Last updated on 4 December 2023 | by Stefan Hotel Follower
Where to Stay for Chicago Marathon?
The Chicago Marathon, sponsored by the Bank of America, is one of the premier 5 marathons that combine to make the World Marathon Majors series.
Both the start and finish lines are located in Grant Park which is on Columbus Drive. With more than 100,000 rooms available in the Windy City, it’s hard to pick the right hotel. Check our list of the best hotels for Chicago Marathon in 2024.
Staged in October, the Chicago Marathon is popular with elite and novice runners due to the mild weather and flat nature of the course. As the notoriety and popularity of running has increased so has the footfall at the event.
The event now attracts over 45,000 contestants, an incredible amount as the first event in 1977 had around 4,200 runners. The Chicago Marathon is well supported, and the streets are lined with spectators creating a fun and vibrant atmosphere for this hugely popular event.
Many hotels are located near the finish and start line of the Chicago Marathon 2024, which is on Columbus Drive in Grant Park. The starting line is on North Columbus Drive near to Millennium Park and runners finish closer to the South Loop, south on Columbus Drive.
When : October 13, 2024
What are The Best Hotels near Chicago Marathon Finish & Start Line in Grant Park?
Where to stay for Chicago Marathon? These are the 16 best hotels near the finish and start line in Grant Park (random order);
1. Hilton Chicago
The Hilton Chicago is located at Grant Park overlooking Lake Michigan just 5 minutes’ walk to Millennium Park. The Hotel has a fitness room, indoor pool and a business centre. The spacious rooms are well-equipped with air conditioning and refrigerator. The hotel is a short distance from the start and finish line for marathon competitors and offers a good breakfast buffet and bistro facilities. The Chicago Bears stadium is just a short drive away.
Distance from Start & Finish: Walking Distance
2. Le Meridien Essex Chicago (Walking Distance from Start/Finish) ★★★★
The Le Meredien Hotel Essex is a modern Hotel in the heart of the city with stunning views over Grant park and Lake Michigan. The Essex has a fitness centre, restaurant and bar and is a short walk away from the DePaul University. The colourful rooms are well-presented and equipped with a desk, refrigerator and cable TV. A great accommodation for guests wishing to explore the city approximately 16 miles away from Chicago O’Hare airport. It’s one of the best value Chicago marathon hotels.
Distance from Start & Finish: Walking Distance
3. Virgin Hotels Chicago (Top Rated) ★★★★
A boutique Hotel close to the restaurants and shops of Michigan avenue, Virgin Hotel Chicago is a modern, luxurious Hotel with a rooftop bar, fitness centre, on-site restaurants and a night club. The spacious, luxury rooms are well-equipped with audio visual entertainment, storage space and dressing areas. Chicago Theatre and The House of Blues are a short walk away. The perfect place from which to enjoy the Chicago Riverwalk or the summer festivals in Grant Park. It’s one of the best hotels for Chicago marathon runners, as the property is located close to the start and finish.
Distance: 12 minutes Walk to Start Line
4. Best Western Grant Park Hotel (Affordable) ★★★
Located opposite Grant Park with panoramic lake views the Best Western Grant Park Hotel is situated in the Chicago loop close to restaurants, attractions and the shops. The rooms feature cable TV, a desk and a coffee maker. There is an onsite restaurant, Mei’s Kitchen which serves American and Italian cuisine and the LaVazza Café opens for breakfast and serves a variety of sandwiches and light lunches. There is a fitness and business centre for guest’s convenience. It’s an affordable hotel, perfect for Marathon runners very close to the finishing line.
Walking Distance to both Start & Finish of Chicago Marathon
5. Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago (Affordable) ★★★
The historic, best in class Congress Plaza is situated opposite Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue. The Congress is an iconic elegant Hotel in downtown Chicago with amazing views of the city and lake. Guests can enjoy onsite dining at Rafael’s and breakfast at Gazebo. There is fitness centre, barbershop and shoeshine services onsite and this cheaper property features contemporary event spaces including the Gold Room which dates back to the 1920’s. The rooms are modern and classic with high ceilings and luxury bathrooms. A truly spectacular hotel close to the Chicago marathon start and finish lines. It’s the most booked hotel by runners.
