Chicago, United States

The Publishing House

Price per night from$281.12

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD281.12), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Literary loft


Resurgent West Loop

The Publishing House has all the charm and hospitality of a home-from-home bed and breakfast, but it’s in the heart of Chicago’s hip-hotspot neighbourhood, the West Loop. The century-old building has been reborn with striking interior architecture, flea-market furniture, kilim rugs and bold original artwork. Its bookish spirit lives on in individually designed rooms dedicated to figures from Chicago’s literary history – pick a novel and settle down in the reading nook, by the double-sided concrete fireplace, or next to the grand piano. Each morning, a heroic home-cooked breakfast is served in the light-flooded living space, and there’s a butler’s pantry stocked with fresh-baked cookies.

Smith Extra

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A welcome drink each on arrival


Photos The Publishing House facilities

Need to know


11, including two suites.


11am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm, but flexible, subject to availability.


Double rooms from £216.83 ($281), including tax at 12.9 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, with à la carte dishes such as burrata scrambled eggs and poached eggs and avocado, alongside a buffet of pastries and fresh fruit.


The communal areas are wheelchair accessible, as is the Dybek Room.

At the hotel

WiFi, business centre, kitchenette stocked with free fresh pastries, cookies and soft drinks. In rooms: TV, air-conditioning and Malin+Goetz bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The rooms are dedicated to figures from Chicago’s literary history – the Dybek Room is named for Stuart Dybek, who wrote The Coast of Chicago, and the Audrey Room is for Audrey Niffenegger, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and wrote The Time Traveler’s Wife. Pick one based on your inclination – you’ll find related works on the bookshelf inside. Sinclair, Everleigh and Harvey have claw-foot bath tubs; the super-spacious Everleigh also totes a steam shower, original artwork and a vintage corner sofa.

Packing tips

Leave the books at home, and work through the in-house library instead.


The building has a curious history – it was constructed in 1909 as the Free Methodist Publishing House, and later became a dead-serious casket factory, and then a holography museum.


You can’t BYO, but there are two house pugs (Angus and Louie) to keep you company. See more pet-friendly hotels in Chicago.


Over-13s welcome. It’s not a particularly child-centric hotel, unless you know a kid who loves Saul Bellow’s novels.

Food and Drink

Photos The Publishing House food and drink

Top Table

Be sociable on the large communal dining table, or snag a mid-century armchair by the fireplace.

Dress Code

No need for anything fancy; home comforts rule here.

Hotel restaurant

Breakfast time brings the kind of hospitality you can only get at an independently owned hotel, with owners Shawn and Kimberly laying on a home-cooked feast for every guest. The ever-changing menu might include burrata scramble or smashed avocado on sourdough, along with a buffet of pastries, berry muffins and fresh fruit. 

Hotel bar

There’s no bar, but the butler’s pantry is open around the clock for soft drinks and just-baked snacks.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 9.30am on weekdays, and from 8am to 10am at weekends.


Photos The Publishing House location
The Publishing House
108 N May St
United States

The hotel is in hip West Loop, a traditionally industrial district that is now home to some of Chicago’s hottest bars and restaurants. Call the Smith24 team for help with your travel.


O’Hare International is one of the largest airports in the world, with flights from across Europe and the Americas; British Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines and Norwegian fly from London. It’s 15 miles from the Publishing House, which takes about 50 minutes in a taxi. Or, fly into Chicago Midway, which is slightly closer at 30 minutes away.


It’s a seven-minute walk to the the nearest L-train station (Morgan); from there, it takes 10 minutes to get to the heart of downtown Chicago. For intercity journeys, head to the majestic Union Station, a mile from the hotel (10 minutes by taxi). Amtrak services run right across the country from here – classic routes include the Lake Shore Limited to New York (19 hours), the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles via Arizona (40 hours) and California Zephyr to San Francisco via Colorado (51 hours).


