In both Los Angeles and Chicago when Pat and I met up with local travelers and bloggers, we were asked often where we were staying. When we told them we were at a local hostel, just about everyone commented that they never even realized there were hostels in their city. It’s true. I never really thought about America being a land of hostels because I hadn’t really traveled much here in the past.
I found a good one in Chicago. It’s called the Chicago Getaway Hostel, and it is located right in Lincoln Park in a neighborhood that caters to college students, which generally also caters to the needs of backpackers.
Everything from reception to the dining area is super clean, fresh and modern. I almost felt as though I were in a boutique hotel (almost) instead of a hostel, a type of accommodation I love but can often leave me desiring much more. This hostel was a breath of fresh air.
A hostel can look cool and have cool people staying there, but chances are I may not even choose that hostel in the first place if it doesn’t have the amenities to back it up. I’m talking free Wi-Fi, hang-out rooms, pool tables and breakfast; this hostel has them all.
For a hostel, the breakfast doesn’t disappoint. There’s fresh-brewed coffee, cereal, fruit and a selection of breads and bagels with cream cheese, jams and peanut butter to go around. You can eat as much of it as you want, and you can do so in the piano room adjacent to the dining room.
Or, you can eat and relax in the morning sunshine in the outdoor lounge area for a completely different vibe.
Another awesome feature of the Chicago Getaway Hostel is the fact that you can BYOB. That’s right! You get to bring in your booze and drink it in the hostel, which apparently is a feature setting it apart from other hostels in the area.
I really enjoyed our stay at this hostel because of the cleanliness, amenities and location. The red line was just a short walk away, along with a number of restaurants and bars (like the place where we got free chips and salsa). We were a bit short on time and out doing our own thing during our stay, but it is good to know that the hostel puts on a number of group activities for those staying there, like barbecues and pub crawls.
We would have loved to have stayed longer, but Saturday was the day we left Chicago on a bus bound for Peoria, Illinois after 3 long years of being away!
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