The Palmer House Hilton

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17 E Monroe St

Partner Reviews: The Palmer House Hilton

Great place to stay in Chicago

Rating: 10

We love to stay at the Palmer House, it has a great location in Chicago and all the times we have stayed there we have had nothing but great things to say. By far our favorite Chicago hotel!

posted by YahtzeeGirl on Nov 3, 2009

Great, Beautiful, Historic Hotel with a Super Location!!

Rating: 10

The Palmer House was a great choice for our vacation stay. The location was great. I have stayed at 3 other hotels and this was by far the best location. The staff was amazingly friendly. I can understand why people say the halls are hard to navigate, but there are signs all over leading to the room numbers and then back to the elevators. The lobby of this hotel is most beautiful. The only complaint I have is the elevator situation. There are nine elevators with three going LL-12, three going 13-17, and three going 18-23. The upper floor elevators (the ones I used) also went to LL-8. On both the weekday mornings I was trying to get downstairs, I waited about 7-10 minutes each time for the elevator to take us down. I had to plan that time into my budget in getting to the EL on time for the airport. I was also not to thrilled with the $7 per hour wireless fee (only available in the lobby or the $15 in room internet fee. After being told of the $7 per hour charge I didn't bother asking if the $15 was per day or hour. The room was spacious though and had 2 bathrooms with I loved. I have to say again, I was really impressed with how friendly all the staff was during my stay. Other than the elevators and internet fee, I loved the Palmer.

posted by girlaudio on Nov 4, 2008

Bad Customer Service!!

Rating: 4

From what you read on their website, one would expect at the minimal you will have good if not excellent customer service. Not really!!! I was first greeted by a "joker" - Ron, who tried to make fun of my last name. Then took 5 minutes of "acting" to tell me that they didn't have any non-smoking rooms, despite my reservation requested. He went on to "entice" me to stay at a "Parlor" - a living room with a kitchenette but no "bedroom" - i.e. NO BED - but they will supply a rollaway!! Or my option was to pay to upgrade to a suite. He disappeared for 10 minutes to speak with the Manager on my behalf. I tried to use my cell phone to call the person who made my reservation but there were no reception in the registration area because of all the marbles surrounding us. Ron would not let me use his phone so I have to drag my lugguage around to find a spot with reception. Unsuccessful, I went back and asked to speak to the Manager. 10 minutes later, Manager Fayth Sosa showed up, offering no options. I gave up and agreed to take the "Parlor". Upon arrival in my Parlor, a tiny twin rollaway bed was up against the wall. I called to inquire if I was expected to set up my own rollaway bed and Noel, the other Manager told me that it was very easy to do i.e. you could do it yourself. He finally agreed to come up to set up my bed. But guess whatthere were no pillowsor blankets either. So one was expected to pay >$200 to sleep in a rollaway bed?? I surrendered and asked to switch to a smoking room - a small stinky room that obviously was not what was reserved for me. They agreed to switch me to a non-smoking room for my second night stay - but that room would only be guaranteed till 5 pm - Hilton's policy. In summary, this is the HOTEL that would consider providing a room without a BED to a customer!! This is definitely not my experience with other Hiltons. For a while, I thought I was at a Best Western!!

posted by RKJ66 on Sep 26, 2008

Best fitness center ever

Rating: 10

Wow...i am amazed ..the new fitness center at the Palmer House is by far the best in downtown area.Spa Chakra is delivering for Palmer House the following : State of the Art Precor equipment, Three interconnected levels of fitness area, pool and expansive area for stretching and toning..Not to mention the luxurious men's and women's locker rooms complete with grooming amenities, steam showers and refreshments.Starting 25th September, Spa Chakra it is going to open on their 5th floor and i can't wait that because i know that they use only Guerlain skin-care. They will have 12 treatment rooms accommodating facial, massage and body therapies, Vichy shower, hydrotherapy and health assessments. Oh, i have to mention that i have all this information from the brochure that i received when i worked out over there. Hm, hm, hm .And last but not list complimentary valet with each appointment and for The Loop i think it's wonderful.

posted by SpiderellaofChicago on Sep 7, 2008

Absolutely gorgeous!

