Home to some of the most wondrous sights in the United States, Chicago certainly caters to all kinds of travelers!

Whether you’re just passing through or planning to spend a few days feeling the city’s bustling vibe, you can be sure that there’ll be plenty to keep you entertained in Chicago.

The ‘Windy City’ – as it’s colloquially known – is not the cheapest destination in America. In fact, it ranks as the 11th most expensive city! But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit on a budget. In fact, staying in a motel in Chicago is the best way to keep costs down without sacrificing your comfort.

Motels are quintessentially American. No where else in the world will you get to stay in somewhere as unique as a motel. Plus, they are the perfect base for those visiting on a road trip, since they are often located near main transport links.

So, if that sounds like fun to you, then you’ll enjoy my list of the best motels in Chicago for any type of traveler.

In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Chicago for One Night


Carlton Inn Midway

With Standard Queen rooms that comfortably sleep two guests, the Carlton Inn Midway lies just over 10 kilometers from the Chicago Board of Trade Building. Guests can enjoy a daily complimentary breakfast and free shuttles to the airport.

  • Hawthorne Works Museum
  • Douglas Park
  • Lake Michigan

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    Staying in a Motel in Chicago

    Chicago Illinois

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    Okay, so I’ll be honest with you; Chicago isn’t exactly a cheap place to visit.

    In fact, it ranks among the 11 most expensive cities in the United States. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, however, fret not: the easiest way to cut back on costs without having to compromise on the quality of your trip is by opting for super-affordable accommodation.

    Luckily enough, there are plenty of motels in Chicago that you can choose from according to your preferred location and budget. In fact, these properties are often linked to road trips since several of them are conveniently linked near highways.

    Another excellent thing about these properties is that they easily cater to groups and families by offering multiple bed options or connecting rooms. Some motels even offer daily breakfast on the house so you can properly fuel up before exploring Chicago’s many iconic attractions!

    What to Look for in a Motel in Chicago

    If you’re landing very late at night or in the early hours of the morning, you may perhaps want to book a motel with a 24-hour front desk so it’s easier to check-in. You should also consider your location. As I mentioned earlier, motels tend to be near to roads so are common stops for road trippers, but if you are not happy about being near the main road, choose somewhere to stay in Chicago‘s city center.

    Digital nomads who are planning on working during their stay should also check whether the rooms come with work desks and free Wi-Fi in your room: while most motels do provide complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, some may limit it to common areas only.

    Families traveling with children can check out motels that come with extra amenities like swimming pools or playgrounds. Contrary to popular belief, properties with pools aren’t necessarily expensive, but if you’re worried about the cost, you can always find motels on the outskirts of the city center and drive in to see the sites, as these tend to be cheaper.

    If you are planning on renting an RV in Chicago, make sure the motel comes with ample parking space, as some may not have spaces large enough for a vehicle of that size. It’s also a good idea to see if the parking space is secured at night. While Chicago is a safe city, anything can happen at night.

    The best place to find motels in Chicago is to check out Airbnb and Booking.com. However, motels tend to be harder to find on these sites, so to help you out, I’ve put together a list of the absolute best motels in Chicago that you can consider for your trip below.

    Carlton Inn Midway, Chicago

    Carlton Inn Midway

    • > $$
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Daily Complimentary Breakfast
    • > Free Airport Shuttle
    Motel 6 Elk Grove Village, Chicago

    Motel 6-Elk Grove Village

    • > $
    • > 2 Guests
    • > 24-Hour Front Desk
    • > Quick Drive from Airport
    Miami Inn and Suites, Chicago

    Miami Inn & Suites

    • > $
    • > 1-2 Guests
    • > Spa Baths in Select Rooms
    • > Close to the Airport
    Regal Inn Chicago O Hare, Chicago

    Regal Inn Chicago O’Hare

    • > $$
    • > 4 Guests
    • > Complimentary Toiletries
    • > On-site Restaurant
    Ohio House Motel, Chicago

    Ohio House Motel

    • > $$
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Balcony with Views
    • > On-Site Spanish Restaurant
    Rodeway Inn Chicago, Chicago

    Rodeway Inn Chicago

    • > $
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Coffee Machine in rooms
    • > Close to the Airport

    Looking for other types of accommodation? Check out our guide to Where to Stay in Chicago!

    The Top 7 Motels in Chicago

    Now that you know what to expect from motels in Chicago, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best!

    Overall Best Value Motel in Chicago – Carlton Inn Midway

    Carlton Inn Midway, Chicago
    Hotel-like rooms await at this affordable establishment!

    Wake up to a complimentary continental or buffet breakfast every morning with a stay in this absolutely gorgeous motel in Chicago. Despite its affordable rate, this property boasts spacious and ultra-comfy Standard Queen rooms that easily sleep two. Group travelers will no doubt revel in the Queen Room with two queen beds that accommodate up to five guests.

