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“Good value for the money in Chicago suburb”

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The Carleton of Oak Park
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Oak Park
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good value for the money in Chicago suburb”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2006

We stayed in two rooms in the Motor Inn section of the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park in late June, 2006. The rooms were of average size, and were very clean and everything was in good repair. The decor could certainly use some updating, but for $90 per night in beautiful Oak Park, it was OK. The rooms each had a small kitchen area with a sink and refrigerator, and one room had a microwave. There were dishes and silverware stocked in the kitchens. The bathrooms are very small, but there is an extended dressing room area that you can close off to make it seem less claustrophobic. The bathroom fixtures and tile seemed new and were very clean, but there is no counter space around the sink.

It is a 1-block walk to the Green Line el and about 25 minutes into downtown Chicago, so it worked pretty well for sightseeing. Not only is the room rate cheaper, parking is free for guests, so we saved the $20+ daily parking charge we would have paid at a downtown hotel.

The hotel desk staff was not all that pleasant, but the person who answers their e-mail is friendly and helpful. Overall, we were not disappointed with our experience at this hotel.

  • Liked — Very clean room and bathroom
  • Disliked — Tired, outdated decor
  • Tips/Secrets — They keep the ice machine in a locked stairwell--get the key from the front desk!
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank abcdxyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2006

This hotel was absolutely perfect. We were unable to stay downtown as we had originally wanted due to the fact that our travel arrangements were made at the last minute. We were willing to pay upwards of $300 a night, but it seemed as though everything in town was sold out. Luckily, we were able to find a spot at the Carleton, which is conveniently located approximately 10 miles from Midway Airport and 10 miles from Downtown Chicago. At first we were worried the hotel was too far from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, which was something we really wanted to experience. But in the end, we were completely wrong. This hotel is perfectly located.

One of the biggest perks is the Carleton's proximity to the "El", the Chicago area subway, which is only about a block away. We took the "El" downtown and to a Cubs game and it made for a cheap and convenient way to travel. In the end, we regretted renting a car. We could have saved time and money by simply using the El. It is a safe way to travel.

Carleton also has a wonderful bar, Poor Phils. The place appeared to be a local hangout and was perfect for nights when we didn't want to travel to downtown to be social. The best part about Phils was the food. They have specials everyday between 2:30-6:00 pm--50 cent jumbo shrimp and oysters! The food was fantastic, and the selection of beer was huge!

This hotel is also gorgeous on the inside. During our four night stay we saw two weddings, and for good reason--the hotel really looks like a 4-5 star hotel on the inside. There are beautifully furnished sitting areas located on the ground floor and a fine dining restaurant inside.

The staff was very accomodating. It seems they have thought of everything. They even had free internet access and computers both at the front desk and at the hotel bar (Poor Phils) that were free of charge for hotel guests and restaurant patrons. I never once had to wait to use one of the computers, and I was able to get directions to just about anywhere thanks to this smart ammenity.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay and will definitely go back to the Carleton!

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank vegas*baby_777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastern Oregon
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2006

I have stayed at the Carleton on my two most recent trips to Chicago, in 1995 and 2005. It's easy to get downtown on the "L" or the Metra commuter train; either station is just a block from the Carleton. What you save on the hotel more than pays for the train to downtown plus a rental car to drive all around the area.

I have stayed in the newer "motor inn" as well as in the 1920s-era main hotel building. For the price difference I prefer the less expensive motor inn; the main hotel is nice but not worth 25% more for the room.

I only ate one meal at the Carleton during my five day stay in 2005, as there are so many good dining choices within walking distance. Their restaurant was good as well as convenient, but I had to go have an Italian beef sandwich, Parky's french fries, Petersen's ice cream, etc..

The room in the old building was nice, but the air conditioner was hard pressed to keep up with the 95-degree heat wave temperatures outside during the day.

The staff was helpful, the parking was free, and Oak Park is a great place. Having stayed in Elmhurst, Westmont, and other suburban locations (each with its own good points), on my next visit I plan to return to OP, and probably the Carleton, once again.

Helpful?
4 Thank dubuquer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2005

I stayed at this hotel in early October - several friends and I had traveled to Chicago to run the marathon this year. The hotel was very nice, as were the hotel staff. They were able to provide suggestions for where to go for dinner, as well as a super early breakfast the day of the race. The servers in the bar were wonderful, and kept refilling my water bottle without a single question. As for the rooms, they are very nice and spacious, not at all the cramped style of other area hotels.

Oak Park is a neat community with lots of fun walking tours close by. I would certainly recommend this hotel to people looking to see a different and quieter side of Chicago.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank EliLena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2005

My wife and I spent a week at the Carleton (visiting from the UK to watch our daughter run the Chicago Marathon - what an event! see photo) and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The hotel staff were efficient and helpful.
We stayed in the Motor Inn adjacent to the hotel. It was very good value for $99 a night - the room was large, comfortable, clean and well maintained. There was a kitchenette with sink, fridge, microwave and basic crockery & utensils. The pathway and gardens leading to our room were very attractive and also well maintained - see photo.
It was just a step to enjoy a drink and ‘fishy’ meal at Poor Phil’s or a cocktail and more sophisticated meal at Philanders.
Oak Park is such a pleasant place to walk around, with lots of interesting things to see, and the train taking you into the heart of Downtown Chicago is so convenient. We visited the Oak Park Farmers’ Market on the Saturday and were also lucky enough to see the Homecoming Parade of the local High School - see photos.
We would not hesitate to stay at the Carleton Motor Inn again.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PDH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
160 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2005

I usually seek out "vintage" hotels like the Carleton and have had great success in the past. Not this time. While the rooms are rather large (small kitchenette and table in each room) this does not make up for the "fried fish" smell that permeated the hotel the entire time I was there. The furniture is old, dirty and in need of repair. Service (what service) was as close to non-attentive as I have ever had. Paid Rack rate of $168 per night and expected better. At one time this may have been a great place but they need to update (stains on love seat, chairs in the room, missing pulls on TV Cabinet), and do something about the smell from the attached fish food restaurant.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sdavis3908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2005

Have stayed here many times over the past 15 years. Most recently stayed in a large room with king bed and jacuzzi in bathroom. The room was lovely and very comfortable with refrigerator, microwave oven, hair dryer, iron/ironing board, coffee pot and coffee. We're always pleased with our accommodations and housekeeping. Philander's restaurant and Poor Phil's bar/dining are both excellent. Highly recommend this hotel for convenience and comfort. Only a block from the CTA station. We leave our car in the free hotel parking and take the EL everywhere!

Stayed June 2005
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Carleton of Oak Park

Property: The Carleton of Oak Park
Address: 1110 Pleasant Street, Oak Park, IL 60302-3093
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Oak Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Oak Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Carleton of Oak Park 3*
Number of rooms: 154
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Carleton Of Oak Park Hotel Oak Park
Carleton Hotel Oak Park
Carleton Of Oak Park

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