Rating: 10

Even though Palmer House was undergoing some construction affecting the outside of the building, the spa, and pool, this place was stunning and a wonderful place to stay. The lobby is simply breathtaking, and a fabulous place for cocktails -- even if you're not staying there! The rooms are clean and comfortable, with a vintage feel. Everything is elegantly decorated, the service is wonderful, and the rooms are surprisingly quiet, with great city views! Highly recommended -- and will be even better after the completion of Spa Chakra!

posted by maryjatkinson on Jul 27, 2008

Amazing Hotel, Amazing Location, Awful view

Rating: 10

We recently got to stay at the Palmer House for three nights. The hotel itself is beautiful, however they were undergoing a renovation so much of the ground floor was blocked off for construction, and much of the exterior was also boarded off. They did a good job, however, of keeping the construction from getting in your way. The lobby was beautifully decorated with painted ceilings and large mirrors on the balconies overlooking it to give the illusion of a much larger space. The check-in process was smooth and the staff was very friendly. We got to the room with a quick ride up to the 11th floor(The elevator had a trivia Q and A thing which made the rides fun) and down a few hallways lined with pictures of people performing in the Empire Room and we came to our room. The furnishing was beautiful and the art was a wonderful touch, the bathrooms looked very nice as well but they were small. The only bad part of the room was that looking out the window gave you a great view of a concrete wall and the in-aesthetic roof of a building. We had to look at a considerable angle to even see if it was sunny or cloudy out. Also, a minor thing, but the ice/vending machine room looked like it came straight out of a two-star motel. It was a stark contrast to walk from a finely decorated hallway into a white room with pipes coming out of the wall and a crummy vending machine. Other than those two things, the hotel was a joy to stay at. The other amazing part was the area of the hotel. Right in the loop, it was on the same block as two El stations which can get you within walking distance of almost anywhere in the city, two blocks from the blue line which goes to the airport, and within walking distance of a LOT of shopping, parks, and other attractions. This made the trip so easy, daily you could step out of the hotel, pick a street and just walk north or south and find interesting things to do. I'd come back for the location alone, but the rooms were great too!

posted by IceMouse on Jul 2, 2008

Great Hotel in the Middle of the Loop!

Rating: 10

We stumbled upon the Palmer after a 'less than nice' experience at the Marriott, and were pleasantly surprised at what we found. My sisters and I were visiting Chicago on a girls weekend and we had a *great* time at this hotel. The Palmer is located on 'The Loop' which means you are close to great shopping and sights around downtown. We were within walking distance (20 minutes) from Navy Pier and with the sunny day we had it was a quick, beautiful walk. The hotel is located near great stores for shopping. Cabs wait in front of the hotel for your every need and the main bus route is just a quick walk down the street. This hotel is in the center of everything and with a map and a good sense of direction you'll be able to find all of the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes that Chicago has to offer. For those on a budget, Subway, McDonalds, 7-11, Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts are short walk also. Since there is no continental breakfast offered at this hotel you may want to check out the Bakery just around the corner from the hotel. There is also a small sit down eatery with very reasonable prices right around the corner as well. The hotel itself is historically grand and so beautiful and elegant. Black and white pictures of celebrities adorn the hallways and although the our room was small it was just right for the three of us ladies and our weekend luggage. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Overall I'd highly recommend the Palmer House. We are already planning our next trip and will stay at this hotel each time we visit downtown Chicago.

posted by Exclusive1 on Apr 21, 2008

I do not stay anywhere else in Chicago!

