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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #100 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed October 2, 2007

Overall a decent stay, the Palmer House is convenient to most downtown Chicago destinations and my room was very clean.

The problem is that the Palmer House is currently under construction, and the construction noise in my room was unacceptable. When I first entered the room (on the 10th floor) at 11pm, there was a loud thumping / grinding noise coming from the walls. I called to the front desk to say that it sounded like work was being done nearby and I'd like a different room. The response from the front desk was that there were workers down near the street level doing jackhammering, and the desk clerk said that it would stop shortly and offered to send up some earplugs. Not kidding. It's my fault for not pushing the issue, but the noise in fact lasted well past another hour, then happened the next night (Saturday) until midnight. I don't know how the noise was transmitting up the walls, but I'm guessing many of the rooms were hearing the same noise.

Beyond that, other more permanent disappointments include extra fees for the gym and for an internet connection, a smallish room, and minimal dining facilities (restaurant / bar on the ground floor).

  • Stayed: September 2007
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1  Thank TLC_Michigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,263 - 8,269 of 9,091 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2007

After booking my room through priceline.com and seeing some of the reviews, I was wary as to what my stay would be like. Our train arrived around noon and I knew check-in time was 3 pm. I was hoping to leave our bags with the bellman until then. Much to my surprise we were able to check in immediately, almost 2 and a half hours early!!! The staff was very friendly and fulfilled my request for a remodeled, smoking king room. Other reviews have said the hallways are confusing; not so. Each one is clearly marked with the directions to the rooms and are easy to follow, simply read the sign! The room was smaller than a normal hotel room, but to be expected from the older building. Besides, how much time are you going to spend in the room? It's Chicago, go out!! Both the room and bathroom were very clean. And the bed!!! Best hotel bed ever! Super comfortable and definetely no shortage of pillows; like sleeping on a cloud. The hotel is in the heart of 'the Loop' and one block from Michigan Ave. The Adams St. El station was steps from the side entrance. All in all this was a perfect Chicago getaway and the Palmer House Hilton is my new Downtown Chicago hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Megan4202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2007

Celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Palmer House Hilton.
I checked in and gave James W., who worked at the front desk a $20.00 tipp and explained it was our 30th anniversary. He took the money and said to me, I will do something special for you. When you get to your room you will be surprised! YEA I WAS! NOTHING. I called the front desk and asked JAMES W. if I was missing something. He said he was sorry and he would have it sent right up! Never did. Tipping at the front desk when checking in at the PALMER HOUSE HILTON, D O N' T. This really kills it for tipping industry!
The hotel was nice. Rooms very small especially the bathroom. Good location.
PARKING, I was charged $90. for three nights. The Palmer House automaticlly charged my credit card and put the receipt under my door. When I left the parking structure I had to insert my parking ticket to exit and the meter said $61.00??
Don't have The Palmer House Validate your parking ticket It will cost you more!
If any one from The Palmer House wants to verify this or contact me. My stay was Sept. 9/27 thru 9/30 Room 20-131.

Stayed: September 2007
1  Thank baire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2007

Most awful stay in a Hilton Hotel ever!
1. Staff mainly rude and unhelpful, happily standing by an watching an 80 year old trying to haul his luggage up stairs to lobby
2. Service in bars and lobby unmotivated, slow, unfriendly
3. Room made up at 5pm in a very sloppy manner
4. Being woken up by drilling and other building noises at 7am is annoying especially when on holiday and not being notified in advance
5. A gym surcharge for a dingy club like the one at Palmer House is not justified
I will not rush back. Very, very disappointing.

  • Stayed: September 2007
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Thank Doc050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2007

Used the Palmer House for 8 days while on a business trip. Convenient location for almost all of Chicago's tourist attractions and well placed for a short cab journey to the McCormick Exhibition Centre (5 min/$8 journey).

The hotel is being extensively renovated which obviously doesn't help the look of some of the public areas like the reception area and at times it was noisy while walking through the magnificent looking lobby - however while in the room (12th floor) and for the majority of the time the work was quite and well hidden.

The rooms were refurbished and therefore well appointed, if maybe a touch on the small side. The hotel is surrounded by other high rise buildings and does not boast the best views of the city.

