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“A Very Nice Stay Overall”

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #98 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Pulaski, Va.
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“A Very Nice Stay Overall”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Let me mention the negatives first, most of which have been noted in other reviews:
1. The rooms are indeed small, and the bathroom is tiny.
2. Like other hotels, the Palmer dumbly charges for in-room internet. (The business center just off the lobby does have about computers and printers, and I rarely had to wait.)
3. The room does not have basic amenities like a coffee maker and fridge.
4. My room had no view whatsoever, which was rather depressing.
5. I requested a cot, but the fee (onetime) was a ridiculous $40.00.
Let me now cite the positives, which far outweigh the Palmer's negative attributes:
1. The location is fantastic. It seems to be near everything: Lake Michigan, the Art Institute, Grant Park, the taste of Chicago Festival etc. We were also able to jump on the Red Line and take a straight shot to Wrigley.
2. I found all of the staff to be friendly, efficient, and gracious.
3. The lobby is beautiful. I will say that is rarely quiet, as there seems to be a constant bustle, even at 7 AM.
4. The workout area is fully equipped and attractive. You should arrive early as it begins to fill by 6:30.
5. The street level of the hotel has a Starbucks and other casual establishments. I recommend the bakery on Wabash. I had several good, fairly economical meals there.
Overall, the Palmer is an attractive, elegant hotel in a superb location.

Room Tip: Ask for a Room With a View
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LeePulaski_Va_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

For my first visit to Chicago, this hotel was a grand and elegant way to start.Well kept and incredibly luxurious and afforfable during week days,! We could walk or take the EL to the parks, Lake Michigan, museums and shopping and restaurants.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Swinsonkaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fresno, California
1 review
Reviewed 18 July 2014

"Rustic" rooms? They mean not remodeled in recent memory. $40 Home depot bathtubs, no refrigerator. No coffee pot unless you go down and ask for one, no complimentary internet in the rooms below the executive floor. The housekeeping staff left two dirty paper cups for the coffee pot I had to ask for, and left no clean ones. Left dirty glasses in the room with no replacements. Left the ice bucket half full of water from the melted ice from the night before. Plus you get to hear the trains going by every minute or so 24 hours a day, which means get used to sleeping with the noise. Room about the same size and with less amenities than most Super 8s or Motel 6s on the freeway. But for almost 5 times the cost. Arrogant, condescending desk clerks. If it makes you feel special to say you stayed here go for it. If you have common sense, stay somewhere else. I still have to stay for 8 more days, and I'm not all that excited about it. Never again.

Room Tip: Find a Motel 6 on the freeway
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SVSkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ishawa S, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Hello Valued Guest,

In the past 10 years we have remodeled every room in the Hotel. In our quest to keep our hotel modern for our guests, we try to do at least 3 floors a year. This year, we just completed both floors on our Executive Levels and the rooms look fantastic. We will continue to improve on our rooms in the years to come and it will be feedback like yours that point us in the right direction.

I understand that some of the Housekeeping standards were not met while you were here. We have trained our hskp staff to follow a uniformed standard to make sure that every room is cleaned in an consistent manner. Although mishaps happen, it is unacceptable when they do. Your comments are being closely evaluated and it will make us a better hotel.
Thank you again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Have to say I really enjoyed Palmer House in Chicago. It is in the middle of the 'Loop', so it's close to most things (i.e.: walkable) and also close to many subway lines. Block and a half walk if you take the Blue line from O'Hare.

Blocks from the lake and the historic Macy's, you can easily walk to the "mile" and Hancock Tower. Sears tower (now Willis) is even closer.

Scintillating ceiling and a real class hotel. Top service and very elegant after refurbishing. The oldest continuously operating hotel in the US. They even offer tours of the hotel to show off its historical side.

The only thing I would caution you about: AVOID the gift shop. It is run by an independent operator, not a hotel employee and he is unfriendly to say the least. Watch out if you have to go to the Grayline Tours desk at the back of the store - he will get security to throw you out of his store if you do not leave.

P.S. Final note: Grayline can open late and you may have a big line.

Room Tip: The "El" - the Chicago train system - runs late and early. It is VERY loud. We were on the...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank prdx2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
npyles, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Dear Guest,

We are so delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us at The Palmer House. We love our prime location next to lots of trains, buses, and tourist spots.

We are the oldest continuously operating hotel in the United States and continue to update and renovate to keep this tradition alive.

We are sorry about the experience you had with the gift shop. We do take all feedback seriously and will pass along the comment to the gift shop for improvement for future guests.

