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“Nothing could be finer” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Villa Toscana

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The Villa Toscana
Ranked #9 of 22 Chicago B&B and Inns
SYD
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Nothing could be finer”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2013

A wonderful 6 night stay.
Right in the heart of Boystown and very easy to access downtown with a choice of bus or two train stations, both in easy walking distance. The closest about a 5 min walk and the bus just outside.i
Ron the manager is a lovely guy. His information and interaction with guests is reminiscent of his southern roots hospitality transferred to the wonderful city of Chicago. A warm beautiful home which makes any stay much homlier with all the convenience of staying with friends. There were no rats, the breakfasts were adequate with variety, just not hot. The house does not have cooking license as I understand and perhaps this could be considered in the future. You will not find a nicer place to stay in Chicago. Thank you to Ron-a gem of a manager!

Stay here because I will be next time I visit this amazing city.

Room Tip: I had the Moroccan Room with a private bathroom. Very private on same level as the entrance, kitchen...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank odmea
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 July 2013
Thank you so much for staying with us! We appreciate your kind words, and it was indeed a pleasure to chat with you on numerous occasions during your visit. I certainly hope to see you here in Chicago in the near future. Thanks again!
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92 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    34
    19
    7
    8
See reviews for
3
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8
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Shaker Heights, Ohio
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2013

Ten days before Restaurant Week I found I needed to be in Chicago for an, until then, unplanned graduation (apparently planning was not one of the courses my son took). The only thing I was finding were cookie cutter motels in Rosemont. I filled out the "put me on the waiting list" form for several B and Bs. Imagine my delight when Ron called back no less than 5 minutes after I had submittted the on-line form to The Villa Toscana. He just happened to have Saturday night available. Yep - he's my new hero.

The Villa Toscana was a lovely experience. Yes, I was in the smaller lower level room. It was plenty big enough for one person - especially the spacious bathroom. Really people, if you are going to spend your whole stay in Chicago in your room why did you leave home? I sunk into the ever so comfy bed - there's nothing like soft sheets - and didn't wake until morning. It was quiet, cozy and comfortable.

Unfortunately, I had to dash early Sunday morning to enjoy the two hour finale of all that tuition (well worth every penny I might add) so I did not even grab a cup of coffee. Cabs are plentiful and the L is close by. I was so grateful for the parking pass Ron placed in my car. I found a spot around the corner and left the car until I was ready to leave town.

All in all, Ron couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. Yes, I was very happy to find a very reasonably priced place to stay in the city on short notice but, more than that I was truly delighted that I found a quaint, relaxing place to rest my head. Thank you! I will be back.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank colleen g
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, 22 May 2013
Colleen, thanks so much for staying with us recently. I'm glad I was able to house you for the one night and also that you were able to attend the graduation ceremony on short notice. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I'll hope you'll find occasion to stay with us again in the future!
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Paris, France
Level Contributor
112 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2013

Ron knows how to run a guest house. He gives you all the information you need upon arrival, the continental breakfast is ready on time early morning, he ensures your room is cleaned each day if needed and he is just an all around nice guy.
My room had a big bed and was well furnished. The bathroom was one meter away and only three rooms shared the facilities. I never had a problem using it.
The location is in the heart of the gay/lesbian community and close to two subway stations. The best thing about The Villa Toscana, other than Ron of course, is the price. You'll not find better anywhere in Chicago.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris 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, 8 May 2013
Chris, you're too kind! Thank you for your review, and more importantly, thank you for staying with us. I am very pleased that you found the accommodations to your liking. I certainly hope you will stay with us again on your next Chicago trip. Thanks!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

This was perfect for what we were looking for. We wanted a place in walking distance to The Wrigleyville area. We were in town for a show at the Metro, which is down the street from Wrigley Field. It was an easy walk and there are a ton of bars and restuarants in walking distance as well.

A few things to know going in.
1. Some rooms have shared baths, this was not OK with us so we purposely booked a room with a bath. We were on the lower level and the room was tiny and the floor was tile and very chilly. Still we were there just to sleep so the room met our needs.
2. They don't actually have a license to cook anything so breakfast is bagels, toast, re packaged breakfast foods. Don't expect a great meal like you would at some B & B's where the inn keeper is a chef.
3. As you might expect in a city, parking is not on site, we found a public lot nearby and it was something like $20-24 for the over night. Once you park, you won't need the car again.

I thought Ron the innkeeper was quite friendly and he explained everything to us upfront, about breakfast etc and he told us where to go eat if we wanted eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Susan A
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, 10 April 2013
Thanks, Susan, for staying with us during your recent trip. It was unfortunate the parking situation was a particular challenge during your time here. Perhaps on a future visit you might try one of our larger rooms. We look forward to another stay with us at The Villa Toscana!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2013 via mobile

Villa Toscana is in a great part of Boystown, very central to public transport, local bars and restaurants.
The house is beautifully presented, clean and warm. Unfortunately there was no one else there, which made it very quiet.
Would definitely stay here again.

Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank brendonlord
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, 17 February 2013
Thanks for your comments about The Villa Toscana! Yes, it can be "quiet" during the long winter months in Chicago. Perhaps you will be able to visit sometime in the future in one of the warm months. Thanks!
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
45 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2013

You really can't beat the location or price. We love that all boys-town has to offer is out our door. Last time we had a basement room with a private bathroom. This time we took a room upstairs that had a shared bathroom. I liked the room upstairs better with natural light and a larger space. Sharing the bathroom was fine because there was one other couple. If the house was full I'm not sure I'd say the same. My only complaint was the mattress and box springs were old and loud. I understand in an old house the floors and room will creaking but not the actual bed. This truly is a place to stay to go have a fun night out. It is not a place where you hang and chill out. The walls are thin and you will hear noise. I will stay here again for the adventure.When I need luxury I'll seek it out. For these trips I enjoy being in the middle of boys-town.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wondertraveler40
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, 17 February 2013
Thanks for staying with us again! I appreciate your comments, particularly about the bed in that room, and I will certainly investigate. We look forward to seeing you here again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      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!"
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Additional Information about The Villa Toscana

Property: The Villa Toscana
Address: 3447 North Halsted, 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 
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Also Known As:
The Villa Toscana Hotel Chicago

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