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“Wonderful time away from Chicago”

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Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 May 2014

A great birthday getaway. My wife, 4 year old, and 1 year old decided to stay at the lodge for my and my 1 year old's birthday. When we arrived 2 hours before checking, rather than berating me for being early, the receptionist encouraged me to check back every hour to see if our room was ready. When we finally checked in, the process was smooth and efficient. We found the rooms to be clean, spacious, and relaxing. We ate at Elements for dinner - the dining room gave us that rustic lodge feeling that we so love. The food was good but nothing I would go out of my way for. The best part of our stay was being able to go hiking and come back to our room to relax a bit and then go out again without having to drive anywhere. I would highly recommend the lodge for anyone who loves hiking and would like a comfortable room to relax in after a day of enjoying well kept trails and taking in the beautiful waterfalls and natural surroundings.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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230 - 236 of 367 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2014

A great getaway! Pioneer cabin was clean, and comfortable. Front desk staff were all friendly & professional. Dinner in the Elements dining room was awesome - the chef and dining room staff were friendly and the food was terrific! Ended the nite with drinks & music in the Backdoor Lounge - another great experience-- friendly staff & relaxed atmosphere.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank nancyreview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We went to Starved Rock for two nights to break up a long road trip. Everyone we encountered who works there was very nice. The pool area was clean. The entire place was clean. Our room (I can't remember the number) had a window that faced the pool. I wish they had asked me about that, I'd prefer to not have a room with the potential of pool noise and fun until it closes at 10pm. For me, the hallway and room were way too dark. It almost looked like that wing was closed. I couldn't believe how dark the halls were. It was kind of depressing. and the rooms were no better. The walls are dark. I know it is suppose to be a lodge and therefore has lots of wood and cozy, but they didn't need to put in sconce lights that barely put out enough light to see your doorway. I had all the lights in the room on and it was just dim. They could paint the non-wood part of the walls an off-white and just lighten the carpet a bit so every surface isn't a light drain. Although the idea is to be out of your room hiking, I want to feel comfortable on a cold/rainy day, enjoying a little down time inside. Instead it was depressing for me. We ate our meals there and were underwhelmed with the food. We did not get sick from the food and the wait staff was very attentive.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Hope556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014

My husband and I spent two nights here, Monday and Tuesday nights, 4/21/14 and 4/22/14. We had a King Hotel Wing room, so we were in the newer section. I requested a quiet area of the hotel and that is exactly where they placed us, in room 228. My first impression of the room was wonderful. The room was spacious and very tastefully decorated. It wasn't fancy, but it was peaceful and serene, which was what we were hoping for. The staff everywhere was super friendly and helpful. There was a DVD player in our room and a list of DVDs available for check-out if interested, but we were not. There was also a list of board games available for check-out, but we did not check-out any of those either. Check-in and check-out were easy as could be and the Lodge was easy to navigate. There was a huge indoor swimming pool and a lovely hot tub open until 10pm during the week. The water in the hot tub was nice and hot and the water in the pool was warm and comfortable as well. There is dining available at the lodge; it's expensive but also very nice and convenient. The state park is amazing, with so many awesome waterfalls and canyons, such awesome hiking opportunities.

Now for the not so positive side of the lodge. The air conditioner in our room did not work. We called maintenance. While the maintenance man was friendly, he could not fix the a/c. He told my husband that the temperature outside has to be above 70 degrees for three days in a row before any of the a/c units would work. Then he followed that with offering to move us rooms, but there was not another equivalent room type available. (Keep in mind we had also already unpacked.) He offered us a fan if we chose to stay in the room. We stayed in the room and accepted the fan. After he looked at the a/c unit he struggled to put the cover back on and my husband helped him with it. He also told my husband he was not sure if he put the fan together right, but that my husband could do it himself if need be. The fan was put together right, but I think perhaps some more training for the maintenance man is in order.

There was a huge ant in our room on day one which my husband killed. Then on day two we found another huge ant, this time on the bed. We didn't see any other bugs, but I was quite concerned after we found the ant on the bed.

There is no working fan in the bathroom. I have never been in a hotel bathroom that does not have a fan available.

The area to return towels in the pool area was overflowing both nights we were there. On the second day we were there, there were not any clean towels available and my husband had to go and let the front desk staff know.

After spending the first night, we had breakfast and took off. We returned to the room briefly around 3:30pm and discovered that our room had still not been cleaned. My husband called the front desk and they sent a housekeeper to our room.

There are a list of rules you sign when you check in, with things such as no smoking anywhere in the resort (we are nonsmokers and this was a factor in our selecting to stay here), no coolers allowed in the rooms, and some other rules as well. One of the other rules was about being fined if an excessive amount of litter was left in the room. I'm not sure who exactly would trash a room, but it must have happened before for them to have such a rule you sign which allows for a fee if you violate the rule.

Overall we had a lovely trip to this lodge and would consider staying there again. The negatives could be overcome with just a little bit of attention to training the maintenance man and to housekeeping being more alert regarding the pool towel situation and cleaning the rooms. It was a lovely trip overall and we enjoyed ourselves a lot.

Room Tip: The hotel wing is the newer wing and is supposed to be more spacious.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We decided to make a reservation here and relive a past experiecnce of some 40 years past. It was soooo worth the trip. Our time here was lovely and our room, the lodge king bay room #111 was the best ever! We enjoyed a great view and a great nites sleep! The room was so spacious, clean and quiet. The day we spent was so hectic being Easter and a great day to boot, all the people showed up with their families in the Easter wear and we spent a lot iof time enjoying others enjoying the park too. I would highly reccomend a senior getaway here to those of you who enjoy a rustic atmosphere.

Room Tip: We faced the back of the lodge in room #111 the lodge king bay room. It was a large room with a gre...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank woodjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

The lodge is dated but very clean. This is not the place to go if you are expecting anything more than the basics. That being said, the staff were very accommodating especially the activities staff. Also be advised that the toiletries provided are shampoo and soap so be sure to bring everything else. Lodge is perfect for enjoying the outdoors not designed for luxury.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank cadelaney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

A trip to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL is not to be missed! A great little gem of a park and lodge. Accommodations were comfortable in the small cabins off from the pool which we chose for the privacy and quiet. The room is dark though so bring an extra light if you have an LED lamp available. Could have used a wall sconce on the other side of the bed and brighter ceiling light. Not the greatest for reading in bed by any means! Bathroom is small with no additional rods or hooks other than on the back of the bathroom door. That's a general concern no matter where you go these days, so if you have over-the-door hangers or hooks, bring 'em along!
The staff were very friendly, helpful, accommodating and the little town of Utica offers some nice little shops and restaurants. For hiking, the canyons and waterfalls were wonderful to experience and traverse across streams over rocks and stepping stones. We purchased a Sip N'Shop package for two days and enjoyed Cattails and the wine tasting was excellent. Great little get-away for a long weekend!

Room Tip: We had Tonti cabin which faced the pool area. Request one facing the river view for a more serene v...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank HikingMary2011
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

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: £129 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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