The Margarita European Inn
'Hood Evanston, two blocks from the Davis stop on the El train's Purple Line and 30 to 45 minutes from downtown Chicago. This suburban hub¿known for its dignified mansions and woodsy parks¿is anchored by Northwestern University.
First Impression Originally built in 1927 to provide "proper" housing for single businesswomen, this European-style hotel is remarkably well preserved. Entering the Grand Parlor from the lobby is like walking into the past; the room is outfitted with antique furniture, a working fireplace, and shelves lined with blue-and-white porcelain.
The Rooms Charming. Floral-pattern bedspreads and curtains, period-style ceiling fans and light fixtures, and antique dark-wood furniture successfully strike an early-20th-century note.
Plus It's a bargain, after you factor in the free continental breakfast and the rooftop deck, from which you can see downtown Evanston.
Minus Some of the cheaper rooms share a communal bathroom. Be sure to ask about your room's facilities before you book.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes, in common areas.
Credit Cards Accepted Visa, MC, AmEx, Discover, Diners Club.
Details Evanston, IL, 847/869-2273, margaritainn.com, singles from $79.