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“I Understand the Complaints”

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #98 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Champaign, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“I Understand the Complaints”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

But I have to take them with a grain of salt. We also stayed during theater week which means the place became packed at around 5:00PM on Saturday night.

There were 2 lines to check in and only 2 counters open. One counter was the Hilton Honors, for which you have to be a member, so the other line was probably about 60 people long. Certainly the hotel did not staff for this appropriately. We were HH members which means we waited about 5 minutes, but people who were not probably waited over an hour. That's just really poor and I think it's a one-off, but the hotel should be prepared to open up more front desk terminals....they had 3 empty ones....just no employees to man them apparently, this night.

Other than that, it's hard to complain, because what you get is what you would expect from a hotel that was built in 1875. What makes it charming and beautiful and historic for some makes it old fashioned, cramped, and inconvenient for others.

The rooms certainly are small in comparison to hotels that have been constructed in the last few decades, so if you need a lot of space, this hotel is not for you. However, all the amenities are there. They even have Tv's with HDMI at this point.

This hotel is very reasonably priced for the location and if you understand that this hotel is also kind of a historical landmark, your expectations will be set appropriately.

Room Tip: Either stay on the upper floors, bring earplugs, or stay on the south side rooms unless you want to...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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carmarthen
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

we stayed for five nights room only, the hotel was a central location with all attractions near by, our room was on the 18th floor with express lifts going to different floors.We had a lovely room nice and warm with a king size bed and a 40 inch tv with a good channel line up,the fridge in the room was handy as there are 24 hour stores across the street. Starbucks is on the ground floor it opens at 6 am and the lobby area must be seen the art work on the ceiling is amazing. We arrived from ohare airport and caught the L train on the blue line to monroe station on exiting the station the hotel is one block around the corner the metro fair was $2.25 dollars per person a very cheap way of getting to the palmer house this hotel i would recomend.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank michael v
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, February 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

I’m happy to hear you had a delightful stay. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback, and we hope you will have an opportunity 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.
Montreal
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Old style luxury and grandeur, similar to the Waldorf Astoria. The hotel is easy to access from the airport by train and is in the heart of the city. The entrance/ bar/ lobby area is fantastic, with plenty of space to wait for a friend or read the paper in tranquility. Service is impeccable. The Lockwood restaurant has a nice atmosphere and the food is good, but not great.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank MontrealLouis007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 17, 2013

The service was awful, waited over an hour to check in, the rooms are small, the tv has a strange menu that is not user friendly. The walls are paper thin you can hear everything going out in the surrounding rooms, and I was mistakenly charged for a late check out and it took an hour long phone call to get my money refunded. Overall my best experience at the Palmer House was leaving, I would not recommend it to anyone and I will never return

  • Stayed February 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ltruffa
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, February 18, 2013
Dear Guest,

My dearest apologies that nobody was able to accommodated you in your time of need. Your situation should been dealt with more care. Please feel free to contact me for any additional questions or concerns. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for taking the time to share your review—we take our guest feedback into great consideration. I truly look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you,
Dardan Mehmeti
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Overall the stay was ok. I've wanted to stay at The Palmer House for years. My wife and I booked a room for a Saturday night so we could spend the night in the city. We arrived at 3 and got the room key after waiting in line for 50 minutes. Only 2 people checking in guests at prime time didn't make sense. The room was small but clean and had some features from the historic past. The lobby is beautiful but crowded. Reminded me of a bus station, people with clothes in plastic bags everywhere.

We got the room with parking for $160 including tax. Good value for the location.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank reggie5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I loved this place. I stayed here for two nights the first week of February with my teenage son who was auditioning for colleges at the Unified auditions that were held at the hotel. We felt it was the perfect hotel for experiencing life in the Loop in Chicago.

Let's go through the cons, most of which come up in other reviews, of this hotel. The bathroom is TINY. You can stand in the middle of it and easily touch two walls in any direction. It's too small for a towel rack. Even the oddly shaped, oblong Hilton waste baskets barely fit between the toilet and the wall. If a bathroom that can only fit one person at a time is a deal breaker for you in a hotel, then I would suggest you stay somewhere else.

