Hyde Park is not the easiest place to utilize public transit or find hotels for out of town guests. Because of this we rented our own personal trolley for transportation. 30 attendees at a time can commute for free back to Chicago's Loop. Downtown Chicago is home to dozens of coffeeshops, pizza places, fast food, and an assortment of ethnic restaurants. You can find a full list at TravelWiki's guide to the Loop. Starting after presentations the trolley will be available to ship attendees to various locations in downtown. Trolley will be a great option for attendees going to various Metra trains in the loop.
University of Chicago is located outside of downtown with minimal options for hotels. Staying close to the venue will be convienant, but expensive. Remember the loop is very easy to get around and hotels are a bit cheaper in various areas.
- Ramada Lakeshore Chicago 4900 S Lakeshore Dr (773)288-5800. checkin: noon; checkout: 3PM. This is the only major hotel in the area. It is unfortunately far from anything in the area of interest, but its rates are low and it has plenty of free parking and a downtown shuttle. Rooms from $125-140.
Not as close, but in area.
- Hostelling International Chicago 24 E Congress Pkwy (Library CTA, Jackson Red Line, LaSalle Blue Line), (312)360-0300. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No curfew, no age restrictions (under 18 must be accompanied by adult). Rates from $29.
- Congress Plaza Hotel 520 S Michigan Ave (Library CTA, Jackson Blue Line), (312)427-3800. The Congress Hotel has seen visits from most U.S. presidents since it was built in 1893. Today, other hotels have overtaken the Congress in the glamor class, leaving it behind as a great deal with a colorful past. Ask for a room with a view of the lake — if Buckingham Fountain is running, you will be treated to a magnificent view. The workers of the Congress hotel are currently engaged in the longest hotel strike in history. Rooms from $100.