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“Nice hotel in the heart of Chicago”

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #98 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nice hotel in the heart of Chicago”
Reviewed 14 August 2012

Stayed at the Palmer House Hilton for 5 days during a recent work assignment. The hotel is a classic 19th century hotel that has been continuously updated over time. In all the hotel was clean, modern and in good repair. Got the room through a booking agency for about 50% of the posted rack rate. In exchange for the discount, I got one of the smallest rooms on the floor (according to the hotel floor plan posted on the inside of the door). The room was *small*, about 140sq ft in size (I'm being generous). Had a twin bed (very comfortable), a desk, a dresser and a 3 piece washroom. No couch, chair, etc.

Hotel is quaint with lots of 1920's-1970's posters, performer portraits, etc. The hotel lobby is opulent. There is a bar, restaurant, etc. in the lobby and service was generally very good (although they will leave you alone if you like).

Internet was free in the lobby and about $16 in the room. The only way to get free Internet is to be a Hilton premier guest (frequent stay guest) or to go down to the hotel lobby. I did the latter and enjoyed very smooth Netflix service in the lobby over their wireless network.

What I liked:

- excellent housekeeping
- very comfortable bed with very nice linen, comforter, etc.
- lots of hot water
- room was quiet
- good shopping on State St. (H&M outlet, Nordstrom rack)

What I didn't like

- have to pay for Internet
- very small room
- Watch out for the raised subway line on South Wabash
- went to the business office on the 7th floor and (much to my surprise), you have to pay to print out anything but boarding passes. And, you can't print out boarding passes from Porter Airlines.

Rated the hotel 3* because they charge for Internet service. Would have been 4* otherwise.

Room Tip: Stay away from any room that faces South Wabash due to raised subway lines.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank lkaToronto
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 review, 15 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review on the Palmer House. We appreciate you taking the time to share your response on our property and we hope 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
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

I stayed here once for a convention and loved it so much I came back for leisure travel. Sure, the rooms are small when compared to other hotels and some are oddly laid out. However, it was built in a different era and I have to respect them for keeping the historical footprint. Also, when you're in Chicago why would you want to hang out in a hotel room???

It's close to State St shopping and if that's not your thing then you are near all kinds of transit lines to get you to other places.

I would definitely stay here again. I love the hotel, I love the service, and I love the area.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lpcannon
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 review, 15 August 2012
Dear Guest,

I’m pleased to hear you loved your stay at the Palmer House. Thank you for sharing your review and we look forward to having 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
Montpelier, Vermont
1 review
Reviewed 14 August 2012

Good - This historic hotel has an idela location downtown easy to walk to most attractions or access public transportation. The room and bath was very clean, climate control and water pressure great, all furnishings were nice - except the carpet seemed very warn, bed very comfortable. Front desk and houskeeping staff were great - sincere not obsequious.
Lobby ceiling is spectacular.
Bad - Wifi and fitness center were an extra charge :( but the wifi service was strong and reliable. Sometimes was a bit of a wait for the elevator at busiest times of day am&pm.

Room Tip: I was not facing the L - I assume low rooms that face the L may be noisy
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Stephanie B
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 review, 17 August 2012
Dear Guest,

I’m sure your visit to the Palmer House was pleasant. I’m glad the hotel’s location was resourceful and made it easy to get to local attractions. Thank you for sharing your review and we hope you will have the opportunity to visit again.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

I stayed at this hotel as my husband was attending a conference and I joined him for the weekend in Chicago. The area is only just ok.... There are nicer hotels and better located for the price along Michigan Avenue. The hotel is one of the biggest I have been in. The lobby ceiling is amazing, but sitting there having a drink is like sitting in Grand Central station.The drinks are very expensive - double what we were paying in a restaurant... It is not a relaxing experience at all. The room we were allocated was on the 9th floor and was just lovely. It was extremely large for a city hotel and decorated to a high standard. The bathroom which was extremely small, badly needed to be redecorated and tiles cleaned properly. The downside to the room was that there was an inter connecting door to the next guest room. This of course was locked, however we were awoken to children screaming at 6am in the morning.... not great when you want to relax..... You could also hear the street trains, however this did not bother us at all... There is a starbucks in the lobby which is great and there is also a small deli/bakery just outside the hotel if you have not booked in for breakfast. Also wi fi is available but you have to pay extra for this service... considering it is a major conference hotel with business people i thought this should have been free... At check out at 12.00 there was a large queue and only three customer service agents at the desk... two of them were dealing with hilton honors guests. For such a large hotel they really need more staff at check out time.

