Often the host hotel for Chicago's top endurance events (marathon, triathlon, etc.), Hilton understands athletic-minded travelers' needs and preferences. While its South Loop locale does not afford the same convenient access to Michigan Avenue's upscale shopping and dining, this somewhat quieter area of the Windy City puts guests in the midst of Grant Park, the Art Institute and the Loop's skyscrapers, theaters and shopping. Like all cities, even Chicago's downtown continues to grow as more attractions make their way south of the Chicago River.
This 1544-room Hilton always bustles. Conventioneers, leisure travelers, holiday party goers, on any given night you see revelers en route to some function or party. Fortunately, the rooms provide a cozy and quiet retreat with brightly colored walls and carpets, premium bedding and antique style furnishings. We always leave well rested. Keep in mind that WiFi/High Speed Internet costs $12.95 for 24 hours if you are not a Hilton Honors member.
Hilton's on-site fitness experience is one of the most unique hotel gyms you'll see. Hopefully, you are a Hilton Honors Silver, Gold or Diamond member and can get in for free. Otherwise, plan on paying a vexing $15/day access fee. (Use of track, pool and sauna is free.) However, with high ceilings, a wide-open room and an indoor 1/18 mile track encircling the machines, the venue is aesthetically pleasing. Whenever we have to pay for a workout, we expect a plethora of top-of-the-line machinery and a vast array of weights. Fortunately, this Hilton delivers. Newer Life Fitness (some Precor) cardio machines are neatly aligned in the middle of the track oval. The strength alternatives are also abundant and arranged with a little more spacing so that you're not too close to your fellow exercise brethren.
Swimmers catch a break by not having to pay a fee to get wet. Three lanes are divided by floating lines and bottom stripes. The length is a little short at 20-yards so prepare for more flip turns and laps. And bring a watch if you plan on swimming intervals since no pace clock is available.
Joggers should consider an outdoor run along the Lakefront path.