Our fav hotels: Midwest Edition

A good trip can turn really lousy, really fast if you’re staying at a gross hotel. You know the ones I’m talking about: Stained mattresses or sheets, dirty bathrooms, conveniently located to nothing. THOSE ONES.

We thought we’d save you the trouble of looking for a good hotel in the Midwest by sharing some of our favorites and what made each stand out in our minds.

Chicago

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Photo courtesy of Hotel Lincoln

Winner: Our favorite “hotel” is really a B&B that no longer exists in that capacity. That said, we’re going to have to go with our next choice, the hipster-friendly Hotel Lincoln.  Plaid carpeting and a front desk made of old desk drawers – what’s not to like? OK, so it’s not right off the “L” line, but a little exercise is good for you, plus, it’s located near delish breakfast joint Nookies and in the heart of Lincoln Park, just steps away from the free Lincoln Park Zoo.

Runner-up: Intercontinental Magnificent Mile. This hotel continues to rake up accolades, including being name one of the top hotels in the world. For us, not only is the view spectacular, but, for the die-hard shoppers, it’s right off the Mag Mile.

Cincinnati

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Photo courtesy of Hilton.

Winner: Hilton Nethlerland Plaza: This 80-plus-year-old historic hotel is a magnificent example of Art Deco in the heart of downtown Cincy. Check in during the summertime and take in a free film on the Fountain Square Plaza across the street. Get some trendy modern Mexican fare at Nada, off Walnut Street (make sure to try the butternut squash soup).

Runner-up: Honestly, we don’t have one. We’ve stayed at a few other places in the city, but none are worth mentioning here.

Columbus, Ohio

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Photo courtesy of The Lofts.

Winner: This was a close one, but The Lofts wins by a hair. This hotel oozes cool. From the unassuming, cozy lobby to the exposed ceilings and brick walls in rooms, you’ll feel cooler after spending the night here. Did we mention it’s just a few minutes’ walk from our favorite public market, North Market and favorite boutique-laden district, the Short North? It’s also a stone’s throw from Nationwide Arena, for those of you who like to take in some NHL hockey.

Runner-up: The Crowne Plaza is located right next door to The Lofts and also boasts a Max & Erma’s that serves breakfast. Ask for a room on one of the higher floors and you’ll get access to the executive lounge, an area with free snacks and breakfast treats.

Detroit

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Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotel Group.

Winner: Contrary to popular belief, you won’t get shot as soon as you get out of your car in Detroit. You’re even less likely to get shot in Greektown, home to the Atheneum Suite Hotel. Conveniently located near Greektown Casino, Pegasus Taverna, Niki’s Pizza and Astoria Pastry Shop, your senses will be in overload. The hotel itself is beautiful with spacious rooms and marble bathrooms. The hotel also claims to be home to “the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.”

Runner-up: Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. While largely a hotel for business travelers, the Marriott can also serve as a great romantic getaway. It’s conveniently located to the Detroit Princess Riverboat, Joe Louis Arena and is on the People Mover. If worst comes to worst, at least you can take a nice monorail ride through the downtown core.

Indianapolis

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Photo courtesy of Conrad Indianapolis.

Winner: It’s worth noting that we haven’t stayed at either of these hotels, but some of our relatives have, so we think we have a pretty good feel for things. The Conrad Indianapolis is home to a Capital Grille, Aveda spa and salon, an art gallery and it connects to the major downtown mall. The service is impeccable – the first time my folks stayed there, there was a plate of cookies awaiting them in their room – and art plays a central role in the décor throughout the hotel.

Runner-up: A little further west along Washington Street is the JW Marriott, a spiffy-looking blue tower that, from a distance, looks a little out of place from the rest of the skyline. The hotel is home to a fantastic Italian restaurant, Osteria Pronto (we recommend the gnocchi, if it’s in season), as well as a sports bar. Much like the Crowne Plaza in Columbus, the upper floors get access to a VIP lounge that is stocked full – and we mean FULL – of drinks, desserts and other snacks all day.

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