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If they are looking for nightlife, they will not find it in the West portion of the Loop. I would highly (highly) recommend they look North of the river and not stay right by Union Station. It is incredibly easy to take a quick cab ride from Union to one of the hotels North of the river. On Saturday and/or Sunday (especially Sunday), a lot of Starbucks-type things are closed around Union.
A few views:
If they still want to stay near Union:
On HOTWIRE, there's a 4* in the Loop for $132 w/Boutique, Restaurant, Fitness, Hi-Speed Internet, Business, Laundry, Spa, Pet Friendly.
>> This is likely the W City Center, which is an easy walk from Union.
If they want to stay in a more central location:
On HOTWIRE, there's a 4* in the Navy Pier-Millennium Park area for $159 w/Restaurant, Fitness, Smoke Free, Free Internet, Hi-Speed Internet, Business, Travel Accessible, Room Accessible, Bathroom Accessible, Wheelchair Accessible, Roll-in Shower.
>> This is likely the Hyatt on Wacker. While slightly over your budget, keep in mind that if they are going to be going out at night and staying at the potential W mentioned above, I'd recommend taking a cab to nightlife and back and that is going to cost (not a ton, but it is does add cost.)
On PRICELINE EXPRESS, there is a 4* $158 in the Downtown-Millennium Park area (Please confirm after clicking on that link that the correct dates are showing) w/Indoor or Outdoor Pool, Pets Allowed, Business Center, Fitness Center, No Smoking Rooms/Facilities.
>> Not yet ID'd/reported, but a guess would be the Swissotel with a new amenity set since last reported. If the Swiss, this would be a very nice win and essentially the same location as the Hyatt - it's a couple of doors down from the Hyatt.
Or bidding on PRICELINE
If they are okay with staying anywhere in a particular zone and want to bid, please let us know which PRICELINE zones would be acceptable, as well as desired star rating.
Please let us know if you have any questions before bidding/booking. I'm also happy to answer any city questions.
Please remember to return to BetterBidding and use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases... or thru our sister site MAPSandHOTELS.com for your regular rate purchases.