Written by our Enjoy Illinois Magazine partner, Dotdash Meredith.
Looking to stay near a college campus or a ballpark? We've got you covered. From 5-star, luxury hotels to unique accommodations and everything in-between, here are the top hotels in Illinois.
For starters, downtown Chicago hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Viceroy Chicago and The Langham, Chicago, which are all consistently voted as the top hotels in the state for their luxury accommodations, each boast rooms with incredible views of the city’s skyline and Lake Michigan. Viceroy offers up a stylish retreat in the Gold Coast and is a premiere location for its a mere short walk from the shops at the Magnificent Mile. Meanwhile, the Langham offers gorgeous floor-to-ceiling views of the iconic cityscape and star-quality amenities.
But if you’re looking for a room with another kind of view, like that of a Major League ballpark, vineyard, college campus, sandy beach or forest—we've got options!
Major League Baseball Ballpark
In the heart of Wrigleyville, Hotel Zachary sits across from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. For panoramic views of the field from a private balcony, score a spacious suite. The guest rooms hit a home run with floor-to-ceiling windows, historic photos and rare Wrigley Field memorabilia. Alma, the in-house bar and lounge, features an extensive wine and cocktail menu, as well as Mediterranean-infused bites; DJs liven the atmosphere on weekends. For a closer look at the field, Wrigley offers 90-minute public tours. Nongame day tours include checking out the iconic outfield ivy, the press box and the opponents’ clubhouse. Beyond the field, head downtown. It’s a one-block walk to the Red Line (Addison Station).
Sip a handcrafted wine from estate-grown grapes while surveying the vineyard from your personal balcony at Blue Sky Vineyard in Makanda. The Tuscany Romance Suite, the larger of the winery’s two rentals above the tasting room, has a second balcony with views of the Shawnee National Forest. Greet the morning with the Rise and Shine breakfast before setting out to explore the area, including the Makanda Boardwalk with local shops and artisan wares and nearby Giant City State Park. End the day in the tasting room before retiring to your room to watch the sunset over the lake.
Whether you’re an alumni, faculty, student or visitor, these college campuses offer on-site lodging. The Illini Union Hotel occupies two floors of the student union in the heart of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Mini fridges and coffee makers come standard, plus overnight guests receive a 15 percent discount on breakfast stores like Starbucks and the Quad Shop, free access to the campus recreational facilities, and free parking.
Three blocks from Northwestern University's Arch and two blocks from Lake Michigan, the Graduate Evanston is home to the Wildcats. The 100-plus rooms and suites ooze a retro college vibe with splashes of purple and white, the college’s colors. Explore the historic campus and surrounding neighborhoods on a complimentary bicycle.
Lake Michigan Beach
Drift to sleep listening to the waves lap against the shore at the Illinois Beach Hotel within the Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park in Zion. All the rooms and suites within the recently renovated resort sport a beachy vibe—some come with a balcony overlooking Lake Michigan. The state park sits on 6.5 miles of shoreline. Splash and play in the water, drop a line or follow any of the five hiking trails (three are open to bicycles). Refuel at Nolan’s, an on-site restaurant with an outdoor patio. The chips are made in-house and accompany sandwiches like the half-pound burger and turkey club.
Get a birds-eye view of the forest when you overnight at Ten Acre Treehouses, which has a two-story tree house in Nauvoo. The 400-square-foot Captain’s Quarters comes complete with an outdoor shower, kitchen, mini library and deck for grilling. Hiking trails weave around the 28-acre property.
In the Shawnee National Forest, Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins rents two tree houses. White Oak, built into a 200-plus-year-old tree, sleeps up to six. Slightly smaller, Maple Oak is perfect for a couple. Both come with all of the modern amenities: indoor plumbing, heat and AC, a kitchenette and Wi-Fi. Kick back in the hammock and toast s’mores over the firepit. Grab a hot dog, Italian beef sandwich and nachos from The Outpost, the one-stop shop for souvenirs and gifts, candy, firewood, and other miscellaneous items and provisions.