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“Budget Lodgings- Good enough for most”
Review of Carlton Inn Midway

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Carlton Inn Midway
Ranked #46 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Budget Lodgings- Good enough for most”
Reviewed September 23, 2010

We booked our stay online about 2 weeks in advance- the rack rate was about $95/night- midweek stay - Reasonable rate for a location that was 20-25min by L-Train to downtown, plus free parking. We stayed at Candlewood Suites O'hare a couple nights before on the weekend, and to compare they had a $65/night rate, plus a full kitchen although location was not as close to the train, and there was no breakfast included. (Candlewood was a nicer stay overall, although Carlton Inn was acceptable also. We had a car, but didn't want to drive downtown , so we thought staying closer to a train stop was a good idea- which it kind of was...)

Check-In was smooth- Desk clerk was fast & friendly- even gave us a list of recommended places to eat closeby.

Room was clean- airconditioner was on in advance which was nice- available of a fridge was convenient (although it wasn't plugged in, we discovered the next morning that we had to plug it in directly rather than via the microwave, which wasn't working).

Bathroom was a bit small in our room- a small pedestal sink with a shelf above it was all you got for counterspace- but it was adequate I suppose. Soap & shampoo were in a dispenser. Towels were white and fluffly & clean looking. Bathroom was clean overall & water pressure was decent, and hot water available very quickly.

Room itself was on the dark side- area lighting was good, but even when everything was turned on (bedside lamps x 2 , worktable lamp, bathroom light w/ door open- the room was still fairly dim... maybe alright for some people- I like my room to be bright- better to see everything is clean, where all my stuff is...)

Room was a nice size- had a separate desk area - the free highspeed wireless internet worked well for us. We had to call the front desk for the passwords.

TV was a CRT- channels were decent.

Breakfast was nicer than the average continental variety- The bagel w/sausage & egg was good especially with the thoughtful instructions about how to reheat - There were also doughnuts, oranges, apples, bread/bagel for toasting, coffee, tea. A decent enough spread.

There was one computer in the lobby area which was free to use- also free printing which was nice.

My gripes (mostly not the hotel's fault)-

Since it was a motel setup- 2 floors, 2 separate buildings, the parking spots were not always ideal, especially if you don't get your spot early on- first night the closest parking spot we got was way on the other side of our building- so with our luggage to haul in, it wasn't convenient- but I guess with all the rooms they had, there's no way to guarantee a spot close to you room.

Also, since it's a motel setup- there's no way you can open up your drapes (to make the room brighter) without losing all your privacy (especially on the 1st floor)- plus we had a hard time overlapping the drapes closed so that people couldn't see in.

With a 1st floor room, you get a lot of noise pollution potentially. We had a maid on the first morning talking with a friend or a cellphone to her buddy in spanish just outside our window-- woke me up. Also some other guests (inconsiderate) had a meeting/long conversation somewhere outside our room and you could hear almost every word. If you are a light sleeper, maybe request a 2nd floor room.

Overall - a good stay for our first time in Chicago. We went mainly for see the city and eat with some other touristy distractions like museums thrown in. Next time, we will stay somewhere more north of downtown- that seems to be where a lot of the restaurants & stores we are interested in are located. This location was quite adequate though- no real complaints.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Novaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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St. Catharines
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2010

We chose the Carlton Inn Midway mainly because it was a Top Value Pick on Trip Advisor, so we trusted the reviews and yet didn't have outrageous expectations. We were very happy with our stay and there is little we would change about the hotel itself.

Our room was at the end of the hall, so it was quiet. It was clean, the bathroom clean and modern, and there was lots of space. The bed was super comfortable, and we were very surprised that we didn't hear planes taking off and landing at nearby Midway Airport.

Except for when my boyfriend arrived early and couldn't check in right away, the staff were otherwise very helpful, especially the shuttle drivers. They were willing to drive us anywhere in the area and picked us up in the evenings from the train station.

This would be my only hesitation to stay again. The area is a little rough. Besides dinner the first night, we didn't spend any time around the hotel. We got on the train every morning and were gone until after dark. The shuttle picked us up at night, although we didn't actually see anything that would suggest it wasn't safe to walk home at night.

I travel on business, so this hotel was undeniably a step down from what I'm used to. However, as a young person, I couldn't justifying spending twice as much on a hotel downtown when the L Train was around the corner from the Carlton Inn and a 3-day train pass only cost $15. It is a motel, and it reminded me of the places my family would stay on holidays when I was a child. Clean, comfortable and affordable. You don't want to hang out in your hotel when you're on vacation anyway, right?!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SavvyHomegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2010

My cousin, bf and daughter went to Chicago for 5 days this month. Our entire trip was about ball games and site seeing so all we needed was a clean and comfortable room. We go that and much more. It was a little out of the way of the downtown area but the trains are right there and they were amazing with shuttle service. It was super quiet and plenty of room. We were all pleasantly surprised at how great it was and how incredibly friendly and helpful the entire staff was!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank christina1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HARRISON
1 review
Reviewed August 20, 2010

The staff here was just excellent and so accomodating.. I am definately staying here during my upcoming visits. A++++++++++++++

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angelmisener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2010

I decided to stay near the airport with an early morning flight but did not have reservations. I stopped here and found the staff was very accomodating and the accomodations were a good value. The location was great to make my morning easy. I would definitely do this arrangement again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AngelaAK24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2010