Thank you again for your feedback on The Palmer House and we hope to see you soon as a guest here again.
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Seattle, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 18 July 2014

The lobby is beautiful, the service is very good, it is nice to have a Starbucks and other retailers in the hotel (Freshiis and the homeopathic store), dinner room service was fine, but that is where it ends. The rooms are tiny, and so are the bathrooms, the lighting is terrible. It wasn't special at all...it was fine....clean, etc.,and I don't know if it was a good value compared to other chicago hotel rooms (didn't shop around, work trip). I wouldn't want to stay here again just because the rooms were kind of depressing.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ishawa S, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Hello Valued Guest,

Thank you for your sharing your thoughts on your stay with us. I’m happy that you enjoyed the shops in and around the hotel. We add all of these shops recently as part of our renovation project and there will be more to come.

I also want to thank you for adding what didn’t blow you away about your stay. Some of those point that you made are definitely fixable as we move forward. Feedback directly from our guests is what is needed to continue to evolve as a treasure in the Hilton family. I wish that you were placed in one of our more spacious rooms but maybe next time.

Thank you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

A after two or three mediocre experiences with the Hilton brand around the country, I swore off the brand some years ago. If this wasn't a business trip for my husband and the room was provided, we wouldn't have stayed here. As usual for a Hilton, it was mediocre--neither here nor there. The negatives were offset by the positives. Considering this hotel burned down in the Great Chicago Fire and was built anew making the rooms on the smallish side (read: old bones), the room was comfortable and quiet considering Chicago is very loud with the "L" and everything.

The prime negatives: a) Do they vacuum the rooms or just have bad suction? b) Lobby bar server brought ordered port but charged for a higher vintage which was $15 on the menu but billed at $16; manager rectified without issue; c) witnessed security running a sting and busting one of the housekeepers on our floor, red handed with a guest's red handbag; d) Fickle commode whose handle must be held to properly discharge. Obviously, the housekeeper stealing was the most concerning, but it is a big city and such things happens, but still.....

One the plus side of the ledger: The room and beds..and bedding, was comfortable. The pillows are great if not a bit too small. The non-stealing staff were considerate. Location was convenient.

Notwithstanding the brand would I stay here again? Hmmmm, hard choice. I can say yes but perhaps not as my first choice. Considering it's a Hilton and I choose not to patronize them..no, because the Palmer House didn't overcome the bias I have against the brand--they didn't "wow" us. If you're loyal to the brand, you'll probably find the place most suitable. If you are brand neutral and this is the level of accommodation you appreciate, I'd go elsewhere.

But kudos to security for catching the thief! Good work. Oh yeah..wifi not complimentary..boooo.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alice H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke S, Front Office Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Dear Alice H,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your candid feedback regarding your stay at the Palmer House. I am very sorry that we did not provide you with that "wow" factor during your stay. Some of the concerns you mentioned are definitely valid due to human error, but they are fixable on our end.

The Palmer House has a reputation as being the jewel of Chicago, as well as, one of the Hilton brand's top hotels, and we take pride in the recognition. We feel that we far exceed the way we are represented in your comments, but respect your views of our hotel.

We encourage you on your next visit to Chicago to give the Palmer House another try, as I am positive you will enjoy a phenomenal experience. Please feel free to reach out to me directly should you have any other questions or comments. You can reach via email at: Lucas.Sneddon@Hilton.com or via phone: (312) 726-7500

Regards,

Luke Sneddon
Front Office Manager
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

I wish the rooms were big just like the lobby,. When you get there you see great lights making think that is a manhattan style hotel, then you walk towards the lobby and you get amazed by the lobby, thinking about luxury, but just wait until you get to see the rooms, what a gimmick . They are like cruise ship cabins, for the money that you pay for the room plus the parking you can get a better hotel and closer to the magnificent mile.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maxim01974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke S, Front Office Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Dear Maxim01974,

Thank your for taking the time to write a review of our hotel. We appreciate and value the feedback of our customers, as it helps us understand how to service them better. I understand your frustrations with the size of our guest rooms, as you are correct in saying that some of the rooms (though not all) are smaller than a typical cookie cutter hotel room. However, we take pride in the fact that we are a Historic hotel, that is not a cookie cutter hotel. We are the oldest continuously operating hotel in the United States, and for being as old as we are, we have a uniqueness to us that many of our customers value.

I am sorry if our rates were not something your found reasonable, but all of our rates and prices are competitive with the other full service hotels in the area. We strive to offer the best service in town, so it is our hope that you will have an opportunity to stay with the Palmer House another time, to again experience the History that is the Palmer House, but also experience the bright future the Palmer House is creating.

Again thank you for your honest feed back. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or comments. I can be reached via email at: Lucas.Sneddon@Hilton.com or via phone at: (312) 726-7500

Regards,

Luke Sneddon
Front Office Manager
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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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