Rating: 10

I started going to Chicago with my Mother over 20 years ago and we always stayed in the Palmer House. It is so ornate and beautiful. When you walk up from the Monroe Street entrance, up the carpeted steps and turn that corner and are standing in the huge lobby it is breath taking. I lived in Chicago for 8 years and still managed to meet people at the Palmer House for a drink before we took off for the theatre or ballet or whatever. The rooms are great. We always get the room with the two separate bathrooms....I love the deep tubs. The closet space is is much bigger than the other. I have gone to two very big events in the ballroom and it is amazing. The staff is courteous...we love the concierge. They have pointed us to many great places, made reservations, even showed me how to turn on the PC located in the common area by the check in desk. If you book ahead, you can get some great weekend rates. They used to have a terrific brunch on Sunday but with the remodeling they have discontinued it. I hope they bring it back. We will be there for three nights next week and I cannot wait.

posted by denke510 on Jun 27, 2007

convient to theater location

Rating: 8

We stayed on the concierge level and the room was very large..Had 2 bathrooms which helped with 4 girls in the same room..The cont. breakfast and evening snacks was more than sufficient. Had plenty of hot food and very nicely done. Location is great for downtown shopping and theaters. Would stay here again. Beautiful old hotel

posted by ppeter54 on Nov 17, 2006

Historic Beauty!

Rating: 10

The interior of this historic hotel is absolutely beautiful. Very Romantic ambiance. Good value too.

posted by monicalang on Nov 16, 2006

great common areas but the rooms?

Rating: 6

Great old hotel with about 1/2 of the rooms redone just hope you don't get one of the other half. I've had both, the rehabed ones are great the others are real old and warnout.

posted by bbirkholz on Oct 31, 2006

excellent staff, extremely clean room

Rating: 10

My friend and I stayed here on a girl's weekend away and were pleasantly surprised. Perfect location for downtown, righ t next to the red line. The room was small, but cleand and the bed was super comfortable with good, clean bedding and 5 pillows on a king size bed. We had reserved on priceline and ended up with a king instead of two doubles, however it was fine. We also were registered for smoking but they accomodated us by switching to non. Conceirge was very helpful, bellmen were gracious, and the front desk was friendly. Stay here and you will be in the lap of luxury for a reasonable price.

posted by sadieruns on Jul 31, 2006

worst customer service

Rating: 2

do not stay here if you want to get treated badly by the staff and management because they cannot own up to their own mistakes. the hotel screwed up on our reservation and then made us pay for it by not providing us with better accomodations...we had 3 people in a room with 1 king bed because they had not rooms with double beds when we checked in (it was only 4 pm) even though we had reserved a room with 2 double beds. they were unhelpful and unaccomodating. did not even provide us with a cot becasue they did not have any left. the rooms are not great...they are small and shabby. its not worth your money to stay here...take it from someone who was not impressed at all. if you are looking for a nice place then this is not it. there are so many better places in chicago for less or equal the value.

posted by nds219 on Jul 6, 2006

"Old" hotel is "outdated."

Rating: 6

While I wouldn't have minded paying $100/night simply for the location of this hotel, the $200 rate was completely outrageous. The room and hallways were old and dingy. They are doing away with the mini-bars, which don't really keep anything cold anyway. Our TV didn't work properly. Housekeeping was noisy, and cigarette smoke somehow seeped through the walls early one morning (neither of us smoke), choking us out of our much needed sleep. I've stayed at many three star hotels that were twice as nice.

posted by kelley515 on Dec 3, 2005

Not nearly what we expected

Rating: 2

On a recent romantic Chicago get-a-way weekend, my boyfriend and i made the mistake of visiting this hotel. We were not only fooled by the lobby which is glamorous and "tricks" the guests into believing they are in for a wonderful stay, but also fooled by the highly rated on-site restaurants. We were especially unimpressed by the Sunday brunch. Our food was cold and presented poorly on the buffet, our table was dirty upon arrival, and the staff was unavailable. All and all, I will never again visit a Hilton hotel.

