We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Never again”
Review of The Villa Toscana

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
The Villa Toscana
Ranked #9 of 22 Chicago B&B and Inns
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Never again”
Reviewed 3 January 2013

I recently completed a 3-night stay at Villa Toscana. While the location was perfect and the room quaint, I would never stay at this establishment again due to the rude, unprofessional behavior of Ron, the "innkeeper." Ron made our stay incredibly uncomfortable with his unfriendly behavior and making rude comments. The following is a sampling:

* Upon arrival, I was informed that we would be sharing a bathroom. While this was not a big deal, I did comment that I was surprised as this was not listed in my contract. Ron immediately became defensive and repeatedly stated that it was made clear on the website. I disagree. Again, it was not a big deal. Just be aware.

* During our stay, the toilet in the shared bathroom became clogged. I'll spare readers the details, but I can say with absolute certainty that no one in my party had anything to do with this. However, Ron made it a point to directly accuse a member of my party for being responsible despite no evidence of this. Also, while informing us that the toilet was out of order, we did not appreciate his tone. It's been a long time since I've had someone speak to me in such a caustic tone, particularly for no reason. Neither I nor those in my party appreciated being spoken down to or accused of this. In any other establishment, I'd assume the staff would be apologetic if any of
their accomodations were unavailable.

* Upon checkout, he stated he would be inspecting our room. I should mention that there were other guests there at the time who expressed being surprised because their room was not inspected upon checkout. After inspecting the room, he said "Okay, gentlemen - you have two
options. You can either go back up there and clean the room, or I will be charging you a $150 cleaning fee. The way you left that room is just rude and disrespectful." First of all, nowhere was it stated that we were expected to clean the room. In fact, they have a maid clean the rooms every day. Regardless, we had gathered all of our trash into a pile since there was only one small trash can. I don't believe we should have been responsible for cleaning the room without having been
informed of us on the website, in the contract, or during check-in; however, if this is an uncommunicated (and, apparently, selectively enforced) policy, I think it could have been stated to us in a far more polite manner.

* This one is very minor, but every time we would run into Ron in the house he went out of his way not to acknowledge our presence. When one of us would say hello to him, he would take a good three or four seconds before responding with a terse "hi" as if he couldn't be bothered.

This is just a sampling of how Ron made our stay very uncomfortable.

I travel quite frequently and have stayed at both high-end and low-end hotels, hostels, and other bed and breakfasts. This is certainly the rudest behavior I have ever encountered from staff and would rather pay more money or stay somewhere less convenient than to have to endure this sort of treatment at an establishment I am paying for.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brandon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaInnkeeper, Manager at The Villa Toscana, responded to this review, 14 March 2013
Two of the party of three showed up and were not pleased that I could not release the room to them until the credit card holder (the writer of the above review, actually) arrived. The Innkeeper was not defensive - just stated a policy to the guests. As for the toilet situation, no accusations were made toward anyone. The Owner and Innkeeper merely informed the guests that paper towels should not be deposited in the toilet. (I might mention that signage stating this policy was later found ripped off the wall.) The Innkeeper indeed did conduct an inspection of the room on check-out, because housekeeping staff (which includes the Owner as well as the Innkeeper) could not begin to clean the room during these guest's stay due to the amount of bottles, papers, glasses, dirty clothing, and litter covering the *entire* carpet in their room. If guests are going to disrespect someone's business like this, we do not make an attempt to clean under those circumstances. As for the cleaning item not being "on the website, in the contract, or mentioned during check-in," as the guest described it, that is true. However, it is also true that you do not occupy a room for several days and make it impossible for staff to clean it. The last statement from the guest, describing encounters with the Innkeeper, is untrue. This simply did not happen. Let me now add that I received no less than six separate complaints from other guests about the middle-of-the-night noise these guests made upon returning from evenings out, clomping up and down the stairs, disturbing others with "outside" voices rather than considerate "inside" voices. Gentlemen, you simply don't go into any type of public accommodation, act rudely toward other guests, and leave your room looking like a tornado ripped through a college dorm room. Yes, you are right, "never again!"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

94 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    26
    34
    19
    7
    8
See reviews for
3
34
25
8
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Lawrence, KS
Level Contributor
44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2012

This is by far my favorite bed and breakfast in Chicago and probably one of my favorites in the country. Right in the heart of Boystown you are close to epicenter of the GLBT sights and experiences, but this place's location is only the icing on the cake.

