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“Great Room & Location”
Review of The Willows

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The Willows
Ranked #77 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 24, 2008

Spent one night at the Willows. The staff was very helpful. Needed to stay past regular checkout time and the staff was very accommodating They even let us stay in the parking garage at no extra cost.
The continental breakfast has a nice variety of cereals, bagels, breakfast sandwichs and juice.
The location is in a nice residential area and very quiet.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Newman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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916 - 922 of 969 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2008

We just returned from 5 nights at The Willows. The hotel is wonderful and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. This was our first trip to Chicago and after reading several reviews online, decided we didn't need to pay the high prices of hotels downtown, and booked this hotel directly from the property.

We stayed in a king room on the 2nd floor. The hotel has only 4 floors for easy access to the lobby. The continental breakfast was perfect. There's nothing fancy about it, just your typical bagels, muffins, danishes, cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc. There's also hot coffee and water for tea available all day as well as lemonade and cookies and fruit at 4pm. The snacks and drinks available throughout the day was a life-saver as my husband and I both came down with bronchitis and spent more of our vacation inside the hotel than we had planned! Needless to say, the beds are comfortable and splurging for the king size room is great, especially if you plan to spend any time in your room. The king rooms come with two comfy chairs for reading or TV watching.

I can't say enough about the neighborhood. We took plenty of cash with us thinking that meals out would be expensive in the big city, but came home with over half our cash supply. The neighborhood seems to cater to young professionals and has lots of great food options for fairly cheap! The best find was Molly's Cupcakes on N. Clark...the service was impeccable and you've never tasted cupcakes so good or so creative! Of course we also tried the popcorn, hotdogs, and pizza. Stay away from Geno's East. I heard they've changed the recipe and it's not the same as what some might remember. We loved Chicago's pizza on N. Sheffield (they have other locations too). That's the pizza you should go for.

I wouldn't say this is the best hotel we've ever stayed in, but for a city hotel that is tourist and local friendly, you can't beat the deal. It is close to the "El" and runs along a VERY safe Brown/Purple line. We're already planning our return trip when the weather gets warmer!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank blimpop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2008

The Willows hotel is my favorite place to stay when visiting Chicago. It is located in a great neighborhood near the lakefront with a huge selection of Restaurants and shops in walking distance. The hotel is quiet and the rooms are very clean. I find the staff to always be exceptionally kind and helpful which really makes this hotel feel like a home away from home.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank notime00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2007

We have stayed at the The Willows three times this year, and each time has been a positive experience. And, we were there in three seasons (Feb. the weekend of the big snowstorm that closed the airports, Labor Day weekend, and end of October), so we can vouch for the excellent heat, air conditioning, and good 'ol fresh air from an opened window. The hotel is old, but who cares. My criteria is clean, safe, a comfortable bed, decent bathroom (which includes hot water for showering), and air conditioning in the summer. When the room description says small, they are being honest. We joke that we have to go outside to change our minds, but we are traveling for reasons other than sitting in a hotel room, so the Willows accommodates our needs perfectly. I love sitting in the lobby with a cup of tea in the mornings, reading the paper and watching the guests that are in and out. A very interesting cross-section of the world come through their doors; and everyone including guests smile and speak to you. We've walked throughout the neighborhood, including Wrigley Field (and yes, the Cubs won), to Filipo's (a great Italian restaurant) which is at the other end of Lincoln Park, and felt perfectly safe.

We also were dealing with a car. Fortunately, for an extra $20 a day, the hotel provides a parking pass to a garage located right behind the hotel. Well-worth it, since parking space is soooo limited in Lincoln Park.

The only downside is the elevator - it's quaint, however, when you are using the elevator with luggage, it is VERY difficult to hold two doors open, load your luggage, then yourself. We use the stairs except upon arrival and departure with luggage.

I would also recommend calling the hotel directly when making reservations. Each time I made reservations, I started with the online website (Hotels.com), and there was no room availabilitly for the dates I was going to be there, and the quoted rate was about $50.00 higher. I then called the hotel directly, and they did have rooms available and discounted the rooms each time. This is not the only hotel I have encountered the issue of room availability when using online services; I may be old fashioned, but I prefer the direct contact.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank LuvstheOBX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2007

I was in the Chicago area for a convention and wanted to stay downtown to be near McCormick Place. However, the only available room I could find was at the Willows in Lakeview. I really enjoyed the neighborhood! I love walking to the small shops, it was nice after a hectic day downtown. I rode the CTA to save on transportation and it was easy to do. The hotel room was very small but the bed was comfortable. I would stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank wjamg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2007

After reading several positive reviews about the Willows (convenient location near public transportation, clean rooms and safe) I didn't hesitate to book a reservation for myself and a colleague attending trade shows for a business trip. My late night flight was delayed, and by the time I got through the unusually long taxi lines, I was pretty worn out (I'd spent the better part of the day prior on an international flight).

Hotel impressions can make or break a stay, and the welcome from the staff made me want to weep. Check in was quick and effortless and the two gentlemen on the graveyard shift were lighthearted, funny and accommodating - providing directions and recommendations to late night eateries.

The hotel itself is quaint, with an "old world" feel. Given the decorative lobby (plush carpeting, columns, ornate sofas), it felt as though I'd stepped into a timepiece movie. I was particularly amused by the old style elevator, complete with swinging metal grate, latch and door. The downside: it was a bit difficult to maneuver with luggage, reduced elevator room capacity (more wait time down in the lobby/at your floor), and if you got a room within proximity to the elevator, you'd hear the loud "bang!" as patrons exited.

The room was pretty much standard, with nothing for me to complain about. Wi-fi worked without interruptions (ask staff for access), as did the iron and complimentary cable. I did particularly like the additional layer of a velour blanket, as well as the Pascal Morabito toiletries (although I didn't understand providing bath salts to a room without a bath). My room came with two AC/heating units at each side of the bed, which allowed for individual climate control.

There was a variety for the complimentary breakfast in the morning that included cereal, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, juice, coffee and tea. The morning staff was just as friendly--if not more!---and told me of the afternoon social (helpful for extended stays).

All in all, the Willows made for my stop in Chicago--the last on a multi leg business trip--very relaxing that I was sorry to leave. I've already recommended this place as one to stay to other colleagues and won't hesitate to do so again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled on business
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2  Thank annieontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Willows for our honeymoon. We loved the property and the neighborhood. It was within walking distance to Wrigley and downtown was short taxi ride away. We are planning an anual trip to Chicago and will stay at the Willows again.
The breakfast was good and the afternoon cookies and lemonade added the extra touch to the stay. Staff was awesome and very friendly.
Rooms were spacious and very clean. Bathroom floors were heated.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sunflower1342
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Willows

Address: 555 W Surf St, Chicago, IL 60657-6020
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Lakeview
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Chicago
#37 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#59 Family Hotel in Chicago
#67 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $91 - $260 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Willows 3*
Number of rooms: 55
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Also Known As:
The Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Hotel Chicago
Willows Chicago

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