posted by clane1113 on Nov 15, 2005

Understated Elegance & a Personal Touch

Rating: 10

To be treated well and/or to REALLY impress someone, I HIGHLY recommend staying at the Chicago Palmer House Hilton! Walking into the Palmer House, you know that you are in for a special treat! Elegance, service and every amenity you might want. PLUS, the staff seem particularly happy when they have the opportunity to go the extra mile. I was particularly impressed with the personal, caring attention from Michelle in housekeeping. It was also great to be recognized and welcomed back at night by Luis on the security staff. Anyone can guard the door, but Luis does it with the friendly courtesy of someone who really cares about the guests! Perhaps the best testament is that if anything isnt up to standard it is PROMPTLY rectified! Randall, an assistant manager, took such great care of me that Im planning a trip to Chicago just to stay there again!

posted by sparklingeyes on Nov 5, 2004


Rating: 10

we stayed 6/8- 6/12 and loved it. We were a little worried after reading reviews but our stay was great. We got a great price via priceline and the room was great. We got a nonsmoking room with 2 bathrooms and 2 walk in closets. We wanted 1 king bed but got 2 double (but that was okay). Service was great, location was awesome, staff were friendly and we didn't hear any noise next door--some reviews complained of the noise. We would stay again in a heartbeat.

posted by rony29 on Jun 14, 2004

Lovely lobby, great dining, tiny room.

Rating: 8

The lobby is breathtaking and there's no beating Trader Vic's. However, the hallways were narrow and hard to navigate (felt like a rat in a maze) and the rooms were surprisingly small. The bed took up most available space in the bedroom, and the bathroom was smaller than many European bathrooms. A family member complained that the walls were kind of thin...voices and TV noises in other rooms were easily heard.

posted by alessandrina on Feb 18, 2004

Small Rooms

Rating: 6

The room descriptions to me were misleading. We had a view of the brick wall of the other side of the hotel. The only good service I received was from the restaurant The Big Downtown.

posted by cdjones21 on Jan 27, 2004

A Chicago Original

Rating: 10

The lobby of this wonderful hotel is worth a trip - even if you aren't lucky enough to stay here. It's beautiful! Location makes the Palmer House great for visitors and I always recommend it. And as a city dweller, it is also my favorite place to get away. You can spend more on a hotel in Chicago, but you can't get a better Chicago experience!

posted by joanrouen on Nov 26, 2002


Rating: 5

The Palmer house is a good hotel, but chicago has so many that are so much better.

posted by reneeunlimited on Nov 18, 2002

Close but no cigar

Rating: 8

Nice old hotel with a great lobby but there are many better in Chicago.

posted by oconnellfj on Oct 31, 2002

Elegant and Oppulant

Rating: 10

Our Trip to Chicago was highlighted by the Palmer House. We were there with our friends and we all had a great time. Friendly staff sticks out in my mind. Great hotel with a beautiful lobby. We need a hotel like this in the Bay Area. Thank you for a wonderful stay! Go check it out!

posted by sanfrancisco49ers on Oct 23, 2002


Rating: 10

We stayed in Chicago to catch a game at Wrigley. It was great. THe Hotel is so Beautiful. The food was great and the Staff was very friendly. It was nice to have someone take care of us on our vacation. The concierge was able to help us get tickets to the game!!! Front Desk friendly and helpful. The rooms were very clean. Lots of fun at the Fitness Center and the Swimming Pool! We really enjoyed our stay

posted by sfgiantsfan2002 on Oct 21, 2002

good imts visit

Rating: 9

I liked the ease of the convient locale, but would have liked the registration staff to have made the check -in process seamlessly tied into the award program. I have yet to collect my receipts & turn in for credit.

posted by MariaMckend on Oct 14, 2002

The Way A Hotel Should Be

Rating: 10

This is a Nice Place with Friendly People. Great Rooms and Good food. The Lobby is huge and has lots of Art. I liked the old Silver used by the Presidents. I saw Bill Clinton at this hotel, can't say that about anywhere else! Great Hotel in a Great City! Go Broncos!

posted by dirk_diggler85202 on Aug 27, 2002

Hauntingly Beautiful and what a value!

