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Palmer House A Hilton Hotel
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Reviews (9,691)
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Reviewed 6 July 2012 via mobile

We booked over priceline and asked for a room to stay in with our two children.
The man at the front desk told us that this would be no problem.
The first room was so small, that two people are lucky to find place in there.
We got a bigger one and an extra bed should be delivered.
When we came back at 8 - no bed, 3 phonecalls and 2 hours later - no bed.
Down again - after 5 minutes the bed was there - for 1 person!!!
Luckily we had an airbed in the car.
Nice interior, and higher prices don't necessarily mean good service.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank kaheleja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2012

I have a love/hate relationship with the Palmer House. I have stayed here more times than I can remember because of business travel in the area. So let’s start with the positive. It has quick access to the subway lines and is located within a few blocks of the Art Museum, Millennium Park, and the Theater District. It is also within easy walking distance of some good restaurants (but be aware, it takes notably longer to walk to shopping areas and other places on the north side of the river). It is an old, classic-era hotel that has managed to retain much of its charm and early-style luxury. The lobby remains a work of art, the service is always courteous and efficient, the hallways and bedrooms are nicely decorated and always feel fresh and clean, the beds and chairs are reasonably comfortable, and the rooms offer almost all of the amenities you would expect in this price range (though they could work on wifi access).

So what is not to like? The room size can vary widely though I have yet to find a reliable way to predict from the going rate whether the room will be surprisingly large or uncomfortably small. Now days, by habit, I ask for a larger room when I check in because it seems to depend primarily on what is available at the time. I also ask for a room away from the noise of the elevators and the elevated train track. Getting an interior room usually takes care of both of issues but then you’ll have a window that looks directly out into other guestrooms. That makes for great Hitchcock-like entertainment but it will force you to use the blinds more than you might like. It also seems like all the bathrooms in the place are remarkably small -- something I have come to expect as part of the Palmer experience. All that aside, my biggest pet peeve is with the elevators. The wait for them, up or down, can be excruciatingly long and then you have to squeeze into the (reluctant) space between the armpits of everyone else who has been waiting with you. Management is well aware of the problem and has tried everything it can over the years to try to address it. Unfortunately, this is a problem that was literally “built” into the hotel when the early-era designers drew up plans for so few elevators in such a large place. These days the elevators are selectively programmed for access to some of the floors but not others. That has helped … a little. More recently, they have installed small screens into each of the elevators that show lots of advertisement and a historical Q&A clip about the hotel. That’s entertaining for a short while. Familiarity and comfort level will keep me coming back here (as it always has) but you might want to weigh your options and priorities when signing up for the Palmer House experience.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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3  Thank Highway_Marker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 9 July 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us at our hotel. We appreciate your honest feedback and point of view on the historic elements of our property. We look for reviews to provide insight into our hotel and our elevators and restrooms are an area we are actively examining. We welcome any additional comments or suggestions you would like to share. Thank you again and we look forward to having you back the next time you are in Chicago.
Warmest Regards,
Christine Smith
Marketing Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2012

We did name your own price through Priceline and ended up with this hotel for a Saturday-Tuesday stay. Since it was through Priceline, we of course ended up with one double bed and a smoking room even though I asked very nicely for a king sized bed and non-smoking room. The hotel was booked solid for Saturday but they said to check back on Sunday and we could possibly get moved. The bed was much comfier than expected, and we didn't want to check out at 11, store our stuff for a few hours, then get a new room after dinner, so we just stayed in the same room. The room smelled like smoke even though it said it was a non-smoking floor, but we got used to it. I'm glad I read other TripAdvisor reviews so I was prepared for the VERY small room and kinda loud hallway, but I was still able to sleep through most of the nights. The location is fantastic and the lobby is gorgeous. The parking is pricey, but at least we didn't pay full price for the hotel room. :-)

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sapphire226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2012

Stayed here recently fo a meeting. The first thing that strikes you as you enter the hotel is the architecture and the space. It is clear this hotel has history in every corner of the buidling. Although historical the hotel is comfortable and welcoming. Check in was qucik and friendly, The elevators quickly whisked me to my high floor room. It was upon exiting the elevator and seeing corridors disappear into the distance that you realise that this is a BIG hotel a feature that is not so obvious at ground floor level. My room was thankfully a short distance from the elevator lobby and was well appointed and furnished. The bed was comfortable and the room had all the amenties that you could wish for. The hotel has a large numnber of meetings rooms of all sizes and decor - ranginf from a room in which Al capone allegedly played poker to a room that looked like a room in a medieval castle.
these rooms are thread throughout a couple of floors and commuting between rooms was always an interesting orienteering exercise.
I would certainly consider Palmer House if I were in Chicago again but I also really like a couple of other hotels in Chicago so it might come down to price on the day.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank cdab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2012

Good heritage hotel i would say. Its an old property but with good handling and amenities. I stayed here for 4 days and had a wonderful time. The staff is really cheering and helpful. One of the best hotels you get to stay with such good hospitality. The places around this hotel are fun specially the Bars and clubs. I even got a smoking room.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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Thank AnkitNarchal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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