A Business Traveler’s Guide to Chicago

12 October 2023
A Business Traveler’s Guide to Chicago
Welcome to Chicago, often affectionately known as the "Windy City." Chicago is a vibrant and diverse metropolis located in the heart of the United States. It's renowned for its dynamic business landscape, rich cultural heritage, and a stunning skyline punctuated by iconic architecture.

Chicago Airports

Chicago's two major airports, O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW), are essential gateways to the city. Here's an overview of both airports and their advantages: Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD):
  • Hub for Business Travel: O'Hare is one of the busiest airports in the United States and a vital hub for business travelers. It offers a vast network of domestic and international flights, making it a convenient choice for those traveling to or through Chicago for work.
  • Global Connectivity: As one of the world's major transportation hubs, ORD connects you to a wide array of destinations. Whether you have domestic meetings or international business ventures, O'Hare offers diverse flight options.
  • Airport Amenities: O'Hare provides an extensive range of amenities, from fine dining restaurants to shopping boutiques. This ensures you can make the most of your time at the airport with quality services.
  • Business Facilities: The airport caters to business travelers with various business centers, conference rooms, and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Public Transportation: O'Hare is well-connected to the city via public transportation, making it relatively straightforward to reach your business appointments within Chicago.
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW):
  • Proximity to Downtown: Midway is situated closer to downtown Chicago, which means less travel time to reach the city center. This is particularly advantageous if your business activities are concentrated in the heart of Chicago.
  • Efficiency: Midway Airport is known for its efficiency. Smaller and less crowded compared to O'Hare, you can often expect shorter security lines and a quicker check-in process.
  • Business Traveler-Friendly: Midway also offers amenities for business travelers, including conference rooms and workspaces, ensuring you can maximize productivity while waiting for your flight.
  • Convenient Parking: If you're renting a car during your visit, Midway's parking options are often more convenient and less expensive than those at O'Hare.
  • Access to Public Transportation: Like O'Hare, Midway is accessible via public transportation, making it easy to navigate the city and reach your business appointments.
Choosing between O'Hare and Midway depends on your specific needs. O'Hare is excellent for its global connectivity, while Midway is advantageous for its proximity to the city center. Both airports are equipped to facilitate business travel, and your choice will largely depend on the location of your meetings and your flight preferences.

Ways to Get from the Airport to the City

Navigating from the airport to your destination in Chicago can be straightforward with the following options:
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available at both O'Hare and Midway airports. They offer a convenient way to reach your accommodation or business meetings. This option is ideal for those who prefer to hail a ride upon arrival.
  • Airport Transfer by Bookinglane: For a seamless and pre-arranged airport transfer, consider Bookinglane's services. By booking in advance, you can ensure a smooth transition from the airport to your destination. With Bookinglane, your driver will be ready and waiting for you when your flight lands, saving you time and providing peace of mind.
  • Ridesharing Services like Uber: Uber and other ridesharing services are popular in Chicago and offer a convenient transportation alternative. However, be aware of potential traffic and parking issues, especially during peak hours. While ridesharing offers flexibility, Bookinglane's airport transfer service provides the assurance of a pre-scheduled and reliable ride, which can be advantageous for busy business travelers.

Top Places to Stay in Chicago

When visiting Chicago on business, choosing the right place to stay is essential. The city offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious downtown hotels to cozy boutique options. Here are some top places to consider, each with its unique advantages:
The Langham, Chicago:
  • Riverside Elegance: Situated along the Chicago River, The Langham boasts stunning views of the city's iconic architecture. Enjoy the riverfront scenery right from your room.
  • Relaxation and Wellness: After a day of meetings, unwind at the Chuan Spa, offering holistic treatments and a serene wellness area.
The Peninsula Chicago:
  • Magnificent Mile Luxury: Located on the Magnificent Mile, The Peninsula provides quick access to high-end shopping and fine dining, making it perfect for entertaining clients.
  • Robust Business Center: The hotel's business center is well-equipped, offering secretarial services and meeting spaces.
Kimpton Gray Hotel:
  • Boutique Chic: This boutique hotel in the Loop offers a sophisticated ambiance with a touch of Chicago's history.
  • Evening Social Hour: Enjoy a complimentary evening wine hour and connect with fellow travelers.
Virgin Hotels Chicago:
  • Innovative Design: Experience unique room layouts and modern design in the heart of downtown Chicago.
  • The Commons Club: This in-house social club is perfect for networking and business meetings.
The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel:
  • Artistic Vibes: Embrace the artistic atmosphere in this stylish hotel, featuring art deco-inspired design.
  • Premier Location: Located on North Rush Street, The Gwen is steps away from top attractions, making it convenient for leisure time.
Each of these hotels offers its own distinct charm and benefits. Your choice depends on your preferences, whether it's luxury, location, unique design, or business amenities. No matter which you choose, you'll find comfort and convenience in these top places to stay in Chicago.

Places to Host Business Meetings

Chicago offers a variety of venues where you can host successful business meetings. Consider these options:
  • Chicago Sports Museum: An exciting and unique venue, perfect for combining business and entertainment.
  • Chicago Board of Trade Building: Ideal for formal meetings with a touch of history and architectural grandeur.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago: A culturally rich setting that can inspire creativity during your meetings.

Best Places to Eat

Chicago is renowned for its culinary scene. Don't miss the chance to savor some iconic Chicago dishes at these must-visit places:
  • Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: Experience the city's famous deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati's.
  • Portillo's: Indulge in classic Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.
  • Alinea: For an upscale dining experience, Alinea offers innovative and artful cuisine.

Top Tourist Attractions in Chicago

While in Chicago for business, take some time to explore the city's top attractions:
  • Millennium Park: Home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as "The Bean."
  • The Art Institute of Chicago: Discover an extensive collection of art and culture.
  • Navy Pier: Enjoy entertainment, dining, and scenic views of Lake Michigan.
  • Willis Tower Skydeck: Experience breathtaking views from the city's tallest building.
  • Chicago Riverwalk: Stroll along the river and soak in the city's unique architecture.
A Business Traveler’s Guide to Chicago

Dos and Don'ts

To navigate Chicago effectively, keep these dos and don'ts in mind:
  • Do Use Public Transportation: Chicago's "L" train system is efficient and budget-friendly.
  • Do Try Local Dishes: Explore the city's diverse food scene and savor iconic dishes.
  • Do Plan for Weather: Chicago experiences all four seasons, so pack accordingly.

  • Don't Forget to Tip: Tipping is customary in Chicago, so be sure to show your appreciation for good service.
  • Don't Ignore Traffic Rules: Be aware of parking regulations and obey traffic laws to avoid fines.
  • Don't Limit Yourself: Take time to explore the city beyond business meetings; Chicago has a lot to offer.

With these tips in mind, your business trip to Chicago is bound to be a rewarding experience. Enjoy your time in this vibrant city!

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