by Amanda Geronikos
Located in Utica, Illinois (about 90 minutes from Chicago), The Willows offers boutique accommodations near Starved Rock and Matthieesen State Parks — both areas are within two miles of the hotel.
Accommodations include Standard Guestrooms, Junior Suites and Deluxe Suites, all of which provide kitchenettes with mini-fridges, microwaves, toaster ovens and coffee makers. Wi-Fi is also available, as is an onsite restaurant.
Our Editor Loves
- Onsite restaurant
- Kitchenettes in rooms
- Location near Matthiessen and Starved Rock State Parks
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
We absolutely LOVED our stay! We stayed in the "Farmland" room. The room was super clean and decorated so cute! The place is very quiet and relaxing. I loved sitting on the rocking chairs outside watching all the cars go by! The owners and employees are so FRIENDLY and nice! We had breakfast delivered to our room both mornings! The food was soooo good! We will be back!! We got to walk to the downtown area so that was nice and convenient!
This quaint and tastefully decorated boutique hotel is very conveniently located in close proximity to Starved Rock State Park (which is a huge plus in itself). We have been familiar with this wonderful two-story "western"-themed hotel (on the main drag in the small, but interesting and historic town of Utica) for six years. The outside, currently, could benefit from some love in the form of freshening paint, but the building has a natural "charm" that is very appealing. A very large covered porch invites each lower level room occupant to sit in an old-fashioned wooden rocking chair outside their door. Here one can feel the laid back and outdoorsy vacation vibe of passers-by enjoying the small shops in Utica or on their way to hike the trails at Starved Rock State Park. We stayed in the "Pinto Suite" which is spacious, tastefully decorated and includes a full kitchen. More enjoyably, it also offers a fireplace directly in front of a large and modern whirlpool jetted tub. If you do it right, you won't even need the big TV in the bedroom :-). The bed, itself, could (and should) be upgraded. A modern 4 inch memory foam mattress topper (at a minimum) would GREATLY improve the comfort of the seriously-dated, old-fashioned and lightly padded (very firm) mattress-box springs combination. Some of what the bed is lacking is made-up-for by the home-made breakfast brought to your room at your time of choosing. Management/staff is very welcoming and willing to please. They also have a couple of pet-friendly rooms, and they pleasantly accommodated our service dog (even bringing him his own breakfast). This wonderful lodging opportunity has become one of our favorites. It is under-utilized, very deserving of your business(especially with some mattress improvements and perhaps a small rate reduction) and could be expected to be the busy and bustling business that it clearly wants to be (perhaps we should have kept it as our secret). Give it a try and enjoy all that the area has to offer.