Where to Stay in Chinatown: A Hotel Showdown

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Not sure of where to stay in Chinatown or if you should? Having spent several weekends over the years immersed in Chicago’s dynamic Chinatown community, I’ve come to view the neighborhood as one of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods. 

Is Chicago Chinatown Worth Visiting

If you want to wander off the less-trodden path, then Chinatown is worth visiting, especially if you’ve visited Chicago before and are looking for a different vacation perspective.

Also, if you are staying in Chicago longer than 4 days or if you have seen the city before, Chinatown is worth the visit.

Test your knowledge!

In what year was Chicago’s Chinatown established?

In my opinion, it takes 3 to 4 days to fully experience Chicago’s top attractions – including devouring deep-dish pizza, strolling the RiverWalk and Navy Pier, shopping on the Magnificent Mile, enjoying free concerts and public art in Millennium Park, exploring masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago, wandering the vast collections of dinosaur bones, ancient artifacts, and scientific wonders at The Field Museum, catching a show at one of the city’s 200 theaters, wandering charming local neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Old Town, and soaking in panoramic skyline views from 360 Chicago or an architecture tour on the Chicago River.

chinese art

Why You Should Stay in Chinatown

If you are wondering why you should stay in Chinatown, it provides a central location that gives easy access to downtown attractions while immersing visitors in one of Chicago’s most authentic neighborhoods.

From historic Eastern-inspired architecture to aromatic alleyways brimming with Chinese bakeries and barbecue spots, a stay in Chinatown’s distinctive culture will make your visit memorable and a tad easier on the budget. 

you are beautiful sign

Where to Stay in Chinatown

There are not a ton of choices on where to stay in Chinatown. With this review, it will help you determine which has the best accommodations for your needs while you satisfy your curiosity for food, culture, history, and adventure. 

Since WiFi is standard these days, I won’t mention the amenities of a star hotel. Instead, my reviews will focus on location, uniqueness, overall customer satisfaction, and accommodations.

Nicest Accommodations for Family or Business Travelers

I have stayed at many Springhill Suites by Marriott and this location certainly maintains the brand experience. The hotel is relatively new to the neighborhood and it’s perfectly positioned for exploring restaurants, the strip mall, and gift shops.

This hotel is my first choice for where to stay in Chinatown. The rooms hover over a seafood restaurant and neighborhood retailers with a secure entrance on Wentworth. The city views of Chinatown were nice and the free breakfast made it easy on the pockets.

There are three options for parking:

  • An attached garage with no in/out priveledges for $25 per night
  • Off-site public parking lots located about 3 blocks away
  • Street parking on Wentworth in 2 to 3-hour increments

A unique and impressive feature is the soundproof rooms. Having stayed at hotels before that were butted against a highway, this was a welcome relief from the noise that can leak into the room and disrupt sleep.

  • Location and Accessibility: 4/5
  • Unique Features: 4/5
  • Customer Satisfaction: 5/5
  • Accommodation Options: 5/5
Tripadvisor Rating 5.0
corner a pagoda building

Springhill Suites by Marriott

📍2357 S Wentworth Ave

On this popular Chinatown scene for foodies, you’ll discover the neighborhood’s influence on Chicago’s culture. With an expert by your side, you’ll taste regional Chinese specialties while learning cuisine styles from across mainland China and Taiwan.

Basic Accommodations for No-frill Travelers

The decor at the Jaslin Hotel is nice but you can tell by the quality of the furniture that it is basic. The one nice thing about this hotel is the proximity of nearby parking if you have a car. The lobby is modern and nicely done, but the actual room size and ambiance may be less on aesthetics.

The rooms vary from a Queen to a double, and a King suite, which would be suitable for families. Other than a 24-hour workout room and in-room refrigerator, there are not a lot of amenities in this no-frills hotel. I didn’t book a stay this year but will keep it in mind for a Chicago staycation next year.

