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“OK but can't compete with Hilton Garden Inn on Grand” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Palmer House Hilton

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #97 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Toronto, ON Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“OK but can't compete with Hilton Garden Inn on Grand”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2011

Why is it that the top tier hotels in a chain provide less quality than those in the value segment when they charge about $50 per night more? I couldn't get my favourite Hilton Garden Inn 10 E Grand Ave. Chicago, so had to settle for the Palmer House. Yes it's a glamourous hotel, but the bathroom is very small (unless you're a short supermodel) and the internet is not included in the room rate. So I had to forgo the internet because I refuse to pay extra when it should be included. The king size bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows. I was here on business, so it was a perfect location only 2 blocks from the office. There are some very fine eateries nearby. I had breakfast the first morning in the lobby restaurant. The continental buffet is good value for the price ($13) but I don't know why they can't provide you with self service beverages. One needs to wait for interminably slow wait staff. Make sure you have exact cash or charge it to your room. So if you want to have a good breakfast and get on your way, go to the Corner Bakery on the corner of Monroe and Wabash. Noise is a bit of a problem. I was not directly facing the "L", but I could hear the trains. I could also hear my next door neighbours talking, and they weren't talking loudly. Overall the hotel is fine in a pinch, but if you like Hilton properties, you get better value at the Hilton Garden Inn on Grand Ave.

Room Tip: Ask for the west side or interior view for a quieter experience.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cgruchy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,697)
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English first
everywhere
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2011

I stayed at this hotel back in late July 2011 for a week and the room originally allocated to me was close to the elevator shafts and the bed was smaller than a typical Queen size (probably Double). After one night, I couldn't take it anymore so I asked if i could move rooms. The staff were quite friendly and the hotel was able to accomodate me the next day. I was moved to a King size room with a large amount of floor space between the TV and bed (it was double the size of the old room). The new room was in a quiet area....so overall, i found the hotel to be accomodating and the staff go out of their way to ensure that they respond to your request (even if the move cannot be done immediately). I do recommend however that they consider reducing the price per night of the smaller rooms because it's not worth the price if you are by an elevator shaft and can hear people going up and down the elevators all night. Plus the washroom in the older room was tiny and there was hardly a seating area.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room away from the elevator shafts! The elevators are quite loud at this hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank happyworldtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Curacao
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

This was 3rd time in Chicago for the GraphExpo show.
And I just can't get enough of this hotel the service is great and it's a beautiful hotel.
It's close to everything . It just a wonderful hotel with great restaurants and good food and great service .I will stay there again whenever I am in town.

Room Tip: I like higher floors 22nd and 23rd floor.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CarlosTCuracao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

We had just read The Devil in the White City (Erik Larson) and were interested in the history of Chicago and it's buildings. We decided to stay at The Palmer House and what a good call. As well as enjoying the extremely friendly staff and our beautiful room we loved partaking of the 'Lunch and History Tour' with Mr. Ken Price, hotel historian. Fabulous meal and Mr. Price entertained us royally with his knowledge and humour. The stories from this hotel are colourful and many. This event was the highlight of our whole wonderful stay in Chicago. We fell totally in love with The Palmer House Hilton and it's past.

Room Tip: Our room on the North side, twentieth floor was quiet, comfortable and beautifully appointed.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank welovechicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hartford, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

This is the first time I have ever felt the need to post a review about a hotel. I travel a lot and probably spend over 75 nights a year in hotels for work or vacation. I stay in both full service hotels (Ritz, Four Seasons, Hyatts) and limited service hotels (Holiday Inn Express, aloft, Courtyard) and I have never been as dissapointed in a hotel as I was in this one. First of all my room smelled like a water leak (Room 17-255). I called the front desk when I checked in but gave up after over 10 minutes on hold. I went down to the lobby to talk to someone but the hotel was so overwhelmed by the number of people checking in, the wait was at least half an hour to speak to a live body.....so I decided to stay in the room as it was only for one night. The rooms are small, and tired. The bath tub/shower had moldy caulking and the carpets in the room were dirty. I do have to admit that at least the bed was comfortable.

