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“Very nice place to stay, but don't expect luxury”

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Wildlife Prairie Park
Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Very nice place to stay, but don't expect luxury”
Reviewed 5 November 2009

One of the greatest mistakes I've seen in reviews for places like Wildlife Prairie, is the expectation that it will be a 5 star hotel. It definitely isn't, but if you like the idea of staying in a log cabin, caboose, grain silo, or stable, this is probably a good destination for you. My wife and I have stayed in all except for the stables and we have decided the cabooses are our favorite. The cabin does have a very nice view though. It is a unique experience and will likely be an enjoyable one for the adventure seeking like my wife and I. Also, if you happen to be there on a Sunday, don't pass up the Sunday Brunch. It is one of the best buffets I have ever eaten at.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank wyurm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
near Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2009

My son & I stayed in a caboose & had a wonderful experience. The "room" was clean and had more space than you might imagine. When we stepped out of the back door we saw that we were pearched right next to the large Bison & Elk area where we could sit on the back end of the caboose & watch. On Sat. morning we attended the Blessing of the Buffalo grounds ceremony conducted by Native Americans . They had a Native singing & drumming group. The cafe even served up Buffalo burgers! At night we were serenaded by howling wolves, arguing bobcats, nesting geese & I could swear I heard a wild Turkey! Oh yea, the staff were friendly and accomidating... we will return.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank curlygirly56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakes Region, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2007

My parents only live a few miles from the park, but are unable to accommodate our family at this time. So, we shopped around for somewhere else to stay relatively close by, that was a family-friendly environment (something often hard to find, despite some claims), and something we would all enjoy. Wildlife was great!! It's not a 5-star hotel, but more entertaining (not to mention easier) than camping, with the same outdoors experience. I found the cost to be very reasonable, without a lot of silly charges that tend to jack-up the bill.

We found the cabin very clean, in good repair, and the kitchenette was great for keeping on-hand snacks for the kids. The staff was very courteous, and there was plenty of space for everyone (something I had been concerned about, based on the photos on their website). My husband took advantage of the fishing, and had pretty good luck. As it turned out, my parents spent more time with us at the park than we spent at their house. The kids ran all over creation, and I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the sun with a good book.

My mother is wheel-chair bound, and we were able to get her around most of the park, as well as the banquet facilities. Do yourself a favor, go ahead and spend the money on the Sunday brunch. Everyone found food they loved (a luxury for anyone with children), and we ate breakfast while watching the Bison!

My only minor gripe was that no one responded to my voice-mail or e-mails, and after 2 days I just called the park directly. The reservationist was very polite, and very apologetic that no one had returned our contacts.

All-in-all, it was a good time. I would recommend it for any families with children over aged 4 or so (under aged 4 and you may be in a panic with all the area to roam and being so close to the little pond)).

  • Liked — The overall experience
  • Disliked — A place to swim would be GREAT!
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank ilstu99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Englewood, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2007

We started out being very excited about staying at this state park. When booking, we were told by park staff that the "stable" was the highest quality for the two of us (my husband and me). Upon checking in (we were supposed to stay two nights), we were given the key to unit #1. We drove to the "stable" and went in to unit #1. It had an odor like a nursing home. The double bed in the back room was unmade. The two single beds in the front room were sagging with wear. There was a t.v. There was no phone. We went back to the check in area. The woman only stared/glared at my husband (he is the kindest gentlest person). She handed him a key for unit #2. We went back. It wasn't much better. All of the beds were made up. They were made up with those really crazy plastic covers that make loud noises when you try to turn over in bed at night. The beds were also sagging in this unit. We again went back, not wanting to spend $85 per night for this quality. She wanted to charge us for not having cancelled 72 hours in advance, but in the same breath told my husband that the housekeeper was sick and hadn't been working. She was trying to get him to agree to pay for NOT staying there. Creepy. They must have this reaction very often, otherwise she wouldn't have had the practice with her response!
We ended up in downtown Peoria at the Pere Marquette with a room that cost $115 and it had a full huge breakfast buffet included. It was clean, a huge king bed with clean sheets. It was a huge room and had free wireless internet and free local phone calls. It was walking distance to everything downtown.
I was so sad to learn that this state park is so poorly maintained. It would have been a wonderful place to stay and to wake up! There was a tiny pond behind the rooms. There was so much wildlife, lots of turtles. It wouldn't take much in the way of money to get this place up to legal and currently acceptable health standards.
The state of Illinois should be ashamed. They need to wake up and realize that they have a gem. They won't sell that gem as it is, they need to clean up their act.

  • Liked — The potential of a great place to stay near the outdoors
  • Disliked — The attitude of the employee on duty.
  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
20 Thank rward2121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wildlife Prairie Park

Property: Wildlife Prairie Park
Address: 3826 N Taylor Rd, Peoria, IL 61536-9467
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Peoria
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Peoria
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 2,000 acre zoological park in central Illinois is the home to a variety of native animals to the area. With our unique lodging accommodations, you can sleep right next to a herd of bison and elk, hear the wolves howl at the moon, or even hear the hoot of an owl in the night. There is no other place in the area like Wildlife Prairie Park for a unique overnight experience. Whether you are a family looking for your next getaway, a business professional seeking a different kind of overnight experience, or just someone who likes the thrill of adventure, look no further than Wildlife Prairie Park for your overnight stay. Pet Policy: As much as we love animals, their safety is our #1 priority. There are no pets allowed through the East Side Gates at Wildlife Prairie Park. For animal and human safety, Wildlife Prairie Park reserves the right to deny any guests with pets access to the Park. We apologize for any inconvenience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wildlife Prairie State Park Hotel Peoria

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