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“Location, location, location (and hospitality)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast

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Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast
2144 N Leavitt, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park / Bucktown)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 20 Chicago B&B and Inns
Montreal, Quebec
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Location, location, location (and hospitality)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Ray's is a unique place, the best way to describe it is a high-end youth hostel. Kind of off-the wall (common areas filled with random vintage collections of stuff) and bohemian (no daily room cleaning or towel service,) it's unfussy, friendly, and serves an excellent gourmet breakfast to order from a generous menu. Some rooms have some luxe touches (renovated bathrooms with heated floors, king-sized bed) and there's free wifi available. The reception is personal (father-daughter operation--Ray even drove us to the train on our way out) but one of the best features is the unbeatable location; close to countless little neighbourhood gems (cozy hole-in the wall bars, restaurants etc.) and easy to the great eating at Wicker Park and Logan Square. Would return anytime if I though there was any room until next fall!

Room Tip: First or second floor rooms seem best
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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the_renaissance_man, Manager at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Thank you for all the nice words! We consider ourselves a family here at Ray’s but unfortunately not related by blood, hope that doesn’t take away from the father-daughter charm! We strive to provide a friendly and informal environment while keeping high-end amenities that you won’t find at any youth hostel - if you ever want a daily room cleaning we are happy to pop in while you are out for the day. Exploring the neighborhood is an integral part of getting the full experience and we are glad you took advantage of our surroundings; Bucktown is a hotbed for eating, drinking, and some great people watching.
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170 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lutz, FL
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

My husband and I, along with several friends booked at Ray's B&B over Chicago Marathon weekend as an alternative to staying downtown before the race. We couldn't have made a better choice. The B&B was awesome and in a great neighborhood. Lots of good food, bars, and restaurants within walking distance and only a 10-15 minute cab ride to the start of the marathon for me on race day. DH and I stayed in the Flamingo Room....the bed was extremely comfy and the spa tub was AWESOME after the race. Breakfast, as everyone else has mentioned, is superb also and is a delicious fulfilling way to start the day. We will be returning again and look forward to another fantastic experience!! Thanks to everyone at Ray's for making our stay truly pleasurable!!

Room Tip: You shouldn't miss having the nutella and banana french toast! Simply delish!!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Milford
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Ray's was a surprise. We came to Chicago for a wedding but, our memories will be of Ray's B and B.
When you read the reviews and they mention it's not like your mom and dad's B and B - they are right, which is the very reason you should stay there (I am 62). We stayed for 3 days and each day I felt myself relax a bit more, which is the last thing I had anticipated, while on this trip. But due to the fact that our every need was met/anticipated and every question about the city/surroundings or concerns about anything from taxis to restaurants was answered or addressed, put everyone staying there at total ease. It was a comfortable, laid back atmosphere but with the best customer service I have ever experienced. I don't mean the kind where someone is in your face or feigning interest but, true customer service and trust where, as the customer, you are unaware of the fact that your needs are met before you ask. It's raining - "help yourself to the umbrellas in the crock by the door." No mention of having to have it back, which is why you are sure to put it back in the right place. There were snacks - homemade and otherwise at the end of a late evening or long afternoon. Always, bottled water, coffee, tea. and assistance, if needed, 24/7. Yes, our room was a bit different but, clean, comfortable, with an abundance of towels/bottled water and more information than we could have dreamed of about transportation and the wonderful, wonderful part of the city we were in (Bucktown). The perfect walkabout neighborhood w/ excellent restaurants and a few corner bars and lots of trees.
And the unbelievable part...a made to order breakfast that was delicious and some of the best company we have ever shared a B and B breakfast table with (and we have shared a number).
This is unique in it's great staff - whether on the phone or in person and it's general sense of welcome. I can't quite put my finger on it but, being at Ray's was a vacation we didn't plan and we will go back again.

