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This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

The lakefront beaches, art installations at Millennium Park, and upscale shops of the Magnificent Mile draw travelers to the Windy City year after year. And even during a time of social distancing, our readers want to be in the center of everything, as evidenced by this year's winners for the best hotels in Chicago. Most of the honorees, including No. 2 The Langham, Chicago and No. 4 The Peninsula Chicago (both previous winners and longtime favorites of our readers), are within walking distance of all the main attractions.

Viceroy Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Viceroy Chicago

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

The hotels that made this year's list showcase the variety of American architecture for which the city is so well known — from the Beaux-Arts Drake at No. 9 to No. 2 the Langham, Chicago, wedged into the lower fourth of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Modernist IBM Building. The hotels on the list also demonstrate masterful attention to detail in their hospitality: "The service was so personal. I felt like they valued me as a guest," said one reader after staying at the Peninsula Chicago. 

Read on to discover which ten hotels in Chicago made the cut and why T+L readers voted the gleaming Viceroy Chicago as this year's No. 1.  

1. Viceroy Chicago

Viceroy Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Viceroy Chicago

Located in the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood, Viceroy Chicago embodies the glitzier side of the Windy City and puts guests in walking distance to some of the city's premier shopping and sights. Most of the 180 Midcentury Modern guest rooms, including 18 suites, offer stunning views of Lake Michigan. Bathrooms are fitted with rain showers and stocked with luxe body products by Natura Bissé. Readers love the "great food and beverage venues," including Devereaux, the rooftop bar where guests can drink craft cocktails and look out on the Chicago skyline. Downstairs is Somerset, the hotel's restaurant, which serves dishes like asparagus-lemon risotto and Rohan duck confit. Another point readers agree on is that "the location is superb — right in the middle of one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Don't miss it for a fun weekend!"

Score: 97.66
More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

2. The Langham, Chicago

The Langham, Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of The Langham, Chicago

Score: 95.39
More information: langhamhotels.com

3. Virgin Hotels Chicago

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Hotels

Score: 94.00
More information: virginhotels.com

4. The Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Peninsula Hotels

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 93.67
More information: peninsula.com

5. Park Hyatt Chicago

Park Hyatt Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Hyatt

Score: 93.63
More information: hyatt.com

6. Thompson Chicago

Thompson Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Thompson Chicago

Score: 92.48
More information: thompsonhotels.com

7. Hotel Zachary

Hotel Zachary
Credit: Dave Burk Photography/Courtesy of Hotel Zachary

Score: 92.00
More information: hotelzachary.com

8. Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile

Hyatt Centric Magnificent Mile
Credit: Courtesy of Hyatt

Score: 90.88
More information: hyatt.com

9. The Drake

Courtesy of The Drake Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of The Drake Hotel

Score: 90.27
More information: thedrakehotel.com

10. Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Credit: Courtesy of Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile

Score: 90.15
More information: sofitel-chicago.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.