The Guesthouse Hotel: Boutique accommodations in Chicago for families

The Guesthouse Hotel ChicagoSince I have lived in Chicago my entire life and know the city quite well, I’m often asked for my suggestions on where to go, where to eat, and where to stay in the city. My standard answer is, “If you want to experience REAL Chicago, you need to get into the neighborhoods.” One neighborhood I often recommend is Andersonville. Located fewer than ten miles north of The Loop, it’s one of my favorite areas in all of Chicago. Now I have even more reason to suggest Andersonville to travelers: the addition of The Guesthouse Hotel, a Select Registry property. The Guesthouse Hotel was named one of Chicago’s best new hotels in 2014 and, after staying there recently with my family, I can definitely understand why. The boutique hotel has all the amenities you would expect from a luxury property and, with only 25 units, it’s a decidedly intimate and personal environment.

The property consists of two adjoining buildings. The ten units in the original building were intended to be luxury condominiums. The owners instead decided to convert them to vacation rentals and, a few years later, constructed the second building next door with 15 additional units, the lobby, a library, a club room, retail space, a business center, and a gym. In 2014, The Guesthouse Hotel was born.

I knew I was going to love The Guesthouse Hotel before we even arrived. As I browsed the hotel’s website, I came across the “kids” section and saw that there are DVDs, DVD players, board games, and playing cards available for families to use, for free, during their stay. Then I discovered the “kids’ menu“, an extensive list of items for traveling families to use for the duration of their stay. Things like baby monitors, high chairs, strollers, and Baby Bjorns are available at no charge. We requested ahead of time to have a folding crib in our suite for my toddler, as well as a bathing kit, which the kids loved. The bathing kit is a Rubbermaid container filled with all kinds of bath toys, a bath spout, child-size towels and wash cloths, and even a kneeling pad for parents. It was immediately clear to me that The Guesthouse Hotel isn’t just family friendly; it completely caters to families. The wonderful hotel staff proved this to be true during our stay.

We stayed in a two-bedroom suite on the third floor. From the time we arrived until the time we opened the door to the suite, everything said “hotel”. But as soon as we walked into the suite, everything said “home”. It was like no other hotel accommodation we’ve ever had. Even 6-year-old Lucia said, “This is not a regular hotel room!” The kids immediately ran down the hallway, through the gourmet kitchen and the living room, to the sliding glass doors leading to the spacious, protected balcony. Even though it was cold and snowing, the kids enjoyed standing out there watching the snow fall and the traffic below. I could see that balcony being a favorite spot in warmer weather – there’s even a gas grill! But back to that gourmet kitchen… I fantasized about remodeling my kitchen at home to look like the one in our suite. It’s very modern with stainless steel appliances and all the accessories and necessities you can think of. Once we were able to tear the kids away from the balcony, they noticed the special items left on the kitchen counter for them by hotel staff. There were coloring books, crayons, and even travel journals for them to keep. This little gesture officially won me over.

The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a walk-in closet that is as big as my son’s bedroom at home. Seriously, I was in love. The second bedroom has a queen bed and generous closet space, as well. There was enough space in that second bedroom for us to put the folding crib so both kids could sleep in the same room. The second bathroom has a full tub (that’s where the kids played for quite some time with the toys from the bathing kit) and is situated right next to the second bedroom. It’s an optimal set-up for traveling families. Everyone can enjoy the comforts of home and still have separate space and privacy.

The suite itself was fantastic but my favorite part of the hotel was the library. It’s the type of space I dream of having in my house one day when I grow up. My nerd child was super excited about it, as well, even asking hotel staff if there were any books about Abraham Lincoln. Veronica, one of the lovely hotel staff members we met, took the time to look through the children’s book collection to find something – anything – related to Abraham Lincoln. Sure enough, she found a story about Honest Abe in one of the books and it truly made Lucia’s day. There’s a giant trunk in a corner of the library that looks like a treasure chest. Kids will think they did find treasure when they open it, as there are all kinds of toys for them to use. They can play with the toys there in the library, bring them up to their rooms, or spread out and play in the adjoining club room. Some boutique or luxury hotels may frown upon such activity but at The Guesthouse Hotel it is welcomed.

And the club room… oh my. I spent a great deal of time relaxing on the couch while Lucia hung out in the library. It gave me a chance to appreciate the Chicago-focused and local art adorning the walls, as well as the complimentary coffee and tea.

The Guesthouse Hotel’s mantra is “live like a local”. Guests are encouraged to get out and explore Andersonville. Back at the hotel, the notion is taken a few steps further. At The Collection, the hotel’s in-house boutique, you will find products and items only from Chicago designers and artists. The hotel has relationships with area markets to provide guests locally-produced foods, baked goods, and even adult beverages, all of which can be delivered directly to your suite.

