Like many great public universities the University of Illinois Union Hotel (Illini Union), situated on the north end of the great Quad is a jewel lesser known to travelers arriving in a college town. Sure, if you work or navigate the world of higher ed you have learned about school "Union" hotels. But if you do not frequent university campuses on a regular basis this type of hotel wouldn't be on your radar. I've stayed in UU (University Union) hotels all over the country and the Illini Union is one of my favorites. Not just as an alumna but the features and services available are top notch. Illinois is a leader in accessibility so if you have any kind of physical/mobility needs or questions just ask. This is the most accessible campus I've ever been on.
I have stayed here a few times and check in is always flawless, polite, good suggestions, and helpful even at 3 in the morning. My room was clean with one of the most comfortable queen beds I've slept on in a hotel for awhile. I was staying in Chambana, (Champaign Urbana), for ten days this trip so comfort was very important. As it turns out more important than I would have imagined.
There were a plethora of electrical outlets, all updated and thoughtfully place around the room. The working desk was spacious w/ a comfortable, lumbar supportive chair where I spent a great deal of time writing. A large over stuffed chair provided some variety during long days working in the room. There was a huge TV w/ a great picture if you wanted to watch a game, (which I didn't and took great strength to not turn on until time to go to sleep), or the weather (which I did watch due to a series of winter storms rolling through).
There is a reasonable continental breakfast served daily included in the price of the room. If you want Belgian waffles and all that stay at the Country Inns and Suites but cereal, oatmeal, bread stuff (bagels, muffins, toast), yogurt, juice, coffee, tea, etc are good and handy on the second floor. Very small space so it it is busy you might have to wait a little bit to get in.
The bathroom is small, no way around that but the building is very old and while updates can modernize fixtures, furniture and shower curtain rods, the space they have is just that. Since most people don't go here to sit in their hotel room, the small bathroom is the tradeoff for the larger more open room space. Unfortunately I was very sick here for four days so the small bathroom was more of an issue to me.
Because I was so very ill on this trip, I really appreciated the staff. I was traveling alone from out of state and the staff was very empathetic and responded quickly to my few requests for service or if I had a problem. The second floor staff was wonderful as was the front desk. Top notch.
Virtually everything, especially the world class library at the University of Illinois is at your fingertips from a base in the IU. Check out the daily schedule and the University web page to see if there is a lecture (usually free), play or performance, game (Illinois is a member of the Big Ten athletic conference, (I doubt there are too many days where some type of athletic event is not being hosted on-campus). Check out http://illinois.edu/ for all of the options athletic, intellectual and social.
There is a variety of food service options in the lower level of the Union as well as dependable city bus lines 20 yards outside the door. Parking for hotel patrons is included in the cost of the room and is literally just right outside the building. No trouble getting my remote start to work here:) Extremely convenient and important on a college campus where parking is always tough. Huge benefit.
I hesitate to recommend this location but only for selfish reasons. I enjoy staying here, it makes my life easier when I come to U of I to stay here and not have to drive on campus to feed meter parking or park in a deck. When it gets too popular I won't be able to get a reservation and that will not make me happy but there is no denying the strength of the staff, the convenience of the location, the comfortable accommodations and all the other benefits of staying at the Illini Union
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Housed within one of the most iconic buildings on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s campus – the Illini Union – is the newly remodeled Illini Union Hotel. This boutique hotel offers 74 rooms, including two VIP suites, and is the perfect location for anyone looking to make the most of their stay in Champaign-Urbana. In addition to 27 meeting rooms, the Union also offers a plethora of food and entertainment options throughout the building. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Illini Union Hotel Urbana, IL - Champaign-Urbana