You don’t need a car to get around the city (there’s the L-train for that), but you can hire at the airport if you’re plotting a road trip around the Great Lakes. There’s a car park four blocks from the hotel (drop your bags off first and then go and park), which costs $20 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

Pick a book from your room (each one has a selection by its namesake author) and settle into the reading nook on the second floor – if you get really hooked, you can purchase it to take home too. When you get peckish, drop by the butler’s pantry for homemade cookies and a cuppa to enjoy by the piano in the living room. For all your beauty needs, take the 10% off coupon from your room and head to Solo Salon; it’s in the same building as the hotel, so no need to worry about the Windy City causing havoc with your hair-do on the way home. The West Loop is walking-distance from big-ticket sports events too – Chicago Bulls (basketball) and Blackhawks (ice hockey) play at the United Center, which is just a mile away.
Fashion, art, music, antiques… this list goes on and on at Randolph Street Market (1341 W Randolph Street), the West Loop’s monthly vintage bonanza. Its food-focused rival is Chicago French Market (131 N Clinton Street), where 30-odd local gourmet artisans set up stalls in a Parisian-style hall. The Fig Tree (1037 W Madison Street) is the kind of shop that makes you book extra baggage for the flight home; it specialises in baby gifts and boutique stationery. Catch a small-scale live concert at City Winery (1200 W Randolph Street), accompanied by a flight of the house-made wines.
Okay, okay, you might not think you’re the kind of person who goes round looking at train stations on holiday, but trust us, Union Station (500 W Jackson Blvd) is well worth a peek. It’s a 1920s architectural masterpiece by Daniel Burnham, with soft light streaming in through the arched windows.



Local restaurants

Sultry wine bar The Press Room couldn’t be more local – it’s in the basement below the hotel. Sidle onto a leather banquette and order charcuterie and small plates, or perch at the bar with your choice of poison; show your room key for 10 per cent off. Everyone’s a friend at The Publican (837 W Fulton Market), where the locals crowd onto communal tables to feast on heaving plates of brunch – go for the mighty porchetta sandwich or the broccoli scramble with horseradish cheddar. Lunch at Parlor Pizza (108 N Green Street) means Italian-style wood-fired pies and craft ales, either in the industrial interior or out on the rooftop terrace. The burger at buzzy diner Au Cheval (800 W Randolph Street) is roundly considered the best in all Chicago, and there’s no harm in testing the theory (alternatively, the potato hash with duck-heart gravy is plate-lickin’ good). The Girl and the Goat (809 W Randolph St) is special enough for any occasion, with a raw bar and open kitchen conjuring the likes of braised pork shank with stonefruit kimchi, and pan-roasted halibut with marcona almond butter.

Local bars

Whether you take them shaken or stirred, Maude’s Liquor Bar (840 W Randolph St) is the intimate local lounge for cocktails and French bistro favourites – go for the heady sazerac (Rittenhouse rye, absinthe demerara sugar, Peychaud’s), smashed chartreuse with mint and ginger beer, or keep it simple with a glass (or bottle) of Bordeaux red.


Photos The Publishing House reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique bed and breakfast in the West Loop and unpacked their novels and notepads, a full account of their Windy City break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Publishing House in Chicago…

The Publishing House is technically a bed and breakfast – but if that makes you think of fusty village inns serving overcooked scrambled eggs to outdated-guidebook–wielding travellers, think again. For a start, it’s not only in the heart of Chicago, but in the coolest damn neighbourhood of the city, the West Loop – where industrial warehouses have been converted into rows of hip bars and restaurants. The hotel itself (previously the Free Methodist Publishing House) has been given a top-to-bottom refit by Nushu Architecture and Siren Betty Design, featuring mid-century furniture and pops of bold colour. The warmth and hospitality of a classic B&B remains though: husband and wife Shawn and Kimberly – along with their two pugs Angus and Louie – welcome you like an old friend, and serve a home-cooked breakfast each morning. And fear not, they know exactly what they’re doing with the scrambled.

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Price per night from $281.12