The hotel doesn't have a restaurant as such, there is an American style dinner that serves breakfast thru to dinner but there is a great selection of restaurants located within a short walk from the hotel.

The hotel serves it's function as a well-placed city location and offers a good standard of accommodation. It lacks in facilities such as a decent bar, while the pool, gym & business centre were all extras that needed to be added to the cost of staying there - disappointing that the Hilton chain feels the need to do this.

All in it's a great hotel to stay in if you just want a place to rest up in style while exploring the city, don't stay here if you're planning to stay in the hotel for extended periods other than sleep! There's really nothing else to do.

I would stay here again especially at the $120 a night rate that I booked well in advance.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank Travelling_Foo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Palmer House Hilton for 4 nights for a birthday/anniversary getaway and after reading some of the reviews on here were at first a little worried what we would get but ended up very happy with our room and overall stay.

We took the blue line train from Chicago O'Hare as the hotel is only a block away from Monroe blue line station (the Monroe red line station is right on the corner only 2 minutes away from the hotel, Adams station on the El is just at the back of the hotel too). It only cost $2 each but took forever to get there, almost an hour and finding the blue line station at the airport was quite tricky. Had to go through a car park to use an elevator to get to the lower levels but even then had to take a train from Terminal 5 to Terminal 2 or 3, not clear at all. We eneded up getting a taxi back which came to $40 but was much quicker. The location though is perfect, right in the heart of the loop and everything is easily approachable on foot or Subway.

Once we found the hotel, you have to go up a floor from the ground level to the lobby (which is a fantastic site) so hauling 2 large bags up the escalator was painful but we eventually found the elevators at the back of the hotel.

Checking in was quick and easy, we asked at the time if we could get a room as high up as possible and thumbs up to the guy, we got one on the 21st floor which I think was as high as we were allowed to go before you hit the more expensive rooms.

First impressions were good, we were worried about size on the reviews but we got a good sized room, more than enougg for the 2 of us. The bed was enormous and extremely confortable with all the pillows, a big TV with plenty of channels available, a walk in cupboard with plenty of hangers and included an iron and board hooked on the door and a big desk area with coffee and tea making facilities.

The view was not much though looking down on Monroe but set back into the hotel but traffic noise was never a problem. The air conditioning was very good and not too noisy although it was only on for short periods, never overnight.

The bathroom was fine, a bath/shower combo which had a good power shower. The only thing which kept getting us caught out was the taps, they turned the opposite way to what we were used to so continously sprayed the bathroom each time we wanted to turn it off.

Each morning we had breakfast a the Big Downtown which was accessible from the shopping arcade of the hotel. The hotel is still going through some modernising and this is the only place where you can see this happening (I think in earlier reviews this area was not even open and the restaurant had to be entered from outside the hotel). There are the occasional loud bangs in this area but unless you are seated right by the inside door you don't notice it too much. The buffet is definitely the best choice for value, only costs $15 dollars each but the food was brilliant. Sausages, bacon, scrambled egg and breakfast potato. Don't know what they use to make them but they were the nicest potatoes I have ever had. Coffee and juices on tap as well as cereals, pastries and fruit all available and the decor is really good with a little model loop train going round just under the ceiling.

We booked the room through Airmiles which costs us 5340 Airmiles plus £140 which if paid with cash for the whole thing would be roughly £460 which for 4 nights I thought was excellent value. I would definitely recommend staying here if staying in Chicago.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank colinrchorley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2007

Guys trip to Chicago, scored this hotel on Priceline for $100 a night. Had a little confusion over the bed situation at first. They said they only had kings available even after I had called and requested 2 doubles. After a 30 minute ordeal at the front desk they put us in a room with 2 doubles. The room was nice, nothing specacular, a little on the small side but nice. The lobby was beautiful to look at but that's about it.

Hotel is within walking distance to Soldier Field, Sears Tower, ESPN Zone, and lots of bars and restaurants. Great location that and the price we got the room for made our trip.

Would definately try and stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled on business
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Thank m25cls1
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 60603-5608
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:
#26 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: $111 - $532 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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