Room Tip: request a high floor
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank april_jac
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 review, 24 August 2012
Dear Guest,

First of all, thank you for your review of your past stay at our hotel. We always appreciate hearing from our guests - including when comments help identify ways we can improve. I understand that the noise was an issue during your stay; while we do have additional security and overnight managers available during high traffic periods - we regret that noise was disruptive to you. Guests are always encouraged to notify staff if they have any noise issues. I apologize that you're comfort was interrupted by other guests and I have shared your review with our security team. We will also be sure to assess our staffing levels to make sure we’re adequately providing friendly, quick, and efficient service. I do hope the next time you return to the area you consider staying with us again.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

Stayed here on a weekend visit to Chicago. Was a bit disappointed at check in that I was not able to get upgraded due to the fact that the hotel was booked. We were given keyed access to the Executive Floor lounge which was difficult to get to due to the elevator assignments. Once we figured it out, though, we were all set. There did seem to be significant waits for elevators that were going from our floor to the lobby and we had considered walking to lower floors after waiting (I was on the 14th). At times they did not all seem to be running. The room we had was a bit small but was clean and sufficient with decent decor. Also of note, the pool closes at 9 pm which is very early for most hotels and caught us off guard. There was not a lot of info in the room about the pool hours so we didnt realize it until going down to the pool at 8:55 only to be told it was closing. The hotel lobby is amazingly beautiful. Staff were friendly and helpful, particularly at the bell desk. Overall, I would stay here again if I came back to Chicago.

Room Tip: I would actually suggest a lower floor (lower than 8) as the elevators all seem to go there. If you...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Roadrunnah
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 review, 17 August 2012
Dear Guest,

We most certainly appreciate you taking the time to share your review on the Palmer House. I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the elevators. I hope you were still able to enjoy your stay overall. We look forward to your next visit and please feel free to message me any questions or concerns you may have.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indiana
Level Contributor
142 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

Excellent downtown stay while attending the fabulous Halsted Street festival to see Olivia Newton John..Great location on Monroe..Paid $45 extra for upgrade that was not that worthwhile..Nice but breakfast elsewhere would have been better than the meager buffet for the extra cost..Room was nice but not special..took forever to get in touch w front desk so lower rating for that alone..Fun stop but would try the Burnham or Sheraton next time..

Room Tip: Upgrade to Executive not worth the $45 cost..Buffet very minimal,expected more..Good service but har...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank hemingwayscantina45
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 review, 17 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. I hope you had a great time at the Halsted Street festival to see Olivia Newton John. On another note, I’m sorry you were not pleased with your upgraded room, along with the breakfast provided on the executive level. Please feel free to message me any questions you may have—we’d like for you to return to the Palmer House on your next visit to Chicago.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

My daughter's and I just returned from our stay @ the Palmer House and although this is a 4 star hotel with a FABULOUS lobby, I have nothing else positive to say.
I book online, last minute through a discount travel site. When I arrived, upon check in, I was given a king bedroom on the smoking floor! YUCK! I was told the hotel was sold out and nothing could be changed. Instead of making a scene, I figured that a 4 star hotel probably takes just as much care of the smoking rooms as they do the regular rooms, therefore the room shouldn’t be that bad. I was WRONG!!

When I went to my room it was NOTHING as the room appears in the photos. The room was soooo small that the dresser drawers at the foot of the bed could barely open because there was NO room. We just left our clothes in the suitcase. The wall paper was peeling in several spots!!! The room smelled like old, stale cigarettes! Overall, the room looked dingy, warn, and dirty. The desk in the room had a broken drawer (when we opened it, the whole front fell off); the frame around the mirror on the wall was broken. The bathroom was beyond small. The counter around the sink was barely wide enough to accommodate my curling iron.
The elevators were SUPER slow...there was always a wait!! Furthermore, no free wi-fi. :(

We have been to Chicago MANY times and this was our first and probably our last stay at The Palmer House. At the end of the day, I wish I could say that I looked forward to returning to our room to relax, but that was DEFINITELY not the case. Considering the money that I paid for our room, I expected so much more and i left feeling disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kaciekay
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 review, 14 August 2012
Dear Guest,

We strive to accommodate our guests with excellent service and it is unfortunate that we fell short. I can’t express enough how much we are troubled by the disappointing experience you faced during your stay at the Palmer House. We truly are sorry for the inconvenience with the smoking room. Please message me any more additional details about your experience, it would be greatly appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to share your review.

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

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:
#25 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 (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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