Notes Upon Staying At The Hotel Lincoln In Chicago

This post is not sponsored. We paid for our own accommodations at full-price. 

This beer with a view is the only photo I took during our two-night stay at Hotel Lincoln because I hadn’t planned on writing a blog post.

Now that I’m home, I’ll share my thoughts in case it helps someone with their trip planning. We’ve visited Chicago a few times together and Lincoln Park is an area we like to stay. It has an energetic neighborhood feel. DePaul University is also located in Lincoln Park which means there are plenty of boutiques, bars, and dining options in every price range. When we visited Chicago on our honeymoon, we stayed at a bed and breakfast called Villa D’Citta. This time Jake chose the lodging. He’s less of a bed and breakfast type of person and prefers hotels. Plus, a hotel was more conducive for our gathering with friends.

Jake reserved the hotel through a third-party site (which I don’t generally recommend). We paid around $150 per night. Amenities include access to a fitness center which we did not use and free internet. The internet worked well during our entire stay.

Driving in Chicago is not ideal. Since we stopped in Chicago on the way to Minneapolis, we had to park our car. The hotel charges $50 for valet parking. However, the valet attendant told us that they just park the cars at the Chicago History Museum across the street, so that’s what we did. It costs about $28 per night if you do it yourself. If you don’t plan on taking your car on outings during your stay, there’s no point in paying for valet parking.

*As of 5/4/2016, it looks like the hotel is still running special rates including valet parking for a penny, plus breakfast for a penny 

Location & Getting Around:
Hotel Lincoln is located across the street from the zoo and within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Instead of driving our cars, we walked, took the train, and used ride sharing services like Uber. It’s really easy to go downtown on the train. Our train tickets cost about $3 round trip which free transfers within three hours. We used Uber a few times. Jake and I hadn’t used it before so we received a promo code for a free ride when we signed up. Lyft is also an option. Don’t forget to tip your drivers!

Three dining facilities are located inside the hotel: Elaine’s Coffee Call, an upscale restaurant called Perennial Virant, and J. Parker, the rooftop bar.

If you would like coffee in the mornings, use the small in-room coffee maker or go to Elaine’s, the coffee shop downstairs. Elaine’s Prices were on par with Chicago Starbucks. Not cheap, but piping hot with a deep, dark flavor. One night we enjoyed drinks and french fries on the rooftop bar overlooking the lake and zoo. Being a rooftop bar with a view, drinks were pricey, at least, compared what I’m used to seeing in smaller cities. The view was so beautiful that it was worth lingering over a beverage. Cocktails cost about $13 and my Tecate cost $6.50. The french fries ($7) were surprisingly delicious. They were hand-cut and arrived piping hot from the fryer. We dipped them into the flavorful malt vinegar aoli.

Customer Service:
All staff members we encountered went above and beyond to welcome and assist us.

Overall Atmosphere:
Hotel Lincoln strikes me as an older building renovated to look posh. The interior decorating is quirky and “hipster,” for lack of a better word. When we first walked into the lobby looked around at the glittering Christmas tree and stairway decked out with artwork, we had a “wow” moment. Our room had some nice touches as well, like a cool wall mirror and colorful blankets.

Being an older building in a big city, the three elevators are smaller. The hotel was very busy and we encountered wedding parties each night. The rooftop bar also seems to do brisk business on weekends which meant we all shared the three small elevators. Sometimes it took a while for the elevators to arrive after pushing the button.

Hotel Lincoln advertises being pet friendly. We saw several dogs in the lobby. I am unsure of their pet policies and couldn’t find the information on their website so you’ll have to call for more info.

Our Hotel Bathroom:
Clean. Super tiny. The shower had very low water pressure (think low-flow shower heads in that episode of Seinfield), but the heat was fine. Rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of my hair was a process.

The hotel, in general, struck me as well-cleaned. Our hotel room had a window unit to provide heat. It created some noise and wind when we turned it on. I did notice that the “check air filter” light was on. When I alerted the front desk, they offered to take care of it immediately.

The walls here are thinner. I heard doors opening and closing, the elevators, and muted techno beats. Staying on the 12th floor means you are located beneath the rooftop bar. The bar did not have a party-vibe, but I’m guessing that wedding parties could rent it for the evening. I’m glad I packed my ear plugs. My husband’s a less fussy sleeper than me and had no qualms.

My last observation about staying on the 12th floor under the rooftop bar is that the hallways always smelled like food.

In Conclusion, we enjoyed our stay at Hotel Lincoln. The hotel’s strongest points are its customer service and location. If you want to stay in Lincoln Park and don’t plan on spending a lot of time in your room, it’s a decent option. Compared to other hotels and B & B’s in the area, it’s somewhere in-between the budget and luxe options.


  1. Katie

    I really hope to visit chicago again soon! Its been 5 years since I’ve been there, lincoln park seems like it would be the neighborhood I’d like!

  2. Beth Ann Chiles

    Sounds like it was a good fit and yes—earplugs are often a necessity. Poor Chris has had to use them every night since I have been snoring up a storm because of my sinus junk going on. Glad that is an option. 🙂

  3. Dasha

    Great review! I’ve been checking out local hotels for a stay-cation. Now I know this one has a city vibe. Still looking for a retreat vibe.


    • Jeni

      Glad it was helpful! Hope you find a perfect retreat location.

  4. Donna Hup

    I’ll have to check it out. Did it smell like pets? That’s always a concern of mine when I stay at pet friendly locations.

    • Jeni

      It didn’t smell like pets. I read somewhere that it only costs $1 to add your dog and that it’s donated to an animal rescue org.

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