Since I have agencies in Indianapolis, Chicago, NY, LA, and Istanbul, I have had the chance to travel around. Since I am a young twenty-something, I don’t mind staying in hostels. They’re clean, fun, safe, and always low-cost.
I used to never stay in hostels until I stayed in my first one in Cologne when I was 20, and I realized how much I enjoyed the experience. There’s something really fun about meeting fellow travelers and hearing their stories and not spending a lot of money in isolation. While I don’t like being social 24/7, I do enjoy the energy of other interesting people, and those are usually the kind who stay in hostels.
Holiday Jones is a great place to stay, located in a central neighborhood in a safe, hip, youthful part of Chicago (Wicker Park, to be precise), and its other location, Urban Holiday Lofts, is equally as nice, and low-cost. They’re both super cheap if you get the dorm ($20-$25 a night), and it’s clean, quiet, and right where you need to be if you’re on business in Chicago. They have bagels, toast, milk, cereal, coffee, tea, peanut butter and jelly, and cream cheese — aka nothing special in the morning, but for those who don’t mind the simple food and are hungry, it’s perfect. It’s like a backpacker’s hostel in Europe in the nice districts of Chicago.
I give this place 5 stars — I’ve stayed at each location for a few nights, and both experiences were highly satisfactory. Best part is, there’s free street parking in the neighborhood.