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History is Hott Lunch & Tour

#126 of 368 Tours in Chicago
Chicago, IL, USA
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History is Hott Lunch & Tour
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Traveling Vagabond wrote a review Jan 2020
1 contribution
This is an overpriced lecture by a pompous know it all. Definitely skip the lunch. Both of us ordered different entrees, trout and the hamburger, the trout was barely edible and hamburger was mediocre. The dessert was a “Bertha Brownie” which should not be consumed. It’s an under baked lump of dense chocolate. I have no idea why anyone would consider it good? The lecture is far too long and mostly about the relationship of Bertha and Potter Palmer including references of Bertha being “well endowed”. We were also lectured about the evils of school testing, pandering views on the women’s movement and how the play Hamilton was filled with Ebonics and how awful it was that Chicago students were exposed to it as their first play. The posters and books used as visuals were tattered and worn. My partner was so sick of the pandering by the lecturer that she didn’t attend the second half of the tour. For the second part of the talk we toured through some of the hotel- mostly the conference rooms. It was much more interesting but I question some of the information. For instance we were told that real garnets were hanging from chandeliers in the Red Laquer Room. Since garnets of over two carat with no inclusion are rare it is virtually impossible that hundreds of perfect garnets were used as drops. If they were real garnets guards would have to be posted for fear of theft. They are garnet colored class crystals. I wish the second part had toured more of the hotel. Skip the whole tour and instead purchase a book about architecture in Chicago. At least you will have something and not have wasted hours being talked down to.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Cher B wrote a review Jan 2020
1 contribution2 helpful votes
First of all, the advertising for this tour is completely different than what is actually presented because they know sex sells. There is nothing HOTT about this tour. It's an interesting lecture about the hotel's founder and the beginnings of Chicago, at best, if your ignore the director's irrelevant side lectures/rants about the demise of America's education system, how Hamilton is not real theatre, or the women's movement. Skip the lunch before as it's not worth $40 per person & you get another brownie later. (Brownie can be skipped too. It's a dry puck of chocolate.) The lecture would have been more interesting if there was not so much nonsensical information given. It simply needs editing for clarity and brevity. After 2 hours, we had only reached the late 1800s history when really I was interested in the hotel's architecture and entertainment. It was mostly a lecture on Mr. Palmer and Bertha Palmer's life, not the actual hotel. I question the accuracy of some statements as mostly interviews with the Palmer's very distant grandchildren were presented without real fact checking. We all know how family legends & lore stick around. The second half of the tour is supposedly better but I didn't go back after break because I just couldn't take being lectured to about ebonics bringing down theater or the failings of Common Core any longer. I was there for a historic tour, not Mr. Price's opinion.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Kevin C wrote a review Oct 2019
Chicago4 contributions
Not sure why there are two TT’s in Hott, but this tour is excellent. My wife and I did the non-lunch version of this; we’re Chicago locals who’ve done a number of other tours (mostly centered around food or the river); and this tour was the most educational in terms of Chicago history. The coolest part was getting special access to the monumental rooms, back areas, and hotel kitchen. The historian Ken Price does an amazing job guiding tourists and locals alike through the great Palmer House.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Stepanias007 wrote a review Jun 2019
San Francisco, California2 contributions
The amazing lunch and then 1-2 hour tour given by Ken Price is very special. After lunch, we transferred to a cozy area by the Palmer House museum on the 2nd floor with such amazing artifacts collected over the years from the hotel. This tour was special since Ken gives an insightful and thoughtful overview of the history of Palmer House, including Chicago. I’ve been on many tours before, but Ken is a class act and very knowledgeable about the city’s history. I felt like we got a very special tour from a local Chicago historian. This is a special experience you wouldn’t want to miss!
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Date of experience: June 2019
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CTMerebear wrote a review Mar 2019
Beijing, China104 contributions28 helpful votes
WOW! This was a GREAT tour. My sisters and I met in Chicago after Christmas. Ken Price, our wonderful guide, in a beautiful story fashion, took us through the beginnings of the City of Chicago and the Palmer House Hotel. He even took us to see where the Elephant was brought up in the back elevator! A tour not to be missed!
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Date of experience: January 2019
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