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“Once An Elegant Lady, Now Well Past Her Prime” 2 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 (Downtown / The Loop)   |  
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Ranked #86 of 177 Hotels in Chicago
GreenLeadersBronze level
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Once An Elegant Lady, Now Well Past Her Prime”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I lived in Chicago for many years, worked just a block from the Palmer House, and often attended events there. I now live outside of Chicago and stayed at the Palmer House as a guest for the first time. I am sorry to report that it was a huge disappointment. I had fully expected the rooms to be a little worn at the edges, a la the Waldorf in New York. But the Palmer House's rooms were really pretty beaten-up: peeling wallpaper, chipped woodwork, and a truly disgusting desk chair (with the wire structure protuding and mysterious stains on the fabric). I was also disappointed at the level of service; simply put, this does not appear to be a hotel that has its act together. Simple issues like how to get one's shoes shined involved endless telephone transfers around the hotel, unknowledgeable staffers, and a charge on the bill that was not disclosed. This was once a beautiful hotel - back in the 19th Century - but its best days were decades ago.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

My dearest apologies for your experience to have fallen short of your expectations—it’s unfortunate that your experience led to a disappointment. The Palmer House is currently going through renovation, restoring guest room floors. Please message me with any additional information on the disclosed charges, I would like to help and resolve any slip-ups on our end. Thank you for sharing your review and we hope you will give us the opportunity to make it right during your next visit.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,617 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,154)
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St. Marys, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

This hotel is a must for a special occasion or a wonderful weekend visit to Chicago. The rooms are clean and the staff are polite and most helpful. The extra you spend is well worth the experience. The location is ideal as you are walking to great shopping and theater, something for everyone~ Have stayed here a few times, was a super treat on a business trip.

Room Tip: Every room is good in a top hotel, if you have an early flight just let the front desk know and they...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

For a special event, we booked a room at the Palmer House Hilton - just off the Adams stop on the "L." Entering the hotel is an amazing experience - you could feel the history in beautiful lobby - and all this lush, extravagance was complemented by the very attentive staff.
The hallway to the rooms showcased an impressive line-up of talent that once played in the Empire Room - which added to the nostalgia and historic feel.
Our room was very nice - well-appointed with contemporary furniture. The bed was super comfortable and the sheets were the kind of classic linen that you don't find in many hotels any more.
The only thing that was disappointing was the bathroom. The door nearly hits the toilet before it rests against the tub/shower. I'd say it was cramped like a closet, but I think the room's closet had more floor space than the bathroom.
The shampoos and soaps are super nice and luxurious. The sink was very deep - but when you leaned over to brush your teeth, you could see mold on overflow drain. While showering, I also noticed mold embedded in the white caulk. Not a pleasant site.
We were booked on the 18th floor, and although that's pretty high, the room's view was dismal.
We ordered room service in the morning - orange juice, coffee & eggs benedict - and every was ultra tasty (although pricy too).
Since I'm not one to spend days locked up in my room, I wasn't terribly bummed at the accommodations or the value I got for the stay. Due to it's perfect location... close to everything downtown Chicago, this hotel is an ideal stay for business. For vacationers, if you take advantage of the lobby and the lobby bar, then it's very good reason to stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

Outside of the incessant metal banging noise from some apparent "remodeling" near the actual building, this place gets an average/minus rating in my book. I found a thick black hair on my bedsheet, and the standard queen room is very small. I'll give props to the staff though; they're nice. The history of this hotel, coupled with the grandeur of the extravagent lobby, are in its favor, however - if I wasn't on business, I'd probably drop the extra $150/night for a four or five star resort somewhere nearby. Room service has like 3 entrée items on the menu (seriously???...this is CHICAGO!...what's up with that??? SO disappointed Room Service isn't representing with Deep Dish pizza or Chicago Hot Dogs). As I finish this review up, I'm hearing my neighbor's iPhone conversation on speakerphone through the wall - and I've counted now about 5 fire engine/ambulance sirens within the last 10 minutes minimal. Looking forward to check out and go home!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Evansville, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here with my wife for a Valentines weekend get away because of the nightly rate and the hotel's convenient location in the theatre district, great restaurants, and shopping. I was less than impressed by the customer service by the staff, especially the valet and bell men who were not always present when we would arrive at the hotel. I even had to go inside to the front desk to ask for the valet and the reaction of the front desk clerk was as if I had interrupted her. Other than the staff issues, the hotel was fine, the room is rather small and outdated, but the hotel is historic and in a premium location.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I apologize on behalf of the hotel’s staff for any reaction that may have made you feel unwelcomed. I’m delighted to hear you chose to spend Valentines Day at our hotel, and I hope you and your wife still enjoyed your special day.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ucliz
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

The lobby is beautiful, but other than that it's just average. Our room was clean, but very small. The window view wassteward other rooms. I have stayed in nicer roadside motels. The location was good, but I would not go out of my way to stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lansing, KS
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I always like staying in the Palmer House. We visit Chicago at least once a year and this is the first place I always look when booking a room. It is a beautiful old hotel but yet the rooms for the most part have been updated with all the modern conveniences. Free wireless internet would be a plus but having it for a fee seems to be typical in this type of hotel. The location is great with easy access to the L, walking distance to Michigan Avenue and lots of restaurants nearby.

Our King room was on the small side but as we weren't in there much it didn't matter. The only complaint I have about the room was I believe there might be a water issue in the bathroom. There appeared to be a slight musty or earthy smell in there and I think water might be getting into the walls around the tiles in the shower. We kept the bathroom door shut when not using it and that eliminated any odor in our room. We've stayed here several times and this was the first time I've had a room with this problem.

Overall I love this place with all it's history and definately will be back!

Room Tip: I would recommend not staying in room 20-209 unless the bathroom is repaired.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 > Downtown / 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:
#20 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#24 Green Hotel in Chicago
#43 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#49 Family Hotel in Chicago
#69 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#72 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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