River views from historic hotel in Illinois
The Story of Hotel Baker

Where Charm is Complimentary

Hotel Baker, forever known as the ‘Crown Jewel of the Fox,’ was historically recognized at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago as one of the best places to stay in the area. Erected in 1928 with a Spanish-Moroccan architectural flair, this landmark was Colonel Edward J. Baker’s vision brought to life by local architects. Its innovative features included its own hydroelectric facility, a full-service parking garage, and the iconic Rainbow Room, famous for its first-ever lighted dance floor. From the 1930s to 1950s, the hotel became a beloved resort-like escape for urbanites, notably from Chicago, and then earned the nickname ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ due to its allure as a wedding destination.

Recently restored, today our historic hotel in Illinois continues the tradition of excellence as a beloved getaway destination and sought-after venue for weddings and events. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel stands as a testament of St. Charles’ rich history and community spirit, welcoming you to stay and experience its timeless charm.

History of Inclusion & Innovation

Built in 1928 on the former Haines Mill site, the hotel transformed a dumping ground into a groundbreaking beacon of luxury and innovation.

Historic photo of the Hotel Baker in Illinois
People dancing on the lighted dance floor of the Rainbow Room
World-Telegram photo of Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet
Microphone and live sign in the radio station

Colonel Baker’s Vision

Known for his generosity, Baker brought to life “the world’s finest small hotel” with a vision for people from all walks of life to enjoy beauty and luxury no matter where they came from. Being “first and foremost a farmer” himself, Baker ensured the hotel offered the freshest culinary experiences, sourcing produce from his own farms.

Lighted Dance Floor

The first-ever lighted dance floor debuted at the hotel’s Rainbow Room, featuring 2,620 colored lights under glass blocks that created dazzling patterns synchronized with music. Today, it continues to be a treasured centerpiece of Hotel Baker, attracting guests with its vintage charm and legacy of hosting renowned performers.

Notable Public Figures

Attracting legends like Louis Armstrong and Tommy Dorsey to play music at the Rainbow Room, this venue was part of Colonel Baker’s broader vision for the hotel as a premier entertainment and social hub. The hotel also welcomed notable guests such as President John F. Kennedy, Jeanette MacDonald and many more.

Live Music Broadcasts

In an era when radio was revolutionizing how people connected and communicated, the hotel ran its own radio station from the top tower (now the Penthouse Suite). The studio aired live music from the Rainbow Room, and the Municipal Building’s ‘singing tower,’ connected by a wire over the bridge, amplified the music across the valley.

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Hotel Baker Now

Why Choose Us Today?

53 Luxurious Rooms & Suites

Each St. Charles, IL accommodation at our hotel is uniquely designed. Our rooms feature vintage furnishings along with modern comforts, including Egyptian cotton linens, plush robes, and private outdoor hot tubs in our spa suites.

Distinctive Vintage Ballroom

The Rainbow Room, a splendid ballroom and a rare architectural masterpiece of 1928, serves as a perfect setting for weddings and special occasions. Its lighted dance floor and classic columns make it a popular choice for memorable events​.

The Signature ROX at Hotel Baker

Our wine bar & martini lounge in St. Charles, IL is open Wednesday to Saturday evenings, offering a sophisticated atmosphere for unwinding with fine wines, martinis, and shareable small plates. Enjoy live music on Fridays & Saturdays.

Formal Rose Garden & Boathouse

This outdoor space serves as a tranquil leisure area and is favored for weddings and events. Sunlight highlights the vivid roses by day, while golden lights cast a romantic glow at night, providing a picturesque setting at any time.

Multiple Meeting & Banquet Rooms

The hotel boasts incomparable meeting rooms suitable for everything from intimate gatherings to large groups. Perfect for hosting conferences, corporate retreats, and other events​, with an emphasis on elegance and detailed service.

Convenient, Scenic Location

Situated in downtown St. Charles, Illinois, along the Fox River, the hotel’s location combines convenience with scenic views. It’s an ideal spot for those looking to enjoy the blend of historical ambiance and accessibility to local attractions.

Smiling children giving thumbs up

Giving Back

Find out about some of the organizations we support through our philanthropic efforts. Get to know their work by visiting these websites and consider supporting them as well.

Cal’s Angels

Fox Valley Hands of Hope

Generation Rescue

Living Well Cancer Resource Center

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Ronald McDonald House

Special Olympics

United Way