Midwest Living Review
One of the most iconic campus gathering places at the University of Illinois is a hotel. The Illini Union, a 1941 WPA structure built in Colonial Virginia style, includes 72 guest rooms and two VIP suites. The guest rooms are clean and well-kept, but fairly mundane. There's little to distinguish these rooms from any discount chain hotel -- other than the view out your window, which might include the Quad. The rooms do boast 42-inch TVs, but the real reasons to stay at the Illini Union are the location and what's in the rest of the building. You can walk through the doors of the Illini Union out onto the Quad, the central campus lawn where students study and toss Frisbees. You're steps away from the Alma Mater statue, many significant campus buildings and the main campus business district. The Illini Union has several lounge areas, including a beautiful lobby on the north side with wooden columns and big chairs -- the sort of high-class surroundings that will make you feel like a professor. If you'd rather feel like an undergrad, you can sip an Espresso Royale coffee in a lounge with a huge television screen (perfect for watching big games), or head down to the basement Rec Room, which has a bowling alley, billiard tables and arcade games. The building also includes several shops and an art gallery. Guests receive a free Continental breakfast: the standard cereal, bagel, fruit and toast that you'd expect. Each floor has a small room where you can pick up your breakfast to go. From $109.