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“Great place to hike, but don't actually stay there”

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Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 12, 2010

We stayed in one of the log cabins because the lodge was fully booked. Actually, in order to accommodate 4 of us, we had the whole 2-room building. Read: I spent lots of money!

So, I was really, really disappointed when I saw the rooms. The furniture all looked like it came from a garage sale. My granddaughter had planned on sleeping on the fold-out "couch" (really a chair). But when I opened it up, we both said there was no way she would sleep on that dirty, stained, shabby thing. We wouldn't even touch or sit on it.

The beds weren't much better. Sad, worn bedspread. Broken headboards. The only way I could psych myself to go to sleep was to keep thinking that at least the sheets were just washed. None of us used the shower--old shower stall. Towels were just okay.

I second what the previous reviewer said about the thermostat. We were freezing. And there was no blanket on the bed.

Food in the dining room was good. Service definitely on the slow side. I wish our waiter had told us the chicken my 10-yr-old ordered would serve at least two kids. Most of it got wasted.

Is Starved Rock in Chapter 1 bankruptcy? Why don't they rehabilitate the cabins? Come on, all the furniture needs to go out on the curb for garbage pickup.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank IntrepidTripper1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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340 - 346 of 367 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2010

We live in the Starved Rock area, so we visit often, but really have no need to book a room on a regular basis. However, as we have small children and were attending the wedding of a dear friend, it seemed like a good idea to enjoy the party and just spend the night.

We selected one of the Pioneer Cabins (no TV) because the stand-alone buildings look cool and our older daughter has asked about them on previous visits to Starved Rock. Be warned that the cabins are a long walk to the front desk.

After some drama of finally getting into the correct cabin, we discovered a truly sad and worn space. The beds had a old polyester bedspreads and a thin, stained sheet. No blanket. Really? I actually ended up with a contact rash because the sheets were bleached beyond belief. (i.e. smelled like a bottle of Clorox) The towels my husband uses to wash the car were nicer than those in the bathroom. Upon lying down to sleep, my younger daughter screeched, "Bugs!!" We discovered spiders. Now the cabin is in a wooded area, so this is not surprising. However, we spent the rest of the night feeling like bugs were crawling everywhere. The air conditioning was impossible to control. The two setting were sauna and freezer. It was difficult to be comfortable and we all had a rotten night of sleep on the hard, lumpy beds.

However, the wireless internet did work! And it worked well. This was a nice surprise as the girls had fun playing on the lap top while "out in the woods."

The room also featured old furniture that had Sharpie graffiti. The chest of drawers looked like a local garage sale find. Poor quality and in the 70's colonial style. We won't make the same mistake twice.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Tracy61356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2010

If you're going to Starved Rock (and even better, the nearby state park at Matthiessen), this is a great place to stay. We stayed in the east wing, which has the older rooms. We found the room clean and comfortable. This is a state park lodge, as others have pointed out, so not a luxury hotel. However, it does have a pool & jacuzzi & sauna for the guests, so it's not exactly rustic either.

We found the staff at the lodge to be uniformly pleasant and helpful. And at the end of the day, after several hours of hiking, getting into the jacuzzi or hanging out on the veranda with a beer.... not half bad.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank stonecollector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2010

Loved the people! Loved the hiking, the park and the common resort areas of the lodge. It is absolutely beautiful there in the Spring, Summer, Fall and even the Winter! The hotel and gift shoppe staff were wonderful! The restaurant staff were nice, but service was so slow everytime we were in there. The food was good! But, the young lady we had as our waitress at the lounge on Friday evening never even asked us if we wanted another drink.

We were very disappointed with out room. First let me say, we realize that this was built back in the 30's or the 40's and we have been coming here to stay since the late 70's, so of course it is going to be old. But, the decline in cleanliness and the deterioration of the rooms themselves has become increasingly more noticeable everytime we visit. We like to stay in the older section because we love the big log construction and the 'lodgey' feeling to the older part of the resort. We were on the third floor. The first thing we noticed was there was a brand new flat screen tv, which was nice. Then we realized that there was not one picture in the room. The hangers and the bolts were still there, but not one picture! There were the same polyester bedspreads that have been there since the 70's. The bed was good, but the sheets were old and had stains and had no elastic left in them so by morning your feet were on the mattress. The walls looked dull and smudgey, like they hadn't been wiped down in maybe 10 years and the bathroom, had missing tiles on the baseboard and something dead in the corner of the room...bug, moth, beetle, etc. Even though we could not see any mold, it smelled a bit moldy in the bathroom. The floors were really bad. I hated to walk on them in my bare feet. Even the carpeting was dirty.

It will be a while before we stay again. We will ask if any renovations have been done before we make our next reservation, or choose to stay in the newer section.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank chicagosuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2009

We really enjoyed our weekend getaway to the Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL. I was pregnant so we did not hike. We spent a lot of time relaxing around the huge fireplace. There were many just lounging around reading or playing board games together. It was an extremely cozy and restorative experience. We will be back

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sdarons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2009

I gave this 4 stars, because for the area, you can't beat the location.

This is an older lodge, in the middle of a state park.: we went for the hiking & to relax. This is not a luxury hotel, but we knew that going in, so there weren't any surprises.

Check in was fine, all of the staff members that we encountered were friendly & helpful. We had a corner room (room 228) which I liked. The room was fairly large, with a king bed , sofa & small table with 2 chairs. The decor was "rustic" and outdated. The room was clean.

The pool was nicer than what I expected - quite a bit larger than your average hotel pool & a nice big hot tub (which was great after hiking) and a separate kiddie pool.

There is a nice big great room in the lodge, with a huge stone fireplace, and lots of couches, etc. for lounging (although they weren't all that comfortable). There is also a very large patio, which overlooks the river. So, you can sit out there & have dinner/ drinks.

We ate at the lodge restaurant twice: once for a mother's day brunch (comfort food, pretty good) and breakfast. I agree with other reviewers, a little overpriced, but there aren't too many options.

The park is great! You can take one long loop trail that takes you to the highlights: French Cyn, Wildcat, LaSalle, Eagle overlook, Lover's Leap. We also liked St Louis & Ottawa canyons

It was really pretty in the spring, but I bet it will be even more beautiful in the fall - we will be back!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank anono99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2009

We recently stay at the Lodge and had a wonderful visit! The lodge was very clean and our room was very nice. The decor fits the surroundings of the State Park. Our kids enjoyed the large pool and swam for a long time. We did stay in the newer part right off the pool which was very nice.
We also ate breakfast at the lodge and it was good and the serves was good too. We did giggle a little about how it felt like we were at camp because of the decor of the dining hall, but it was a positive giggle and it add to our trip to the State Park.
We have been wanting to stay at the lodge for some time because we have hiked past it several times on our hiking trips to the park. So overall we were very pleased!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank luvtoteach96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Address: 2668 E. 875th Road, Utica, IL 61348
Location: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range: $175 - $194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Features 69 guest rooms and 21 cabin rooms, majestic Great Hall with 2-sided fireplace, on-site restaurant and bar, outdoor dining, indoor pool, weddings and meetings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Starved Rock Utica
Starved Rock Hotel Utica Il

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