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“No better place to stay in Chicago”

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Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #4 of 23 Chicago B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“No better place to stay in Chicago”
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Have to admit, after my stay at Ray's, I HAD to read the (four total) negative reviews to find out what they were talking about. Pretty sure all four of the bad reviews mistook Ray's for somewhere else, because they make no sense.

I stayed at Ray's for 10 nights on a work trip to Chicago, and my only regret is that I had to work, because if I'd been there on vacation, I would have spend SO much more time there!

Highlights:
Staff--super personable, very responsive and helpful. The local restaurant recs they give are amazing!
Breakfasts--I only got to eat with them 3/10 mornings, but would have every day had I been able to! Food was amazing, high quality and quick!
Accommodations--heated bathroom floors?! I didn't even know this was a thing. Each room has its own DVR, so I didn't miss any of my shows, and the beds (I was in two different rooms) were both really comfy.
Decor--eclectic, fun and not at all what I expected. Loved it.
Location--after many, many trips to Chicago, Bucktown/Wicker Park is my favorite neighborhood. So much great food, good people, good coffee, great shopping...Love it, and all within walking distance!
Price: Seriously?! Can't get over how affordable this is. Their rates beat the cheapest brand hotels in the city by $100 or more. And I'm a creepily loyal Hilton Honors member who will bend over backwards to get those points.

Negatives: not one thing.

If you are lucky enough to snag a room there, here are some restaurants you can't miss in the area:

Cafe Laguardia. Ray told me about this place my first night--BEST CUBAN FOOD EVER. The actual restaurant is weird...not the most attentive staff and decor is animal-print-cray, so I got take out after my first visit and just ate it at Ray's. The Cuban Pulled Pork though, seriously...will dream about this. I had it four times in 10 days. Embarrassing.

Red June's. This little coffee shop is just blocks away from Ray's, and has great coffee and a fun vibe. The have a croissant sandwich with apples, candied walnuts and Gouda that is the most autumn-feeling food ever. So good.

Birchwood Kitchen. This place has AMAZING food. I had a pot roast sandwich that was easily the best pot roast I'd ever had, and their daily quiche specials are so good. This is an amazing lunch spot.

Belly Shack. This is, wait for it, Latin/Korean/Chicagoan fusion food. I had the Belly Dog, which was a hot dog on a fresh bun with papaya kim chee, noodles and hot sauce that was the stuff of legends. Seriously worth it, and very close to all the great shops on Damen and Milwaukee Ave.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate. You guys...the food is good, but just go get a hot chocolate. You won't regret it.

I cannot wait to come back to Ray's for vacation, and NOT work!

Room Tip: The Flamingo room is super quiet, and the bathroom is AMAZING...jacuzzi tub for days.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Shutchis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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242 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

We just had a great stay at Ray's in Bucktown. It's so much more fun to stay in an area like this than to stick with the traditional Magnificent Mile corporate hotels.

However, I would recommend avoiding the East Room. It's in the basement and a little dark and chilly.

Other than our room selection, we liked everything about Ray's. Excellent potato dish for breakfast!

Room Tip: Avoid the lower floor.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KatieMargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leander, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2013

The B&B
Ray’s is very unassuming from the street, but the moment we walked into the building it was bright, clean, and very inviting. The B&B is decorated with an awesome collection of pictures, pottery, and other knick knacks. Every shelf was full, but it wasn’t cluttered at all. The common area with the TV was nice and comfortable, and the dining room table and sitting rooms were perfect.

The neighborhood that the B&B is in is so nice and safe. We walk around in the wee hours of the morning and never felt unsafe. We took the train and buses and really thought this neighborhood was great. There were little neighborhood bars all over the place. There were also little shops and restaurants, so you will want for nothing in Bucktown.

The Room
We stayed in the Da Vinci room and it was perfect! It was clean and exactly like the photos I looked at online. The bed was a little bit lumpy and had a dip in the middle, but it was comfortable enough to sleep in and wake up without any pain. The lighting in this room was great!! There are two large skylights so the natural light was great during the day. There was a lot of counter space and my husband and I never felt cramped. The TV and DVR were great and allowed us to enjoy our TV shows during our down time. There is a small window unit used to cool the room, so if you like it really cold you may need to open a window or request the thermostat to be turned lower. We were notified that this room occasionally needs to have the water heater breaker reset, so my husband took warm showers for a few days and I went downstairs to take a hot shower in the steam room. I had absolutely no issue with going downstairs to a clean shower to have access to very hot water, but the water heater issue was fixed and we were compensated for the days that I had to go downstairs (I was compensated without asking, they just felt it was the right thing to do). We really can’t wait for our next visit to the Da Vinci room!

The Breakfast
The breakfast is phenomenal! I have never been to a B&B that gives people a menu; Ray’s does. There is special every day, but you can order anything your heart desires. We never left the B&B hungry and were able to skip lunch every day we were in Chicago because we were so full. I cannot say enough about the food they cook. I sat in the kitchen and watch them cut the fresh fruit for the next morning and prepare their famous potatoes; it was all so delicious.

The Staff
I honestly cannot say enough about the staff at Ray’s. They were nice, helpful, and fun. After a week-long stay, they felt like family. We were sad to leave because we met such wonderful people at this B&B.

Overall, this is a wonderfully quirky place with wonderful people. I really can’t wait to go back to Ray’s and the amazing Bucktown neighborhood.

Room Tip: Be sure to go to their website and look at the rooms. There are a few rooms that are close to the f...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Raymarie1184
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
452 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 324 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed for 3 nights at this lovely B and B. We arrived at the Chicago O'hare airport and called Ray for directions. Ray was very precise and volunteered to pick us up at the Weston stop on the L line. It was an easy 20- minute ride from the airport on L and Ray had arrived. Then it was a less than 5- minute ride to the B and B. We had also walked from the B and B to the metro stop and it was an easy 10-15 minute walk.
Breakfast was great every morning. We had an omelette with ham and green peppers, bacon pancakes, stuffed toasts and roasted red potato casserole for the 3 mornings we were there. Besides the daily specials, there were ample pastries, fruits, cereals, yogurts and oatmeal to choose from. Coffee and tea were always available.
We had to move from "chickerdee"room to "room with a view" after staying for 2 nights. The B and B staff made it easy to make the transition. All we needed to do was to pack up and the staff would move our luggage for us.
Everything in both rooms worked. The chickerdee room has grab bars in the tub while the room with a view has a shower with no tub. Either design worked for us.
The entire staff was cheerful and helpful. Ray even helped us to order food to be delivered to the B and B.
The location of the B and B is in a residential neighborhood. There are coffee shops , restaurants and fast food joints in the neighborhood so it was not difficult to make dinner choices. It took about 20 minutes on the L line to get to downtown Chicago and about 20 minutes to go to O'hare airport.
I had enjoyed my stay and would highly recommend this B and B to my friends and family.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank singinggigi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
82 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

What a find in Bucktown! Ray's is billed at "not your parent's b & b" and it is definitely of a different order than your typical b& b. Breakfast is beyond copious, with a daily special and a menu to choose from. You can have a much as you want, but you can also determine your own portion (1 pancake, 2-egg omelet) rather than have a huge plate of food plunked in front of you. Breakfast is informal in terms of time as well - each room can write in its preferred time on a big white board with everyone's first name on it. As long as you show up somewhere between the earliest and the latest time stated, they're happy.
Our room "Room with a View" has a King bed, armoire, desk, and 2 comfortable arm chairs by the window, as well as good light to read by which is a priority for us and mostly lacking wherever we stay.
One thing some visitors may not like is that they do not clean the rooms every day. We were surprised by this, but found we didn't mind, and it made us feel more comfortable about what we left in the room.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank christine k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
the_renaissance_man, Manager at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 25 September 2013
Thank you for the kind words! We do not kid around with our portion sizes, you're right, and we can always attempt to reign it in if your not planning on waddling around the city all day! We are also more than happy to clean rooms as often as guests would like, but know that privacy is also nice to have - we are thinking of putting a notice on our check-in sheet to notify guests that may be used to another arrangement, thanks for pointing that out. We hope you had the chance to enjoy our neighborhood and city at large and look forward to having you back with us. All the best!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brimfield, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

We all loved this place. I can't think of a bad thing to say. We stayed in the West room, which has bunkbeds (the top one is very high, maybe 7 1/2 ft.) There are also outlets in the bunks too - for your kids electronics! The queen bed was very comfortable and the sheets were so soft; had a great night sleep. Had no problems finding street parking. Enjoyed looking at the maps and sitting in the (tiny) backyard. Breakfast was ample and the menu interesting. Everyone aims to please! The "L" blue line is a 10 min walk, but the ride downtown is all underground. Too bad, was looking forward to seeing the city from the "L". Hope to come back!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank m0re_vacati0ns_pls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
187 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

No. 1: this is a B&B, not a hotel. So it is like staying in someone's house. You do feel like you are staying in a distant relative's home. We stayed in two different rooms during our stay and they both had attributes and disadvantages, but both were more than adequate. Ray's is very clean! Ray and all his staff are very welcoming and efficient. The entire place is a pop culture museum: very interesting stuff. The breakfast is the piece de resistance and is very much a source of pride for the whole staff. There aren't a whole lot of lodging choices between downtown and the suburbs and Ray's is located in a great neighborhood. Here is a short list of the positives and the less appealing aspects of staying at Ray's:

(Good stuff first)
Staying at Rays...
1. Provides a GREAT location
2. You will meet interesting people, including the owner, Ray, and his staff of multi-taking girls!
3. You will have a CLEAN, clean, clean room and bathroom.
4. You get to park for FREE!!!!
5. You will enjoy a delicious breakfast!

but, you might...
1. Hear activity around the house on the early side
2. Have to interact with other humans
3. Eat too much!
4. Not have front door drop off or a valet to carry your luggage
5. Not have luxury linens on the bed

Overall, Ray's is a great value, as well as an attraction/destination in itself. It seems as if a lot of other guests like Ray and his place, too...so book early!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JennATl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast

Property: Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast
Address: 2144 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60647-3274
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Northwest Side , Wicker Park / Bucktown
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A unique B&B in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, Ray's welcomes groups and individuals in town for work or play. Modeled after small European hotels and spas, the B&B has eleven bedrooms with private baths, high speed internet (WIFI and in each room as well as community areas including a steam room, sauna, HDTV and a kitchen, and free unrestricted street parking. Breakfast is cooked-to-order when you want it. This is not your parents' bed & breakfast! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ray`s Bucktown b&b
Ray`s Bucktown Hotel Chicago

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