  • Location and Accessibility: 4/5
  • Unique Features: 1/5
  • Customer Satisfaction: 3/5
  • Accommodation Options: 4/5
Tripadvisor Rating 4.0
gate of knowledge

Jaslin Hotel

📍261 W Cermak Rd

Just minutes from McCormick Place, the South Loop, and transit access, this boutique Chinatown hotel immerses guests in the neighborhood’s contagious culture. The hotel exudes the community’s signature warmth, welcoming visitors into stylish yet cozy accommodation. Guest rooms bathed in tranquil earth tones feature lavish marble bathrooms for restoring stays.

Best for Budget Travelers or Hostelers

If you are really on a budget and deciding where to stay in Chinatown, the Chinatown Hotel should be on your list for consideration. The probability of finding a room for less than $100 with all fees and taxes included is more favorable here. I found the accommodations modest and basic and one could almost say it’s like staying in a dorm with a private bath.

This hotel is great for solo travelers, hostelers, budget travelers, and backpackers who want to explore the city, but just want a pillow at night. It reminded me a lot of the cheap hotel accommodations that I had in New York.

  • Location and Accessibility: 4/5
  • Unique Features: 1/5
  • Customer Satisfaction: 3/5
  • Accommodation Options: 1/5
Tripadvisor Rating 2.5
chinese restaurant sign

Chinatown Hotel

📍214 W 22nd Pl

Here is where to stay in Chinatown’s epicenter. This affordable hotel provides convenience to visitors of this dynamic neighborhood. Located only two blocks from the Cermak Red Line station and minutes by taxi to Chicago’s iconic Loop. For conventioneers, McCormick Place rests six accessible blocks away. Our bilingual Chinese and English-speaking staff deliver friendly 24-hour service.

Deciding where to stay in Chinatown may be an easy decision for most because there is not a lot of competition.

Whether you are looking for bargains around $100/night or amenities like guest conveniences and free breakfasts, Chinatown’s lodging offers comfortable hospitality.

Is Staying in Chinatown Safe

As a traveler, my criteria for safety are the same whether I am staying in a specific neighborhood or visiting the area for a few hours. There must be 

  • The presence of secure accommodations
  • Efficient and readily available transportation, and 
  • The ability to responsibly tour without threat from others.

By these standards, it is safe. I have walked the streets of Chinatown, day and night, many times without threats. 

In comparisons of crime complaints between 2018 and 2022, murder declined by 30%, aggravated battery declined by 28%, and burglary declined by 44%, according to the Chicago Police Department district report. However, there has been an increase in theft, including motor vehicles. 

people standing in square looking at statues and pagoda

Hotels Near Chinatown

There are hotels near Chinatown but closer to McCormick Place:

The roughly one-mile trek from McCormick Place to Chinatown traverses both commercial and residential zones, taking approximately 20 minutes on foot.

While partially lit main thoroughfares pose no issues, darker side streets are best avoided at night or without a group. For safety after dark, take a taxi for swift and affordable rides to and from Chinatown. Uber also serves as a secure transit in either direction.

Additionally, CTA bus #21 plying Cermak Road offers a well-traveled transit option directly into the heart of Chinatown. With myriad transportation choices, visitors can reach Chinatown’s spectacular fare stress-free day or night from adjacent convention centers.

exterior of springhill suites in chinatown chicago

Final Thoughts about a Stay in Chinatown

My goal in this post was to set the stage that Chinatown provides a uniquely immersive cultural experience and share options where visitors can comfortably rest their heads while experiencing this community.

So when choosing accommodations in Chinatown, this post gives additional information to help you decide which property is right for you.

Regardless of where you stay, the Chinatown community stirs with activities, markets, restaurants, and shops both indoors and outdoors. In between delectable dishes and souvenir shopping, leave room for a stop at a boba tea shop!

Whether you’re looking for shopping, dining, family activities, or just a fun day out, staying in Chinatown is a unique experience for the locals and visitors.  

Safe travels.

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