    Featuring a 24-hour front desk, on-site business center, and vending machine, this motel also provides complimentary shuttles to the airport. With a stay at this motel, you’ll be close to Grant Park, Union Station, and the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

    The Absolute Cheapest Motel in Chicago – Motel 6-Elk Grove Village

    Motel 6 Elk Grove Village, Chicago
    Kick back in these exceptionally affordable rooms!

    No more smelly hostels in Chicago! There’s absolutely no need to worry if you’re traveling on a tight budget. Motel 6-Elk Grove Village offers super-cheap Queen rooms fitted with large double beds for one to two guests. Group travelers may wish to book a Quadruple Room that comes with two double beds for up to four persons.

    Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this motel also provides an on-site vending machine and laundry facilities. Attractions like Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, George Clayson House Museum, and the Busse Forest Nature Preserve lie just a short drive away.

    Best Budget Motel in Chicago – Miami Inn & Suites

    Miami Inn and Suites, Chicago
    Enjoy a good night’s rest in the motel’s clean and comfortable rooms

    Backpackers in Chicago, this one is for you! Not only does the Miami Inn & Suites lie just a quick drive from Midway International Airport, but it also boasts a 24-hour front desk – perfect for late-night flights! With free Wi-Fi, this motel in Chicago offers King rooms with single beds for solo travelers or Queen rooms that can accommodate two guests.

    You’ll even find spa baths in select rooms for unwinding after exploring nearby attractions like the Field Museum of Natural History. Families visiting college students will be glad to learn that the property is also close to DePaul University.

    Budget Tip: Dorms in Chicago start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!

    Motel in Chicago near the Airport – Fairbridge Inn Express Barrington

    Fairbridge Inn Express Barrington, Chicago
    Perfect for couples and solo travelers alike!

    Located in a northwestern suburb of Chicago, this motel features reasonably priced king rooms with a refrigerator, microwave, and extra-large double beds to accommodate one to two guests. Select rooms also provide two double beds and spa baths.

    Additionally, the motel offers an onsite gym, in-room coffee, as well as daily complimentary pastries each morning. If you don’t want to go out to eat, you can always treat yourself to a meal at the motel’s café. With a stay at this establishment, you’ll be close to Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the Legoland Discovery Centre Chicago.

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    Best Motel in Chicago for Families – Regal Inn Chicago O’Hare

    Regal Inn Chicago O Hare, Chicago
    There’s ample space for adults and kids alike!

    Offering spacious rooms with double beds to sleep families of four, this motel in Chicago lies just a quick drive from O’Hare International Airport and some of the best things to do in Chicago, including the Cernan Earth & Space Center.

    Kids will no doubt appreciate the on-site Johnnie’s Grill restaurant which is open 24 hours a day. If you would rather eat in, rest assured that each room also comes with a small refrigerator and microwave.

    This property has a 24-hour front desk, complete with guest photocopying and fax services. Best of all, you can enjoy around-the-clock coffee and tea services in the lobby.

    Best Motel in Chicago for Couples – Ohio House Motel

    Ohio House Motel, Chicago
    A soothing environment where you can relax and unwind before hitting the road again

    With refined, air-conditioned rooms that sleep two, this upscale motel has an on-site Spanish Restaurant, perfect for a romantic candlelight dinner with your significant other! In the room, you’ll also find complimentary toiletries as well as a refrigerator and microwave for those late-night snacks.

    Nearby, you can watch the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field, located less than 10 kilometers from the motel. Ohio House also boasts proximity to the picturesque Chicago Riverwalk, Millennium Park, and the Shops at Northbridge. Perfect for a weekend in Chicago!

    Motel for Backpackers in Chicago – Rodeway Inn Chicago

    Rodeway Inn Chicago, Chicago
    No, you certainly don’t need a huge budget to afford this ultra-comfortable room!

    Backpackers looking for a super-affordable motel in Chicago will undoubtedly be thrilled with the Rodeway Inn Chicago’s Queen Room that sleeps 1-2 guests. Not only are the rooms ultra-affordable, but they’re also fitted with coffee machines so you can have a fresh brew anytime you want!

    Just a quick drive from O’Hare International Airport, this property lies close to plenty of popular attractions such as the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park. This is the perfect base for exploring Chicago’s many attractions or embarking on a food tour or two.

    Don’t Forget Your Chicago Travel Insurance

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    Final Thoughts on Motels in Chicago

    Since Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US, it should come as no surprise that expenses can rack up quite quickly. The good news is that a motel will help you save money on accommodation, so you’ll be able to afford a memorable stay in the city without sacrificing your comfort!

    Motels used to have a bad rep, but modern establishments now provide plenty of on-site amenities and comfortable bedding to rival hotel rooms – at just a fraction of the cost! And let’s face it, they are quintessentially American – you won’t get to stay in a motel anywhere else in the world!

    Now, before you go ahead and book a motel in Chicago, did you think about getting travel insurance for your trip? Not only will insurance provide you with peace of mind during your stay, but you’ll also have a solid backup plan in place if anything should go wrong.

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