The economy hasn't been kind this year, putting a damper on your summer vacation plans. But you can still make a little escape for yourself by booking an affordable hotel package right here in town this summer.
Think about it – even though you're not exactly fleeing the 312, you might be leaving behind a sink full of dirty dishes, your demanding children (left with responsible adult babysitters, of course) and piles of laundry just for a few days. That's what it's really all about, right? Here are a few of the packages available:
• Summer Eco-Escape - package includes a stay at the Hotel Felix, plus welcome cocktails in the hotel lobby. Guests arriving in a hybrid car receive complimentary valet parking. Rates begin at $139/night.
• Experience China – package includes a stay at Chicago's Essex Inn. Guests are then encouraged to visit Chinatown, followed by a trip to the Chicago Cultural Center to view ''The Big World: Recent Art from China'' exhibition. Rates begin at $159/night.
• Stay at the Drake and Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo – package includes a stay at the Drake Hotel, a complimentary breakfast buffet, and free one-day CTA passes that will take guests to any destination in the city, including the Lincoln Park Zoo. Rates begin at $192/night.
• Lakefront Biking Package - package includes a stay at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, plus a three hour guided tour by bike. Rates begin at $219/night.
Other participating hotels include the Best Western Hawthorne Terrace; Best Western River North; Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown Chicago; Conrad Chicago; Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront; Fairmont Hotel; Four Seasons Chicago; Hyatt Regency Chicago; Omni Chicago; Sofitel Chicago Water Tower; Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago; theWit, a Doubletree Hotel; and the Wheeler Mansion.
To book a summer hotel package, visit www.explorechicago.org.