The Pros and Cons of Renting a Luxury Apartment 

Are you thinking about moving into a luxury apartment building? Whether you’re relocating, or just wanting to live the good life, renting a luxury apartment is worth exploring. 

My team and I are the experts on Chicago’s best luxury apartments and have explored every inch of each luxury building in the city. We’ve ooh’d and ahh’d over brand-new high-rises in South Loop and know exactly which apartments in Lincoln Park give you downtown skyline views.

What Makes an Apartment a Luxury Apartment?

So what exactly sets luxury apartments apart from the rest of the crowd?

  1. Location: Urban cities and downtowns have a high concentration of luxury apartments.
  1. Finishes: Luxury apartments feature high-end finishes like quartz countertops, floor-to-ceiling windows, and premium appliances and fixtures. 
  1. Amenities: From beautiful shared spaces to fitness centers and beyond, you won’t find amenities like this in standard apartment buildings. 
  1. Services: Some luxury apartments offer concierge-style services. 

Of course, every place you live has pros and cons, luxury apartments included. Let’s cover the good, the not so good, and everything in between!

The Pros of Renting a Luxury Apartment

First up, the pros of living in a luxury apartment. Get ready to dive in – luxury apartment benefits are abundant!

Apartment Amenities That’ll Knock Your Socks Off

The amenities that luxury apartments offer can make or break the building. We’ve covered the full list of the 28 luxury apartment amenities you never knew you always needed, but here’s our punch list of the most sought-after: 

Fitness Centers

Most luxury buildings have on-site fitness centers. Some have basic equipment, while others have over-the-top fitness suites. Yoga studios, weight rooms, and even boxing rings – living in a luxury apartment that helps you meet your fitness goals is an awesome amenity. 

Coworking Spaces

If you work from home, this amenity space is a must! Since remote work has become the norm, the newest luxury apartments in Chicago have made coworking spaces a priority.  

Coworking space at Union West with a big table and chairs with an area of enclosed offices with desks.
Working remotely? The coworking space at Union West is out of this world. Image courtesy: Union West

Rooftop Deck

Love to entertain? Having a rooftop deck is awesome, especially when you live downtown and can enjoy the incredible views. Rooftop decks often include pools, cabanas, outdoor kitchens with grills, and gas fire pits. 


One of the most-wanted luxury apartment amenities – a pool! While you may not take a dip every day, it’s easy to picture yourself lounging poolside all summer long. 

Rooftop deck with pool at One Six Six.
The rooftop pool at Chicago’s One Six Six feels like a vacation resort, right in your apartment building. Image Courtesy: One Six Six apartments.

Dog Run and Pet Spa

Yes – most luxury apartments are dog-friendly. And many of them offer pet-focused amenities like dog runs and pet spas. This means no more leaving your building so your furry friend can do their business and no messy dog baths in your apartment. 

Media & Game Rooms

This is where the fun is! When I say game room, I’m not talking about checkers and chess. The game and media rooms in luxury buildings are like playgrounds for adults! Favorite features include virtual golf, theater-style movie seating with mega-sized screens, and billiards. 

Demonstration Kitchen

When you live in an apartment, you may not have room to host a party. But most luxury buildings have shared spaces that include luxury kitchens and room to host gatherings. From bridal showers to dinner parties, having access to a party space is a big bonus. 

Resident Lounge

Are you a people person? Or just looking to meet fellow residents? Hang out in the resident lounge and get ready to get social! Management will often host resident events, like happy hours, appreciation events, and holiday parties in this space too. 

The Most-Wanted Luxury Apartment Features

Luxury Kitchen Finishes 

The kitchen is the heart of any home, and having a space with high-end finishes makes life so much sweeter! Luxury apartment kitchens often include: 

  • Soft close cabinetry
  • Quartz or granite countertops 
  • Top-of-the-line appliances 
  • Backsplash tiles 
  • Under-cabinet lighting
Kitchen at Onni Fulton Market with wood grain cabinetry and sleek appliances.
I love the natural wood cabinetry in this sleek and modern kitchen at Chicago’s Onni Fulton Market apartments. Image courtesy: Onni Fulton Market

Windows and Natural Light

It’s common for luxury apartments to have huge floor-to-ceiling windows, especially in high-rise buildings. And there’s nothing better than a sunshine-filled apartment! Because of the scale of the windows, most come with roller shades. Sometimes, you can even find units with motorized shades that you can control from your mobile phone. 

