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“Charming Midwest Getaway”
Review of The Willows

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The Willows
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Charming Midwest Getaway”
Reviewed 7 September 2012

Went for a long Labor Day getaway weekend on the motorcycle. We had the "farmland" jacuzzi suite which had a open kitchen / living room with double sided fireplace to the jacuzzi tub. At first it all seemed a bit odd and quirky but very clean and after getting used to it- we loved it!! We were on the upper level that had a big long porch with rocking chairs outside the door. Across the street is an ice cream shop so you can really appreciate the simple joy of spending a summer evening sitting in a rocker on the porch eating an ice cream cone watching the cars go by. Every night ended with a very relaxing jacuzzi bath. Great location just a walk over the little bridge to the block of "downtown Utica". There were about 4 or so really neat restaurant / bars and a couple neat little shops. Be sure and get a fried pretzel at Duffy's and the Kamikaze wings at Skoogs. August Hill winery is right downtown and there are other little shops and winery stores nearby also. Just a couple miles over the big bridge is Starved Rock State Park. Spent a day there - just gorgeous. If you head out the back of the building, take a walk up toward the church. Lovely - seemed very Norman Rockwell like. To the left before crossing the little bridge into the downtown is a walking / biking path along the canal that goes for miles. The whole trip was very relaxing. The room price included breakfast which was so wonderful to have delivered right to the door every morning. The people there were very nice. We didn't have any complaints about service at all but we are not very demanding either. The only negatives I would have is that the bed could have been a bit softer and yes the price could have been a bit lower but that is the case with most places. Room wi-fi was included where many places we stay that is an extra charge. If you are looking for a charming small midwest rural town experience - this is it. If you want to stay at a standard chain hotel for cheaper - then look elsewhere. We will definitely be back since The Willows and Utica are now on my "Love It List".

Room Tip: Get one of the upper level "theme" jacuzzi suites.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank love2travelalso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lombard, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I really enjoyed The Willows and it was my first stay there. We were in town to go to Starved Rock hiking and just for a night away and really were pleased with everything The Willows had to offer. The two negative comments on here are not how I felt at all, so I would give it a try. It is an older building, but I found the room to be remodeled. It was a Zen styled room, which was beautiful, clean and very spacious compared to other hotels and B&B's I have been to. The bathroom was large, the kitchen area had everything you would need to cook a meal even though we didn't use it, and the bed was comfy! The breakfast came right on time (to the minute we told them we would like it served) and was delicious. I was expecting a continental breakfast but was surprised with pancakes, sausage, orange juice and yogurt parfait. With the beautiful decor, the spacious room and the quiet atmosphere, I felt it was a perfect romantic weekend away that was just the right price for what was offered. It was more private than other B&Bs in town, with no 2-night minimum or the noises of families you may find at the Lodge. The staff is friendly and welcoming and were quick to answer any questions we had. I have always wanted to stay here and once I did, I found it to be even better than I thought it was going to be like and I didn't have low expectations at all. Try it if you are looking for a nice romantic get-away, it's worth it!

Room Tip: We tried the Zen room which was on the upper floor and really enjoyed it. It had a full kitchen so i...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank JulesM76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 October 2011

I have to say that this is the worst rip-off for a hotel I’ve ever stayed in. I took my wife to Starved Rock State Park for her birthday and wanted to spend the night in a nice place. The Lodge at the park would only accept a minimum 2 night stay and the park’s other accommodations, Starved Rock Inn, looked a bit dumpy online. So I looked online for another place in Utica and came across what seemed to be a charming (from the website) hotel. It seemed a bit expensive for the area, $156, but it was my wife’s birthday and wanted something nice, so booked it: BIG MISTAKE. I don’t know how to describe the place. It is two levels and cheaply built, think 1970’s suburban apartment complex/motel, but older. Our room was on the first floor, which was awful because the faulty blinds afforded views into our room. Those blinds also failed to block the light bulb shining directly onto our bed all night, making for a less-than refreshing night’s sleep. We couldn’t even complain to have it addressed as the staff left at 6PM. The rest of the interior can be described as ugly tomato soup colored walls, tiny CRT TV, stained couch, and vinyl floors in bathroom. Not acceptable at this price point. I have rarely felt so cheated. For much cheaper, I have stayed at much nicer places, with actual amenities (hot tub, LCD TV, working blinds, clean furniture), in much larger cities. The place should rent for half of what they charged me. The only redeeming feature was that they served us a surprisingly delicious breakfast in the morning. Otherwise: AVOID THIS OVERPRICED DUMP!

Room Tip: first floor was awful
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Utica hotels

roselle, il
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2010

Let me preface this by saying that we were the only people staying here. All the other rooms were vacant.

All seemed pretty good until I looked at my credit card statement to see they charged me an extra $60.50. I inquired about it and after waiting 4 days to get a response, I was told we were supposed to checkout at 11am and that we did not check out until 2pm, so therefore we were charged a half day. It all started when Darice (the manager) knocked on the door at 11:45 am asking when we would be leaving. I said at around 1pm, to which she replied "uh, no way, our policy is 11am." Did I mention how rudely she said this. Very unprofessional.

I fully understand policies, but when I am the only one staying at the place, it seems as if demand is not that high for the rooms, let alone the fact had I been informed I was getting charged for the half day I would not have busted by butt to get packed and out of there. I would have stayed my full extra half day. The manager Darice was very rude about the entire experience. I apologized profusely after dropping off the key and was never told I would be charged for the extra time.

I have stayed in hotels all over the world, and I must say this is the first review I have ever written because it is so ridiculous. Never, and I mean never have I been charged a half day for staying longer than the checkout time, even when the hotel was fully booked for the next day.

The stay at the Willows left a very bad taste in my mouth and there is no way I could ever recommend this place to any of my friends.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank stalbrecht
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: 325 Clark St, Utica, IL 61373
Region: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Number of rooms: 9

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