This is a hotel that you are going to love or hate, depending on your expectations. It met mine and was clean and comfortable (no sign of bedbugs mentioned in other reviews thank goodness!) and I really loved being able to discover an area of Chicago I had not seen before. I paid a very reasonable $90 a night and am not sure I would have been quite so satisfied had I paid more as the facilities were basic. I was in Chicago for a combo of business and leisure and now live in Manhattan so being in a leafy suburb a little out of the city (approx 30 minutes by train) was a novelty. If you are going to Chicago to "see the sights" I would not recommend staying here. A day trip would serve better.
The room was a good size. Lots of space for luggage etc and a decent sized bathroom. The much-lauded 1920s decor was pretty much a couple of prints on the wall. Nothing special. It is an old building which has its pluses and minuses. Plus - the walls are concrete so there is minimal cross-room noise issues. Minus - the walls are concrete so there is limited cellphone reception. The room had a TV but I only got about five channels and two were in Spanish! But when you are located directly across from the Ernest Hemingway museum, it feels better to read a book! The addition of coffee makers in the rooms would be welcomed and would add a great deal of value.
In terms of location, this was excellent for a short-term stay. The Hemingway museum is across the road and Ernest Hemingway's birthplace less than two blocks away. The house offers a delightful tour and the museum is interesting, although looks a little like a collection of high school book reports. It was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Also in the neighborhood is the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio which offers an interior tour. There is also a walking tour of the FLW houses in Oak Park. These two activities made being in Oak Park worthwhile for me. It was lovely to take leisurely walks around the area.
The hotel is very close to the train station and close to restaurants and shops. The hotel also has Hemingway's Bistro. I had a wonderful lunch there. It's a little pricey but well worth a splurge.
I would recommend The Write Inn to people who are not looking for a big city experience and who want to see the local sights. If you are looking for a bargain, this is cheaper than the city but it would be wearisome to have to get to and from the city. Although the trip itself is about 25-30 minutes, you have to wait for the trains to arrive. I think you would be better paying a bit more for something central and slicker.
But this hotel really does have its charms and I would certainly consider returning if the price was right.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A historic landmark in Oak Park, The Write Inn offers you all the amenities you could want in a modern day hotel plus all the charm of a writer's boarding house of the 1920’s. Our unique rooms include amenities such as free WiFi and cable, and in-room safes, and kitchenettes. Located in the heart of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District and being two blocks north of Chicago's "El" train, travelers can enjoy beautiful tree-lined strolls and be downtown in 20 minutes. It's the best of both worlds! The Write Inn is proud to announce it is a 100% Smoke Free Hotel. As always, parking is free. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Write Hotel Oak Park