Navy Dads

Thought we might start some sort of discussion area for Great Lakes Lodging to help you plan your trip to PIR.

Try this link for several reviews of some area hotels:

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Its been a couple of years since our sons PIR but we found an inexspensive stay at the quality inn in Waukegan.We originally booked the Ramada Inn in Waukegan and found out that looks are very wasnt at all what appeared online.
Our PIR was 1 October this year. We (three adults) stayed at the Ramada Waukegan. We requested and received a handicap accessible room.

The facility is older, and our first impression was the room smelled damp and musty, however, it quickly cleared and our stay was quite acceptable. For the price breakfast was decent, beds comfortable, staff very helpful and friendly. There was a Navy4Moms reception the evening before PIR in the hotel. Shuttle service was provided as well. The restaurant food was good and service excellent.
We were in Great Lakes in April 2010 for our daughter's graduation. We stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites in Lincolnshire. It is a little further from the base than some of the hotels (around 10 miles), but it is nearly all highway and a quick drive. It was well worth the extra few miles. The hotel was excellent in every way. It was the first time that I had stayed at a Homewood, and now I try to stay at one whenever I travel. Breakfast is a real breakfast with waffles, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereals, breads, etc. Everyone will find something they want to eat for breakfast, and no one will leave hungry. The rooms were beautiful, clean, comfortable, and roomy, with a separate bedroom and a kitchen area with full-size refrigerator and cooking facilities. The staff could not have been more helpful and friendly.

We found the hotel on the brochure sent us by the base, which listed local hotels. We used a code or something on the brochure and got a really good rate. I think we only paid around $79-$89 per night. If you don't have the brochure, call and tell them you are coming for a navy graduation. They will likely give you a great rate. You can get cheaper, but you only get what you pay for. You can find them on the internet at

Lastly, if you do stay there, the highway you use to get to the base is a toll road. It is not much, like .35-.50cents, but it is unmanned and you have to use coins. So make sure you have the change on you. Congratulations to your sailor, and I hope you have a great graduation experience.
Lynda (Navy Vet and proud Navy Mom)
Spring Hills Suites Waukegan. Have to agree with Dave it was a very good value, close to Wal-Mart and Starbucks which covered most of our needs. Breakfast was excellent. We called the hotel directly for the reservation and go the Navy PIR rate. Shuttle was a whole $3 per person each way. Very convenient.
My sailor's PIR date was July 23, 2010. We stayed at the Spring Hill Suites in Waukegan. It was very nice. Alot of room for my Husband and myself plus our sailor and my other 2 grown sons to hang out. 46" flat screen tv, free wifi for the sailor to finally check emails and facebook after being away for 8 weeks.The separate shower was great. Sailor could take a loooong HOT shower and everyone else had a separate powder room if needed. Very nicely decorated. the breakfast had waffles and hot and cold cereal plus pastries. Coffee or juice and fresh fruit. It was close to base also. Maybe took us 5-10mins max to get there. Enclosed pool.

NavyDads Admin (Paul) said:
I'll start off...for both of my PIR's I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard....was impressed with the facilities and the staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful. I would stay there again.
A little pricey, but not outrageous, and they do arrange for shuttle service to the base. Close to some restaurants and Walmart. Clean and quiet.
I've also stayed at the Marriott Courtyard twice (PIRs in Jan 2009 and Sep 2010). Highly suggest it to all Navy Dads and their guests! The hotel's info "booklet" about PIR, area attractions, restaurants, etc. is very helpful. Just a bit more expensive -- but onsite breakfast, shuttle service to base, and staff make it well worth it! The number there is (847) 689-8000.
It's been several years since my son's PIR, but we stayed at the Candlewood Suites on S. Waukegan Rd. Real close to the base and easy to get to. Was very clean and convenient to lots of stuff. We were able to get a suite with kitchen and an adjoining room so we had plenty of space for the whole family. I have also stayed at the Navy Lodge and while it is convenient there is not a lot around it.
My son's PIR was 2/5/10. We stayed at the Navy Lodge. It was a perfect room that I was able to book telling them of our PIR. They served a bag breakfast at dawn as we left and this was plenty. There's not alot of bathrooms there at the hall. And your stomach will turn with the excitement of it all if you eat too much. The people were great there too. Taxi's were able to pick up and drop off two vans full of us and only being 2 minutes from the gate, we never lost each other. Our's was a grad n go so I would have felt like we waisted money on anything more than this. They also had wi-fi available so the boy could check on his friends. Good luck all.
30 days!   We booked a room at the Springhill Suites, after my girls balked at getting up early for the two drive to RTC.  Sounds like they do have a shuttle.  They didn't have any spacial rate for PIR's, I think I'll call next week and talk to the manager...couldn't hurt. 
the lincolnshire marriott is fantastic 7min to base and very clean and half kitchens and fantastic area with grt resturants nearby if u get a chance to go jasons deli for food its unreal ........ill stay here always when or if we go back to grt lakes ..............

I called the Springhill Suites back and asked to speak to the manager.  She said of course they have a discounted rate for PIR.  That dropped the price from $129 to $89 for a two room suite.  Suite Deal...

My family and I stayed at the Red Carpet Inn, about a mile away from the base, which claims to be the closest (non military!) motel.  Basic and neat, the trip to the base was very quick, but a few drawbacks:

It's not an enclosed motel.  All access to rooms is open to the elements.  That week (21 January PIR) was the coldest in a quarter century, according to the Chicago weather folk.  The parking lot was covered in tundra, which I assumed was there since November, and was going to be there until the spring thaw (April?) so driving was cautiously dicey.  Needless to say, we had a view of the pool from our doorway, and it looked lovely buried under tarp and ice.  Swimming was not a priority for us though.  


It did not have its own dining room, we ate at Flanagan's across the tundra lot.


The shuttle bus capacity and runs were limited.  We needed to be at PIR early, because our son was an Honor graduate, and by the time we tried to sign up, the appropriate shuttle van was filled.  The vans are 12 seaters, and they only ran 4 or 5 that day, but that may have been due to the small graduation, 5 divisions.


If you want close, and clean without much else, it was more than enough for us.  We stayed two nights, and our son was flying out on Saturday anyway.  If there was a need to stay longer, I might have considered a place with more onsite amenities.


For future graduations, the MWR Travel website is a great resource, as was the brochure we received from RTC a few weeks into Chris' basic training.



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