In addition to all this awesome, The Guesthouse Hotel also offers complimentary parking in individual, secured garage spaces (if you have a giant SUV like we do, you’ll get an uncovered parking space). And the icing on the cake: free and reliable WiFi.

We were sad when it was time to depart The Guesthouse Hotel. We all enjoyed our stay immensely. It was just fun and comfortable. I’m not the only one who was won over. I had to promise Lucia that we will try to stay there again.

My family and I were hosted by The Guesthouse Hotel and Select Registry. As always, all words and opinions are my own.


The Guesthouse Hotel | Chicago

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18 Responses to The Guesthouse Hotel: Boutique accommodations in Chicago for families

  1. christine February 16, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    very nice place. thanks for sharing

  2. Rob Taylor February 18, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    Ooh, it’s beautiful AND totally has enough room for family. That’s something we’ve learned more and more: we need SPACE in a hotel room, especially if we’re within a city.

  3. Erin Marie February 18, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

    This is gorgeous!! Sounds like the perfect place for those with kids too.
    Erin Marie recently posted…Peachtree Food Tours AtlantaMy Profile

  4. Vik February 19, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

    “If you want to experience REAL Chicago, you need to get into the neighborhoods” so true and your blog proves it. I have bookmarked this for my next visit to Chicago..
    I need to add Chicago to my list of American destinations

  5. Angela February 20, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

    I’ve never heard of places that have family menus that you describe. Even though I don’t have kids to travel with, I can imagine how helpful it is to have such a friendly place that feels like home. Great review and concept. I hope more places like this open.
    Angela recently posted…A Treehouse Staycation in WashingtonMy Profile

  6. Vedante | The Lavish Nomad February 21, 2016 at 1:21 am #

    Looks like a fantastic place with lots of space. I’m impressed that it even has a library, and that too a good looking one,
    Vedante | The Lavish Nomad recently posted…Top 10 Destinations in IndiaMy Profile

  7. Holly February 21, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    I liked Chicago. I used to go a lot as a kid. This is a really nice hotel. Looks more like a comfy apartment. That is also nice that the offer complimentary parking.

  8. Meg Jerrard February 21, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    I wonder if they would mind if you just never moved out 😀 Haha – the accommodation here looks absolutely amazing. I love feeling at home in a new city with apartment hotels, really gives you the feel that you’re immersing yourself into local life more.And I love that the staff are so catering to families with children – Ive never heard of a place that goes that above and beyond!
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Hipmunk Hotels: 5 Best Desert Hotels in Albuquerque, Sedona, and MoreMy Profile

  9. Lisa Goodmurphy February 22, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    This looks like fantastic accommodations for families! We have been to Chicago many times and have never considered staying anywhere outside of the central area around Michigan Avenue – I would consider another neighbourhood for a hotel like this though!

  10. Kevin Wagar February 22, 2016 at 11:25 am #

    Wow, that place has class written all over it! That would be a definite treat from my normal accomodations!

  11. katja - globetotting February 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    LOVE the look of this! I’ve only visited Chicago without the kids but I would love to return with them. This looks like a wonderful place for families – and always great to get a local recommendation for good neighbourhoods 🙂

  12. Traveling Ted February 22, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    I lived in Andersonville for a year and absolutely loved it. I would love to move back, but it is too far from the interstate. Great place to hang and live and that is so cool that they have a boutique hotel there. That would be a great place to stay.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Theodore Roosevelt National Park scenic drivesMy Profile

  13. Beth Henry February 23, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    This looks so pleasant! What a beautiful hotel!

  14. Kate February 23, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    What a lovely spot! Like you mentioned, I love how homey it feels while also having all the amenities of a hotel.

  15. Nichola - Globalmouse February 24, 2016 at 4:05 am #

    Wow this looks amazing, great recommendation and a perfect set up for families!

  16. Terumi February 24, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    My husband has been to Chicago many times for work and I’ve never been so I’d love to go one day! I do love boutique hotels so I will definitely revisit this review if we do get to come along next time:)
    Terumi recently posted…Some good things you can think about in Seattle on a MondayMy Profile

  17. Dana February 25, 2016 at 3:59 am #

    Looks amazing! I like the size of The Guesthouse Hotel. I get tired of cramming my family in a tiny hotel room.

  18. lola February 25, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    I love me a boutique hotel! This is really pretty. It’s a shame that we don’t always get to enjoy some of the things visitors to our cities do. I’m happy you got to experience this property.
    lola recently posted…My Favorite Finds in Pretty Porto, PortugalMy Profile

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