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“2 Great Nights”

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #97 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reading, UK
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“2 Great Nights”
Reviewed September 19, 2012

My wife and I stayed in this hotel for 2 nights from 7th September.

Beforehand I had read mixed reviews, and was especially worried about customers who booked via discount websites (I got a great deal through lastminute.co.uk). We wanted a non-smoking room but could not do this through the lastminute website. Instead I trawled around and found a twitter account for the hotel whom directed me to a direct person in the hotel.
After a quick exchange of emails, we were given a non-smoking room with no issues/additional cost - Great service and even more so considering there was a conference of some sort on at the same time.

When we got to the hotel we were blown away by the lobby (Note we usually stay in cheap n' cheerful hotels!) - if your in Chicago and not staying in this hotel, at least come for one drink in the lobby - the attention to detail on the décor and service were great.

Upon check-in we dumped our bags in the room which was kind of small but we expected that after reading previous reviews, very tidy and comfy, though the lack of tea/coffee making facilities is but a small nuisance as there are plenty of coffee shops nearby.

The staff were all very friendly and helpful and the barmen in the Potters Lounge serve a mean G and T!

Location wise the hotel is a block from Millennium Park, and very central for short walks around the north and south loops.

We didn't eat in the hotel, instead choosing to eat out, for breakfast there is Beef and Brandy (Very filling!) and a Corner St Bakery nearby. Dinner options were further afoot for our stay so won't be in this review, however there is no shortage of restaurants and bars within a short walking distance.

There are plenty of shopping nearby including State St and a 24/7 Walgreens over the road from the hotel.

We went to a Sox game and easily picked up the Red line to the Cell outside the hotel, this was very easy and we felt safe to travel on each way.

We've been to Chicago plenty of times before to see family and usually spend a few days downtown, however both my wife and I (Plus my brother and wife who also stayed here with us) really enjoyed our time, and would happily return for another stay.

The only real downsides were:
1. Room was a little on the dusty side in places.
2. The lobby fills up very fast in terms of seating spaces - however this is a petty complaint as there is really no where else they could add more seats without ruining the look and feel of the lobby.
3. The Potters Lounge A/C was on very high, so very cold!

One hint: Upon checkout, use the options on the TV to checkout - it saves time queuing up to do this and you simply leave the key cards in the room and go when done.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank smpenguin78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
San Francisco, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

This hotel is a veritable Chicago landmark, and the lobby and other common spaces make you realize it. But its magnificent facades hide the fact that the rooms themselves have fallen into disrepair and the service is practically nonexistent. When we arrived we were assigned the wrong room type and told there were no rooms that fit our reservation available. We arrived at our room only to find a blood stain (yes, that's right.) on one piece of furniture, hair all over the bathroom floor and a soaking wet carpet. When we moved the next day, we ended up in a room that had JUST been renovated. Unfortunately, the bathroom grout was already covered in mildew and the paint was peeling from the ceiling. Also, the hot and cold directions were switched on the shower, making for a painful early-morning surprise. Moreover, the room decor was so underwhelming for a hotel of this reputation, we were shocked. There were no decorative pillows on the bed and the wallpaper was obviously of low quality, as were the beds. Perhaps most disappointing was the bathroom; the tile work seemed to be from the 1960s, despite the recent renovation, and the size was just... tiny; so tiny that using the sink practically required sitting on the toilet in a very literal way. To top it all off, the housekeeping staff forgot to service our room. At checkout we were helped by a very nice manager (finally, service!, hence the 2 stars instead of 1) who did some predictable things to ease the pain, but we certainly do not feel made whole. We should never have had to be in the first place. Very unhappy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Liv2Travel_Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silverthorne, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

I was hoping to have a 24 hour layover in Chicago, but that quickly turned into a 12 hour layover. Just long enough where TSA wouldn't let my husband and I store our two boxes at the airport. Being stubborn, I didn't feel like paying $50 for a taxi to the Palmer House from O'Hare, so we shlepped our bike boxes on the CTA and then literally dragged them three (what at 9pm felt like) very long blocks.

The concierge who checked us in clearly saw our distraught and upgraded us to an executive corner suite that overlooked Monroe Ave straight out onto Lake MIchigan. A bell hop was quickly there to bring our two 60lb. boxes us to the room. They then arranged for a much more convenient van to take us back to O'Hare the next morning at 8am.

