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.
- 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