The rooms are very well decorated (duh!) and each room has some unique character: some are large, some are small. Don't expect anything too modern here. This is an older facility. I've stayed in a few different rooms there and used the shared bathroom and that was really never too much of a problem sharing. I love the bear claw tub along with the shower. Very retro and classic.

The focus of this B&B is a very large living room that connects with the kitchen of my dreams. Lots of munchies accessible 24 hours a day. Some frosted flakes after a late night of partying is a welcome respite. Or just go for the OJ and rehydrate. Just don't raid everything in the fridge because the innkeeper lives on site so this is her kitchen as well. A delightful woman that is very engaging with guests and will tell you stories that will make even a sailor blush. She should seriously write a book! You truly feel like a guest in her home.

Similar to most facilities in a big city, parking can be a problem as this is right in the heart of the city. A limited amount of parking passes are available but they are no guarantee of parking. Fortunately a parking garage is nearby. Wifi was also quite reliable though a slight bit slow.

If you are sensitive to noise, you may have problems. Some of the rooms overlook a nearby restaurant that, while not supposed to be noisy after they close, sometimes staff stays a bit late and chit chats on the patio, sometimes quite loudly. When making reservations, be sure to ask for a quieter room if you need it. Ultimately though you are in the heart of the nightlife which can be a benefit or a liability depending on your approach. Personally if I wanted peace and quiet I'd stay in a shack in the woods. Here I like a little bit of the nightlife painting a soundscape to sleep to.

This is a great facility to really experience and enjoy not just the GLBT action in Chicago, but to feel some great midwestern hospitality and warmth.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daveg66044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaInnkeeper, Owner at The Villa Toscana, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
Thanks so much for your review of our property. Unfortunately, the innkeeper you mentioned in your review is no longer with us, and while there have been some other minor changes with the operation of the property, we are looking forward to your next stay at The Villa Toscana! Do come again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
370 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2012

Stayed four nights - room #1 - and was very pleased with the choice. Totally agree with everything in umontreal's review from June 3. The quality/value (in a fairly expensive city) was outstanding. I especially loved the sheets and towels and the attractive room decor. It was a most comfortable and rewarding stay. I felt very lucky to be one of their guests. Chicago in the Fall simply cannot be beat in the U.S.A. and the friendliness of this city is unsurpassed amongst all major U.S. cities. I loved the home and felt completely at home. I would not hesitate to select the Villa Toscana again.

Room Tip: I like Room #1 on the front side - with its high ceilings and comfortable ceiling fan. The bedding...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sfdann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaInnkeeper, Manager at The Villa Toscana, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
Thanks so much, Dan, for your kind review. It was a pleasure to host your stay at The Villa Toscana and we certainly look forward to serving you again in the future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hollywood, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2012

Well I love Chicago/Halstead Street and I didn't want to rent a car. This really is the best place to stay if you want to be in the heart of Halstead Street Scene. My room was just fine. Nice fairly simple B&B. The hosts were always there if I needed but not always on site. I met wonderful guests there during breakfast and in the garden.
The location has so much to offer in the neighborhood, I really didn't spend much time worrying about a host needing to guide me.
I enjoyed myself there. I will return.

Room Tip: I was in the ground floor with private bath.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaInnkeeper, Manager at The Villa Toscana, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
John, thank you for your review of our property. It was our pleasure to host you at The Villa Toscana and we look forward to your next visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
45 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2012

Just got in from a Labor Day weekend stay at the Villa Toscana

Good
Love the location. We are a same sex couple and wanted something with easy access to night life. This is the place. Easy access to the clubs and great place for a disco nap in the afternoon after touring the best Chicago has to offer

Room
Room was small (number 7) and the bed was between two walls. We were comfortable but definitely just a place to sleep. Definitely could hear everyone that came in and out of the building as if they were in your room.

