Selina Chicago Review + Tour

Chicago is a city of chic contemporary high-rises that echo the energy of the roaring 20s’. Stunning skyscrapers, bustling streets, and high end shopping at every turn.

This is also the perfect way to describe the Selina Chicago. 

As a long time resident of Chicago, I selected the Selina Chicago for a recent visit and it did not disappoint! Both the Selina Chicago and the city are boundless wonders of historic and retro spaces.

Pros:

  • Amazing Location
  • High Quality + Great Value
  • Gym
  • Super Clean

Cons:

  • Little to no Social Activities (May change post covid)
  • No Group Wellness Session
  • No Bar (May change post Covid)
  • 1 Small + Slow Elevator for 16 Floors

Overview of the Selina Chicago

The moment guests walk in the door of the Selina Chicago they are lit by a striking chandelier and they know they are someplace special. As you take in your new exciting surroundings you’ll notice upscale and trendy colors and textures line your walkway. 

This Selina Chicago is an updated high-rise offering incredible views and high end quality from its 16 floors. 

There is a gym, large meeting rooms, and coworking space to cater to business and professional travelers. Rooms have trendy decor and lighting around the deep wood furniture and marble countertops adding touches of luxury to your stay. 

This location is more of an upscale boutique hotel that offers some dorm rooms and a shared kitchen, as opposed to a socially active environment Selinas are known for.

The perfect stop over and long weekend destination for any traveler.

Location of the Selina Chicago

The location is prime in terms of walkability to Chicago hotspots.  The Selina Chicago is located at the intersections of the Magnificent Mile and Near North Neighborhoods. 

Magnificent Mile is known for its infamous Michigan Avenue and Watertower Place. Both are just steps from the Selina Chicago doorway. 

If guests turn north, they will find themselves around some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the city like Gibson’s Steakhouse, Hugo Frog Bar and Carmine’s in Near North. 

The CTA redline stop two blocks away acts as your public transit access point and can easily get you to the entire city. 

Neighborhood Safety

Insider Info:

Having lived in Chicago for over a decade, the Selina’s location is in a high end neighborhood considered very safe neighborhood to walk around in both day and night.

You are still in the big city so nothing is guaranteed and this is a tourist area that can attract the occasional pickpocketers along Michigan Ave. Do keep a look out, but basic street-smarts will do just fine here.

First Floor of the Selina Chicago

Coworking

The first things guests see after they walk through the doors is the coworking space of the Selina Chicago.

I don’t usually start a tour with the coworking space, but this Selina is set up a bit differently in that the coworking space is both the community space and it’s the first room guests see when they walk in the door.

The coworking space is the largest open area on the first floor, so it is where most guests congregate. It functions as the cozy living room of this large luxurious home.

Guests enjoyed the windows facing the pedestrian streets and a large open space with lit by the fireplace. 

Unlike coworking areas in other Selinas, there is no limitation to the access of the coworking space a the Selina Chicago.

For those in work mode, on the side of are two phone booths for taking private calls and across the way are some semi-private spaces we’ll get to in a moment. There are also large meeting rooms on the second floor we’ll explore.

WiFi is great across the property, including on the higher floor levels in the rooms. Which was a real plus. I was able to successfully take calls in my room on a higher floor.

Additional Shared Space at Selina Chicago

In addition to the large open Coworking space on the first floor, guests will find a series of open seating and semi-private spaces across the hall.

Located between the main hallway and the attached cafe, Selina guests can cozy up in a variety of nooks and tables of open lounge seating. Each area has a smaller section walled off, or tables set up to set each space apart.

This side of the first floor is the perfect for a more intimate conversation or semi-private work space.

HOWM Cafe

Bute wait- there’s more on this first floor.

If you keep navigating your way through the nooks fo seating, you’ll discover the HOWM Cafe. HOWM, pronounced home, is the onsite restaurant for the Selina Chicago and is guests’ source of fresh coffee and espresso and early morning bites. 

HOWM cafe offers booth, table and bar seating in a hipster styled diner setting. The menu is limited, but works to feed guests and locals during the morning hours. A perfect touch of healthy and homey.

Insider Info:

A real treat here is the morning bartender Anna. Anna works the espresso machine at HOWM and her specialist is shaken espresso. It’s one of those simple but wonderful experiences. Highly recommend!

Reception

Let’s take a look at the reception area here at Selina Chicago.

Before you head upwards in this amazing high-rise, you will pass by the reception area. The neon-lit reception desk offers guest check in and luggage storage. 

Luggage is stored in a locked room behind reception for those looking for luggage storage before or after your stay.

The reception desk is small and it is contrasted by the largest Grab and Go section I have ever seen at a Selina location!

This grab and go section is massive offering refrigerated items like sandwiches in addition to beverages and snack. Guests can also purchase toiletries, and extra goodies that just look fun.  

Second Floor of Selina Chicago

Ready to head upstairs?

