The Palmer House Hilton

4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 Stars

17 East Monroe Street, Box 75845, Chicago, Illinois, 60603, United States

16 Reviews

The Palmer House Hilton
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4.5 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families80
  • Couples77
  • Solo70
  • Business66
  • rmjiv's Profile Photo

    Palmer House


    We stayed at the Palmer House for a week on our most recent stay. It is one of the older hotels in Chicago and has a wonderfully vintage lobby. Many visitors to the city stop by the lobby bar for a drink or just to admire the decor.

    We had a smaller room - only one double bed. The room also squeezed in a sitting chair and a small desk. Despite the size we found the room quite comfortable. It was clean, all of the furnishings were newer and the bed was comfortable.

    We chose the Palmer primarily due to its location - it is right in the heart of the Loop area of Chicago. It is just a few blocks from the Art Institute and is walking distance to Navy Pier and the other museums off of Grant Park (Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium). Which also makes it a popular hotel. There was a longish wait at check-in time and for the elevators at peak times.

    The popularity also means that there aren't a lot of free amenities: no free internet in the rooms or usage of the fitness facility. The pool is free if somewhat small.

    Overall I was quite satisfied with our stay. If you're going to be spending lots of time in the Loop it is one of your best options.

  • teleimac's Profile Photo

    The windy city - The Friendly City!


    There is nothing for which I could say about my stay which was negative where this hotel was concerned. I was, obviously, a member of the International TV Media staying at the hotel to cover the election victory of President Obama. It was also my first visit to the United States of America. The hotel, it's staff and citizen's of Chicago did your country proud where I was dealing with any of you. I was afforded the warn and helpful welcome I hope Ireland will afford American tourists and workers! Thank you.

    Unique Quality: Location, Friendly Check-In, Great rooms, Internet services, quality local restaurants.

    Directions: Near the bean!

  • teleimac's Profile Photo

    The windy city - The Friendly City!


    There is nothing for which I could say about my stay which was negative where this hotel was concerned. I was, obviously, a member of the International TV Media staying at the hotel to cover the election victory of President Obama. It was also my first visit to the United States of America. The hotel, it's staff and citizen's of Chicago did your country proud where I was dealing with any of you. I was afforded the warn and helpful welcome I hope Ireland will afford American tourists and workers! Thank you.

    Unique Quality: Location, Friendly Check-In, Great rooms, Internet services, quality local restaurants.

    Directions: Near the bean!

  • Not worth the headache


    Promised a king bed and when I arrived (at 5 p.m.) I was tod they we "gone". Had to sleep on a "roll a way" for two nights and then had to call three times to get it delivered to my romm. Never again!

  • Moustique's Profile Photo

    Nice, but not like the pictures


    It was a beautiful hotel, however our room was tiny. The room was not like the pictures on their website. We weren't in the room that often so it was okay. Their was a lot of construction going on around the hotel when we were there, I would like to try again without the construction. It was an okay stay, however I was bigger fan of the Sheraton.

  • Promises, promises . . .


    Paying full fare and getting what one is paying for is the way to go if you ask me. Unfortunately, that may not be the best approach with the PHH as their disorganization, understaffing and poor management did not allow for that. Let me start this review by saying that Palmer House did a lot to try to make up for our disappointing stay there this past weekend. Let me say further to this that I would have gladly forgone the room credits and free drinks to have what I had reserved with them in the first place. . . happy to bypass the hassles and loss of sleep.
    I will abbreviate the issues but . . . where to begin?

    The good things:
    It was pretty clean (upholstery in all three of our rooms needed cleaning but the bathrooms were spotless) and despite other opinions, not expensive for the area. I book hotels a lot and found their price reasonable. The beds were very comfortable, nice bedding. The lobby is beautiful - though inconvenient as you enter and exit through a lower level. They have an airport check in kiosk that is a plus.

