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“Free OnDemand, Very Comfortable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Willows

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The Willows
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   555 West Surf Ave, Chicago, IL 60657-6020 (Lakeview)   |  
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Ranked #41 of 167 hotels in Chicago
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Free OnDemand, Very Comfortable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We chose this hotel because it had a great rate during the middle of the week and we wanted to stay slightly outside downtown Chicago. The Jr Exec Suite has a small living room with two chairs, a HDTV, and minibar. The bedroom was huge. Desk, dresser, HDTV with free OnDemand and well integrated internet via keyboard AND the remote. We wanted a quiet day to relax and this was the perfect place for that. We walked a block or two to pickup food - liked Yango's BBQ Beef with Jamba Juice from around the corner. It was a $15 cab ride into downtown. We also stayed at the Palmer House on this trip and I'd say the experience at both hotels was equal, although, The Willows did it with far fewer people.

I would stay here again for the breakfast alone. Lots of options, good juices, and BAD coffee. Boxes of cereal were great as well as trays to bring everything upstairs. The elevator is slow but it is an historic building. It is very well kept for being as old as it is. My wife loved the room's lighted mirror.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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335 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (63)
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English first
Boone, North Carolina
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

I booked a room here (I'm at the hotel now) after reading all the reviews, and they did not steer me wrong! This place is a great find and I will always stay here when I come to Chicago. It reminds me of a hotel in Europe, except the rooms are not tiny, they are a good size. Everything is clean and tastefully done. What it is missing is flash, and that was a relief to me. The last time I was in Chicago, I stayed at The Drake and it was just too much. (Not to mention the price!) The staff here is super friendly and helpful. The hotel is simple and tasteful. The attention to detail is great. The neighborhood is terrific and I was within very short walking distance to lots of cafes, not to mention a giant T.J. Maxx across the street! Can't say enough good things about this hotel.

Room Tip: I stayed in 223, which was a good size and incredibly quiet.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Glen Rock, NJ
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

I just spent four nights at The Willows and was extremely pleased with everything the hotel and the neighborhood had to offer. The staff is remarkable, even going so far as to print out my boarding pass and tell me when the next bus or train would be coming. The rooms and lobby are very clean and the furnishings are lovely - bed wonderfully comfortable. The Wi-Fi is free and all worked well in the room. The breakfast was adequate - and coffee, tea and fruit is available all day long. I loved the neighborhood....convenient to everything. Shops, great restaurants and buses, trains and taxis are available just steps away. I would highly recommend this hotel and would have no problem returning the next time I am in the Chicago area.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Stowe, Vermont
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

The Willows hotel, conveniently liocated at Broadway and Diversey., provides a very good value. The metro and Lincoln Park are within easy walking distance, and getting a cab is quick. The rooms are comfortable and fairly spacious. A continental breakfast is provided, with complimentary newspaper. Our room opened onto an alley that did have some traffic early, although for us not a problem because we are early risers. the heating system is steam radiators, which is archaic. We turned it off and opened the windows. I imagine in the summer they install window AC units.
We will return on our next visit to Chicago.

Room Tip: If you like to sleep with the window open, ask to have a room somewhere other than over the alley.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
79 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

The hotel is in a great charming historical neighborhood and just a few steps to the dynamic nightlife. Once I arrived to the hotel the clerk took my credit card and said the computer system was down to do a full check in. Once I arrived to the room I was impressed by the size but the decor was older and could use updating. The room felt more like a small Chicago apartment which was kind of cool. After arriving to the room I decided to shower and nap. While laying in bed with very few clothes on the room door started to open and it was an older couple who explained to me that they had been checked into the same room. I called downstairs and the clerk wasn't very apologetic about the situation, he stated the person working before him made the mistake. The whole situation was very upsetting and embarrassing. The hotel main entrance locks at night after 9 so you have to use your room key to gain entrance. The wifi was free and worked very well in the room.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
marino44, Regional Manager, Broughton Hotels at The Willows, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

I'am so sorry for the inexcusable experience of someone being checked into your room and the way it was handled by our staff.

I have taken immediate steps to inform and retrain the staff so this never happens again. We hope that this visit would not dissuade you from staying with us again if your plans bring you to Chicago.

We hope to have the opportunity to restore your confidence in the Willows Hotel.

Sincerely,

Keith Scott
Regional Manager
Broughton Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We are Chicago residents and had to vacate our rented apartment after rats showed up in the kitchen after moving in. With two children, we needed something that was close by our daycare but weren't sure we could afford something downtown or in our neighborhood. John, the manager, gave us a wonderful rate after hearing about our experience. We stayed for 4 nights and the entire staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful to us. The hotel is charming & quaint with a great location, wonderful bathrooms, nice ambiance and again a FABULOUS staff. Can't recommend it enough! My 3 year old daughter still talks about "Mr. Ricky", the valet, who greeted her every morning with a smile and a hug and gave her extra cookies. Only complaint would be that the A/C unit in the window wasn't pumping out cold air very well...but it was a very hot period and might have needed a break.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
marino44, Regional Manager, Broughton Hotels at The Willows, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback of the Willows Hotel on TripAdvisor. I'am very pleased to read your appraisal of our team, services, and facilities and I know my team will be equally pleased to learn of your kind remarks and recognition of their efforts during your stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Willows Hotel in the near future.

Sincerely,

Keith Scott
Regional Manager
Broughton Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I stayed at The Willows after Thanksgiving with my wife and sister.
The hotel was in a great location, within walking distance of lots of bars and restaurants. (I'd recommend the Friar Tuck on Broadway) It's also handy for bus routes into the downtown area and loop.
The Willows is small and comfortable. It's different from the large dowtown hotels in that is has character and offers a personal service. My room was large and fresh.
Free wi-fi in our room was something that you don't often get with the big chains.
Overall a good experience and I'd stay here again.

  • Stayed November 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Willows

Also Known As:
The Willows Hotel Chicago
The Willows Hotel
Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Chicago
Address: 555 West Surf Ave, Chicago, IL 60657-6020
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Lakeview
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#32 Business Hotel in Chicago
#41 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#60 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Willows 2.5*
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