Lively common areas
Lively common areas

Hi Chicago Hostel Review – Affordable Stay In Chicago

The city of deep-dish pizzas and towering skyscrapers played host to my first international trip. While that was wonderful news, another good thing that happened was that I had received a scholarship to attend Kubecon in Chicago too. If this was not enough, I was invited to speak at Rejekts, a conference that takes place before KubeCon. 

Though it was my first international trip, I didn’t shy away from staying in a hostel. After a bit of research, I booked a few nights at the Hi Chicago Hostel in Chicago. It was a top-rated hostel in Chicago on Google as well as other websites.

My first international trip was quite adventurous and exciting. What this also meant was that I had to reach Chicago a few days before KubeCon, which meant that I’d need a place to crash for a few days before I could get a hotel from the organisers. 

So does Hi Chicago do justice to the ratings? Well, I’ll share everything you need to know in my Hi Chicago hostel review blog post.

Hi Chicago Hostel Review

Just like the YHA here in India, there’s a non-profit organisation called Hi USA that runs these Hi hostels across the USA. When you’re at the Hi Chicago Hostel you’re not just getting a bed to crash but also part of something that grows and makes a difference every year, it’s more than just a place to stay.


Hi Chicago Hostel is located in one of the best spots in Chicago. Located in Downtown Chicago, “The Loop” in a super iconic building. It’s conveniently located near metro stations Jackson and Harrison metro stations. I took a metro from the Chicago Airport to Jackson and walked from there to the hostel. It was about 8 PM in the night, and well it’s the main road, so wasn’t an issue walking there.

It’s also located close to different iconic spots of Chicago like Buckingham Fountain, Chicago Fine Arts building and other places. There aren’t many convenience stores nearby, but you’d have to walk 5-8 minutes to get anywhere. There’s a CVS pharmacy close by where you can find most things. 

Dormitory & Common Area

I booked a bed in an 8-bed dormitory and got a room that was located on the 3rd floor. The room had 4 bunk beds with 4 sets of lockers with each bed. There was an attached bathroom and a toilet along with a sink area. That was the good part since this room had an attached bathroom.

Talking about the bed, it was one of the most comfortable beds I had slept on across my stays to date and surely the best hostel bed ever. I used to sleep like a baby there. Maybe even the weather played a part since it was cold and freezing. Each bed also has a side light and a socket to charge phones. The placement could have been a little better. Also, the design of the bed needs to be rethought.

Dormitory in Hi Chicago Hostel
Dormitory in Hi Chicago Hostel

They do give a towel for free, unlike other hostels where it is charged. I did take my lock instead of taking one from them. While they say WiFi was available, it didn’t quite work in the room or the common area. Luckily I had bought a local SIM in the USA that fulfilled my data needs. 

The room which I was in was full. So I had a person from Ukraine, one from Istanbul, one from Perth and the rest from different parts of the US. One of the most diverse groups I had stayed with ever. Overall, I did have a fun time in the room and with the people, just that I was out most time during the day. PS: Pardon the bad-quality picture since I was in the room only during the night and stayed outside during the day.

Food & Activities

The hostel has also got a pretty good and large common area. It’s brightly lit and colourful. Since I was there in November, they still had the Halloween setup in place. There were sofas and working tables in the room along with board games, pool tables and a TV viewing area in one corner. There’s also an information desk that can help you plan your trip, it’s like a concierge if I can say. They also host events regularly here, so you’ll not be bored.

Lively common areas
Lively common areas

There was a cafeteria as well where they served breakfast. The breakfast was included in the tariff which was a good thing. And being an early bird, I loved the fact that breakfast was served early. The breakfast had mostly cold items from breads and cheeses to juices, salami and stuff. For a vegetarian, it was surely difficult. So my common breakfast was a bagel with cream cheese, fruit juice, muffin and a bowl of cornflakes. I loved this breakfast. 

The cafe is nicely lit and overlooks the loop so you’ll be greeted by the metro as you sip on your coffee or work. Apart from that, every floor had a small common area where I saw people eat. There were vending machines with munchies and drinks so one could grab anything they wanted at any time.

A Good Affordable Place To Stay In Chicago

To sum things up, my stay at the Hi Chicago Hostel was pretty good. The prime downtown location stole the spotlight, placing me close to iconic spots and convenient metro stations. The hostel’s amenities, from comfy beds to lively common areas, impressed, creating a welcoming atmosphere. The breakfast spread was a highlight, providing a tasty start to my day. 

I paid a budget-friendly price of $106 for 3 nights which I feel is a steal deal in Chicago. The things that can be improved would be the WiFi that posed a hiccup, and the sluggish elevator tested my patience. Despite these minor quirks, Hi Chicago Hostel stands out as a good-value choice for a vibrant and affordable stay in the Windy City.

Do share your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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