Room Tip: we were in the garden level (west room) which is below ground. i would ask for an upstairs a bit o...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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nottingham uk
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

there is only one place to stay in chicago and that is "rays bucktown bed and breakfast " a stay to remember, home from home nobody bothers you, you can help yourself to tea,coffee fruit drinks home made cakes every day, a pc just for guests,free bottles of water every day, if you go on a early trip the girls give you a nice packed lunch to take with you, the postion is very handy for all things, to be honest if you do not book to stay here you must be crazy, you just cannot go wrong, we stayed there for 5 nights and then went back a week later and stopped another 5 nights, wish it could have been more, the staff cannot do enough for you.
nottingham nobby.
nottingham uk

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queens, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

This is pretty cool bnb - and different from what most people think a bnb is. We had the davinci room upstairs. Everything was clean and neat. The hostesses seemed well informed. The breakfasts were very tasty. The one thing i didn't like was that the yard was totally overgrown so we couldn't sit out in the yard to talk. Otherwise a good stay!

Room Tip: Check out the house floor plan so you know which level your room is on. The lower level are "g...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palencia, Spain
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Ray's is quite big for being a B&B, but it has the intimate feeling that you can only get in this kind of places. The owners were very helpful, and breakfast was great. It also has some good details that you don't find in a hotel. It's definitely better than staying in a big hotel downtown; public transport doesn't take that much time and you get to know a different Chicago.

Concerning the drawbacks: the room was cold (there was no individual air conditioning controller, just one for the two rooms of the floor) and also a bit noisy (A/C, laundry, steps). It is not a luxurious place if you are looking for it. It is specially interesting for small groups, since a lot of their rooms can accommodate more than two people. It is pricey, but accommodation is very expensive in Chicago, so I guess it is reasonably priced for the city. For the money it costs I think a daily room cleaning service would be a nice improvement.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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the_renaissance_man, Owner at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
I would like to thank the guest for the kind words about our establishment. It was nice that they used the plural on owner (there is just me), and I am proud of the fact that my staff is so conscientious that they are mistaken for owners.

I would also like to address the drawbacks they brought up in their review. Hopefully everyone that comes to a Bed & Breakfast understands that most Bed & Breakfast owners will bend over backwards to take care of any issue if you simply bring it to our attention. We do offer daily room cleaning if you ask (and we point that out on the front page of our guest services book we put on the bed at check-in). Also listed on the front page is how to control the temperature in your room.

The B&B is my private home, and individual thermostats are not an option for a residential building, so I pride myself with the fact that I have put in 4 separate heating / A/C units so very few rooms have to share a thermostat (and then simply opening/closing vents to tweak your temperature) . Unlike downtown hotels, one can simply open a window in any room for fresh air!

Please keep in mind when comparing rates, our already reasonable rates include a full cooked-to-order breakfast, free parking ($35 - $60 per night downtown), free bottled water, coffee & tea and use of our sauna & steam room. But most importantly, we have a staff that will do anything with-in our means to make your stay enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. So much so that they are often mistaken as owners.
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Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Ray's has the benefits of both a B&B and a hotel--an ideal combination. Homey environment while being well-cared for by the friendly, gracious staff. Plus extra amenities you won't find even at a hotel (I especially appreciated the endless supply of bottled water). You can't comment on Ray's without saying something about the breakfasts. My daughter's response when the plate was placed before her: "I feel like breaking into song." That pretty much sums it up! Wide variety, as much or little as you like, cooked to perfection. It's an easy walk to the "El." Close enough to thriving and eclectic neighborhoods without being in the middle of the chaos. The neighborhood and the B&B itself felt very safe. An amazing find we hope to revisit. A note to those who are temperature sensitive: the first-floor rooms along one hall are all on one thermostat in the hallway that any guest may change. We were mostly able to control the temp in our room by adjusting the vent, but it wasn't an exact science.

Room Tip: We stayed in the only room that does not have an attached bath--the Cardinal Room. Having the bath d...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast

Address: 2144 N Leavitt, Chicago, IL 60647
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Wicker Park / Bucktown
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A unique B&B in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, Ray's welcomes groups and individuals in town for work or play. Modeled after small European hotels and spas, the B&B has eleven bedrooms with private baths, high speed internet (WIFI and in each room as well as community areas including a steam room, sauna, HDTV and a kitchen, and free unrestricted street parking. Breakfast is cooked-to-order when you want it. This is not your parents' bed & breakfast! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ray`s Bucktown b&b
Ray`s Bucktown Hotel Chicago

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