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Monday, May 25, 2015


I contemplated not sharing this gem with the world, because I'm afraid I may not get a bed on my future visits. However, that wouldn't be fair to Freehand, because it's an exceptional new hostel located in the heart of downtown Chicago.

The minute I stepped through the door at Freehand, I felt like I had entered a boutique hotel. I had to exit back out and check the address again to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me.

Once inside, to your immediate left is a charming and hip cafe called Cafe Integral, which will keep you fueled with caffeine during your stay. To the right, you will find friendly and eager staff waiting to assist you. 

In addition, the hostel offers distinct sitting areas in an engaging atmosphere and a lounge called Broken Shaker, serving up mouthwatering cocktails and street food inspired fare.

I stayed in a funky shared quad with four bunk beds and en suite bath. The neighborhood maps on the ceiling of the bunks are a playful addition.

Freehand Chicago Perks:
  • Hotel design at hostel prices 
  • Cafe and lounge on the premises
  • Exceptionally friendly, helpful staff
  • Location, location, location
  • Drapery surrounding each bed for privacy
  • Individual lighting and outlets
  • En suite bath and lockers
  • The front desk will hold your bags in a secure area

Once you get inside Freehand Chicago, you may forget that you are supposed to be exploring the city. There is also a Freehand Miami, and I can't wait to check that out.

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