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Palmer House A Hilton Hotel
Ranked #104 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed July 20, 2014

Stayed for 2 night break at the end of our 2 week holiday. The lobby is impressive and busy throughout the day, loved the ceiling decor. Great to people watch the girls arriving for Prom night! We were pleasantly suprised at our room size after reading reviews, felt spoilt. It was front facing, large with 2 Queen size beds, 2 double built-in wardrobes and armchair with footstool and large desk, fab to spread out & chill after all the travelling we had done.
Standard size bathroom, toiletries replenished daily. All facilities throughout the hotel were impeccably clean during our stay.

Used pool 1 morning, small but adequate & jaquzi tub. Had trouble getting in as door to female changing room was locked & had 2 ask security @ 6.30am how to get in & while he went to find out I found another way in by going through another door to pool area & accessed changing room. However it was dimly lit as main lighting not switched on & no one to ask. Towels provided.

Ice bucket (or sm plastic bag provided) in room can be used to get ice from machine at no cost, bit of a trek as on a different floor level & long walk down corridor but handy to have to cool drinks.

Store & coffee bar (had breakfast both mornings) on right corner as come out of front of hotel, as is the overhead rail track which for us added to our enjoyment of our stay in Chicago, just reminded me of american TV shows when I was a kid & just as I imagined!

Tried Italian restaurant opposite which was a novel experience for us. You order individual courses @ servery & wait for it to be cooked. Fast, fresh & tasty in very pleasant surroundings but not a place to go if you want sit down meal & be waited on.

Location was great for us as time limited, walking distance to Millanieum Park (must go see Jelly bean) & numerous museums & galleries. Did harbour cruise with Arctitecture Foundation & as run by volunteers don't accept tips. It was amazing for seeing architecture & skyline from waterfront & it was a glorious sunny day to top it. Concerige at hotel was always very helpful (Tracy) resevered tickets & then we collected from booth @ harbour. Got there earlier than we had booked @ 9.30 which was not a problem as meant we missed the crowds , takes about an hour & had rest of day to explore. There are other companies & water taxis that you can book on the waterfront. There was an art & craft street market on during our stay, well worth a visit.

We loved Chicago city and hope to return as so much to see and do and we didn't have the time,

Room Tip: Good location for sightseeing & walking distance of landmarks.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank karen t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,615 - 4,621 of 9,309 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2014

The Palmer Hotel has a truly grand lobby and and beautiful ballrooms. I was at a meeting there and the Grand Ballroom was one of the most beautiful rooms I have given a talk in. But the positive experience pretty much ended there. My room was small, with really tiny bathroom -- the bathroom space was just enough for the bathroom door to open. I found the service quite poor. I had arrived about 1pm, and waited over 20 min to check in. When I finally got to the desk, I was told that I was checking in before the check-in time (3pm), therefore they have to charge me $24 for early check in. I asked whether there are rooms that are available at this time, and the answer was yes, but the fact that I wanted to check at 1pm rather than come back at 3pm (and possibly wait another 20min) would cost me $24. I had never heard of such charge before. When I complained that I waited a long time in line to check-in, the receptionist responded that because the hotel is large (850 rooms or so), check-in could not be fast. This was clearly a complete nonsense -- check-in time cannot be dependent on the hotel size (over half of the reception stations were empty, with only a few people checking in the crowd). When I pointed that out, I was told that the $24 charge will be waived. I found this exchange very bizarre -- it simply did not make sense.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank bulka56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

I booked this hotel well in advance because of the Independence Day holiday and am glad I did. Got a great deal on a room and then we were updated to the Executive Level floor when we told the front desk it was our anniversary. Kristen was delightful and even told us the history of the hotel. Our room was small, but very comfortable with a nice view. Only problem was the room was across the hall from the noisy service elevators.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mikeywaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

