When Traveling to the Chicago Area The Graduate Hotel in Evanston is the perfect hotel choice.
I’m excited to kick off my Boutique Hotel Series with another visit to my favorite hotel chain, Graduate Hotels at The Graduate- Evanston just north of downtown Chicago.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be sharing a different boutique hotel I’ve stayed at this year so far as I’ve traveled with friends, my husband and my family.
(Affiliate links are used for your convenience. Read my full disclosure here.)
The Graduate in Evanston, Illinois is located in the neighborhood of Northwestern University.
One of my favorite things about The Graduate Hotels is that they usually renovate a building already in existence and work with the building using its quirks and uniqueness as they design within and around it.
The Graduate- Evanston is in the original Homestead Inn. They kept the historic feel of the brick building, keeping it quaint and intimate spaces.
The original old elevator takes you up to your guest room.
The big front porch offers several seating options to enjoy the outside space watching pedestrians and students walk and bike around campus.
The hotel is in a gorgeous neighborhood of historic homes on the shores of Lake Michigan. I want to go back again when the weather is beautiful so I can spend some time walking the streets and looking at the homes and running along the lake.
It was beautifully Spring there, with blooming flowers everywhere, but we had a cold blowing rain the whole time. It was a gorgeous time to visit, we just had bad luck with the weather on our visit. But I would love to go back this time of year. Nothing is blooming by us yet Up North in The Northwoods of Wisconsin so it was wonderful to see the fresh blooms and color in Chicago.
Just inside the front doors to the right The Graduate has The Homestead Room restaurant. Another bit of bad luck for us was that the restaurant wasn’t open the night we were there. I’m sure it had to do with staffing issues as many places have. We were so looking forward to trying the restaurant and enjoying it’s beautiful atmosphere, but now we have an extra reason to go back.
With little parking on the street, The Graduate- Evanston offers valet parking which is so helpful.
With the Homestead Room closed, the hotel gave us recommendations for dinner in the neighborhood. We walked over to Found Kitchen and Social House and had a delicious meal. I highly recommend it.
Read About My Other Graduate Hotel Stays
As part of this Boutique Hotel Series I will also be sharing my stay at The Graduate Iowa City.
Interior of The Graduate- Evanston
I loved the little Check In desk with it’s wonderful light. Notice all the ceiling details and the crown moulding. The houndstooth wallpaper was a deep purple as a nod to Northwestern’s school color. Deep purple was used often throughout the hotel on doors, walls, etc.
Charicatures of famous Northwestern Alumni hang by the desk.The check in cabinet is full of books written by authors who have stayed there.
Long halls with pretty paisley wallpaper led us to the elevator. The Graduate did a wonderful job of keeping or adding in timeless woodwork.
One of my favorite parts of staying in boutique hotels, especially Graduates, is to see their use of pattern in carpets, walls, window treatments, pillows, furniture…
Check out some of the beautiful ones from The Graduate Evanston.
The Homestead Room Restaurant
Graduate Hotels miss no details. Whether they tie to the University, the town or collegiate experience, it’s worth the walk around each hotel like it’s a scavenger hunt to see how they’ve added in decor touches to help tell the story.
What could be a better fit than a collection of trophies? I collect vintage trophies myself and love that The Graduate- Evanston added these to a small shelf area. When collections are displayed together they become like a work of art.
This collection of plaques on the wall was a beautiful display as well. When out antiquing keep your eyes out for trophies and plaques yourself. I love to use my trophies as vases for flowers, to hold toothpicks or other everyday items.
More trophies and plaques are found above the fireplace. The fireplace was a cozy addition in the restaurant.
While we were there they did put out a small buffet breakfast you could purchase.
Graduate Hotels are pet friendly, check the website for current pricing.
Current check in time is 4 p.m. and check out is at 11. But, you can ask about early check in and late check out.
There are meeting rooms to use for group events too.
When I travel I love to spend time in the hotel. That’s why it’s so important to me to pick somewhere beautiful. I love to get up early and read in the lobby with a cup of coffee and find a cozy spot to work during the day.
The Homestead Room Bar
A hotel with a beautiful bar is a big perk for me. It’s a wonderful space to kick off the evening before dinner or finish the night.
I was drooling over these purple bar stools, the carved back bar and bronze counter and lights. If you know me well, then you know how much I loved the plaid carpet.
Like the restaurant, the bar was not open while we were there, so another reason to head back soon.
A fun reason to enjoy boutique hotel bars is because they often have creative cocktail menus. The Graduate- Evanston serves up cocktails based on favorite John Hughes movies, which were all shot in Chicago.
Do you have a favorite John Hughes movie? They are the backdrop of my preteen years!
Two cozy corners anchor the bar room perfect to gather with friends or curl up to read.
Start your tradition of staying in Graduate Hotels. When you are traveling see if there is one in the area. Choose your vacation to a new area based on a Graduate Hotel you want to stay in. Head to their website to see all the options. They are adding new hotels each year.
SEE THE OTHER POSTS IN MY BOUTIQUE HOTEL SERIES
OTHER HOTELS I’VE SHARED
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I enjoyed reading this, and your attention to detail, even though everything seemed to be closed within the hotel! Did you see the deep deep green color of the walls and ceiling in the restaurant? Not something I would ever have considered but it looked great. Thanks
[email protected] says
It was absolutely stunning! Exactly why I love traveling to these hotels to see ideas I may never have thought of. Thanks so much!
Ann Heinz says
We stayed at The Graduate in Iowa City.
I loved the hallway wallpaper…repeating vertical bands of a pattern of cows, corn, soybeans and of course pigs.
Our room was very comfortable with a king bed, winged sitting chair by the window, a desk and chair, a mini fridge hidden within a dresser and best…a coffee service with an electric kettle.
Our guest room walls were papered in a houndstooth pattern. A sketch of Kurt Vonnegut, a photo of the baseball team in “Field of Dreams”, and a rendering of classic wrestling moves hung on the walls. (All things Iowa)
The linens and bedding were topnotch.
As was the house keeping service. The folks at the front desk are Midwest Nice (my favorite) kind, courteous and helpful. Across the breezeway was the hotel pub (open from 3-ish on) and a separate cafe ( open 7 am to 3-ish). A clever and economical use of space as the same kitchen serviced both restaurants.
Did I mention the seating in the huge lobby? Many, many seating options of Mid-Century Modern in many different fabrics. A square bookcase, full of interesting books and all available to read during your stay surround sectional seating for a group or solo or duo private sit.
How much did we like The Graduate? Well, we had reserved for 2 days, and ended up staying for 4. Of course that had a lot to do with spending quality time with our entertaining nephew, who introduced us to the patio fun at Big Grove Brewery, a bar-cade called Tap-Tap. Yummy restaurants…the pie shake at Hamburger Inn #2 and delicious eating at St. Birch. And not to be forgotten was a Todd Rungren (song fav’s… “”Hello, It’s Me…Bang on the Drum” ) concert at the Englert (sp) Theatre with good acoustics and room for dancing.
[email protected] says
Oh Ann!! I love this hotel for all those reasons! Loved reading your comment and can just feel the excitement coming out of your trip in your retelling and sharing! I can’t wait to go back. I shared about this spot a few days after the Evanston post. I agree, its so fabulous! Fun to connect with another Graduate hotel lover!