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“Nice Hotel for a short break in Chicago” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Palmer House Hilton

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The Palmer House Hilton
Ranked #97 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
134 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel for a short break in Chicago”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2014

The hotel is located within walking distance of the all subway lines, making this hotel a good base to explore Chicago from. The rooms are a good size, we booked a double double with 2 baths, which had a small lounge area also. Request a high floor to avoid street noise. Wifi is not free in the rooms which is disappointing. You can get one hour free wifi in lobby and Starbucks. The hotel has a very small swimming pool which once there is more than 6 people in it becomes impossible to swim. Easy commute from O'Hara airport on CTA blue line and get off at Monroe.

Room Tip: Request a high floor to avoid street and train noise
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenga52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,688)
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English first
Indianapolis, United States
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2014

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The staff is very polite and professional and any time we had a question the staff was very pleased to help us. The hotel appearance is very appealing....however, the rooms are very small, but this is a very old but modern hotel. My wife and I only had one complaint that the bed was not as comfortable for the price we paid for the hotel.....too soft for us. Excellent location to everything we wanted to do....and everything was pretty much in good walking distance.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Vincent S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
116 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2014 via mobile

A few out of state friends were flying in a couple of days early to attend my wedding. We all decided to stay here since it is a historical hotel and in a really good location. Our room was very nice. I opted to upgrade it upon checking in so we had 2 bathrooms. I think it was around $15 to do so. Money well spent with 4 girls sharing one room! It was large enough so non of us felt crowded, and even had a nice sitting area. The staff was friendly and helpful.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Alicia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
195 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2014

The Palmer House is one of those famous grand urban hotels. They've done an excellent job of maintaining and updating it. I have to say the beds were the probably the most comfortable I've slept on, perhaps ever. We didn't test resources like the restaurants (we went out for breakfast in the neighborhood, dinners around town), nor the exercise facilities. However, I'd be happy to stay here again. Excellent location, close to an L stop. I was annoyed at having to pay for the Internet (so I didn't!). And the elevators to the upper floors can be slow. Otherwise, all good.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NCDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crescenta, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

The Palmer House is a gorgeous, historic hotel. I got a good rate for a one-night business trip, but I guess you get what you pay for. Sometimes that's the only way you get it.

I checked in as a Hilton Silver member. Even though I had booked a King room, the friendly young lady at the front desk told me I had been "upgraded" from one full-size bed to two full-size beds in a larger room -- as if that was just great. I told her I had wanted a King room. She said they had two left, but they were really small, so I took the two full-size beds since I needed some room to spread out my work stuff and was sleeping alone anyway.

Well, the full-size bed was just a bit larger than a twin, and my lovely upgraded room had a view of a fire escape and an inner courtyard, with almost no natural light making it through. Will all the electronics we rely on these days, it was also really inconvenient that all but two of the electrical outlets didn't work. And they weren't the ones on the desk or nightstand. They were wall sockets next to the dresser, so I had to put my laptop on the floor or pull the cord halfway across the (still tiny) room to put it on the bed.

Speaking of the dresser, one of the drawers on the ancient (not antique -- just old and dated) dresser was missing a handle.

Oh, and it gets better. I had a box of materials FedExed to the hotel in advance, since I didn't want to schlep them with me on a trip where I wasn't checking any bags. Apparently, the Palmer House can't be bothered to deal itself with these types of situations -- unlike just about every other hotel at which I've stayed. No, their deliveries go a UPS store in the hotel. I called down to have the box brought up to me, and I was told that the cost of an employee taking that quick elevator ride would be $18! I said I would just come and get it. Then, after the employee put the box on a table so she could scan and I could sign for it, she stopped serving me and took care of two other customers who came in after me! She then asked how I planned to pay the "handling fee" for putting a box on a counter. I expressed surprise, and she told me the handling fee was $10. Unbelievable. So my firm paid FedEx to ship the box to the hotel, the hotel took it upon itself to reroute it to UPS, and then UPS held it hostage unless I paid it as well.

So among other things, the Palmer House is a nickel-and-diming kind of establishment. The only reason I'm awarding two stars instead of three is that the rooms at least were clean, the shower was hot and had good pressure, and the property, as noted, is gorgeous. But I definitely would not stay there again, or recommend the Palmer House to anyone I care about.

Room Tip: Stay someplace else.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brian_K_B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
npyles, Manager at The Palmer House Hilton, responded to this review, June 22, 2014
We apologize that we did not have the room type that you requested upon check in. Often times guest’s book reservations under the impression that they are going to get what they requested regardless of what they actually paid for or booked. Often times going for the best rate and hoping for the best accommodations for our Hhonors members works in their favor in the slower months, however in our peak season May-Oct that is rarely the case. In your case our records show that you booked a room with 1 Double bed but requested to have a King bed. As a Hhonors Silver member we did our best to try to accommodate you with our best available room. Instead of putting you in a 117 sq foot room with one double bed, which was booked, we put you into a room with 2 double beds which is twice the size.

We apologize that the all the outlets in your room were not working properly. This is completely unacceptable. We are truly sorry that you were inconvenienced with this during your stay and we will immediately address our staff with the importance of checking the outlets in the room prior to the guest arrival. We hope you contacted our property operations department or operator while you were with us to have them fixed. We have staff on 24/7 to assist or rectify any guests concerns. We are an older hotel and just like with an old restored car sometimes a little extra TLC is needed and for that reason we have people available 24/7.

We do charge a handling fee for all boxes shipped to the hotel. Because we have 1641 guest rooms, we do have a full service UPS store on property to help properly manage the hundreds of packages we receive on a daily basis. As you mentioned in your review you sent the box because you didn’t want to “schlep them with you on a trip where you weren’t checking any bags”. You are not alone these days when it comes to your idea of convenience when traveling and because of this the increase in packages that we receive on a daily basis has also increased drastically. In order to insure that your package is available when you arrive and easy to find we have a handling fee for all received packages. We understand your dissatisfaction in the cost of our services but hope that you enjoyed the convenience of the services that were on property in regards to shipping and receiving packages. We will take another look at how competitive our handling fees are with the other large hotels in the area and adjust were necessary.

Your perspective of us being a hotel that “nickel-and-dimes” its guests is not completely accurate. We feel it is more accurate to say that we are a hotel that has an abundance of services and amenities available to its guest and that you pay for the convenience of many of those services. You are not required to use them and you receive the basic amenities with the price of your room. It is the additional touches and services that we offer that don’t come packaged in the price.

We do appreciate your feedback and use it to find ways to better improve our staff and hotel. We are happy to see that your room was clean and that the shower had hot water. As you mentioned our lobby is beautiful and even if the readers choose another hotel to stay in, all are welcome to come enjoy a drink in our lobby.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
78 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014 via mobile

Stayed several times and the service is always consistently good. The rooms, although small have the proper tasteful decor and amenities, although you won't find inch thick puffy towels in the bathroom. Lobby bar is great to meet for business or pleasure and the Starbucks downstairs and store amenities if needed are quickly at hand. Fairly priced for Chicago, and make sure your room is not next to the train that runs right outside much of the building.

Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford
Level Contributor
149 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

Had to be in Chicago for business mid December for business and glad I stayed at The Palmer House again. Not only does it have a wonderful ambiance from the 1940's/50's but they do an amazing job decorating for Christmas. It is always great to have a drink in the lobby - it is the hub of energy for the hotel. Their staff and service is always friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: Always nice to get a higher floor room facing the water
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank skiguy33
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:
#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 (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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