Take the elevator up the second floor and you’ll find the social heartbeat of the Selina Chicago. The first floor was about lounging and relaxing. The second floor is all about community and connection.

There are four community rooms on this floor: two community rooms with seating, the cinema, and the dual spaces bar area.

Selina Chicago Community Rooms

Right out of the elevator, guests will notice a trendy meeting room of three couches.

Dark grey leather seating is contrasted by the pop of bight yellow pillows and the retro black and white wall paper. Additional leather seats lines the back wall.

A perfect chill evening social space or to host a group party.

Community Seating Room 2

Next is a large business casual space with round three table, a bench and a large projections screen. Each of the three tables are round marble table tops surrounded with soft warm leather seating.

Room has seating for about 9-10, but it large enough for closer to 20 with standing room.

This is an ideal space for a skill share or casual business meet up. Also works as cowork overflow space and additional dining seating.

Cinema at Selina Chicago

The Selina Chicago is equipped with a modern and spacious cinema space. Guests can lounge on the colorful blue, pink yellow and turquoise seating.

Choose from body size pillows, a couch, or a series of thick floor pillows for taking in your favorite movies or streaming choice. The screen is a large projector screen along the back wall easily seen from anywhere in the room.

My stay was on the back end of the COVID timeline, so social activities and areas were minimal during my stay. But that didn’t stop me from getting the amazing vibe this place has for all types of social meet ups.

Bar + Social Area

As if two trendy and luxurious community rooms and a large cinema aren’t enough community space the second floor of the Selina Chicago houses the location’s onsite bar.

This long, dual room space is a balance combo of retro Chicago and a modern game room. The walls are medium green covered with high energy art.

Thought out the space is a variety of open and intimate seating for couples and groups of all sizes. Along the back end of this wondrous space is a fireplace and a pool table.

The bar at the Selina Chicago bay may be the best kept secret in the neighborhood! 

Shared Community Kitchen

Also on the second floor is the Selina Chicago’s shared kitchen. After the upscale and spacious community rooms here, the shared kitchen at this Selina is going to be a disappointment.

Insider Info:

The kitchen at the Selina Chicago is more about a place to warm up your leftovers as opposed to a place to make a meal. 

While nothing is technically missing from the kitchen accessories, the functional space is very limited. Guest have a single microwave and small stove top to choose from.

Chicago is home to some of the best returns in the country, so if your budget extends to it, I highly recommend getting out and enjoying the local cuisine.

Gym at Selina Chicago

The first and second floors are not the only shared spaces at this Selina. Guests can head to the third floor to enjoy the well equipped gym.

This gym was one of my favorite features of the Selina Chicago! It comes fully loaded with treadmills and ellipticals, free weights, and kickboxing equipment.

The gym space is in three sections, one with the machines, another for kickboxing and the third for free weights, so guests using the gym can have a sense of privacy during their workouts.

This gym is an amazing inclusion for all guests staying at the Selina. 

The gym here is the Wellness offering at this location as opposed to the yoga and meditation sessions Selina locations are known for. 

Rooms

The remainder of this 16 story building is guests rooms. Rooms at this Selina are more like traditional hotel rooms with attached bathrooms with marble countertops. Each guest room is equipped with a fully functioning shower and bath, an ironing board and iron, and closet with hangars.

Many rooms offer amazing city views out the windows and trendy upscale decor- even the dorm rooms.

Unlike other Selina’s, where the dorm bunks are metal, the dorm beds in this location are made of rich woods with privacy curtains, private storage lockers in your bunk as well as under the bed drawers. 

A luxurious comparison to other Selinas. Dorm room also have seating space. S luxury often limited to suites level rooms or higher.

Due to Covid and capacity issues, I was unable to gain access to as many rooms as normal while staying at this location. 

But if the dorm room was any indication, these are the nicest rooms I have ever seen from a hostel or coworking space in terms of cleanliness, decor, and luxury.

They were also nicer than many business and standard hotels in the city that charge over $200 USD/ night. I have spent much more on a room in Chicago for far less quality and cleanliness.

Review of the Selina Chicago

As a long time former resident of Chicago I stayed at the Selina Chicago on a return visit as a digital nomad.

This location is stunning terms of decor and luxury. For the price, it is jaw droppingly gorgeous. By far the most luxurious Selina I have stayed at. It also has a wonderful location that is more convenient than some of the leading luxury hotels in the city.

Insider Info:

This Selina caters more towards the typical business traveler, or family traveler in town for a short stay as opposed to long term digital nomads or backpackers looking for social connections. 

If you are looking for a luxurious feel at a great price, with minimal noise or social events, the Selina Chicago is your best best in town.

I will definitely stay at this Selina again.

For the remote workers and digital nomads looking for a longer or more interactive stay, I recommend exploring the Selina Playa del Carmen or Selina Medellin.

You can book the Selina Chicago through booking.com or their Colive program. 

This has been Acacia for Adventure on the Side. Thanks for reading and hope to see you around the world soon!

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