So much for seeing some things in the city. But the breakfast on the executive floor was full of great options and such wonderful happy bus boys to not just clear your table but engage in fun banter as well.

The bed was plush and I slept splendidly! The Palmer House is so greatly located that (because of Jet-Lag from Europe) we were able to take a 5am sunrise walk to Millennium Park, which was just two blocks away.

Until next time Chicago.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Erin Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Husband and I stayed at the Palmer House for one night. We were in town for business, and thought it'd be a fun idea to make it a pleasure trip as well. Not so much pleasing about the Palmer House.

It's true that upon arrival, the hotel seems wonderful. The public areas - lobby, bar, restaurants - are all gorgeous. Our immediate impression was - wow, we got a steal of a deal - as we had gotten a relatively decent rate on Priceline. Our impression began to sour with our first interaction with the staff, however, and continued to fall throughout our stay. The front desk was not particularly warm or welcoming, instead being very transactional and just trying to get us in and out of the way. Same was true at check-out. They didn't greet us in the morning on our way out, and certainly didn't inquire about our stay.

We were assigned a room on the 8th floor, unfortunately directly across from the elevator bank. The room just got worse and worse. Layout felt like a jail cell - long and narrow, no natural light at all - our frosted-paned windows didn't even open to the outdoors. They opened to the fitness center!!! The decor was sort of art deco, which felt very out of place for this historic hotel. And then there was the sound-proofing - or severe lack thereof. We heard everything - the discussions of people in the rooms next door, everyone getting onto and off of the elevator throughout the night, people in the fitness center. We honestly didn't sleep a wink. We had planned to stay in Chicago for the day and enjoy some attractions, but couldn't enjoy anything because we felt like sleep-deprived zombies.

And then the final kicker - $62 for one night of parking!

Yes, the location is amazing - you can walk to pretty much any downtown attraction. That is the only reason I'm giving this a Poor instead of a Terrible. There is at least one positive thing about this place. But, the location does not make up for the other severe downfalls.

There is no way I would recommend this place to anyone staying in Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Two_Travel_Bugs_WI
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, September 21, 2012
Dear Guest,

I apologize for the trouble you experienced during your stay. It’s unacceptable that you were not able to get sleep, and be well rested due to the noise inconvenience. I appreciate you taking the time to share your review. Your feedback is much valued and we take it into consideration for the improvements needed. If you decide to stay with us again, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brevard, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Right in the Loop, easy walking distance to shopping, museums, restaurants and more. This is an old hotel with a fascinating history. (Ask at reception for their history info sheet.) Rooms are small but nicely appointed, and the staff is friendly, courteous, and helpful. Enough space in the bath to hold your stuff would be a boon, and lack of it is certainly a downside. And my usual gripe about high priced hotels: it seems the more they cost, the less likely they are to offer free wifi. Any budget motel offers wifi for free, but expensive hotels make you pay for it. It IS free in the lobby, and the at the in house Starbucks. But that costs them a star from me. I'd like to withhold another star for the lack of a coffee maker, but the location and ambiance make up for that gripe.

Room Tip: One member of our group needed a handicap room. It was VERY spacious compared with the norm.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Suzanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Stayed at this hotel Sept4-9th. Well located for access to the Art Institute and other sites. Hotel staff very helpful and hotel a beautiful historic building with an interesting history. The room was large, a sitting area and 2 closets. It appeared that perhaps 2 rooms had been turned into one. Bathroom incredibly small and in need of renovation. No coffee maker or mini-bar fridge. Dining room pleasant, quite expensive and meal was just average. One glass of wine was $21..but good:)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amanda260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tralee, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I had read a lot of bad reviews on this hotel and was not looking fowdard to staying ,got a surprise nice hotel ,mostly nice staff ,nice room ,very clean, ,wifi free in public arera s .No tea and coffee makers in room very dissapointed .when portor put away your bag on check out from just outside left luggage door he had his hand out for a tip and when you went back to collect you ware also expted to let a tip .Great that the hotel is so near to every thing

Room Tip: was on 20 th floor lovely room very modern ,i just asked to have a big room
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank lilac408
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

Property: 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:
#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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