Back in Hostelling International
I’m back in Hostelling International but this time, it is in another city. It was Hostelling International in Chicago. It is located in 24 East Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60605 with contact details by calling their telephone number: 312-360-0300 or check their website at www.hichicago.org. But I usually do all my hotel reservations via Booking.com since I got really good discounts for being a Genius member.
I arrived in Chicago via Amtrak and walked from Union Station to the hostel’s location which was about 12-15 mins. It was a good walk since I got to see some of the street views of the city. I got into East Congress Pkwy and found this sign.
HI Chicago looked classy and modern. It has a Cuban coffee shop named Cafecito which is just beside the main door of the hostel. I got inside the hostel and was welcomed by two receptionists named Theresa and Christa. I followed a queue to have myself checked-in. Unfortunately, I got Theresa who speaks English and Cantonese but she still has the accent so, I can barely understand some of what she is saying. She is fast but her voice is irritating and not accommodating. It was almost 1100H but it took her some time to look for my reservation. She found it eventually and checked me in. She got all my details by asking for my driver’s license. Other proof of identification is a passport if you are just visiting the country. I gave her my Ohio BMV license and took my payment. Again, Hostelling International in general is great if you are on a budget. I paid US$131.58 for 3 nights. I got the receipt and she wrote there that I have to pick up my keycard after 1500H. Come on! I know it is hotel and hostel rules in checking in and out but I really needed sleep that day since I haven’t had one from last night. I left Caldwell at 2100H, drove all the way to Alliance Amtrak Station and got to the train at 0150H. The trip lasted 8 hours but it was a direct trip that I don’t have a layover in any train station. Theresa just handed and felt like a slap on my face that I have to wait that long to get to my room. She did the same thing to other guests, they really follow hostel rules. I never had this problem when I was staying in Hostelling International DC. Instead, Theresa offered me to have my stuff placed in one of the safety deposit boxes for safekeeping. I stayed in the waiting area instead while writing this blog article. But we are done with that. Let’s go to the facilities of the hostel.
First is the waiting area. They got three sets of waiting seats and tables, a sofa set and a 6-seater table.
Guests were just walking here and there while me sitting with my feet on the table waiting for my keycard.
Then there is this reception area. It looks cool with the wall painting and some awesome saying.On the opposite of the main door of the hostel is Cafecito. Foods they were serving looked tempting and delicious but I just hate the smell of coffee. The ambience is young added by wall paintings making it more edgier.The hostel is really secured and safe. Only residents and registered guests can access the rooms by the use of keycards handed by the receptionist.When you get to the other side of that doors, there are two elevators that’ll take you to these floors:I got a 10-bed male dormitory and it was situated in third floor. Rooms were the same in HI-Washington DC. It’s not crowded and it is still spacious though.Every floor has its own bathrooms, meeting rooms and kitchen with access to vending machines.In the second floor is the entertainment and the dining area and basically the hangout with friends and guests floor.
Hostelling International Chicago is indeed a good place to stay and for sure, I’ll be back in this hostel when I get back in Chicago. Location is perfect to tourist spots and it is also a safe neighborhood near to Roosevelt University, DePaul University and Robert Morris University which is a big plus. I gave HI Chicago, 5 stars still.