    The not good things:
    Reservations were made months in advance with needed room configurations and a special request that two of the rooms connect. They advised me - gave a special number - to call the day prior to check in and make my requests again, which I did. I received an email comfirming my room needs and that we were guaranteed a connecting room for our 80 year old mother. After we traveled much of the day - from Colorado, Louisiana, Idaho and New York - we all arrived at PHH (40 minutes after their 3 PM check-in time) and met with a 55 minute wait in the long long check in line. When we finally got to the desk, they didn’t have the rooms available that they had confirmed by email the day before - AND what rooms they had were not ready. "We're really busy" I am told. Mind you it's now after 4:30 PM. We are told that we'll have three rooms - each two beds- on the same floor and are given keys to two of them. We are leaving soon for early dinner and theatre plans and are promised that the keys to the third room will be waiting upstairs in our room upon our return. 10:45 PM - we're back - no keys. I go downstairs, wait in another line at the front desk and finally get the keys. Back on the 10th floor, my brothers head to the third room - which turns out to be a KING bed, not two beds. I call back downstairs, they have no other room for them and offer to send up a rollaway bed saying that it will take 15-30 minutes to get there. It takes one hour and by now, it's just before midnight. My brothers head off to their room again - but something has changed and their keys no longer work. This time I ask that someone from the staff come up and bring new keys. He does and promises that FIRST THING in the morning housekeeping will come and change the bed in the king room so we can switch and put Mom in there instead and get my brother off the rollaway. "We've been really busy," he says. Just then, a single gal checks into the room next to ours - she's alone but she gets a room with two double beds. I was supposed to have a king room she tells me. We both stare at a pizza box that's been there since we arrived.

    The next morning, off we go for the day at 8 AM - returning at 4:30pm to find that King room has not been cleaned yet!! Pizza box is still out in the hall too. I call downstairs, 45 minutes later the room is finally made up and Mom gets her nap. I call management and they nicely comp us for the first night in two of the three rooms. That was the right thing for them to do. "We've been really busy," he says - but agrees that that's a lousy excuse to offer someone paying for their services.

    My opinion: While I woulld recommend this hotel, don’t go there with expectations and don’t believe that they will do what they say they will. Communication and organization there are nearly non-existent. . . and "they're very busy."

    Unique Quality: Pool and spa "not part of hotel" - $15. service charge for use. Pool closed anyay.

    Directions: downtown - near Art Institute and park

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Grand Old Lady of the Loop


    The Palmer House Hilton is a historic hotel in the heart of Chicago's Loop. Currently undergoing renovations, the Hotel was owned and owned and operated by Hilton International from 1945 to 2005, but it is now no longer part of the Hilton family. however, the current owners (an international investment group) have retained the rights to use the Hilton in the name. (Is that weird or what?)

    The Lobby is the big attraction here. It was originally built in the 1870s, after the terrible Chicago fire, and it certainly earns its keep as an opulent and grand public space. When I stayed in the Palmer House in March 2008, the lobby was more chaotic and confused than normal - due to the ongoing renovations underway at the property. The lobby bar was operating in the lobby itself - peculiar, but (I hope) just a temporary expedient until the renovations are completed.

    The guest rooms of the hotel date from the 1920s, when the present structure of the hotel was created by the architectural firm of Holabird and Roche. It's one of the largest hotels in the city - around 1600 rooms - and their quality varies: some of them are quite small, and very few of the rooms have interesting views. On the other hand, with Priceline I've been able to stay here for around $80 a night, and you can't beat that!

  • Rachael71's Profile Photo

    A piece of Chicago's history


    Just going into the lobby to register when you arrive is an eye-opener. The decor is just tremendous and reflects the wealth of the man who built it in the late 19th century - even if you don't stay here it's worth visiting the bar to have a look! Our bedroom was more in keeping with the 21st century. The bed was very comfortable and the room was spotless. The bathroom was small but fine for our needs, and the room was supplied with a coffee maker and TV. We didn't experience any street noise and slept like logs during our visit.

    The hotel is well situated - a short walk from the Art Institute and not too far from the other sights of the city. We stayed on a room only basis so I can't comment on the breakfasts, but the hotel is close to plenty of restaurants where you can fuel up for a day of exploring.

    The staff were very friendly and helpful and have great suggestions for places to visit and where to eat.

