The writer was hosted.
All aboard the Sable at Navy Pier Chicago—which is, of course, not a luxurious cruise but feels like the start of a nautical adventure nonetheless.
Part of the Curio Collection by
Accompanied by a friend, I spent a night at the hotel last month. The view from our room could not have been dreamier. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcased an endless Lake Michigan, fringed by a distant Chicago skyline. Throughout our stay, I had to remind myself that we were sleeping in a very much grounded hotel room, not on a boat out at sea.
One of my most memorable moments at the Sable is from the following morning, when my friend and I found ourselves nestled in our plush queen beds, sipping coffee made with our in-room coffee maker and watching the sunrise over a foggy Lake Michigan. We enjoyed a rare kind of peace that only an ocean or lake view can provide.
Staying on Navy Pier meant having front row seats to Lake Michigan but it also came with a small sacrifice. The public transportation options near Sable Hotel aren’t great—it is on a pier, after all. This makes it a little challenging to get around the city if you don’t have a car.
I’m an avid walker, so the hotel’s location didn’t bother me, but if walking is an issue, you may want to stay in a hotel closer to the Loop or bring a car. If you’re planning a Chicago vacation—or staycation—here’s everything you need to know about the Sable Hotel at Navy Pier.
Location and what to do
Sable Hotel is the best hotel for exploringNavy Pier, and not the best hotel for exploring the rest of Chicago, unless you have a car or don’t mind walking. Located at 900 E Grand, the hotel sits near the end of the pier, meaning you’ll have to walk nearly the length of it to reach the rest of downtown Chicago.
Both Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile, two of Chicago’s primary attractions. are a little over a mile from the hotel, so make sure you bring some decent shoes if you’re planning on walking.
The nearest CTA stop is the Grand Red Line stop, about a 30-minute walk west of the hotel. My friend and I made this trek several times during our stay and did find it a bit tiring, especially after an afternoon of sightseeing.
The other public transportation option is taking the bus. The Navy Pier bus terminal is only a seven-minute walk from the hotel, so this is a more convenient option if you want to avoid walking.
Guests can also call an Uber or Lyft. My friend and I ordered an Uber from the hotel, but the app had a hard time finding a driver. In the end, we were able to order one but our total wait time, from when we first tried ordering the Uber until we stepped into the car, was approximately 20 minutes.
For guests traveling with a car, Sable Hotel has a Park and Stay option, which includes overnight valet parking. There is also self-parking available through Navy Pier.
Of course, Navy Pier is an amazing attraction in itself, so there’s plenty to do near the hotel. Restaurants, shops, and the towering Centennial Wheel are all within a short walk of the hotel. If you are planning on riding the city’s Ferris Wheel, consider the hotel’s stay and soar package, which comes with a complimentary ride.
Other popular attractions on the pier include the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
For locals, this hotel could make a fantastic staycation. You’ll get to know Navy Pier in a whole new way while enjoying an incredibly relaxing getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle.
My room was an absolute paradise. The beds were large and comfortable. The windows let in lots of light and the views were breathtaking. Our room also had a furnished bench, on which I curled up and watched the boats go by.
There was a desk beside the windows and a large flat-screen TV across from the beds. Our room came with a coffee maker, a mini fridge, an iron, an ironing board, a hairdryer, and free water bottles. There’s free wifi, air conditioning, all necessary toiletries, and room service. Our bathroom was chic, with a wood-lined shower and a light-up mirror.
Given the hotel’s layout, every room offers an unobscured view of the lake and a bit of city skyline. We stayed in a traditional guest room, but the hotel also offers suites and accessible rooms with roll-in showers. Guests can also opt for a corner room, which boasts a better view of the city skyline.
Service and hotel history
From the front desk attendants to the waiters at Lirica Restaurant, the hotel staff were always friendly and eager to help. I was able to check in hours before the designated check-in time and was always greeted with a smile.
I also had a great chat with one of the front desk attendants about the hotel, which is still very new, having opened in 2021. The attendant explained that while the hotel connects to various other spaces on Navy Pier, including meeting rooms, the Aon Grand Ballroom, and Lakeview Terrace, these spaces are separate from the hotel.
Dining and nightlife
Dining options at Sable Hotel include its on-site restaurant and bar Lirica and its rooftop bar Offshore. There is also a coffee shop called Kisbi Cofee and in-room dining options.
My friend and I had lunch at Lirica, which boasts both indoor and outdoor dining and Latin-inspired cuisine. We ordered the Lirica salad, packed with corn, beans avocado, and tortilla strips, topped with a cilantro lime dressing, and the soup of the day, a chicken tortilla soup. It was the perfect comfort meal for a rainy afternoon.
I would have loved to spend an evening at Offshore but I didn’t have time during my stay. Offshore is the world’s largest rooftop bar as recognized by Guinness World Records.
Though I didn’t dine there, I did briefly get to explore the space before they opened. The bar features a glass-paneled indoor area and an open-air deck with firepits, games, and gathering spaces. The views of Lake Michigan are stunning, and I can only imagine what the place looks like in the evening, illuminated by string lights.
Weddings and corporate events are sometimes hosted here, so make sure you check to see if it’s open to the public before planning a visit.
The hotel also boasts a small coffee shop, Kisbi Coffee, in the lobby. I really love the idea of building a cafe within a hotel lobby—perfect for fueling up before a day of sightseeing.
I didn’t have the time (or the desire, if we’re being honest) to work out during my stay, but I did take a look around the fitness center while I was there. It’s quite small but has all basic fitness equipment, including ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes, a rowing machine, and an area with weights and a weight bench.
The fitness center has no windows, so no nice view, though I suppose guests who want to enjoy the lake would probably prefer a run along the pier anyway.
Planning an event? Sable Hotel has plenty of versatile venues with beautiful views, including the Offshore rooftop terrace, a banquet hall, and five corporate meeting rooms. To help simplify planning, there’s on-site catering and an event manager.
Event-goers and hotel guests alike will be blown away by the hotel’s incredible views. Sable Hotel is truly like no other Chicago hotel.