Only 10 to 13 minutes Walk from Both Start & Finish
A simply stunning hotel in a superb location, the Chicago Athletic is a vibrant property with a rooftop bar overlooking the famous Millennium Park. The rooms are elegant and well equipped, spacious with a boutique feel. The accommodation has a fitness centre and a business centre and for those who wish to explore the city, a bicycle hire shop. The Art Institute and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are just a stroll away.
5 Minutes Walk to Start Line
7. Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown (Top Rated) ★★★★
An impressive hotel in an excellent location close to the city and attractions, the Silversmith is a contemporary accommodation with spacious rooms, a 24 hour gym and business centre. Situated near to the start and finish for Chicago marathon runners the hotel was built in 1897 and subsequently refurbished. The modern rooms are well-equipped and comfortable with refrigerators and air-conditioning. There is a concierge, on-site laundry and room service. It’s one of the best hotels for the Chicago marathon.
Walking Distance to Start Line: 7 Minutes (Finish 20 minutes)
8. Hotel Blake, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member (Top Rated) ★★★★
A boutique and stylish property in downtown Chicago Il, Hotel Blake is close to the start and finish of the Chicago marathon in Grant Park on Columbus Drive. Located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood the property has spacious, well-equipped rooms featuring a flat-screen cable TV with premium channels as standard. The accommodation has a 24 hour fitness centre and an in-house restaurant called Meli Café which is ideal for brunch or lunch. The hotel boasts 162 guest rooms and suites.
14 Minutes from Start
9. Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago (Great Value) ★★★★
Situated in the Aqua building Radisson Blu is a modern property located in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighbourhood. This luxury hotel is just five minutes’ walk from Millennium Park and has panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The rooms are modern and well presented. The health club has a spa, swimming pools and even a running track. A great location and close to the start and finish lines for those wishing to take part in the Chicago marathon.
8 Minutes from Start Line
10. The Blackstone, Autograph Collection ★★★★
The Blackstone is a highly rated 4 star hotel located in a French Beaux-Arts building. Opposite Grant Park, The Blackstone is a short walk from Millennium Park and features a tapas restaurant onsite parking and a 24 hour fitness centre. The stylish guest rooms are spacious and well presented with marble bathrooms, desks, refrigerators and audio-visual entertainment. The perfect location to enjoy the shops or visit the Art Institute just a 10 minute walk away.
Located 10 Minutes Walk from Finish line
11. The Palmer House Hilton ★★★★
The classic and historic Palmer House Hotel is close to the Chicago loops eclectic mix of restaurants, museums, and cafes and features onsite dining, a business centre, a fitness centre and a health spa. The rooms are modern yet luxurious with desks and armchairs, and guests can enjoy 24 hour housekeeping and room service. The Lockwood restaurant serves an American breakfast and offers lunch and dinner. The indoor pool features a hot tub for guests to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.
Distance to Start: 12 Minutes
12. Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown South Loop (Affordable) ★★★
The Hilton Garden Inn is a modern property situated 0.5 miles from Grant Park in the downtown Chicago south loop area. This premier hotel has onsite dining, and offers buffet, and a la carte breakfast. There is an onsite indoor pool, fitness centre and a hot tub on the 8th Floor. The rooms are well presented and well equipped with a desk, TV and armchair. It’s a great value accommodation, perfect for runners of the Chicago Marathon event.
7 Minutes from Chicago Marathon Finish
13. Hampton Inn Majestic Chicago Theatre District (Affordable) ★★★
Hampton Inn Majestic Theatre District is a smoke free hotel situated on West Monroe inside the historic CIBC Theater in the Loop within walking distance to Millennium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago, and close to shops, restaurants and attractions. The comfortable King & Queen rooms are fully equipped with ironing facilities and private bathroom. There is a fitness and business center, laundry, and room service.
