The Guesthouse Hotel
4866 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Ever play the game of Where to Put the People when hosting visitors to Chicago? For the most part, there are only two options: booking a hotel room down in The Loop, or blowing up an air mattress. But how about a truly remarkable third option? The Guesthouse Hotel, in the lively Andersonville neighborhood, is a luxury 25-unit boutique hotel- at an affordable rate and with amenities for days. I interviewed co-owner Simona Krug about why this type of establishment is so very necessary.
What makes The Guesthouse Hotel a great alternative to traditional Chicago lodging?
The Guesthouse Hotel is unique in that our guests can enjoy many (if not more) of the comforts of their own home while experiencing local Chicago culture in a fun and vibrant neighborhood. All of our units feature full kitchens, living spaces, spacious bedrooms, spa bathrooms and balconies, and some of our units also have fireplaces, steam showers and even roof top decks.
Andersonville is a terrific neighborhood- what drew you to create your boutique hotel here?
Andersonville is such a gem. It is one of the few Chicago neighborhoods that boast predominantly locally and family-owned businesses. It has phenomenal restaurants and shopping and is very family friendly. During the summer, you often see families strolling around the neighborhood, popping into George's for ice cream and visiting the farmer's market. Andersonville is also very close to Wrigley Field, the lake, and many other great Chicago neighborhoods, allowing for even more family fun.
The provided amenities are ridiculously impressive! What inspired you to make this place so incredibly family-friendly?
Dave and I have traveled extensively with our 11-month-old. We recently went to Australia. We understand how difficult, time consuming and expensive it is to travel with everything you need for your little one. We decided to make travel easy for our guests with families by providing everything from a crib to a baby monitor and pretty much everything in-between; we want our guests to pack light and not worry about bringing a lot of extra kid stuff. We plan on expanding our amenities depending on what items our guests need/request. As opposed to renting two or three hotel rooms or being cramped in a hotel suite, our families can spread out in their unit, enjoy their own bedroom and privacy, cook family meals together, grill and dine outside, and truly enjoy themselves. We want to make our guests' experience as comfortable as possible so that they can relax and explore everything that Chicago has to offer.
Any plans to expand to other Chicago ‘hoods?
We would like to open more in Chicago and are also looking in other family-friendly locations, including Denver, Austin and Nashville.
Quick: name a Chicago food, a landmark, and a part of town that every tourist should absolutely experience!
Deep dish pizza at Pequod's Pizza in Lincoln Park (to-die-for pizza!); Wrigley Field and a Cubs game; and apart from Andersonville, Lincoln Square because it’s family-friendly, close to Foster Beach (great for kids), and perfect for a date night.
Beyond being a great concept, The Guesthouse Hotel is a fabulous reality. My family and I recently got to experience these gorgeously appointed, luxury residences during an in-city staycation! The motto of The Guesthouse Hotel is “live like a local,” and it’s exemplified with carefully curated local artisan goods (in the stunning lobby) and access to the best that Andersonville has to offer. Products sold and used by The Guesthouse Hotel are locally sourced as often as possible. (Check out the exceptionally beautiful sliding panel library doors and table made from reclaimed wood by the boutique furniture store two doors down!)
Our three bedroom suite was simply fantastic. Picture the home of your classy, cool, globe-trotting friend- and then imagine that she invited your kids to come stay, too. That’s a suite at The Guesthouse Hotel in a nutshell. There was room for everything and everyone (and then some), and every detail was perfection, such as the fully stocked kitchen and bathroom. And when I say “fully stocked,” I mean it: a baby tub, bath toys, little kid washcloths and towels, BPA-free sippies, plates, bowls and spoons, you name it and they had it (or would happily get it). The amenities here are top notch and available at no extra charge- we're talking everything you could possibly need for the baby, and everything you could possibly want for the big kids. Clean, fresh, and sanitized, too. (Still with me, parents? Unheard of, right?) The beds are an absolute dream, and our suite featured a steam shower in which I could’ve happily camped out.
And if I hadn’t already been sold on this place, the next morning would've done the trick; while one child napped and the other two cozied up with crafts and Guesthouse-supplied activities, I was able to work while relaxing on a beautiful balcony overlooking a bustling street. When's the last time you were able to say that in a cramped hotel room?
When you see this place- and you must- make time to swing through the lobby, sample local gourmet treats, and peek into The Guesthouse Hotel's absolutely gorgeous library which reinvents the traditional business center without compromising any of the convenience. Their lovely club room is an airy, classy spot- just perfect for hosting an event. There’s also a gym on the premises and covered parking as well. Have any questions? The Guesthouse Hotel’s staff is welcoming, knowledgeable and couldn't be any nicer if they tried.
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, so what better way to show off our town than by having people stay in one of the coolest areas without giving up an ounce of convenience or comfort? If you're not directing visiting friends and family to stay at The Guesthouse Hotel, you're doing them a great disservice. Send ‘em here…and maybe bunk in with them for the night.
Keely Flynn is a Chicago playwright, freelance writer, and blogger living with three young children, an extraordinarily tolerant husband, and two cats who just try to make it through the day without being ridden like ponies. Check out her personal blog, lollygagblog.com.
See more of Keely's stories here.
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