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“The Write Inn could be right for you”
Review of Write Inn

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Write Inn
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Oak Park
Reviewed June 15, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank rosebudnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 - 141 of 179 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2009

From the moment we checked into the Write Inn, I realized that we had made a mistake! Although the location is pleasant, the hallways are gloomy and dirty. Paint is chipped everywhere. The room was dark and depressing. We had traveled to Oak Park for one night to visit a friend who is very ill. We were willing to walk blocks to park our car, as directed, but we didn't want to stay at the Write Inn for even a night!
If there is one positive experience at this location, it is Hemmingway's Bistro which is attached to the Write Inn, but with different ownership. What a pleasant surprise to have lunch at this beautifully appointed restaurant! We decided to have dinner, breakfast and another lunch before we departed. We chatted with Christopher, the chef/owner. The wait staff is delightful! I am saving the food description for last. From the unique salads to the appetizers, main meal, dessert and finally breakfast, the French style cuisine was divine! We could have been in Paris!
Avoid the Write Inn, but travel far to dine at Hemmingway's Bistro!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Exciting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2009

The room had bedbugs and they still want to charge me for the room!

  • Stayed: November 2008
    • Cleanliness
2  Thank unhappyca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

After staying 3 nights we had a wonderful time and will definitely book this place again. The room is small and cozy with a certain amount of antique charm. Only problems we had were with a door lock that took a certain amount of finesse to get into, and the front office personnel were distracted and not very informative of the area. Parking is a definite problem.

Location is wonderful to getting into Chicago with a Train stop just down the road. The neighborhood is quiet and friendly, but the real specialiaty of the place is the Bistro on the bottom floor. We especially enjoyed the Champagne Brunch with live Jazz on Sunday morning and the $27 dollar fee is well worth it.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank krazedsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2008

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights and were very disappointed. The staff were very friendly and helpful but the hotel is dirty, very small rooms, no coffee maker in the room. We asked if we could use the hotel safe so they offered us another room with an in-room safe but it was no better than the first one. Rooms are really hot and stuffy. Don't think the air conditioning worked. Glad to get out of there!

1  Thank sharon17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2008

This small hotel is a vintage property. The romance of the place lies in its location, Oak Park Illinois, more than the property itself.
I found the hotel clean, exceptionally so, with a standard room being small by modern standards, but well equiped and a good value. There are larger rooms available.
It is well located with convenient transportation links. The elevated (L) is two blocks away and there are ample restaurant choices within walking distance, starting with the hotel's own dining room. The prices are big city, but the place is warm and friendly, serving three meals a day. Nearby retaurants are from the average to the excellent.
Oak Park is a quiet suburb dating back to the 19th century, just beyond the Chicago city limits. It enjoys the best of the suburban life with quick and easy access to downtown Chicago and the airport. It will please many types of visitors who are willing to do as Chicagoans do, and ride public transportation to visit the city sights and enjoy a relaxed evening at the Write Inn, Oak Park.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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Thank chiagoland_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2008

We thought it would be a cute boutique hotel on the outskirts of Chicago. What we got was a complete dive.

When we walked into our room, my boyfriend was so upset he wanted to cancel our reservation and take our chances finding something else.

The front desk greeted us not by saying hello, but by saying "Yes?". That should have been a sign. Our room was oddly layed out and smelled. The foot of the bed is less than 16 inches from the bathroom door, so watch out if you get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom - you literally fall into the bed. The bathroom was so dark that I couldn't see to put on my makeup and the shower (no bath tub) curtain was too short so we ended up getting the floor wet every time we showered.

Heed the warnings regarding parking. You have to park in a garage more than 2 blocks away. Checking in was difficult because there is nowhere to put your car! There are only four of five spaces to pull into to unload your car and check in. You can't even get that done before they are yelling at you to move your car and make room for the restaurant guests.

We definitely took a wrong turn with the Write Inn. Steer clear.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Write Inn

Address: 211 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302-2118
Location: United States > Illinois > Oak Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Oak Park
Price Range: $135 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Write Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 65
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

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