By the L so very noisy. Beautiful lobby misleads as the rooms are small and the bathrooms are too small to change your mind in. Chairs actually had holes in the upholstery. Phone calls and internet extra, so extra had two couples in front of me seriously complain at checkout. Parking was $72 a day, and car was never delivered to correct street, so real questionable. One room in our group contained a 3-1/2 inch cockroach that was loud enough before being caught to wake the occupant up in the middle of the night. At around $200 per night (on a deal!) plus nearly 20% room tax before internet phone and $72 parking not a value. Boss better spring for another hotel in Chicago next time.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank judgestan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
npyles, Manager at Palmer House A Hilton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 21, 2014

Dear Guest,

We are deeply sorry to hear about your experience at The Palmer House. We regret that you may not want to stay with us again, but we do take the matters of pests seriously and not lightly. We do not have a “pest infestation” problem and we rarely do get these complaints throughout our hotel, but when we are notified we do take matters seriously.

To note as well, The Palmer House parking is competitive with our surrounding parking companies when it comes to pricing in our area.

Thank you for your feedback of your room’s condition; we can look up your room and check out the different damages that may be in there and fix these issues.

We appreciate that you did take the time to let us know what we can improve on in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

Let me mention the negatives first, most of which have been noted in other reviews:
1. The rooms are indeed small, and the bathroom is tiny.
2. Like other hotels, the Palmer dumbly charges for in-room internet. (The business center just off the lobby does have about computers and printers, and I rarely had to wait.)
3. The room does not have basic amenities like a coffee maker and fridge.
4. My room had no view whatsoever, which was rather depressing.
5. I requested a cot, but the fee (onetime) was a ridiculous $40.00.
Let me now cite the positives, which far outweigh the Palmer's negative attributes:
1. The location is fantastic. It seems to be near everything: Lake Michigan, the Art Institute, Grant Park, the taste of Chicago Festival etc. We were also able to jump on the Red Line and take a straight shot to Wrigley.
2. I found all of the staff to be friendly, efficient, and gracious.
3. The lobby is beautiful. I will say that is rarely quiet, as there seems to be a constant bustle, even at 7 AM.
4. The workout area is fully equipped and attractive. You should arrive early as it begins to fill by 6:30.
5. The street level of the hotel has a Starbucks and other casual establishments. I recommend the bakery on Wabash. I had several good, fairly economical meals there.
Overall, the Palmer is an attractive, elegant hotel in a superb location.

Room Tip: Ask for a Room With a View
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank LeePulaski_Va_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

For my first visit to Chicago, this hotel was a grand and elegant way to start.Well kept and incredibly luxurious and afforfable during week days,! We could walk or take the EL to the parks, Lake Michigan, museums and shopping and restaurants.

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Swinsonkaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

"Rustic" rooms? They mean not remodeled in recent memory. $40 Home depot bathtubs, no refrigerator. No coffee pot unless you go down and ask for one, no complimentary internet in the rooms below the executive floor. The housekeeping staff left two dirty paper cups for the coffee pot I had to ask for, and left no clean ones. Left dirty glasses in the room with no replacements. Left the ice bucket half full of water from the melted ice from the night before. Plus you get to hear the trains going by every minute or so 24 hours a day, which means get used to sleeping with the noise. Room about the same size and with less amenities than most Super 8s or Motel 6s on the freeway. But for almost 5 times the cost. Arrogant, condescending desk clerks. If it makes you feel special to say you stayed here go for it. If you have common sense, stay somewhere else. I still have to stay for 8 more days, and I'm not all that excited about it. Never again.

Room Tip: Find a Motel 6 on the freeway
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SVSkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ishawa S, Manager at Palmer House A Hilton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Hello Valued Guest,

In the past 10 years we have remodeled every room in the Hotel. In our quest to keep our hotel modern for our guests, we try to do at least 3 floors a year. This year, we just completed both floors on our Executive Levels and the rooms look fantastic. We will continue to improve on our rooms in the years to come and it will be feedback like yours that point us in the right direction.

I understand that some of the Housekeeping standards were not met while you were here. We have trained our hskp staff to follow a uniformed standard to make sure that every room is cleaned in an consistent manner. Although mishaps happen, it is unacceptable when they do. Your comments are being closely evaluated and it will make us a better hotel.
Thank you again

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmer House A Hilton Hotel

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
#64 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#71 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#75 Business Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $99 - $377 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Palmer House A Hilton Hotel 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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