In-Unit Washer and Dryer

This may not feel like a luxury feature but trust me, not having to haul laundry to a shared laundry room is the most luxurious feature of all! Usually, apartments will have stacked front-load units tucked into a closet. 

Smart Home Technology 

New apartments almost always have smart-home features like Nest thermostats and keyless entry systems. 

Bonus Benefits and Services in Luxury Apartments

24-Hour Concierge

Higher-end luxury apartment buildings have a concierge on staff who attends to resident needs. Living in a building with an incredible staff is often what makes your building feel like home! 

Laundry Services

From everyday laundry needs to dry cleaning, lots of high-end apartment buildings have laundry services available. Many partners with brands, such Tide Cleaners, for totally seamless wash and fold services. 

Close to Transportation 

If you’re renting an apartment in an urban area – like downtown Chicago – living close to public transport is so convenient. Take the train, bus or even hop on a shared or rented bike! Many luxury apartments are within blocks of train stations, making your commute a breeze. 

The Ease of Utilities

Renting a luxury apartment makes managing your utilities, and utility budget, simple. Before you sign your lease, ask about how you’ll pay for your utilities. Most commonly, they’re included in your rent price, or charged at a fixed rate no matter your usage. 

Quick and Easy Repairs

If you’ve ever had a leaky toilet or broken dishwasher, you know how irritating it is to wait on a repair. Luxury buildings have staff who make repairs speedily and at no cost to you. 


There’s nothing better than peace of mind, especially when it comes to your home’s security. Many luxury apartment buildings have secure entrances that can only be accessed with a FOB. And here in Chicago, over half the luxury apartment buildings have a 24-hour doorman on staff. 

The Cons of Renting a Luxury Apartment

Living in a luxury apartment sounds pretty great, right? But of course, it can’t all be sunshine and roses. While luxury living comes with its perks, there are also potential drawbacks to consider.

Luxury Apartment Buildings are Very People-y

Yup, luxury buildings typically house a lot of residents. Some of Chicago’s largest apartment buildings exceed 90 floors and hold over 800 units! Although, it’s more common to see buildings with 250 – 500 apartments. 

Having so many neighbors can be a worry for some people. There’s a potential for a lack of privacy, as well as congestion in shared spaces. And while soundproofing has come a long way, noise disturbances do happen.

Parking Comes at an Expense

We all know how challenging parking can be when you live in a big city. Even though parking in Chicago has gotten easier since the introduction of parking apps, it still can be intimidating and expensive. 

Most luxury apartment buildings do have parking available, but securing a spot isn’t always guaranteed, as inventory is often low. And, that spot will come at an expense. Here in Chicago, monthly parking at a luxury building will cost you $250 or more a month. 

If you can’t get a parking spot at your apartment, you do have a couple of options. Depending on the neighborhood you live in, street parking may be available from time to time, though I wouldn’t recommend it as an everyday solution. Signing a monthly lease at a nearby private parking garage is a better idea. 

Parking garage
A private parking garage, like this one in Chicago’s West Loop, often offers monthly parking rates.

The Lure of Amenities…and Their Expense

Luxury apartment amenities are a huge draw. Heck, who wouldn’t want to live in an apartment with a rooftop pool? But – those amenities do come at a cost. Consider how often you’ll actually use them, and if the higher rent cost is worth it. 

Sometimes, the answer is yes – paying more to live in a luxury apartment makes sense. Can you cancel your gym and coworking memberships and save some money? Or perhaps your apartment is so close to public transport that you can sell your car. 
There are lots of factors to consider when figuring out your rent budget. My best advice is to work with a leasing agent who can help weigh the pros and cons of each building, and even help negotiate ways to save you money.

A Smaller Apartment But a Bigger Price Tag

If you’re ready to upgrade to a new apartment you may be surprised that on paper, luxury apartments usually have smaller floor plans than older apartments. But – keep in mind that there’s a trade-off. Older buildings also have older finishes, less quality appliances, outdated design and fewer amenities.

And remember, square footage doesn’t always paint a clear picture. Modern apartments are so well-designed that sometimes, apartments with smaller square footage may actually feel larger than units with more!

Is Luxury Living Right For You? See For Yourself!

The best way to decide if you want to live in a luxury apartment is to have a conversation with an expert. Here in Chicago, my team and I are the best luxury leasing agents in the city! Contact the team at HotSpot Apartment Rentals, and we’ll help you better understand if renting a luxury apartment is right for you.

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