They state that there is wireless in the lobby but I could not find a free connection. I thought every hotel in the country had free wireless in the common areas. They even had attached a login and password for the Starbucks in the lobby......seriously?? The lack of free wireless in the lobby was compounded by the fact that the $275 a night hotel charges $19.95 (yes...you read that correctly) for 24 hours of in-room wired connectivitiy!!! In all the hotels I have stayed at, I have never been charged this much for what is now an essential in-room service. It almost felt like they charged you for hand soap or shampoo in the bathroom.

The next issue was the health club. Every hotel has a gym, but for some reason this hotel felt the need to charge GUESTS an additional $10 dollars to use it. I understand that they should have a hefty charge for day passes, but what is the rational for charging guests for the gym...just build it into the room rate.??

The hotel is massive....it almost seems better suited for Las Vegas than Chicago. That being said, they do not have the capacity, staff, or ammenities to support the large number of clientelle. Be prepared to stand in line for everything.....check-in, breakfast, coffee, etc.

The bottom line is that I would avoid this hotel and find one that has learned that the guest experience is most important part of the stay. There are many better choices for the same price ion Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

A beautiful hotel right in the middle of downtown Chicago. I've been to several meetings and conferences here and everything is top-notch. It's also a very historical hotel so gives you a really nice feeling of being part of something older instead of all those new, fancy, "edgy" hotels you can find elsewhere. I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you are visiting Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank annanas28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

This is a fabulous historic hotel in a perfect downtown location. There is easy access to the various L lines just outside the doors, and Millennium Park with "The Bean", and Crown Fountain are two blocks away. The lobby was amazing -- you really get a great sense of the majesty and history of the building there. Our room was quite large and nicely furnished. Housekeeping did a good job and the new Peter Roth bathroom amenities were excellent. The only complaint I can register is a minor one: I was not offered an upgrade at check-in, in spite of being Hilton Honors Gold level. But to be honest, I do not know how room upgrades work on free night stays using HHonors points. I was offered access to the Executive Floor where a nice breakfast was served each day and there were snacks in the evening happy hour as well. Staff there were particularly helpful each time we interacted. We loved this hotel and will stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank William_from_Atlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Palmer House Hilton

Property: The Palmer House Hilton
Address: 17 East Monroe Street, Box 75845, Chicago, IL 60603-5608
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#32 Green Hotel in Chicago
#55 Family Hotel in Chicago
#61 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#71 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#75 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palmer House Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 1640
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
North America’s most established hotel, the Palmer House Hilton first opened its doors in 1871 and has remained the place to "see and be seen" in downtown Chicago. We continue evolving to serve you with the latest conveniences and comforts in meetings, accommodations and dining - a hip and historic blend of modern nuances and Chicago cultural significance. Whether you’re holding a gala in the famed Empire Room or an intimate gathering in one of our hospitality suites, your event is sure to be a success. Here, you’ll be the host in the Chicago hotel that’s been the venue of choice for celebrities, politicians, and royalty for more than a century.When you come to the Palmer House Hilton, you don’t just stay here. You live here—even if it’s only for a night. That’s why all of our guest rooms and suites have just the right touches to make you feel right at home. You’ll sleep well on our Hilton Serenity Dream bed featuring a plush top mattress and crisp linens, lathering up with Peter Thomas Roth bath products, perceptual service and a full host of amenities to keeping you connected – from flat screen HD televisions, wired and wireless high-speed internet to alarm clocks with auxiliary ports, you’ll find everything you need to rest easy. Lockwood Restaurant, your Farm to Fork, AAA 4 Diamond destination open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. The Lobby Bar at Lockwood is a favorite for locals and travelers alike for craft beers and craft cocktails with Palmer House private reserves and labels. Potter’s is the hip spot to enjoy a retro mix of perfectly poured libations and delectable light fare while reminiscing about the hotel’s history. The hotel is walking distance to the Blue Line and the Orange Line “L” stations for quick transport to O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, respectively. The Palmer House Hilton is steps to all the action along State Street including Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack, American Apparel, H&M, Block 37 Mall and the Chicago Theatre. The hotel is also a short walk to The Art Institute, Joffrey Ballet, Cadillac Theatre, Jeweler’s Row, Millennium Park, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palmer House Hilton Hotel Chicago
Hilton Hotel Chicago
Hilton Hotel Palmer
Palmer House Chicago
Chicago Palmer House Hilton
Palmer House Hilton Chicago
Palmer Hilton House
Hilton Chicago
Chicago Hilton

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