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“Pretty good for a hostel” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Urban Holiday Lofts

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Urban Holiday Lofts
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Pretty good for a hostel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

My friends and I (5 altogether – 2 girls, 3 guys), decided to visit Chicago from Sat May 19 - May 23. The rate was really expensive for that Saturday that we were there, so we decided to find a cheap place to stay. I've never stayed in a hostel before, nor was I very excited to learn that we were going to stay in one. But I read the reviews on other sites and it got a really good ratings.

Location:
We landed in Chicago and got to the hostel at about 1100am. It’s about a 20-30min train ride from Midway. The neighbourhood (Wicker Park) was awesome, it’s such a lively and vibrant area, with great eats and shops around. The old building, turned loft is actually really cool too.

Staff:
I read that the staff were really friendly but we thought they were alright. When we got there the guy didn’t really greet us or anything. He didn’t ask for a name, all he said was “check in is at 2pm”. We asked if we can leave our luggages and come back. He placed them in a closet. We originally booked a 2 person and a 3 person room, because at the time of reservation those were the only ones available. When we came back and “checked in” he told us that our room was changed to a 5-6 person room (which was cool with us, that’s what we wanted from the start) and that it was slightly cheaper.

Rooms:
Similar to the other person’s review there are 2 washrooms, shared between everyone on that floor. There are about 4 or 5 rooms on my floor, I think each room had about 4-6 beds. We didn’t really have any issues with queues and line ups though, I think we were lucky. The bedrooms were snug and almost dorm room like, which I heard is correct for hostels. It was..nice. The floor was clean and new, and the bunk beds were new too. The windows are large and did allow a lot of sunlight in. The issue we faced was that the room was toooo hot. There were ppl on our floor that either slept with their door open or slept in the actual kitchen area. The room did have a ceiling fan but that didn’t do very much.
The washrooms were a decent size. They were clean and had a strong (but nice) air freshener smell, which is cool cuz I rather smell that than anything else u would smell in a washroom shared by 20+ ppl.

Other Amenities:
The common room was on the top floor with computers, a big screen tv, pool table, a kitchen with plates and utensils, and a pool table. We didn’t experience any of the late night pool ball droppings. But I did hear from my friend that he couldn’t sleep cuz of the creaking from the ppl walking upstairs and the sound of high heels walking on hardwood.
I didn't go up to get breakfast but what I did receive was a small waffle and a pop tart. I heard that there was a long line up to use the toaster and to get the food, soo we still had to find a breakfast place afterwards.

Definitely not a place for families and young kids, but it’s cool for youngsters looking for a cheap place…though I do have to mention that I paid just a tad bit higher to stay at a hotel a block away from Michigan Ave for the remainder of my trip.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tvhS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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943 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2012

I have traveled extensively throughout the US and the globe on a budget. I have stayed in MANY hostels throughout the world.
Urban Holiday Lofts has a lot to offer. First, there is the great location in the middle of Wicker Park, near Bucktown, and all the great independent and edgy restaurants, shops, cafes, and shops that these areas have to offer. The Blue Line metro stop is just a 3 minute walk away, as well as the #72 bus. The city centre is only 10-15 mins away by train, and Lincoln Park is a 20-25 minute bus ride. Second, Urban Holiday Lofts is housed in a gorgeous older brick building, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. The kitchen and bathrooms were new, as were all the furniture and linens throughout. Third, the staff was very friendly and helpful. For a hostel, it is by far the nicest looking I have been in.
HOWEVER, this is not the place for everyone. traveling with a friend of mine from abroad, we decided to stay in a semi-private room (a room for two with a shared bath) for $40/person/night. The website states that semi-private rooms are shared with just one single other room: thus only 4 people should, theoretically, be sharing a single bathroom. This is not the case. We shared two bathrooms with 6 other rooms, many of which were 4-person+ dorms. This meant some long queues to use the bathroom at times.
This layout of this hostel is ridiculous in that there is not a good separation of common spaces from sleeping spaces. For example, on the third floor (where the semi-private rooms and small dorms are) there is a kitchen upon which all the rooms open. The walls are paper thin and there is about a 3cm gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. All this is to say, when people start hanging out in the kitchen at 11 PM at night, it can be quite aggravating if one has major jet-lag. Relating, the "skydeck"--which is actually a large common room on the 4th floor (there is no outside access, contrary to what the name suggests)--is right over about 6 rooms/dorms on the 3rd floor. There is absolutely NO insulation between the wood floor of the lounge and the wood ceilings of the rooms: again, if you need rest, being under neath this lounge in the morning, evening, late at night, is not great. Indeed, even though the "Skydeck" is supposed to close at 11 PM, Sun-Thurs, it never did the five nights we were there. One night billiards balls were falling on the floor of the common room (from drunk pool players) until after 1 AM. Imagine trying to sleep with a billiards ball flying off the table and pounding against a wood floor/ceiling at 1 AM, not to mention the sound of the balls breaking. And then, there was the really cheap electrical work through which we heard the neighbors having intimate relations. Let's just say that through the electric socket we knew the girl was a happy camper. The only other point of disappointment was the breakfast: generic poptarts, instant oatmeal, and frozen waffles.
This place is great if you are 19-24 and plan to be more interested in partying at night than doing anything in the day. Unfortunately,if you want to do more than this, you might not get enough sleep/rest.
Indeed, instead of spending a Friday and Saturday night at this hostel ($50/person/night, or $100 for two people) I booked a 2.5 star hotel (felt more like a 3-3.5 star) in the Loop for THE SAME PRICE! ($100/night). Not only was there free wi-fi, but cable tv, and an extensive free breakfast. So, my advise is, unless part of the experience of your trip is staying at a hostel and meeting other young travellers--something that I fully support--you might want to book a room here in advance and then use Priceline to find a nicer establishment 2-3 days before your departure. Of course, this plan only really works better if you are traveling with at least one other person, then you can split the price of the hotel room, and it may come out cheaper than a single bed at Urban Holiday Lofts.

Room Tip: Ask not to be put underneath the common room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bryan j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Urban Holiday Lofts

Property: Urban Holiday Lofts
Address: 2014 W Wabansia Ave, Damen Cta Blue Line, Chicago, IL 60647-7510
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > West Town , Wicker Park / Bucktown
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 57 Specialty Lodging in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Urban Holiday Lofts 1.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Urban Holiday Lofts! We're located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, home to amazing restaurants, shops, bars, and more. Just minutes away from the CTA's Blue Line train station, Urban Holiday Lofts is in a perfect location to access the city's airports & bus/train stations and the downtown Loop area. With amenities like free breakfast and WiFi, along with our great rates, you'll find Urban Holiday Lofts is an affordable and fun lodging option for your trip to the Windy City! We look forward to seeing you in Chicago. ... more   less 
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