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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #97 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Seriously?”
Reviewed 5 April 2013

Staying in this hotel for a work conference. Arrived with my coworker, only to be told that one of the two rooms was ready, but if we wanted it, we'd have to pay a $25 early check-in fee... What? If the room is ready, what difference does it make? Not off to a great impression. After finally getting settled in, we inquired about the location of the packages that we had shipped to the hotel for our conference. We were told that we had to go to the UPS store, which is on the first floor of the hotel. When we arrived, we were informed that there was a $20 per package handling fee... I've never heard of such a thing!! We paid to have the items shipped (by UPS, by the way) and now UPS is charging us on the back end to give us the packages we already paid for?? Not to mention we had to lug our own packages to their destination. So I'm not sure how that qualifies as "handling" on their part.

As far as the room... The rooms are clean and quaint but not too large. Good quality shampoo products, etc. My room is quiet.

We are staying on the executive level, which does have some nice perks, and I highly recommend it. Breakfast is available, and there are complimentary non-alcoholic beverages available most of the day. They provide some hors d'oeuvres in the evening, but when we went by last night, they smelled and looked unappetizing. Basically, they had a spread of various pastas, which seemed kind of heavy and strange. I was expecting more typical offerings that didn't require a lot of fuss (like the pasta would have). To be fair, we didn't eat any of it, so it might have tasted better than it looked, but I think they would be better off if they offered finger foods and maybe wine. There is a tended bar there, which is kind of cool if you don't mind paying high prices. I don't mind kids, but just to mention that you should not expect a classy, sophisticated experience... There are tons of kids, as well as tons of dishes, piled everywhere!

Having said all of that, I do think it's a nice perk, especially the drinks... A soda on the room service menu is $4!!! So the fact that I can walk down the hall and grab a soda is nice.

Probably my favorite perk is the executive level elevators that are just for those guests. Keeps you from waiting forever on an elevator, since the elevator only stops on certain floors.

The bed is very comfortable. The housekeeping staff is friendly. But I find the extra fees ridiculous and difficult to justify.

The location is decent, but if you are interested in the shopping district, be prepared for a little bit of a walk or plan to take a cab.

Room Tip: Stay on executive level if at all possible.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
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Thank JenBer71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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ISTANBUL
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2013

I stayed there for two nights and had a nice time overall. It is in the middle of the State Street that mean you're in the middle of almost everything! walking distance to attractions, shopping, restaurants etc. I highly recommend this beautiful and historical hotel.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
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1 Thank taneryildiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange Park, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2013

The hotel is in a decent location, I liked the location cause it was close to a park but not too close to shopping. We get to the hotel at 11am and my room was ready but they charged me $25 to check in. In all my travels, I have never heard of an early check in fee. I come to Chicago a few times a year and normally try to stay at the Park Hyatt or the Hyatt Regency. My conference was here so that is why we stayed here. We stayed on the executive level and that was nice that we had our own elevator. The food was terrible though on that level. Normally an executive level has drinks all the time but they close it. Not a big fan of the decor in the rooms at all and the rooms were somewhat small. I have 2 more nights here at the hotel left but this has been my experience so far. Another big thing is we had some items shipped to the hotel for our conference. There is a UPS store in the hotel and if you ship stuff to the hotel the UPS store receives all shipments and then charges you $20 per package. Keep that in mind if you are shipping stuff to the hotel. This hotel charges you for everything. I will never stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
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2 Thank jasonc001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

My wife, son, and I spent a night here, but wished we could have stayed longer. This a beautiful old hotel, home to the Empire Room and a stunning lobby. The staff seemed to be aware that they were responsible for upholding the service level of a bygone era. All of our interactions, from doorman, to bellman, to maid were all friendly, helpful, and positive. The hotel is only blocks from the old Marshal Field store, the Art Institute, and many other attractions. Rapid transit and taxi options are plentiful. The hotel maintains a garage a block away for its patrons.

Our standard 2 bed room was beautifully decorated, but just a little on the small side. The closet door was slightly mis-hung, and kept trying to close on us. It was a little small to store our 3 pieces of roll-on luggage, so we left them out in the room. With two adults and a full-grown teenage moving around, there were times we were in each other's way. If we stay longer next time, we'll probably shop for a larger room in the hotel, perhaps a suite. The bathroom wasn't huge, but it was certainly adequate. My only quibble with it was finding some mildew in the grout.

We didn't have time to try the fitness facility. However, we did order room service -- just a pot of coffee and some breakfast items, but they were delivered almost immediately.

The hotel offers tours of its property, which we unfortunately did not have time *this time* to take. The hotel's TV channel has a great little trivia game with all sorts of historical questions and answers about the hotel, and our 9th floor hallway was lined with photos of people who performed at the Empire Room. The hotel is immersed in history, and although some may find it tiresome to be reminded of its significance, I kind of like it. To me, that means that the management sees itself as a steward of a reputation build on a century of service.

Our room was a great value at $139/night, even though (as in all Hilton properties) they attempt to charge a usurious fee for wireless internet access, which I refuse to pay on principle. Nevertheless, we'll definitely stay at the Palmer House on our next visit to Chicago.

Room Tip: The south side of the hotel is separated from a neighboring building by a narrow alley. So room on...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jimathome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

I've stayed in may hotels in downtown Chicago, this is the LEAST favorite of them all!! It's a massive hotel and looks great, very clean BUT no coffee maker in room (only Starbucks in lobby) - if you don't have a bunch of built up points, they charge you $10 a day to use the gym WHAT?? No WiFi in the rooms, only wired connections...this is 2013 - most people traveling use tablets or smartphones, so this SUCKS! Smallest room I've ever stayed in in downtown Chicago. The bathroom door is constantly in the way when you are in there. I'm not a large person but I am tall and have wide shoulders, the toilet is about 6 inches from the wall AND has the toilet paper holder mounted there so have fun sitting ;)

All in all I just didn't like it compared to all of the other options in downtown Chicago and I will NOT be staying there again.

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
Thank JSandMSfromKC
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, 5 April 2013
Dear Guest,

It is truly unfortunate that you did not enjoy your stay with us, and I'd like to apologize for any trouble you experienced during your visit. We do offer wireless internet access in all guest rooms, and we provide free internet access to all guest in the hotel's lobby. Please feel free to message me any questions or concerns. We'd love an opportunity to change your mind and make it right on your next stay.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
331 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

Just spent the night here and this is one of my favorite Chicago hotels (along with The Drake). First the Bad - if you are looking for a modern, sterile hotel with no character stay away as this hotel has tons of the character that comes with age. The Good - a throw back to an era passed. Rooms are small, hall ways wide and the public spaces grand. The hotel is well located both for a CTA train from O'Hare (Monroe stop) as well as resturants. If you travel as uch as I do (3-4 nights away each week) then finding a gem like The Palmer House is a treat and a brief respite from the generic chain hotels that all blend together.

Room Tip: Higher the better to avoid road noise
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank ANP123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
1 review
Reviewed 3 April 2013

Fantastic location, bus and subway is just right around the corner. The lobby was magnificent and the check in process was great and friendly. We had the park and stay package. We also have the executive room which included breakfast and snacks. It was a great value. I would definitely stay in the hotel if I return to Chicago again.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Rose782
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:
#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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