Where to Stay in Chicago During Lollapalooza

Six Chicago hotels near Grant Park still have rooms for the weekend of August 1 to 3.

After a day of standing in the sun, you’ll want to retreat to one of these six hotels.   Photo: Ashley Garmon/Courtesy of Lollapalooza

If you’re heading to Lollapalooza, there’s still time to nab a hotel room that’ll do you better than just a place to crash. We sussed out the best based on price, amenities, and walkable proximity to Grant Park, where the megafest takes place from August 1 to 3. Here are the picks, listed here from nearest to farthest, with lowest rates from trivago.com unless otherwise noted.

1. Palmer House Hilton

17 E. Monroe St., 312-726-7500; from $249
Distance from Grant Park: 0.3 miles
You could do far worse than staying across the street from the festival—about a five-minute walk away—at the 1,641-room Palmer House. For $249 a night, you also get to stay at one of the most historic hotels in the country, dating back to 1871, and bringing its own slew of music history. Check it out when you stop by the Empire Room, the hotel’s legendary supper club where greats such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Louis Armstrong once performed. In between Lolla shows, cool off with cocktails in the newly renovated Potter’s lounge or under the lobby’s massive, 21-frescoed ceiling.

2. Hard Rock Chicago

230 N. Michigan Ave., 312-345-1000; from $329
Distance from Grant Park: 0.4 miles
If the objective is less about sleep and more about keeping the party going, stay at the 381-room Hard Rock Chicago, just three blocks from Grant Park. Rock-n-roll-inspired rooms start at $329, though you’ll be spending far more time in the public areas of the hotel to catch pop-up shows and promotional events, after-party shows, and plenty of celebrity and VIP sightings. For $50 more, you can get a Festival Survival Kit, which is a backpack stocked with a water bladder, bandana, poncho, mini flashlight, lighter, one-day CTA pass, granola bars, sunscreen wipes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, and glow sticks.

3. Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

221 N. Columbus Dr., 312-565-5258; from $306
Distance from Grant Park: 0.5 miles
Want to escape the mayhem? Walk 10 minutes to nearby Lakeshore East, honing in on the wavy, white tower designed by Jeanne Gang and the 334-room Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel within. Mod, airy rooms with cool hardwood floors start at $306, and each has a unique balcony where you might catch the sounds of music wafting up from Lolla. For perfect siestas, don your swim trunks and head to the third floor for one of the best outdoor pool decks in the city: The 80,000-square-foot oasis has a 25-meter lap pool, wading pool, hot tub, sauna, fire pits, cabanas, and a bar serving poolside cocktails.

4. Hyatt Regency Chicago

151 E. Wacker Dr., 312-565-1234; from $206
Distance from Grant Park: 0.6 miles
One of Chicago’s best new hotels to open in 2013, the 2,020-room Hyatt Regency Chicago is just over a 10-minute walk from Lollapalooza with rates starting at $206 night. This Chicago hotel is a behemoth—the largest in the world for the Hyatt brand—but bigness works in a Lolla-goer’s favor with lots of options in the mall-like lobby. Jump on free Wi-Fi for the latest Lollapalooza set lists, pack a grab-and-go lunch at Market Chicago, kick back after a long day with a steak at Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi, or saddle up to Big Bar to rally before any number of after-hours shows around town.

5. Acme Hotel Company

15 E. Ohio St., 312-894-0800; from $263
Distance from Grant Park: 1.1 miles
You’ll face a 20-plus minute walk if you stay at Acme Hotel Company, but this Chicago hotel is good to book with friends and screams Lolla rocker style with lots of free high-tech touches. Meet for drinks in The Berkshire Room, charge phones on numerous iPod docs, and then prep for the festival with songs playing on a Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin wireless audio system. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Rooms start at $263 a night; the Lolla Main Stage Package is $350 a night (two-night stay required). The package also includes an Acme backpack, slingshot underwear (to fling at your favorite band), cocktails for two at the Berkshire Room, and Hair of the Dog (two bottles of Gatorade, two aspirin packets, and a $25 certificate to M Burger).

6. The James Chicago

55 E. Ontario St., 312-337-1000; from $299
Distance from Grant Park: 1.1 miles
Just around the corner from Acme Hotel Company, the 297-room, residential-style James Chicago is worth the walk with free in-room Wi-Fi, a cool boutique vibe, and easy access to booze and steaks at Jimmy, the hotel’s moody cocktail lounge, and David Burke’s Primehouse. The lowest rate is $299 a night (available directly through the hotel when booked). The Lollapalooza Plus Perks package is $439 a night (when booked by July 31) and includes a stay in a loft or apartment suite, cocktails upon arrival at the Primehouse Bar, two three-day transit passes, and breakfast for two at David Burke’s Primehouse. Every guest staying at the hotel over Lollapalooza weekend gets a backpack with sunscreen, complimentary FRED water, and ibuprofen packets. Families will find a little Lolla haven here on Sunday, August 3, when the hotel hosts the “Very Important Rocker” V.I.R. event, in partnership with Kidzapalooza, and acts that include Ralph’s World, Brady Rymer, and Happiness Club ($10 suggested donation per family).

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