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“The great......and the not-so-great!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Palmer House Hilton

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The Palmer House Hilton
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   17 East Monroe Street, Box 75845, Chicago, IL 60603 (The Loop)   |  
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Ranked #83 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
New Palestine
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“The great......and the not-so-great!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

My daughters and I stayed the night at The Palmer House the day before Thanksgiving. I chose this hotel because they were offering a special for honor rewards, close location to Union Station, and fond memories of staying there in my childhood. The great parts of our stay: we got to check in REALLY early, our train arrived early at 10:00am and we were able to check in as soon as we walked to the hotel. The location of the hotel is excellent, within walking distance to Michigan Street or State street shopping, the art museum, and Union Station. The hotel staff was wonderful, the front desk clerk was very friendly and gave us a room upgrade to the executive floor, she also gave us a very late check out on Thanksgiving(5pm) for a small fee. The hotel itself is fabulously beautiful, it was all decorated for the holidays and everything was so festive and like something out of a holiday fantasy! We had a two double bed and two bath room on the executive floor which was beautiful and spacious. The showers have a double shower head which is magnificent! The decor in the room is very sophisticated and classically elegant.There is also a concierge for the executive floors and she was very helpful finding us places to eat and shop! Now for the not so great: this may not bother most people, but I am kind of a neat freak so it really bugs me, the hotel beds had those thick brocade pillows and covers on them (that really can't be washed) and they seemed to have a bit of an odor to them, we ended up just putting them in the closet for our stay. We went for a snack at the executive lounge, and I have never seen such a long line, it seemed people were making dinner out of the evening hors d'oeuvre offering. Then our biggest issue was early evening, we were exhausted after being up since 4:00am and were ready to watch tv and go to bed at 8:00pm. However the kids, and adults, on our floor (the executive floor) were acting like it was a spring break hotel yelling up and down the halls, banging on doors, then the kids next door began (literally) bouncing off the walls and banging on the walls. The wall slamming continued for over an hour, only getting worse, so we ended up calling guest services for them to send up security to quiet them down. They stopped slamming the walls,but found new and inventive ways to be disruptive! It was very disappointing, I realize Palmer House doesn't have control over everything their guests do, but this seemed like It was a kind of "anything goes" situation, not appropriate for an upscale, classy hotel. We ordered room service for breakfast the next day because the executive lounge was too packed. When we got our food it was all cold, from the omelet to the croissant to the bagel. Overall, this is a spectacular historical hotel, with spacious rooms, and fantastic public areas, and I would love to stay her again especially since I have fond memories of staying here as a child and feeling very "elegant" and "sophisticated"! I hope the hotel finds a way to discourage disruptive guest behavior, because it certainly does not fit in with the atmosphere (or cost) of the Palmer House.

Room Tip: The double bathrooms are great if you have kids!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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San Francisco
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

I stayed here for my second time in a decade as a captive hotel-conference attendee, but found the hotel to have the usual pros of an upscale historic property -- and one located at the heart of Chicago's Loop -- and the usual pros and cons of a big convention hotel.

I was placed, for some reason, on a Hilton Honors floor, so my room was huge, pretty, beautifully maintained, and very comfortable, with armchair, windows that opened (though facing the El train), multiple HDTV channels, big bathroom with nice lotions (though no robes), and, upon request, a coffeemaker. The long and nicely furnished hallways assured that the room was undisturbed by neighbors. There were extra charges for wifi, parking, minibar, etc. Despite the conference crowds, the desk and room service staff were fast, competent, and friendly.

The public rooms are turn-of-the-20th-century elegant, all carpet and gilded ceiling. However, with conference crowds milling about, one's focus was more on avoiding being trampled than on admiring the decor.

While I did not try the well-known hotel restaurant, a quick room service meal was good. On the other hand, drinks and dinner at the informal bar-restaurant off the lobby proved frustratingly slow and mediocre. The hotel's lower level has a Starbucks and informal cafes and stores, which come in handy when the weather is too terrible to venture out. However, it is worth it to make the effort, since Chicago is full of wonderful eateries and shops.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the El tracks will get rumbling till the trains stop running for the night.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, December 1, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. I’m confident that the conference went well and I also hope you enjoyed your stay with us. I look forward to reading your next review on our grandeur hotel. Again thank you—we appreciate your feedback.

Kind regards,
Dardan Mehmeti
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Falls
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Spent a long weekend here, as a boys weekend. First time in Chicago, and loved the Palmer House. It took a little time to figure my way around (I did get lost a couple of times, the place is massive). Its old, and quaint, and maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but we loved it. Pay the extra for the Club Level. There was food all day, and breakfast, free water, and pop, hot snacks around 5, and things to nibble on all day, and late into the night. The staff was friendly, helpful, and well organized. We asked directions of the concierge, and ended up seeing a bunch of other things we would never have thought of. Would definitely stay there again and again.

Room Tip: Splurge and get the Club Level, you'll appreciate it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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HiltonPalmerHouse, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, December 1, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your review on the Palmer House—we truly appreciate it. I’m absolutely trilled to hear that you had the opportunity to visit local attractions on your first visit to Chicago! I hope you will have the chance 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

Stayed for 5 nights. First night room smelled like cigarette smoke. No wifi for 300 per night? Water temp way too cold for showering. Small bathroom with no walk in shower for that much per night? doormen may or may not open a door. this hotel is running on its nostalgia only
Will definitely stay somewhere else next time in Chicago.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

The Palmer House is forever stately and classic. The service is generous in their hospitality detail. The lobby is grand and beautiful. I sat in the bar area with a friend to have a drink and it was charming and cozy. The lines were long at check in which was disappointing because I have Hilton status. The rooms were clean and the beds very comfortable. I have returned there many times and The Palmer House is a go-to hotel for me!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Executive lounge is sort of out of order i guess.. Breakfast croissant is darn delicious. Room is not as small as i imagined. Though my room doesn't have a view == Bathroom is pretty small though.

I don't know why Tripadvisor now requires a 200 character minimum so I guess I'll have to keep writing some nonsense such as blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Beautiful!!! I booked last minute but I knew I wanted to be in the downtown area. This location was considered the Loop. I used valet which was only $9 more than the $45 price to park. Attendants opened doors as you walk up and concierge is awaiting. The escalators and elevators where a bit confusing at first but we figured it out. Front desk experience was prompt and friendly Rooms were large and comfortable the bathroom was snug in the standard double. The lobby area was wonderfully decorated already for the holidays complete with a huge christmas tree and even figurines from the Nutcracker :) There was dining located off the lobby with an inviting bar in which i would have enjoyed a cocktail or two but unfortunately couldn't because every seat was occupied. No need to worry about that I found another lounging area which was a little more secluded but served the purpose. A great experience and can't wait to return.

Room Tip: ask for a room with a view of the city if possible... i forgot to ask so i got a view of other build...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Address: 17 East Monroe Street, Box 75845, Chicago, IL 60603
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#21 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#42 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#49 Family Hotel in Chicago
#72 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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