Getting to and from O’Hare Airport can be as much of a challenge as getting through airport security at one of the world’s busiest airports. Staying at the Hilton O’Hare cuts through the hassle. The only hotel located within the airport, the Hilton O’Hare is just a short walk from the domestic terminals. Huge sound-proofed windows offer a front-row seat to the hustle and bustle of O’Hare, without any of the sounds that would be guaranteed to keep you up at night.
Hilton O’Hare Airport
Flying these days has its challenges. Missed flights, delays, early hours, TSA. Multiply those by the extra challenges of flying in and out of one of the world’s busiest airports and the potential for bad weather during a Chicago winter, and you have lots of reasons to want to make the trip a little easier.
Staying at the Hilton O’Hare Airport cuts through some of that hassle. The only hotel located right inside O’Hare International Airport, the Hilton is connected to the domestic terminals via an underground walkway. (There’s a shuttle to get you to the international terminal.) The hotel can be a little pricey, but if you need a bed for a few hours between connecting flights, or have a really early flight in the morning, you can’t beat the location.
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What Works for Families
Location, location, location. There are plenty of hotels near O’Hare, some of them with free shuttles and lower nightly rates. But traveling through Chicago with a couple of kids and lots of luggage doesn’t need to be any more difficult. Walking through the terminal and across the street or, if the weather is bad, through the underground walkway to the Hilton O’Hare makes things a little easier.
Big rooms. My family suite room had a small sitting area, king sized bed and large bathroom. There was a couch for a kid and plenty of room for a family to spread out.
Good wifi. This is free if you sign up for the free Hilton Honors rewards program.
Entertaining views. If you have a kid who is into planes, this is the place to stay. My room looked out over the O’Hare parking garage, but the airport gates were in the background. Even I was mesmerized by all of the the activity outside my window.
Friendly staff. The check-in and check-out was easy,
Lots of amenities. There’s a pool and workout area in the basement, along with many, many food options.
Peace and quiet. This is a surprise. Step outside the front door and you will hear all of the sounds of an really, really busy airport–engines revving, car horns honking, planes taking off. But inside the hotel rooms, the sound-proof glass windows block it all. Close the heavy room-darkening drapes and you won’t see any of the flashing lights either.
Easy access to downtown Chicago. The CTA Blue Line terminal is a short walk from the hotel lobby. It costs $2.25 per person and takes about 45 minutes to get downtown via the Blue Line.
Cribs are only $5.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
Extra costs. Hilton was offering a special $109 rate for the cheapest room when I wrote this in December, 2015, (the family suite cost $384), but parking for a day at the hotel will set you back more than $30 if you park yourself. It’s twice that if you use the valet parking. Save a bundle on parking by dropping the family off to check in at the hotel and use a parking deal site like Spothero to find cheaper parking at one of the off-site lots that surround the airport. Then take the free parking shuttle to O’Hare and walk to the hotel to join your family.
Confusing layout. This is a big hotel and there’s a lot going on. I arrived a little tired after a long day and had to ask two different people to directions to where I was headed.
The bed was comfy, the TV large and the wall of windows inviting. I found myself sitting near the windows for nearly 30 minutes, just watching the buzz of the airport activity. I stayed there alone, but my family suite had plenty of room if all four of us had been traveling together. My kids have a tendency to spread out. I sometimes feel like their suitcases just explode when they open, leaving a trail of clothes and possessions around the room.
I stopped on my way to the airport and bought some Chinese food, so I didn’t try any of the on-site dining options. The hotel has a full-service restaurant, a grab and go option, a sports bar and a fine dining restaurant. Since I was traveling alone, I likely would have ordered room service, which is always my personal indulgence when I am in a hotel room alone.