You have no view. The hotel is configured in such a way that I don't believe many of the rooms have much of a view of Chicago or the skyline. If that's something you really want during your stay in Chicago, I would go elsewhere.

You can hear the "el"/subway from your room. Chicago is a big city and this hotel is right in the center of downtown, so it's not quiet. We could definitely hear the "el." But it never woke us up or bothered us. It was just a faint noise you would occasionally notice outside that may vary according to where you are in the hotel. It certainly doesn't vibrate the building or anything like that. If you need your room to be totally silent and isolated from the surrounding city, then I'd look elsewhere.

The rooms are small. You won't be able to jump rope or work out in your room. It's an older hotel built at a time when normal hotel rooms just weren't as big as today. If you've stayed at a hotel in New York, you'll know what to expect.

You will probably have to wait a few minutes for an elevator. The hotel is massive with different banks of elevators going to different floors. You may have to wait a few minutes before an elevator arrives. You'll live.

So I would say those are the main drawbacks of this hotel.

So how about the pros? Location, location, location. We took the train right from the airport, got off at the Monroe stop a block away and easily walked to the hotel. $5 and 45 minutes and you are O'Hare airport to hotel no matter the traffic or weather.

The hotel is right in the Loop and easy walking distance to numerous nearby restaurants and shops. We walked over to the Chicago Art Institute (don't miss if you have any interest in Art, particularly Impressionism) in five minutes. Numerous theaters (including the one playing "Book of Mormon") were a block or two in every direction. Millennium Park is just steps away. I would heartily recommend the deep dish pizza at Giordano's. We hoped the train 10 minutes north to Old Town and caught a show at Second City. The location is terrific.

The hotel itself is a 1920's era landmark that has been beautifully restored and maintained. Every time I entered the hotel and walked through the doors, I felt like I was going back in time to a more glamorous and relaxing era. The lobby is just spectacular. We didn't eat in the hotel, but they offer afternoon tea, which is a rarity in American hotels. The whole place just seemed so civilized. Loved the black and white pictures of performers lining the walls.

The rooms are small, but well appointed. The bed and bedding were comfortable and we slept well each night. It had a nice HD flat screen TV. Our room had a small refrigerator, which is actually a little unusual in a hotel like this.

Everyone we encountered in the hotel was courteous and seemed to enjoy having you as their guest. They knew this was a special hotel. We asked to extend our check-out one hour on our day of departure and we were immediately accommodated without a fuss.

Made our room reservation online and felt it was a great value (I'm assuming the Winter rates are considerably less than other times of year here).

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and I would love to come back and stay in the Palmer House once again. Pizza, music, theater, comedy, architecture, Art. Chicago is a great town.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vtheshark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walled Lake, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I stayed at this hotel from a Saturday to Monday with a friend for a quiet girls weekend. The check-in was up a level from the ground floor so that was weird but it was so beautiful we didn't even care about all the walking to get to the registration desk. This historic Hotel is absolutely gorgeous and the staff was very friendly, with the exception of check-in. English was her second language and her attitude was snotty BUT everyone else was great!

Room was elegantly decorated and very clean. TV was large and HD. No room refrigerator. Bed was very comfy with two plugs for phone charges, etc by each side of the bed. along with lots of other plugs in the room. Large Closet for hanging, ironing, etc.

Walking distance to much of the city (downtown). My friend and I walked everywhere. We had no trouble walking to the Magnificent Mile. We even walked to Old Town! However, we did estimate walking over 20 miles over the course of the weekend.... The hotel has a lot of shopping right around it too. Being the winter we did not go to Navy Pier, etc so I'm not sure how long of a walk that is from hotel...

Room Tip: Room #15255 did not have a view.... You could also hear the L go by, but it only sounded like a lar...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WolverineGirl77
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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