We just got back from a quick one night stay at Ray's, so I thought I'd pop in here to review the place for you.
Our stay at Ray's, in three words, was relaxing and memorable.
When we first arrived, there were no staff on hand to check us in, but as we had been given a heads up that this would be the case and also had been given the door code to get in, we were not at all bothered by this. Upon entry we had a check-in packet waiting for us with directions on how to find our room and explanations covering anything else we might need, as well as the personal cell phone number of the staff in case we needed something. We went right up to our room and began our stay at Ray's!
Style-wise, Ray's is quaint, retro, and very eclectic. It is NOT your typical Victorian, tea-and-crumpets with a side of birdwatching BandB! It comes with quirk and personality (for instance, a collection of pez dispensers decorates the front lobby and the backyard fence is lined with old bowling balls) and also has two free-roaming, free-spirited cats to lend extra charm. As soon as we were settled in our room, we went and explored every nook and cranny of the place, and there were eccentricities and interesting nooks and crannies everywhere we looked.
Location-wise, Ray's is located right in the heart of the Bucktown neighborhood, and we were able to walk to the subway and from there we had access to the whole city, all while our car stayed parked safely on the street right out front (free parking, might I add. A rarity in Chicago.).
Breakfast in the morning was included in the price and to.die.for. My partner sampled the cinnamon french toast stuffed with strawberry campote, while I went for a Western frittata with a side of red potatoes. While we waited for our food to be made-to-order, we helped ourselves to the side board of fresh fruit, pastries, bagels and lox, and fresh juices and coffee. We sat at the breakfast table with other guests and had a very pleasant morning while our breakfast was cooked feet away from us and served up piping hot. Very very good and we walked away from the table completely stuffed!
Last but not least, our room. We stayed in the Eagle's Nest, and although the room was marvelous, here is where Ray's lost a star. This room has four large bay windows that look directly out onto the street in front of Ray's, which happens to be a very busy three-way intersection. Although the view was nice, there was traffic noise from it all night long. The traffic noise was very audible in the room and woke me up at times. This is a real shame, as the room itself was perfectly wonderful. It had an enormous king size bed as well as a day bed/twin bed overlooking the big bay windows. In addition, it had a skylight, desk, bathroom (no jacuzzi tub), large screen tv/dvd player, comfy chair, and mini fridge. The bed was ridiculously comfy and soft, and one needed a stepstool to climb up into it as it was so high off the ground. So all in all, a great room, and one that came highly recommended by staff.
I'm honestly not sure what Ray's could do about the street noise, as they obviously can't change their location. Perhaps updated windows (I'm not sure but it seemed like the windows were the original windows that came with the place; modern windows tend to block more sound), or even simply providing ear plugs or a note of warning to travelers booking the room? I'm sure that rooms not facing the street wouldn't have had this problem, and I didn't hear any other guests complaining about this. However, as this was one of the more (most?) expensive rooms, it seems there must be something that could be done to alleviate this problem- because when one thinks "bed and breakfast", one certainly doesn't think of being woken up by traffic noise!
Overall, however, our stay really was fabulous. We truly enjoyed the experience and would probably return if we ever opt to BandB in Chicago again. Highly recommend Ray's to all!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A unique B&B in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, Ray's welcomes groups and individuals in town for work or play. Modeled after small European hotels and spas, the B&B has eleven bedrooms with private baths, high speed internet (WIFI and in each room as well as community areas including a steam room, sauna, HDTV and a kitchen, and free unrestricted street parking. Breakfast is cooked-to-order when you want it. This is not your parents' bed & breakfast! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ray`s Bucktown Hotel Chicago
- Ray`s Bucktown b&b