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Palmer House Hotel
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Reviews (82)
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All reviewsghost storiesa lot of noisesinclair lewisnight's sleepghost hunta great place to stayparanormalcarahallway
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Reviewed 18 February 2013

I have stayed at the Palmer House Hotel a few times now and have been extremely satisfied with the service and experience every time. The owner, Kelley, does everything she can to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable, and even takes time to sit with you and answer any questions you have about ghostly encounters there. I was irritated by some of the reviews on here, especially ones that said it looked like a dump on the outside or people that were bothered by a couple fighting in the next room, blaming the hotel. First of all, it is an old historic building so what do you expect?! If you want something all fancy, why go looking for it in a small town? And you can't blame the hotel for people fighting in the next room! All I have ever seen from the Palmer House Hotel is great customer service, an amazing atmosphere, and affordable prices. GREAT place to stay!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Stacey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2012

I just returned home from staying at the Palmer House last night! What a weekend! Yes, the hotel is old and with its size, hard to keep in pristine condition, but it is CLEAN and has character! The ceiling on the main floor is beautiful. Keep in mind that the building is over 100 years old! I've stayed at the old Travelodge Hotel a block down from Michigan Avenue in Chicago, paid more than double for a room there, and THAT was a dump! All the bathrooms have been recently remodeled - some even have large jacuzzis. The rooms are just fine, and basically, it isn't the rooms that you are there for in the first place. Well, unless there are individual spirits that you want to hang out with in particular rooms. If you need to stay at a luxurious spa resort, then don't even make a reservation - better yet, don't even go then! Had dinner and breakfast in the restaurant and the food is EXCELLENT - very unique specials in the evening.

The staff is WONDERFUL. I don't know how anybody can complain. They work hard and cover a lot of areas. Had a fabulous time with Julie in the dining room yesterday afternoon while hearing all of her stories. Kristine is a great waitress and worked hard running all over the pub serving dinner. We absolutely loved having the insight from Kathy, the paranormal investigator, who is friends with Kelley, and stayed the weekend as well. Cannot say enough good about Kelley! Someone up above was looking out for her when she bought this place. She is fantastic on the tours and made me feel at ease and actually brave while in the basement. Her interaction with the spirits is amazing! She and Kathy spent a lot of time with our group last night and had a very exciting non-spirit (or maybe it was) situation with them! It was the most fun I had in a long time. They really make you feel like life-long friends while staying there.

The spirits in the hotel are amazing, and I'm sure at least every person will have some sort of episode there to make them a true believer. Take the tour - it is a must! We will be back - thinking of making this an annual thing, but I don't know - I think I want to go back next weekend already!

Go and have an open mind about everything!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank MinnesotaMom09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

Wow is all I can say about this amazing place! I stayed here with my two cousins a few weeks ago. In the beginning I was a little set back after my phone conversation with Julie who came a cross very rude! Once we arrived all changed, Kristine is one of the nicest... kindest and sincere person I have ever met. She would be wayyy better answering the phones than Julie. Kristine went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed...comfortable and stayed late for us to give us our private tour! Now for the ghosts... Most defiantly this place is haunted!!! I took 98 pictures during our stay and captured some REALLY SCARY PICTURES! I captured a photo of Hank in the basement and some other faces in room 11 that look kinda evil! Can't really explain this one... One of my cousins... In every photo appears to be about 40 years younger?!?!? We heard foot steps, smelled the scent of a dated women's perfume. I could go on and on with all of our experiences. I can sum it up by craziest place I have ever stayed at! Big thanks go out to Tara and Kristine!!! Kelly is very very lucky to have you there!
** If I could give one room tip...Do a way with the panty liners or buy them prepackaged so there not laying there exposed.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank sunsun1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Palmer House for 2 nites.I woke up several times the first nite because of noise from someone on the upper level running water and walking on the squeeky floor. Bed linens were a disappointment for as much as the room cost. I thought having a blow dryer was pretty standard in hotels, but not at the Palmer House.I recommend bringng your own.
Don't ask the woman at the desk for another blanket because she will not help you.The second nite we were awakened by a drunk woman and man fighting in the nextroom. I felt very unsafe, there with no one to call for help in the hotel. The door separating the two rooms had at least an inch gap from the floor,so the noise next door was very loud. Needless to say, we packed up our suitcases and left. On the positive side,the bar and resturant had good food and very nice employees. I would recommend eating there, butnot staying in any of the rooms.

Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Cathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

As stated, a stay here is more of an event that just a place to lay your head. In fact, if you witness any ghostly activity it will be hard to sleep very soundly. I would suggest several things.
1. Go for the historical factor and a chance to get a first hand experience of a somewhat scarey hature. If you are looking for a quaint, posh get away, you should look elsewhere.
2. For the most part, I would suggest leaving the kids at home. There is every chance they will see or hear something that would be incredibly scarey to them.
3. Take part of the tour. Expect to spend some time in the basement in dark surroundings where a myriad of things might be seen or heard. (eek)
4. In the defense of the staff, I found them and Kelley to be outstanding. A couple of observations that might help: This is a complete team effort. You will notice that everyone does everything. Your cook may very well check you in, lead the tour or make your bed. I was amazed at how they all worked together and covered each other. I read some of the other posts about not having someone right there when they checked in, and indeed I saw some of this. However, I also witnessed staff darting from one place to another to be sure everyone was taken care of just as soon as they could. I can see from a business perspective that it would be impossible to staff each place constantly. Can you imagine what it takes to heat and cool the place?
There was another reviewer that complained the staff wasn't nice and that Kelley just didn't have time to talk with them. I would have to assume you caught them at a bad day, because I saw absolutely nothing of the sort. I personally witnessed all the staff tell stories and patiently answer the same questions they must answer ad nauseum. It was a constant thing all weekend. I learned that most of the staff have full time jobs in addition to working at the Palmer House, They do it mostly because they want to keep the experience available.
Finally, I would never have realized that in addition to keeping everything going in managing the hotel and staff, there is a very real piece of managing the "unregistered guests." Kelley is always uniquely aware of the feel of the atmosphere, and honestly, demands these guests be treated with the same respect as her live guests. It is a whole new way of thinking, but I now understand that you don't taunt or diss the question of whether or not they are there. Believe me they are.
So go for the experience, expect to be scared and sleep with both ears and one eye open. It is quite a deal.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank ruth4090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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