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“Good Getaway from Chicago”

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Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good Getaway from Chicago”
Reviewed 29 May 2012

My husband surprised me with a trip to Starved Rock for my 26th birthday this year. We live in downtown Chicago but love the outdoors and hiking so this was a great getaway.

He booked a bit late in the game, so there were no private cabins available. We stayed in the lodge with was charming and well-equipped with a bar and cafe. It was charming with a koi pond and taxidermy bear in the reception area.

The lodge was nice for being "vintage". The beds were a bit lop-sided as only one side was slept on. The fixtures (log headboards, solid cast metal doorknobs, lights) were lodge-esc and very cool.

There was a wedding going on that weekend and the hallways were VERY noisy with children running up and down them all night. We stayed on the 1st floor, but I think it would have been noisy everywhere as the wedding was a large one with many guests (it seemed).

The people were very nice and accommodating. The kitchen staff of the bar even held some leftovers for us in their fridge as the room did not have a mini-fridge.

The lodge is unique in that it is right on the state grounds. You can walk out any door of the building and hit the trails right away. Amazing views from the communal deck and access to public hiking make this a great place to stay when you want to get away!

Room Tip: Far away from family parties or wedding parties!! Paper-thin doors and walls.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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361 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
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English first
Shannon, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

I made a reservation a little late for an event I attended at Starved Rock (my fault) and the only available room was a cabin. There might as well not be walls as you can hear every move and noise made by your neighbor. You have to walk outside to get to the cabins. Some are closer to the main lodge than others. As a woman traveling alone I wasn't totally comfortable because of the paper thin walls and the walk to the cabin after dark. There is a unique gift shop so that's a plus!

Room Tip: Choose a room in the main lodge.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jill J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Delray Beach, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Held my daughter's wedding here - lodge and hotel accomodations were outstanding, food excellent, hotel rooms generously comfortable, grounds fantastic. Great for a weekend outing, an event, or a weekend personal writing, hiking, self-reflective retreat. Loved the weekend I spent there.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank JenniferI54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

This was a "recon" trip. That is, testing sites for longer or future and frequent family travels. For me, the cabin was just right. Small sleeping quarters, huge bathroom. Only bad thing was there was no kitchen and supposedly no food allowed. Cobwebs, yes. Evidence of mice, probably. But, it is a cabin near the woods and the toilets flush. Best features - canyons and trails in the "backyard", access to all trails, Visitor's center, The Lodge, Pool, Restaurants - all on foot. It's outdoors, not exactly luxury but not exactly rustic. The boys left their electronics behind and became Huck Finn and Tom Saywer for a day and night.

Room Tip: Cleaner facility? Choose a lodge room, but it's really all about the outdoors!
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Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank Elaine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

I love SRL, and have detailed the reasons in a previous review.

On our visits, we typically avail ourselves of the onsite massage services at the 'massage cabin' near the parking lot. The massages have always been INCREDIBLE and appropriately priced--thus our return customer status.

On a recent 3 night stay we booked our usual couples deep tissue massage and to our great dismay, found different therapists employed than on our previous visits.

While they were nice enough people, the massages were just bad--I wonder if either of them even went to massage school? I say this as someone who believes that any massage is a good one!

First, nothing about the massage was deep tissue. Second, it was a very poor Swedish massage to boot! Even feedback given during the massage went unheeded.

Totally disappointing. I'm very sad to say that we'll no longer get massages when staying there. I'd suggest you save your time and money as well.

Bleak.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BusinessTraveler04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

I stayed here with my family (with kids) in March 2012. I stayed in a 1st floor room in the "hotel" wing. The room could use some updating. Our room smelled like urine. I thought it was pretty bad, although the rest of the family did not complain. Our room was a standard room with 2 queen beds and a pullout arm chair. It did not have the lodge look although I think rooms like that are available. We paid about $140./night. The toilet was a low flow toilet and clogged more than once. No coffee makers in the rooms (I'd recommend to them installing a keurig in each room like they have at Yellowstone). The room walls are not sound proof. We had a room with a little kid next door. The kid (and the parents) were very loud. A decent plat panel TV and a DVD player was in the room, but the channel selection was limited. They offer DVDs and board games at the front desk at no charge. They use really dim light bulbs in the room also. Overall the room just seemed a bit outdated.

The lodge in general is nice. There is a koi pond, fish tank, and bird cage in the lobby. There are beautiful nature pictures from the park in the hallways and in the room. They have a beautiful back patio with paths that lead right to the hiking trails. They have a beautiful great room with huge exposed timber beams and an enormous fireplace (although they did not have a fire burning). They have an indoor swimming pool, but I did not use it. I was there for a wedding (the second one I have been to there). It is a really nice place for a wedding. The food at the "Backdoor Grill" was a little pricey ($8) for a hot dog and chips or a pulled pork and chips. Although the pulled pork was a good! The food at the wedding was so-so.

They have decent bathrooms off of the great room and a gift shop as well. Parking lots were adequate. Wi-Fi in the rooms and even in the great room was very weak (almost non-existent). Cell phone service on Sprint and on Verizon in the rooms and on the property was intermittent. No free breakfast (like many other hotels).

The hiking trails are fun and there are waterfalls in many of the canyons. Eagles nests can be seen from some of the trails along the river, but you'll need binoculars to see them. Other than hiking, swimming pool, board games, and a few kids DVDs, there isn't a lot for kids on the property. But some of the hiking trails will really impress the kids.

The nearest Burger King and McDonald's is about 5 miles away. An easy drive, but it'll take 10-15 minutes. Caution - Conservation Police will enforce the speed limits along the park roadways.

Leashed pets are allowed on the trails, but not in the rooms or buildings.

Room Tip: Get a lodge room. I heard the 3rd floor is better. Bring your own kids DVDs if you have kids.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank USAExplorer_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We stayed in the lodge as opposed to the cabins (which looked very nice from the outside but they don't show them on the inside - even after asking). The staff was pleasant, room was very small but cozy and charming with knotty pine walls and old, rustic hardwood furnishings. The main area of the lodge is ENOURMOUS! The gigantic wood burning fire place was wonderful with plenty of sofas, chairs and tables around to suit 2 to 15! Restaurant was good (not great). Brunch was rather ordinary for the money. Lots of great paths and places to explore as well as a pool and hot tub. I would go again. Good value for the money.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fellowtraveler025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Property: Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Address: 2668 E. 875th Road, Utica, IL 61348
Region: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Features 69 guest rooms and 21 cabin rooms, majestic Great Hall with 2-sided fireplace, on-site restaurant and bar, outdoor dining, indoor pool, weddings and meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Starved Rock Utica
Starved Rock Hotel Utica Il

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