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“A very good option for downtown Chicago”

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #99 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 7 August 2012

If you're going to Chicago, of course you want to stay downtown and make the most of the experience. This hotel is a great choice because of its location and reasonable room rates. The price range and quality of this hotel is upscale without being extremely luxurious or high-end, which puts it right on target for business travelers and more seasoned, experienced tourists. If you spend much less, you will get a much less desirable hotel. And believe me there are plenty of old, run-down hotels to choose from in Chicago. If you're in a higher price bracket, say over $300/night there are a number of good choices, though.

Palmer House is an historic building with a lot of beautiful decoration (especially the lobby) and architectural detail. It’s a classic, really. The location is walking distance to Grant Park/lakefront, plenty of places to eat (steaks, Chicago pizza, pubs, whatever), theaters, etc. No need for a car: if you fly into O'Hare, you can ride the blue line train direct to Monroe Street stop, which is one block west of the hotel. Or the taxi fare is about $40. The “L” is adjacent to the hotel on the east side of the building (Wabash Ave) so you can ride that to almost anything downtown that you don’t want to walk to. If you must have a car, you can avoid the $54/night valet parking by going to one of the parking garages in the immediate vicinity and pay half that. The hotel has a $20 breakfast buffet, but you can walk a few steps to The Corner Bakery and get great food for much less. You’re in downtown Chicago, so enjoy it!

Like most of these classic downtown hotels in major cities, the rooms vary a lot depending on location in the building and the price. The cheapest rooms will be small compared to, say, a run of the mill Hampton Inn on the side of the interstate somewhere, and will have no view. Spring for $300/night and you get a view and more space (though at that price range you have numerous interesting hotels to choose from). That’s just how it is in big cities and you need to understand that.

I’ve been at the Palmer House on three separate occasions and had completely different price level rooms. All 3 experiences were good. All of them seem to have modern, comfortable beds with nice linens and 5 pillows of various firmness (like most Hiltons), and clean. The baths have oversize toilets, the sinks have marble countertops, the floors are granite. There is nice furniture, tasteful decoration, rich wallpaper, and everything is very clean. My rooms have been equipped with a hair dryer, ironing board & iron, safe, 37” flatscreen TV, etc. The AC/Heat in each room is individually controlled, works well, and you can set the fan to run constantly to help you sleep better. The AC system is quieter overall than the window-external wall units found in many chain hotels.

The location of the room will affect your experience. You don’t want to be near the train, which is adjacent to the east side of the building. Also, like any other hotel, if your room is near the elevators you will find it noisy, as so many people these days are inconsiderate of others (they’ll get off the elevator late at night talking loud as if they’re on the street, they’ll let their room doors slam closed, allow children to run around being loud,etc.). Palmer House has all the services and amenities, and I had no issues with anything that I needed. It’s a busy place at street level, with conferences and folks coming and going, multiple restaurants and bars, shops, etc. I did not try the fitness facilities.

On this visit, I stayed in one of the smallest/cheapest rooms, as the hotel was almost sold out (Lollapalooza) when I arrived. This room had the bed right inside the door, with just enough space to walk around the 3 sides of the bed. It had a cramped bathroom. There was no view: all I could see out the window was a brick wall. But it was very quiet and comfortable. The upside thing about not having a view is that you don’t get the street noise and trains keeping you up. If you’re a couple, you’ll have to use the bath one at a time. The small room area is not a big issue for me…remember you’re in the middle of a major city, will spend very little time in the room, and can walk to everything you would want to see, and yet in a safe and comfortable hotel. I’ve been up on the executive floor, and the rooms there are a little bigger and actually look like the photos on the hotel’s website. Rack rates seem to be in the $129-199 range, $199-$250 on the executive floor, $300 and up for suites. As a very frequent traveler, I think these rates are reasonable for what you get, especially considering the location. Of course if you’re Hilton Honors you might get a better room for a given rate.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank tim1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,448 - 6,454 of 9,089 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2012

Chicago hotel prices in the summer can be crazy no matter where the location is so i was shocked when i was able to get this hotel at a bargain price. The location is excellent and extremely close to the metro station and lots of other amenities. the hotels lobby is outstanding and you could easily just sit there drinking a coffee and admiring it for hours. greats shops underneath the hotel also and great food outlets. Any staff members we met were very professional and very attentive especially the members behind the reception desk. They were always so willing to help and very chatty. The room was beautiful, lovely and spacious and free wi-fi and big clean bathroom what more could you ask for. when visiting Chicago again i would definitely come back as 2 nights was not enough to appreciate the hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RorymcL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review on the Palmer House—we are extremely pleased to hear your stay was pleasant. We would love for you to come back for another visit.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

The Palmer House is a beautiful,old and grand hotel. Every member of the staff was polite and attentive to our needs. The rooms are reminiscent of an old Northeast resort and ironically looked a bit like The Overlook from "The Shining" which we found fabulous!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank PJ73Buffalo_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review on the Palmer House—we truly appreciate it. We hope you will have the opportunity to visit again.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

If you can get a decent rate this is a great choice in Chicago. Great location within walking distance of everything and a lively bar scene. I was here during Lolapalooza so it was a bit nutty but I would definetly stay here again. Except for one thing. I stayed on the 18th flor and only 2 elevators were working. At peak times the ware could be as much as 30 minutes. I gave up and walked down 18 floors several times. Only complaint but a big one

  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Value
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Thank Santafesoaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2012

Dear Guest,

I apologize for the inconvenient you experienced with the elevators being down. I understand your frustration and do sincerely apologize. The situation was inevitable and we thank you for patience. We hope it will not discourage you from future visits to the Palmer House. Again, thank you for sharing your review—we certainly appreciate it.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Chicago has a great number of hotels to choose from....don't pick this one. Rooms are small, I've had bathrooms on a cruise ship that were bigger. My view is a brick wall 5 feet from my window, you can hear the metro as it passes and on the one day I could sleep late...they began some type of drilling at a little after 8 am. Took about 45 min to get my bags sent up after checking in but the doormen are nice.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
Thank Daniel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2012

Dear Guest,

I’m sorry we were not able to provide you with a satisfactory experience during your recent stay. Your satisfaction is very important to us and we appreciate your feedback about noise. Your comments will help us to correct these issues. Again, I would like to apologize for the less than satisfactory stay. We hope you will consider staying with us the next time you are in the area so you can experience an exceptional hospitality experience.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Check in was very fast, the hotel lobby is really beautiful, and the rooms while small (as expected in downtown Chicago) were totally fine. Great access to Grant Park and public transport. Only downside is that the executive floor was a ridiculous zoo. I literally did not get breakfast because there was not enough food for everyone staying at the hotel that weekend. Very frustrating and not acceptable.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
Thank Julie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review on the Palmer House. I apologize for the inconvenience you experience on the executive level. Unfortunately, Lollapalooza is one of the busiest weekends in Chicago. I’m glad you were able to enjoy your stay overall and would love to have you as our guest once again.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Loved every interaction we had with Ernest Fizer. What an amazing tribute he is to Palmer House Hilton's service. Keep it up Ernest!
Beautiful lobby and room. Linens were luxurious. Housekeeping was excellent. Walk to Millennium Park and Michigan avenue.
Cocktails are the bar are on the steep side but the atmosphere is perfection.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank ashley l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2012

Dear Guest,

We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your review on the Palmer House and thank you for the acknowledgement of Ernest. We hope you will have the opportunity to visit again.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#60 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#71 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#75 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £82 - £393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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