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Inspirations for Home Design


The Carleton of Oak Park Hotel

IMAGE:  Chicago’s Millenium Park

© Becky Linhardt

If you are thinking about a visit to Chicago for a weekend getaway, The Carleton of Oak Park offers convenient access to downtown and the many attractions of Oak Park.

What’s Special

Location, Location, Location

Chicago – easy access

The Carleton is about a block from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train station and close to interstates.  All of the attractions in downtown Chicago are just a 20 minute train ride away.  It was heavenly not to have to drive in Chicago traffic. We took the CTA into “the Loop” for shopping at Marshall Field’s/Macy’s, a walk through the parks along the lake, and on another day to catch an “Untouchables Tour” of Chicago’s 1920s Gangster history.

Oak Park – easy walking neighborhood

A few blocks north in the newly renovated shopping district on Marion Street, I was able to buy flowers for my room at a shop, steaming coffee and fresh cinnamon bread at the sunny Prairie Bread Company were breakfast one day and an omelet at Poor Phil’s another. Oak Park’s shuttle bus (free) stops at the hotel so you can easily access the many Oak Park attractions such as Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and the Ernest Hemingway Museum and Home.


Prices here are usually much more affordable than downtown Chicago – great packages.

Free Parking available in discrete off-street parking lots.

WIFI internet access is free.

Ambience – unique

Tudor styling on the outside gives it a comfortable elegance that is matched by the warm colors and traditional style new furnishings on the inside.  Originally built as a residential hotel in 1928, it is now connected via hallways with the historic Plaza Hotel. Renovations since 2000 have updated but preserved much of the residential feel with spaces that are certainly not like cookie-cutter style chain hotels.

All Suites Comfort

All of the renovated rooms, from the spacious standard guest rooms to multi-room suites, have a kitchen area with a microwave and refrigerator.  My standard single had its own small sitting room.  Friends staying in a Double/Double even had a dining room that became a gathering spot for our group and for a room service dinner; then snacking on the dinner leftovers the next day for lunch.


Room service is provided by the hotel’s restaurant, Barclay’s American Grille an upscale but casual fine dining area.  Wood grilled entrees are a specialty.


Casual dining is available at Poor Phil’s at street level.  In warm weather, tables outside take advantage of the almost European street scene – a blend of small shops and residential living on a quiet tree-lined street.

Information/Reservations: 888-227-5386 or www.carletonhotel.com

Chicago: www.choosechicago.com

Oak Park: 708-848-1500 or www.visitoakpark.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.


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