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“Nasty business going on in this room” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Skylark Motel

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Skylark Motel
2.0 of 5 Motel   |   5435 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638 (Southwest Side)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #158 of 178 Hotels in Chicago
2 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Nasty business going on in this room”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2009

We just needed a place to crash, while our heater got fixed
we are locals and learned the hard way about this place
first of, the place is so unsecure, the doors are very flimsy...not a clean place... to place your head on the pillows, no!!!... and when my honey decided to place one of the chairs against the door, to make me feel a bit more secure in the room, what comes out from under the chair, about 50 condoms!!! at least they were still wrapped.
but that was it for me... we just stormed out.

Stayed February 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Location
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    1.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Columbus, OH
1 review
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2009

Where do I begin.....
My teenage son and I decided to take a last-minute excursion from Columbus, OH to Chicago in early August 2008. Our plan was to see the Planetarium, Sears Tower, Chinatown, the Navy Pier,take an evening boat ride on Lake Michigan, then head back home. Two days were plenty for all this.
I looked online at Hotels.com. I had never used their site before--and honestly never will again. Thank goodness for TripAdvisor!
Online, the hotel didn't look fancy, but it did look clean and it was inexpensive by Chicago standards, BUT.....
When we got to the hotel, I should have turned back. First of all, the photos from the site must've been taken in the 1970s when the Skylark was last painted. When I walked in the "lobby", I was greeted with a thick, bullet-proof glass covered in stickers, flyers and warnings--the most note-worthy being the "CHICAGO POLICE WARNING: NO PROSTITUTION! Area Under Surveilance." Yikes!
The guy at the check-in was rude and without looking up, put his index finger in the air to say, "Wait a minute." He had trouble finding my reservation and tried to get me to pay him again (I had paid online and had my receipt with me). He finally found the reservation.
When we got to the room, the doorknob was broken, but the lock at least worked. The first thing we noticed was the cable line stapled to the wall around most of the room, until it reached the TV. My son (age 17) turned on the TV while I checked out the rest of our little slice of heaven and after a few minutes, asked me if I'd rather watch a Chinese language channel or PORN!! Ummm... I chose Chinese. We don't speak Chinese, but I figured it was more appropriate family fair than a violent porno! There were only two channels.
I then noticed the hundreds of moth holes in the ratty curtains. The sun shone through them like hundreds of little stars (We tried to make the best of this, can you tell?)
Our NON-SMOKING room had an ashtray and a partially used matchbook with "Hampton Inn" stamped on it. The phone had a "Days Inn" sticker on the front. Somebody went to a hotel auction.
When my son sat on his bed (there were two double beds), the headboard fell off the nails that propped it against the wall! We couldn't stop laughing!
I checked the sheets and pillows for stains and fluids, but the sheets were actually clean and the beds were surprisingly comfortable.
When I went in the bathroom and closed the door, I had a huge shock--there were what appeared to be two bullet holes in the wall and old red splatters from what I imagine was blood (or perhaps burritos as another Skylarker noted below). There was also a huge dent in the wall about 5 1/2 feet up and another smaller dent in the wooden door at the same height. My son stared at that for awhile and figured out that it may have resulted from someone's head accidentally being lodged against the wall and giving that Skylarker an inexpensive rhinoplasty. Nice! Also, grafitti on the back of the door gave us something interesting to read.
What else....the inside of the toilet was clean, but I made the mistake of closing the lid--oooh! Behind the seat, well, use your imagination! The shower was clean and there was plenty of hot water. The towels were stained and painfully scratchy.
In the separate vanity area, I was sickened. I had sat my toothbrush on the countertop before brushing my teeth. AFTERward, I noticed a few short, curly, thick black hairs on the countertop. Again, let your imagination run free! I pitched my toothbrush.
On the globe-style light fixtures over the vanity, there was THICK dust from the ages and more "splatters". WHAT HAD HAPPENED IN THIS ROOM?
My son and I popped over to Burger King, came back to the room, watched a little Chinese TV, and drifted off to sleep. I left the TV on all night to drown out the shouting and "other" noises coming from our energetic neighbors.
In the morning, we took photos, thinking nobody would ever believe us! As we were leaving, we noticed a gentleman getting out of an older model Cadillac with a young lady wearing a tube top and tiny shorts. She stumbled to their room in her ultra-high stilletto heels and they disappeared inside to perhaps discuss world events.
When I went back to the front desk to turn in my key, I tried to tell the young girl behind the bullet-proof glass about everything. She just stared at me. That's when I realized she did not understand English very well. I told her again in Spanish (I'm bilingual). I mentioned the charming couple in the next room and pointed to the Police Warning proudly posted on their bullet-proof window. She thanked me.
Would I recommend this place? You know, I just might! I think if you have a very, very good sense of humor, are up-to-date with your vaccines, and have recently paid your life insurance premium--you're good to go. If not, sleeping in the car might be a better option.
Ahhh, family vacation memories. We'll never forget our little adventure at the lovely Skylark Motel! Thanks for reading.

