I’m a sucker for any hotel with decent views of a busy airport, so that’s why there was no other choice for me than the Hilton at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). I’m even willing to pay a premium for it, which certainly was the case in this instance. It’s an expensive property.

A full review of my 2 night stay at the Hilton ORD (O’Hare) Airport Hotel

Spoiler alert: I’ve actually stayed at this hotel two more times since writing this review. It’s location is perfect for anyone needing quick and easy access to the airport. I think you’ll agree with me once you see the pics (below):

Getting to the Hilton from the O’Hare Airport

Finding this Hilton from inside the terminal at ORD was rather easy. There are signs that say “Hilton” at all exits, so just keep following them until you reach the front door. I should mention that the Hilton is accessible via two routes from the terminal:

  1. Via an underground walkway
  2. From outside (by simply walking across the roadway to the hotel entrance)

Either way is simple, but I do appreciate the fact that there is an indoor/underground option to avoid inclement weather outside. But if the weather is nice (as it was during my trip), it’s a very nice and easy walk across the roadway.

signs to Hilton ORD
Directions to this Hilton were located on all exit signs inside the terminal at ORD.
walking to Hilton ORD
You can choose to walk outside across the roadway or in an underground tunnel to reach this hotel.
underground walkway to Hilton ORD
The underground tunnel takes longer, but there are moving walkways for nearly the entire distance.
Hilton ORD main entrance
Unlike the Frankfurt Airport Hilton (which is extravagant), the entrance to the ORD Hilton is easy to miss from inside the underground tunnel. I actually went too far and had to turn around and come back.
Hilton ORD exterior
If you choose to walk to the hotel from the outside, don’t worry – it’s a short and easy walk from any terminal.
Hilton O'Hare outside
I’d actually recommend walking outside instead of taking the tunnel if the weather is nice. It’s much shorter, and the fresh air feels good after a long flight.
Hilton ORD outside entrance
Welcome to the Hilton at Chicago O’Hare! No, this looks nowhere near as fancy-pants as the Austin Airport Hilton, but I suppose it’ll do.

Checking in and getting to my room

The check in desk was quite busy by the time I arrived (just after 5pm on a Saturday afternoon), and I ended up waiting about 10 minutes for the next available clerk. No worries though – the staff was very friendly and polite (as would be expected), and I had my room card keys within minutes.

Hilton ORD check in desk
Hilton O’Hare check in desk.

Walking through the hallway on the 8th floor to my room reminded me quickly that I was not in an overly-luxurious property (the hallway decor screamed “airport hotel”), and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The only reason why I mention it is because I paid nearly $230/night for this room so I was hoping for something a bit more upscale.

Hilton ORD guest room hallway
8th floor guest room hallway.
Hilton ORD room 8016
Room 8016 – my home for the next two nights.

The views from the room

I quickly realized the value of staying here (and the price I paid) immediately upon entering the room. The view of the airport was amazing! The floor to ceiling windows were well worth the price of admission and I knew right away that I’d be spending a lot of time in front of them watching ORD at work.

Trust me – you haven’t lived until you’ve stood nearly naked above O’Hare Airport, watching all that mesmerizing action below from your upper floor room at the Hilton while scarfing down a $10 danish that couldn’t have cost more than $0.15 to make.

I shot tons of pics and thousands of gigabytes of video from here, and I’d go as far as to say it was one of the best views I’ve ever had at an airport hotel. The Marriott at IAH was nice – but this Hilton was much better!

Hilton ORD room with view of airport
My first view of the room immediately stepping inside, and my first thought was how promising that large window looked…
Hilton ORD view of airport
The view of the airport did not disappoint! For you aviation photographers who are curious, this is a 100mm shot so I can imagine that a 400mm lens would be perfect from this vantage point.
Hilton ORD runway view
Just for comparisons sake, here’s the morning runway view showing that the sun is in an ideal location for morning photography from here. Yup, this kicks the snot out of the view I had at the Hilton at the Knoxville Airport.
Hilton ORD view from room at night
Night view of terminals 1 and 2 at ORD as seen from my room here at the Hilton O’Hare. This is easily one of the best views I’ve ever had from a Hilton (well, other than the Waikiki Beach Hilton, of course).

Finally, before you complain that the planes are too far to see from the room, have a look at my review of the Hilton in Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport. You won’t be complaining after seeing what that view was like.

The room

The decor of the room was nice. Not “wow” nice, but just nice – typical of a Hilton I suppose. Of all the airport Hiltons I’ve stayed at, I’d give the “style and design” win to the Knoxville Airport Hilton (it was nice). This one here at ORD seemed a touch dated, but it was quite comfortable nonetheless.

Hilton ORD king bed
Large (and comfortable) king bed.
Hilton ORD room overview
View looking the other way with the windows behind me. As far as airport hotels go, the decor in here was pretty much opposite of what you saw in my Radisson Blu / Zurich Airport review (which was nothing short of bold).
Hilton ORD bed pillows
Decent pillow collection – and not over the top as I experienced during my stay at the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel in Mexico City recently.
Hilton ORD TV
Large TV stand with integrated dresser drawers and mini-bar.
Hilton ORD coffee maker
Coffee machine, ice bucket, and drink glasses on the mini-bar.
Hilton ORD coffee and drinks
Another view – just showing more detail (as any legit hotel reviewer should lol).
Hilton ORD in room furniture
I’m not much of a fan of leather chairs, but this recliner was quite comfortable. I like it even better than the funky chair in my room at the Boston Airport Hilton!
Hilton ORD nightstand
The nightstand (with phone). Simple and clean decor is always best IMHO.
Hilton ORD alarm clock
“Simple and clean” are not words to describe this alarm clock though. Why do hotel room alarm clocks need to be this complicated? Pro tip: use your phone instead!
Hilton ORD room overview
Wide angle view of the entire room. It’s fairly basic considering the cost – but then again, what you’re paying for is convenience.

The bathroom

Hilton ORD bathroom
The bathroom was a slight disappointment for me. It was perfectly clean and usable, but I thought it looked a bit dark and outdated.
Hilton ORD bathroom vanity and sink
The vanity and sink. As you can see, nothing too fancy here.
Hilton ORD shower and tub
Days Inn or Hilton? The bathtub (and decor) could use a refresh IMHO.
Hilton ORD shower head
Obligatory shower head pic for those of you like me who care about this sort of thing!
Hilton ORD bathroom amenities
Complimentary Peter Thomas Roth amenities in the bathroom.

Room service

In-room dining options were good. The menu was extensive (and obnoxiously expensive), but I found the food to be decent.

Hilton ORD room service breakfast
In-room breakfast on my first morning. Expensive – but tasty.
Hilton ORD room service dinner
Room service for dinner on my second night: cheeseburger and french fries. Not bad!

Final thoughts

So all in all, how did I feel about paying $230/night for this room? Pretty good actually – once I saw the view.

Hilton ORD sunset views
The views of O’Hare from this hotel are top notch.

That view is what made this experience so memorable for me, and if you want the same thing, make sure that you request a room on a higher floor (7 or above).

Without the excellent view of the airport, I definitely would’t have been so happy with the cost considering there are a plethora of other good airport hotels surrounding O’Hare airport that are much cheaper. None are located as conveniently as this one of course, but it’s possible to save a lot of money by choosing something just a bit farther away.

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