Our family of four stayed at this motel while travelling through the Chicago area based on the reviews on TripAdvisor. We were not disappointed. Check in was easy and the gentleman who checked us in was very helpful, even recommending a great restaurant for Chicago-style pizza which turned out to be very good. The motel is within walking distance of the orange line for reasonably priced access to downtown Chicago. We drove downtown the next morning on a Saturday (no rush hour) and arrived at Navy Pier in about 10 - 15 minutes. The room was clean, smelled clean (we booked a non-smoking room), and the bedding and towels were adequate. Appreciated the complimentary breakfast which we took back to our room to eat...Dunkin' Donuts breakfast sandwiches, donuts, yogurt, fruit, bagels with cream cheese, coffee, tea, and juice. We made use of the free internet on the computer in the small lobby. When we checked out, the hotel staff (Gina in particular) provided us with several options of good routes to take to exit the city. We would definitely stay at this friendly motel again (great value...under $100 for Chicago) and would recommend this motel to friends.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Altamom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix AZ
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 3, 2010

As I was stuck with an unexpected layover at Chicago’s Midway airport I began looking for an inexpensive but comfortable hotel for an overnight stay. I flipped open my laptop and consulted Trip Advisor to examine the choices and improve the odds of finding the right hotel at the right price. My criteria was simple – close to the airport with shuttle service, clean, comfortable, inexpensive, and high speed internet. Browsing the selections with these in mind, out popped what seemed to be a clear choice with the Carlton Inn. Tucked a bit in the shadows of the airport, though not isolated, on a major boulevard, was this jewel of a hotel. Though I called first, I made reservations over the internet direct from their website as the price was about 10% cheaper . The free shuttle service was fast and efficient in what appeared to be a new van. The driver was courteous and friendly whom I later discovered would also be the bellhop and the cable repair guy. Check-in was fast and efficient, and I was assigned a room on the top (second) floor of the hotel. As I had an extra bag or two an elevator would have been nice, though it did not prove to be an impediment.

The property contained multi-building structures and was apparently a motel purchased from prior owners and renovated. They did an excellent job of making it look like new. All rooms were exterior entry. The room was a bit Spartan, though fashionably decorated, clean, comfortable, and reasonably spacious. The main furniture consisted of a queen size bed, two night tables with lamps, a TV shelf and storage cabinet, a small quartz topped table/desk with two chairs, and a small upholstered chair. For clothing storage there was an upright 7 ft. tall cube module, simple but adequate. While the furniture wasn’t top quality, it looked nice – then for the price what was I to expect ? (reminded me a bit of Ikea style furniture). It was obvious the most money was spent in the bathroom which had fairly top class fixtures and did not have the pre-fab glued in look typical of hotels in this price range. The TV seemed about a 26” CRT with a detached cable box; while there was no “on-demand” capability, there were ample premium content via standard premium cable channels with multiple HBO, Showtime, and Encore channels. There was a small microwave and a small refrigerator I believe about 3.0 cubic ft. size, so if one wanted to economize on meals, one could. There was also a coffeemaker. The wireless high-speed internet had several zones and worked flawlessly, giving me the impression there was a wireless router perhaps sitting on top of every third or fourth room. It was obvious from the surroundings and amenities the owners have cleverly figured how to provide high end features without high end costs.

While there was no restaurant on the premises, there was a continental breakfast in the front office area that I didn’t try. The hotel provided a list of about two dozen restaurants, several within walking distance, some with delivery, having a wide diversity of food. The location is also close to a commuter train station, which allows easy and cheap transportation around the city.

All staff was very courteous and friendly and aiming to please – it seemed as though the place was run by one big happy family (and several staff appeared to wear many hats).

On the con side, the bed was not plush, though I slept comfortably. The through-wall A/C unit was competent but a bit hard to get dialed in to a set temperature. The cable box didn’t initially work and had to be replaced, but the service was prompt and no problems thereafter. It would’ve been nice if the cable box were attached to the TV as it was difficult getting used to aiming the remote at the cable box sitting beneath the TV and rotating the box appropriately as well as the TV as I switched viewing positions around the room. An extra table and a few more electrical outlets would have been nice. The alarm clock radio went off at midnight, but fortunately I was not sleep – ideally, such things would be checked prior to a new guest arrival.

Overall this hotel experience was much better than one would expect for a <$100 hotel room, and a real value/bargain. I would recommend it without hesitation, especially for someone on a budget, or just plain frugal. It would even be quite tolerable for an extended stay.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tlee3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carlton Inn Midway

Property: Carlton Inn Midway
Address: 4944 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60632-3623
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Chicago
#26 Family Hotel in Chicago
#72 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#74 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Carlton Inn Midway 2*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Carlton Inn Midway offers the amenities and services of home or office. We are located 1.8 miles from Midway Airport with complimentary 24-hour transportation to and from. Whether you are in Chicago for a convention at McCormick Place or Shopping the Magnificent Mile we are 7 miles from the downtown area, with easy driving access via I-55 and around the corner from the Orange Line Elevated Train, a 15 minute train ride to downtown. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlton Inn Midway Hotel Chicago
Carlton Hotel Chicago
Carlton Hotel Midway

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