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“OK hotel”
Review of The Willows

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The Willows
Ranked #79 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 December 2008

This is a nice cozy hotel in lincoln park suburbs of chicago.
It has a old european style looks and style.
the washroom was small and the bath tub drain was not opening so water was holding up in the tub.
You can hear people walking up/down the stairs, as my room was just next to the staircase.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled solo
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Thank nikagarwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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925 - 931 of 987 reviews

Reviewed 18 November 2008

This is one of the hidden gems of Chicago, especially if you want to feel like you're living in a Chicago neighborhood. Boutique by nature, with rooms that are nicely kept, large and comfortable (albeit somewhat aged) and easy access to restaurants and shopping. Here's the problem, though: the staff is ambivalent and, sometimes, outright rude. This is really disturbing to me, as I love the hotel itself. I stayed for several days on the most recent visit, and nearly every staff member was outright dismissive. Frequently, there's no one at the desk (which made me wonder if this is really something the management should know about), and when there is someone, it's a guarantee that he won't greet you and won't ever smile. Bottom line is that this is an above average property downgraded by a personnel problem.

  • Stayed: October 2008
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1  Thank plazascribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2008

I was having a difficult time with my 4 star bidding (my bids were getting too too high in the Loop and River North) on Priceline because I would be staying midweek rather than the weekend but..it all turned out just fine when I got a Wednesday and Thursday night on the 3 star Willows at a good price.

No compaints. The Willows is an older, refurbished hotel nestled in the safe Lakeview East neighborhood and it served me well.

Reminded me of a small european hotel. I had a first floor room so I didn't get in on the elevator adventures I had read about in other reviews.

The room and bath were clean. Comfortable bed.
The staff was friendly and attentive.

Nice breakfast.

What I liked most about The Willows was its great location.

Close to good restaurants and shopping. A mall with a Borders is a block away and a 5 minute walk takes you to the 151 bus that'll get you downtown.

I also liked the convenience of taking the blue line from O'Hare transfering to the 76 bus at Logan Square and arriving within a block of The Willows. This public transportation airport to hotel jaunt took a little over an hour. No need for a car. Chicago has excellent public transportation. I got a visitors pass. Highly recommended.

If you like to walk or jog you are very close to the Lake Michigan waterfront trails and the north end of Lincoln Park.

While not the fanciest of places to stay The Willows still has plenty of charm that would be lacking if you stayed at chain hotels in the vicinity.

I couldn't say adios to the place without having my picture taken by the nice desk clerk with me standing in front of that neat french fireplace in thelobby.

Only regret would be not getting a ride on the legendary Rube Goldberg lift. .

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled solo
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Thank yamhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2008

I stayed here for two night son busines inChicago. While my meetings were downtown, and the Willows is in Lincoln Park area, I stayed because theprice was about $200 less per night.

The Hotel is on Surf Street in a quiet residential neighborhood, but is very close to shops and restaurants. Also, it is very easy to take the bus downtown and bck uptown at days end. A two dollar bus ride is far better than a twenty dollar cab ride.

Over all the hotel is neat and clean and staff very friendly. Would stay here again

  • Stayed: September 2008
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Thank Jabezgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Willows for 2 nights based on the preponderance of good reviews on TripAdvisor. We were not disappointed in any way. We had a small room with one queen size bed. It was clean and quiet. We felt that the value was very good for a large city such as Chicago. The free breakfast was perfectly adequate, another bonus for a hotel in a large city. The personal service and intimate atmosphere were also a welcome change from large chain hotels. But the best part may have been the neighborhood. It was just fabulous. Everything one could possibly want was within easy walking distance. And I do mean everything. There is every nationality of cuisine, including places open late and even 24 hours. There is even everything from Barnes & Noble to Borders, Bed Bath & Beyond to Best Buy, small used book stores to pizza places to Asian, Persian and Turkish restaurants, coffee shops- on and on. It is a great walking neighborhood. And despite all that is there, it seemed quiet. Close proximity to excellent public transportation was another plus. We never had to use our car or a cab while there. Parking garage was convenient. The Willows even had the city's $5.00 bus/train daily passes at the front desk. This turned out to be a convenience and money-saver. Our 2 nights were part of a 28-day cross-country driving trip. The Willows was one of the best places we stayed.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank laborman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2008

I flew to Chicago for a Cubs game on August 18 and experienced a horrible flight- three hour delay, a missed connection, almost missed my rescheduled connection, and lost luggage. By the time we arrived at The Willows I was absolutely frustrated. The front desk changed all that. He was friendly, got us checked in quickly, gave us a demonstation of the old-fashioned elevator, and wrote down our luggage information for when it arrived. After freshening up (with the care package that the airline gave us) he gave us competent directions to the train and gave us all the information we needed as to which stops to get off (Sears Tower, Billy Goat Tavern ect.).

The decor of this hotel is nice. It is old-fashioned (I'm not positive what decade it is, I think the 20's) and they have swing/ jazz music playing in the lobby.

The location is on a quiet little side street in a nice neighborhood. Wrigley Field is about a 20 minute walk and there are plenty of restauraunts and bars/pubs in the area. You can get everything you need within walking distance (groceries, drug stores, ect.).

Everyone at the front desk that I encountered at The Willows seemed to go out of his way to accomadate us. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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Thank miker75058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2008

This hotel has several good points and a few not so great. On the good side, the staff is friendly and very willing to help out. When I first arrived I was given a room that had a window facing the main street. The next day I asked if I could be moved to a different room so that I could sleep better without traffic noise and they granted my request without a problem. The room furniture is generally in good shape and the bathrooms are clean. A continental breakfast is included. There's free wireless internet all over the hotel. My room had air conditioning but not all rooms do. The hotel is close to numerous restaurants and pubs in a good area of Chicago. The one criticism I have is that hotel is showing its wear and tear. For example, the carpets in the entire premises need replacement. Perhaps this is not a big deal for some people, but given that I paid $150 per night (incl. tax), I would have expected a better upkeep of the hotel or else a lower nightly rate.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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Thank Born_yesterday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Suites
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Chicago
#37 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#67 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £64 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Willows 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Willows Hotel Chicago is a Lincoln Park favorite, located on a quiet residential street just steps from Lake Michigan. Within walking distance are countless dining and entertainment options, and downtown Chicago and Wrigley Field are a short drive away. The hotel includes continental breakfast, WiFi, fresh baked cookies in the afternoon, as well as coffee and tea 24 hours a day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Chicago

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