers 15% discounts on non-refundable advance bookings paid in full at least two weeks before arrival. 

Getting There

In the Neighborhood

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

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is 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 32 minutes and costs just $2.50. 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

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