Location, location, location. The Willows has a great one. If you haven’t yet noticed, my goal in writing this book is to urge visitors into the neighborhoods, where Chicago’s true energy is, and The Willows does just that. Plopped down near the tony Lincoln Park neighborhood, in an entirely residential area, it’s within walking distance of the lake and a number of great nightlife and dining options. You won’t find the refined service and amenities here that you will further south, but you’ll get a comfortable room at a reasonable price, and, best of all, a taste of the true Chicago. Bonus: Continental breakfast is included, and self-parking in a nearby lot is $25 (yes, that’s a bonus).