Perfect location for getting around the city. Clean (as far as possible for a hostel of this size) and organized. Filled with activities for the guests and a good living area, with games and plenty of space for different groups to hang out. Breakfast was good but simple, with few options - always the same ones. For longer stays (mine was 8 days long) it was a little disappointing. Some staff members always seemed in a bad mood, but the front desk people were always very attentive. The room we were offered (with two single beds) was different from what we had been informed on booking. Being traveling with a friend it was no problem, but it could have been. It didn't have much of a hostel atmosphere, if I was younger and traveling alone it woudln't be the a great experience.
Love this place but didn't love the squeaky beds. A chorus of squeaks whenever someone moves ... makes it hard to sleep. I hope they can eventually transition to non-squeaky beds. I know it's a budget place to stay, but still.
Its located 1 block W. of Michigan Ave. - a few blocks from the Art Institute, Symphony Hall & the major subway lines - Red & Blue lines. The hostel is very well managed, staff is overly helpful, & polite, The travel desk is as good or better than 4/5 star hotels.
We stayed in a private room. The setup was like this: The private room was part of a suite. You use your keycard to enter the suite, in which the common spaces include a "living room" area, a spotlessly clean kitchen with a full-sized fridge and microwave, and a bathroom which you share with other people using that suite. In the bathroom there is a toilet, two sinks, and a separate lockable shower. (I suggest that the hostel provide toilet brushes in each toilet.) There was no hair dryer in our suite, but there was one in the shower down the hall. In the kitchen, there are white labels you can use to label your food. Also, there are green labels you can use to indicate that food is free to anyone who wants it -- I loved this; it's great to avoid throwing out perfectly good food. The suite had four private rooms. After you enter the suite, you use your keycard again to enter your private room. The private room was small but quite clean; there was a reasonably comfortable double bed, a tiny night stand with a small lamp, a tiny table with a small lamp, a clothes rack with hangers, a luggage rack, clean towels, and an extra blanket. Be aware that you cannot control the room temperature. It became very cold in the room, to the point where I was wearing a sweater and down jacket. For the sake of better security, I recommend that the hostel install peepholes in doors of individual private bedrooms. There was a peephole on the suite door, but if you are sharing a suite with people whom you don't know, you really want a peephole in your own door. That being said, it seems that this hostel strives for very good security. You must have your keycard to enter the building, the 2nd floor lounge, the laundry. You must also slide your keycard in the elevator in order to access your floor. If you use the stairs, your keycard will get you into the 2nd floor (lounge/breakfast area), the 4th floor (laundry), and your own floor, but not other floors. For breakfast, there is a good selection of hot and cold items. For other meals, if you want to do cooking that requires something more serious than the microwave in your suite, you can use the spacious common kitchen on the 2nd floor. The location of the hostel is excellent, within walking distance of the Chicago Art Institute, shops, places to eat. However, in your room you might see and hear nearby elevated trains on a very regular basis. All things considered,this hostel offers unbeatable value in a very expensive city. Please note that the name of the street has recently been changed. It is now Ida B. Wells.…
The staff was very helpful and friendly at the front desk. The bathrooms were super clean. I appreciate that they hold passports and valuables for you at the front desk. The morning tours are cool. I loved the Cuban sandwich at Cafecito. Make sure to take earplugs, in case you have a loud snorer in your room.