OMG XX – Lodging

OMG XX – Lodging

Chicago is a city that caters to the visitor, and accommodation can range from thrifty to full service. There are dozens of hotels within walking distance of the conference, and, while we have made arrangements with a few of these, you may find it easier (and less expensive) to find something through Google, Expedia, Hotwire, or some other travel agent. The conference dates overlap with the 4th of July holiday, so we recommend that you book as soon as possible.

If you wish to search for a hotel on your own, please keep in mind that the nearby neighborhoods are Near North, the Magnificent Mile, and Streeterville. The Gold Coast is just north of Water Tower Place while the Loop is just south of the river; both are about a mile from the Water Tower complex and may present a strenuous hike. See below for more information on getting around Chicago.

Loyola University, Water Tower Campus
This is the easiest option and well priced. Stay on site for the conference in university housing at the Water Tower campus at Loyola University. Visit and enter durrell as the promotion code. This code is good for nights of July 1-7; please note that conference activities begin on the evening of July 4, with presentations and discussions July 5-6 and optional excursions planned for July 7. If you would like to book for three nights, this direct link should make it easier.
Because the rooms offered here are apartment suites with two bedrooms, we recommend pairing with another attendee if there is someone you’d like to share with.
Price: $263.63/night, plus tax, for two bedrooms; book before May 1. Please note: As it’s after May 1st, this promotion code will no longer work.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Minutes away from the conference, these luxurious rooms have king-sized beds, wireless internet, and access to amenities including a pool and fitness center. Visit the reservation webpage or call 1-800-542-8680 and book using the group code IGBIGBA.
Price: $229/night, plus tax
Inn of Chicago
Located just off the Magnificent Mile about six blocks away from the conference location, the Inn of Chicago is very well priced for the area. Rooms include wireless internet, with bed options for singles or doubles.
Price: $109/night, plus tax
Hotel Cass/Holiday Inn Express
Five blocks away, this hotel provides old-style class with modern amenities.
Price: $117/night, plus tax (price varies, but this is the current listing on Expedia)
Warwick Allerton
Also just five blocks away, this hotel dates from the 1920’s, and is associated with the Warwick line of hotels.
Price: $186/night, plus tax (current price on and Priceline)
Acme Hotel
Unabashedly hip, this hotel 7-8 blocks away features a boutique ambiance including contemporary artwork and furniture design. Be warned, however: the price difference in booking a nonrefundable reservation and one that can be canceled is quite significant ($159 v. $213). The hotel does have specials, though, including a third night free option.
Price: $159/night, plus tax (nonrefundable)
Hotel Felix
Poetry lovers may wish to check out Hotel Felix. Yes, we’ll be visiting the Poetry Foundation, but if that does not satisfy you, this hotel is right across the street. The prices are quite reasonable ($139 for our dates, as per the hotel site) but they spike on Friday and Saturday ($170 and 209 respectively). However, the also offer a third night free deal. This hotel is an easy walk to and from the conference site.
Price: $139-$209/night, plus tax
Some other options…
Two hotels south of the river appear to be reasonably priced and nice; these are the Wit and Palmer House. Please note that a stay here would require transportation to the conference (especially since you will have to cross the river!). Still, both appear to be very pleasant places to stay, and are located very near the Art Institute. The Wit (a Doubletree by Hilton hotel) is in the middle of the theatre district, and reviews remark that the view and the hotel staff are both lovely. Rates on Expedia are at $179. The Palmer House runs about $150 per night, and while some of the reviews are short of rave ones, it has the benefit of being a three minute walk from the Art Institute.
For the adventurous—or young—the city offers a number of hostels, but you are better off searching these on your own, as they vary from dormitory arrangements to private rooms. The prices run anywhere from $35 to $130, but again, the accommodations vary widely. This website lists most of them, and each hostel conveniently notes how far away it is from the city center: link to Hostel World.

Please remember that none of these prices are guaranteed, and are just based on membership site prices. In any case, you are wise to book as soon as possible, as 4th of July on the waterfront is a popular event. Fortunately, we will have an unrivaled view for that event, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Public transit

Chicago has a thorough mass transit system with buses and light rail, and it’s effective enough that many residents forego personal vehicles. Buses and trains take cash or contactless options like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and the local Ventra Card, which you can refill online.

The conference venue is serviced via rail by the Red Line with the Chicago stop nearby and via bus with numbers 3, 66, 143, 146, 147, 148, and 151 having stops nearby on Michigan Avenue. Both airports are serviced by rail: O’Hare has the Blue Line, and Midway has the Orange Line. Chicago Transit Authority’s map of routes can be a little confusing at first, but it is a handy way to plan out your travels ahead of time. Additionally, Google Maps and Apple Maps work very well to route travelers over public transit.