The property is less than 10 Minutes Walk from the Marathon Start
14. Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown Chicago (Cheap) ★★
A short walk from Grant Park, the Travelodge offers comfortable accommodation situated in the South Loop of the city. Rooms are comfortable and spacious with cable TV and a coffee maker. The onsite restaurant, Chicago Kitchen is available for breakfast and lunch and the Thai Spoon offers tasty Thai dishes. There is an onsite business centre and meeting rooms are available to book. A lively area in close proximity to downtown Chicago shops and attractions. It’s one of the cheapest hotels around for marathon attendees and spectators.
Walking Distance from Start & Finish
15. HI Chicago Hostel (Hostel) ★★★
The historic HI Chicago Hostel is set in the South Loop area of Chicago, moments away from Lake Michigan and in the heart of the city. A comfortable and modern accommodation that offers a continental breakfast. The cities shops and attractions are all within walking distance and the hostel hosts group activities, such as walking tours and excursions, at discounted rates. The Library and DePaul University are close by and Millennium Park is 0.5 miles from the hostel. Perfect for marathon participants looking for a cheap place to stay before and after the race event.
Walking Distance from Both Start & Finish Line
16. Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel, The Loop (Highly Reviewed) ★★★★
The Staypineapple is one of the best hotels for the Chicago marathon. Situated close to the Museum of Illusions and Washington station and only a short distance from Grant Park, this 4 star accommodation has well-equipped guest rooms featuring historic touches. It’s the perfect hotel from which to explore the city or for those competing in the Chicago Marathon only a short distance from the start and finish line in Grant Park.
Only 12 Minutes from Finish/Start
About Chicago Illinois
Located in the Mid-Western State of Illinois and often referred to as the ‘second’ or ‘windy’ city, Chicago is actually the third largest city in the United States.
Chicago stretches over 6,500 square miles and is home to circa 10 million people, 3 million of which live in the city. Chicago is a vibrant, multi-cultural city which was once a major port and trading hub and is synonymous with the emergence of jazz and blues music. The waterfront is home to some of America’s most stunning architecture and has towering skyscrapers, restaurants and museums.
Visitors to Millennium Park can marvel at the surreal, shiny bean-like Cloud Gate, or sports fans can indulge their passion for baseball and football with the resident teams such as the Chicago Bears and the Cubs.
Spring and Autumn has some mild weather and is a good time to visit as there is plenty going on and things to see at the festivals and exhibitions. Temperatures are at their best during the summer months from June to September albeit the hotels and attractions can get extremely busy.
The winters are harsh with frequent snowfalls and blizzards however tourist footfall is low which is reflected in lower rates for Hotels and air-travel. ‘My Kind of Town’ (Chicago) was the song made famous by Frank Sinatra which now forms a part of the story and popular culture of the city.
Where is the Start Line of Chicago Marathon?
Both the start and finish lines are located in Grant Park which is on Columbus Drive. Columbus Drive runs from North to South of Grant Park. The start line is normally on North Columbus Drive near to Millennium Park and the finish line is closer to the South Loop, south on Columbus Drive.
The course is 26.2 miles and runs through 29 Chicago neighbourhoods. Runners will head North to Sheridan Road and then turn and run back in parallel until heading West on Monroe to Damen Ave. Runners will then run South to 35th and turn for the final leg back to Grant Park and the finish line.
The race start is staggered in line with qualifying standards and is normally split into three waves of runners. The marathon attracts circa 1.7 million spectators, so it is wise to plan your morning to make sure you allow time to reach the start on time. Allow time for parking, traffic, security bag checks, and toilet queues so that you arrive at the start at least 15 minutes early ready for a warm up prior to the start.
Staying in a local hotel and spending some time to get to know the area will make it easier on race day. If you are unsure as to transit timings just remember on race day, there will be thousands of people in the area so allow more time. The best places to stay in Chicago for the marathon are located within easy reach of both start and finish line.