Breakfast
Never ran into anyone. The food was fruits, cereals, yogurts and juice. Quick, easy and simple.

Parking
Could be a pain. They give you a sticker for evening parking on the street. We were lucky and arrived as the owner was leaving so he offered us the spot he found the next street over otherwise you could be driving around for a while trying to find something close.

Innkeeper
He seemed nice once there but when I called to confirm my reservation he acted annoyed and sarcastic, made some comment like "duh if you got an email confirmation three months ago why would you need to call and confirm" The second day there we did not get clean towels but did the third. You have a phone number to contact in case of issues but no one is really around to talk to in person.

Overall
It was ok, would have like to have seen a little more friendly feel to the place. Love the location and the price and may consider staying here again in the future. If a friend asked me I would say it depends on what you are looking for.. If just a clean safe place with easy access to Halsted go for it. If you want a true bed and breakfast feel this may not meet your expectations

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wondertraveler40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Croydon, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 2 August 2012

Neighborhood is OK and safe.

There's a cosy family home feeling to that hotel but things could be so much better if the management put his heart into it.Although the landlord and staffs are nice and welcoming it seems they are better at welcoming guests than at fixing the hotel.

The food is great and comes in plenty but the eating area is messy and you barely have space to eat.

Sheets, soaps and towels were not changed or replaced by the housekeeping staff during the whole stay(2 nights).

Worst of all the floor hadn't been washed before we checked in and the room was dusty.

Oh yeah one last thing do not take ROOM 5 downstairs, the machinery nearby is very noisy.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sal_Green
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

If you like your B&Bs basic, un-dusted, with uncaring hosts, but rats that live in the front garden and welcome you as you come home at night, than this is the place for you. Your hosts will give you a key to your room, show you where the boxes of cheap mass produced cereal are located, and may show you were the bathroom is located, and that will be the complete extent of their hospitality. Price does justify repeat business.

Room Tip: It is such a pity that management us letting this place down. It is ideally located in the heart if...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joseph H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaInnkeeper, Manager at The Villa Toscana, responded to this review, 13 March 2013
I believe your review is a bit unfair ... we offer so much more than "mass produced boxes of cereal" for our continental breakfast service. Additionally, we, and the hundreds of other merchants along Halsted and in this city are well aware of the rodent issue. What you observed was NOT rodents living ON our property ... if you recall, there is a restaurant next door on one side of us, and a graduate student rooming house on the other, both of which have been inconsistent with following the city's rodent control guidelines. Indeed, in Chicago the rodent population is significant ... due in large part to two consecutive mild winters which did not kill off the critters. I can assure you, ON our property we do not have a rodent problem and we take measures to set poison and traps when needed. We are sorry we did not meet your expectations on your visit, but sometimes it is difficult to deal with what Mother Nature gives the neighborhood. We try!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Chicago hotels

Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Chicago hotels
Lakeview
Majestic Hotel
Majestic Hotel
#53 of 188 in Chicago
4.5 of 5 bubbles 744 reviews
Lakeview
Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel
Lakeview
City Suites Hotel
City Suites Hotel
#112 of 188 in Chicago
4.0 of 5 bubbles 497 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Lakeview
The Willows
The Willows
#70 of 188 in Chicago
4.5 of 5 bubbles 848 reviews
Lincoln Park
Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Villa Toscana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Villa Toscana

Property: The Villa Toscana
Address: 3447 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657-2414
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Villa Toscana 2.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Villa Toscana Bed & Breakfast is an eight-room guesthouse located in the Lakeview/Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, six miles north of downtown Chicago. Our guesthouse is in one of Chicago's most eclectic entertainment districts and center of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian neighborhood, second largest in the United States. Literally steps from our door you will find an exciting nightlife, the beautiful Lake Michigan shores, a thriving theatre district, shopping, and an extensive variety of bars, clubs, and ethnic restaurants. We are also known as the closest accommodation to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Ebookers, Traveltool, S.L.U., Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your The Villa Toscana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Villa Toscana Hotel Chicago

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing