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“Great quaint, historic property”
Review of The Willows

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The Willows
Ranked #70 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Schaumburg
Level Contributor
122 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great quaint, historic property”
Reviewed 20 January 2012

The hotel offered great rates, comfortable rooms, and a great service attitude by the front desk staff. The heater is radiator, so I had to open the windows to get it my desired temperature. The room was quite spacious. The hot water was also a challenge while showering. But it is a great deal for the money, and a larger room in the city of Chicago.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DerelN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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851 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 (159)
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English first
Carmel, Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2012

My husband, son and I stayed at the The Willows when we traveled to Chicago to visit Northwestern University. I got a great deal on LivingSocial that included free parking at the hotel. The hotel is right off of Broadway is within short walking distance of nice restaurants and shopping. Lincoln Park is a beautiful upscale area and we felt very safe walking around on a Sunday night. It is a small hotel that has been nicely updated. The beds and pillows were great. They had very nice shower amenities as well as luxurious robes in the room The bathroom did include a hairdryer, which is a good thing since I didn't pack mine. They offer 24-hour coffee in the lobby and a basic continental breakfast. The staff was really nice! The only problem I encountered was that I couldn't get the water hot enough in the the shower.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank m1021v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syracuse, NY
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2012

This is not for you readers who want your typical three- or four-star modern hotel experience. On the other hand, if you like a bargain price [we paid $60/night for 2 in a "deluxe queen" with fully satisfactory continental breakfast], you like being in a very pleasant, small business/residential neighborhood quite near Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park (but 3 + miles from the Loop), and you don't mind a place that is and feels old (yet clean), this is a quite good choice.
We walked down a main street to the Loop, enjoying the shops, restaurants, people and architecture along the way. It is easy to get a bus to and from the heart of the Loop. Several reasonably priced Zagat- or Michelin-rated restaurants within easy walking distance.

Room Tip: Try to get a "deluxe" queen -- still not a huge room, but pretty good-sized.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank PaBell55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
86 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2011

We stayed one night at The Willows so that we could walk to a friend's house for a Christmas party. There was no on street parking, but there are two parking garages very close, and there are spaces in front of the hotel to unload.
This hotel is kind of dated--some chipped paint, worn carpet, older decor, but it was very clean and comfortable. Our room had two comfortable queen beds, and it was more spacious than newer motels. The desk clerks were both genuinely nice. Breakfast was limited but OK.
This hotel is located too far from downtown to reasonably walk to attractions, but it was terrific for our needs--and better value than loop hotels. Nice neighborhood, several shops, restaurants, and bars short walk away.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank dler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northern Michigan
Level Contributor
118 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2011

A friend and I stayed at this hotel during a recent vacation weekend in Chicago. We were looking for a quiet, quaint, historic place to stay in Lincoln Park and the Willows Hotel fit the bill perfectly.

The staff was especially helpful. They allowed us to use their computer, printed maps for our expeditions and gave theater recommendations.

Rooms were clean and decent sized for a big city hotel. Beds were wonderful with high quality linens. I slept like a dream. Room temperature was perfect at all times. We never had to fiddle with the thermostat once. Showers were hot with strong water pressure. One slight criticism, I wish the rooms had a chain lock. I sometimes worry that one deadbolt is not secure enough in a big city. This hotel seems to attract quiet patrons. There was no excessive noise or rowdiness.

The continental breakfast was simple but decent. I had a toasted bagel with cream cheese every morning. They had a nice selection of bagel flavors and they appeared to be purchased from a local bakery rather than Lenders type bagels. The breakfast did not include any hot food, other than what could be toasted or microwaved. It included hard-boiled eggs, fruit cups, yogurt cups, small amount of fresh fruit, good coffee, cereal and other pastries.

The public transportation system (Brown line on El) was about 3-4 blocks away. It was an easy and safe walk and we used public transportation extensively. From the Brown line, one can connect with other lines and go almost anywhere in the city. I would strongly recommend purchasing a CTA pass for your Chicago stay. We got WAY more than our money's worth.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank upnorthjodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas, USA.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2011

I've been staying at this property since it's previous days of being called "The Surf Hotel!" The location is perfect. Nestled on a quite corner of a busy area that is easily walkable! The staff are AWESOME! I've stayed there during the heat of Chicago's summer as well as in mid winder when it was snowing like crazy! LOVED IT each time!
Very warm and inviting environment and I just can't recommend the hotel high enough. Honestly, I've actually opted to stay here (at my own expense) on several occasions when others in my party were staying at more lavish propertys in town. Needless to say, I'm a fan!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank risker4638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 4 December 2011

Pros: Lovely old building with lots of character on a quiet street, breakfast included, helpful, accommodating staff, reasonable price.
Cons: The room furnishings are tired and dated.

We were there in early November and apparently the steam heat was not on yet. We complained we were cold and were told the heat would kick on. It never did. We found out at check out that some rooms have an additional wall heater, ours did not. Finally they brought us a space heater which is less than ideal to sleep with. We complained at check out and they comp'd our parking.

We chose the hotel because it is close to the family we were visiting. Unfortunately, the choices in this neighborhood are limited.

Room Tip: Some rooms have heat controls in the room, some do not. Ask when booking in cooler months.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Merdan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Willows

Property: The Willows
Address: 555 W Surf St, Chicago, IL 60657-6020
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Lakeview
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#13 Best Value Hotel in Chicago
#37 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#59 Family Hotel in Chicago
#67 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Willows 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Chicago

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