  • Liked — Opportunity to learn Chinese.
  • Disliked — The inevitable nightmares to follow.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Western Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2009

We were passing through Chicago on our way to New York and thought we would stay for 1 night. We were on our honeymoon and booked everything as we went along. We decided to stay at the Skylark because it was quite cheap and didn't look too bad on the internet. When we got to our room we were shocked to see that at some point the door had been kicked down and fixed very poorly. My husband put the mirror that was in our room under the door and hoped we would not get mugged or worse during the night. The wall were poorly painted and it was quite dirty. We were so glad to leave in the morning!

Stayed May 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis
1 review
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2008

We needed a place to stay at for the night, so we wanted a cheap hotel, but we couldn't find any so we stayed at this place for $75 or so.

First thing we noticed is there was no lock on the door and was ripped off, so we put a large desk in front of the door, because we felt unsafe. We looked on the walls and there was a giant red stain everywhere from either a murder or a burrito, hopefully it was the burrito. There was only one channel on the t.v. and it was porn, and nasty porn at that.

When we finally fell asleep we were awaken by the people next to us having sex really loud. It was very cliche for a bad motel. The cleaning tried to come in our room at 4 a.m. and didn't even knock, so when I went to the door to tell her to let me sleep she didn't speak any English and just kept saying Portugal. She then left after I tried to butcher some Spanish sentences, but decided to come back at 5 a.m. with her cleaning lady friend, and I had to get up again and tell them there was a mistake. The front desk called at 7 a.m. to tell us that we needed to leave because check out time was 6 a.m. This was all a lie, and we were told check out time was 11 a.m.

We left the keys in the room and ran out hopefully never to come back again.

  • Liked — It had an available room.
  • Disliked — Literally everything.
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ponte Vedra Beach FL
2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2008

My mother booked this hotel after as we had an early morning flight out. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. My first clue should have been the fact that the front desk clerk sat behind bullet proof glass. The second was the kick marks on the front door. There were holes in the wall and the ceiling and then I noticed a note on the back of the door that told you, if someone was to knock at your door you should not open it, call the front desk immediatly. I refused to sleep because I feared for my saftey. There was fighting going on in the room next door and later on many other noises coming from that room.

At 1:00 AM we finally called a cab and spent the remainder of the night at the airport. I felt much safer there. Do not ever stay at this hotel.

Stayed September 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2008

If staying near Midway Airport, do not stay at any hotels/motels nouth of the airport on Cicero Avenue, including this one. This hotel is located approximately two minutes nouth of Midway Airport right off Cicero Avenue on Archer Avenue. For some reason this hotel is listed as being in Bedford Park, but it is in Chicago. Bedford Park is a small town southwest of Midway Airport.

This is a property that caters to the locals and is a worn and dated property. The area around this hotel has street walkers and I witnessed one who was across the street on and off going from this property back on to Archer Avenue every 30-60 minutes. Definitely not a location you would want to stay at with family or if you want to feel secure.

There is a 24 hour restaurant on the southwest corner of this intersection and a Burger King on the southeast corner. About a three minute walk east on Archer Avenue is a restaurant that has more variety including gyros, Italian beefs, Chicago style hot dogs, big baby's and much more.

If you must stay near near Midway Airport, stay south of the airport in Bedford Park. The hotels there are right off Cicero Avenue and they are hotels run by chains.

  • Liked — Nothing - it was a bad experience and I did not feel safe.
  • Disliked — It is a location for locals and certain clientel.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Skylark Motel

Address: 5435 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Southwest Side
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #158 of 178 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Skylark Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 54
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Also Known As:
Skylark Motel Chicago
Skylark Hotel Chicago

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