Rating: 10

We stayed at this Hotel Memorial Day 2001. I have never had a more enjoyuable time ever in a Hotel Room. We plan to return Next Summer to get re aquainted with Chicago, The Palmer House and some special friends in the Area. We packed 'em in for the convention. The food was great, always something good to eat. The Lobby is Beautiful and the Service is Outstanding. FRIENDLY PEOPLE Everywhere. I rate this Hotel 10 stars for Value and Service. Give them a try!

posted by red_rammer2002 on Aug 25, 2002


Rating: 10

In all my travels I have stayed in many hotels thinking "this cannot be exceeded what more can anyone want"; to my surprize, the Palmer House Hilton is by far best in all aspects. I need not look further for the service and quiality I expect. Thanks for the Hospitality....

posted by veracruz50 on Aug 23, 2002

Beautiful and Affordable

Rating: 10

For the Level of Service and the Grand Nature of this hotel, Nothing can beat it. Why spend the night at a regular hotel when you can enjoy the personality of the Palmer House Hilton. We totally enjoyed the entire stay. Great Food, Mai Tai's at Trader Vic's and my husband enjoyed the Cigars too. For a family of our size it was perfect and below what we budgeted for Chicago this summer. I recommend this Hotel to everyone!

posted by eileen_waybach on Aug 17, 2002


Rating: 10

Great....great.....great. Absolutely fantastic. I'll be back. Would like to have a family reunion here.

posted by jirasol24 on Aug 8, 2002

Too luxurious!

Rating: 10

Historical, five star service, great food, beautiful ballrooms and clean!

posted by m_cully on Aug 1, 2002


Rating: 10

Great location, great rooms, great service. Walking through the elegant lobby reinforces the feeling that you've landed in a great spot in a great city!

posted by asprun on Aug 1, 2002

Dis place is da best

Rating: 10

This place is great. Lots of great food and real close to the El-Train so we could get to Wrigley. St. Louis was in town and I wanted to take my kid to see Sammy knock one out! We had a great room, each of us had a bathroom which is great for guys. Good TV selection and the Movies for Rent were outstanding. The Front Desk was good looking if you know what I mean. Friendly People everywhere. I felt at home. A real good time!

posted by Jimmy_the_Squid on Jul 31, 2002

Great Place for My Family while I worked

Rating: 10

I really Enjoyed the Hotel. My Family had plenty to do while I completed the work I was sent to do. Computer Hookup in the room and High Speed available at the Business Center. Also had Internet Access on the TV System! That's Cool! Great Food, Swimming, Shopping, Great Location. We will be back for Christmas!

posted by greg_the_cleaner on Jul 30, 2002


Rating: 8

It was overwhelmingly beautiful. The staff was extremely friendly and accomodating.

posted by Jill_Jackson on Jul 29, 2002

Breath taking

Rating: 10

What a beautiful lobby, the decor of the ceiling with the hand painting is marvelous. Definetly a piece of art.

posted by Executchef on Jul 23, 2002

Outstanding Service, Style and Value!

Rating: 10

The Service and the Value are worth the Trip to the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. Great Value for a wonderful room with a view! We will definitely return again and again. Check out room 19219 next time you stay! The Staff is Super Friendly and there to provide servie to all the guests. Very helpful and recommended a great place to eat! I was very please with our stay and would not hesitate to return anytime.

posted by debnsteve on Jul 22, 2002

The Best Service

Rating: 10

This hotel while historic really is about the people who work there. The service is great! They really care, and are proud of the hotels history.

posted by chansen on Jul 19, 2002

MORE about this Great Place

Rating: 10

I forgot to add that the hotel is located right downtown where my meetings were. I also was able to sneak over to Navy Pier with out missingmy afternoon sessions! The poeple who work at the Palmer House are wonderful and friendly. I can't count the number of times I was greated with a smile and hello while I was there Totally Top Notch Place, Everyone should stay there!

posted by waccobanana on Jul 19, 2002

Traditional elegance

Rating: 7

The rooms here are on the small side, but immaculately furnished and the location is terrific. It's easy to get lost in the winding hallways. The lobby is a must-see.

posted by peterbehle_citysearch on May 15, 2002

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