    Unique Quality: This hotel has such character! It has undergone some very sympathetic restoration recently and it's not difficult to imagine yourself staying here in the days of Potter Palmer himself. The corridors are lined with pictures of some of the stars who entertained guests in the Empire Room in the 1940s and 1950s. This was fun, if not a little spooky - my husband said it reminded him of the wall of photographs at the end of "The Shining"!

  • GuitarStan's Profile Photo

    Stay In Downtown Chicago


    You can get a very reasonable rate for this hotel by looking on the web. It has a parking garage next door (quite expensive though). It has a beautiful lobby area with huge paintings on the high vaulted ceiling. Subway station just a short walk out the door.

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    Old World Atmosphere


    The Palmer House Hilton is the oldest continuously operated hotel in "...." (I have forgotten what goes in the blanks. Chicago? North America?) It definitely is a fun place to arrive. We drove up and the valet quickly took over the car. A bellman whisks away your bags after asking your name and tells you they will be in your room later.

    The lobby is grand with a bar, lovely comfortable seating areas, and well dressed people milling about. Check in was relatively smooth and Lorna schmoozed the check in girl getting us an upgrade to a room with two bathrooms; not a bad deal when there are three women. Because we had two double beds she also offered to include a rollaway.

    We got to the door just as the bellman was arriving with our luggage. "Welcome to the Palmer House Hilton. We've been expecting you." We heard that several times over the next 3 days! he insisted on showing us all the amenities of our room; "This is your light switch. There is your TV. There is your coffee maker. There are the bathrooms. There is no longer a minibar but there is a bar in the lobby. The fire escape is there. The bottled water is $3.95. Internet access is $17.95." And here is my hand, waiting for a tip for showing you all these important things.

    Now why is it that the priciest hotels always make you pay extra for anything beyond a bed? There were three of us, myself and my two daughters. The extra person was $25 per night. For what? towels? We didn't get extra soap or shampoo. And then when we called down to ask about the rollaway we were told that would be $30 extra. (They waived the fee when we told them that Lorna had been promised one at check in.) Parking was $40/day. The thing is, I can stay at a Super 8 for $69.00 and get free wifi, free breakfast and free parking. But pay $350 for a nice hotel and everything is extra. Something doesn't make sense.

    Unique Quality: The Palmer House has some excellent appointments and feels very much like a piece of history. There are lots of reminders that it's currently owned by the Hiltons, including a little book in the room about the Hilton family. There are places where things are worn and could use repair, but for the most part it was very nice. The beds were extremely comfy with pillowtop mattresses and plush comforters.

    The location is also great. It's only 3 blocks to the Lake, a couple to the "Bean". And close to shopping.

  • BellaMora's Profile Photo

    The Windy City


    This hotel was absolutely beautiful and absolutely too expensive for my particular need of being there. I would recommend this to someone on a tour of the city for a few days in a laid back mode, honeymoon, family reunion, or anniversary type occasion--something lasting a few days-not a week. The room was nice however, the bathroom was alot smaller than I like but the beds were very plush and comfortable. I ended up having to catch a cab to a self serve laundry mat away from downtown because the rates were ridiculous at the hotel. Cocktails at the bar were normal prices at any hotel. We ended up going to the breakfast spots enroute to Michigan Ave because a simple continental breakfast in the hotel was $16. A full breakfast started at $24 and for me that was stupid for breakfast to be priced that high. Breakfast isnt that high dollar in Europe or Asia! The great thing is, as soon as you walk out on to State St, plenty of restaurants are within a few walking steps--and women's clothing stores!

    While I was there, apparently Janet Jackson was in the hotel as well during this same time just to give you an idea of its stature.

    Unique Quality: It has an amazing foyer, concierge service, boutiques, jewelry stores, salons, etc. Everything you could want for the appropriate occasion. It's centrally located downtown near the Water tower mall, Michigan Ave, Navy Pier, and plenty of shops. If I were having a wedding or a formal event, I would have chosen this hotel. My room went for close to $400 a night. I was here for a convention in 2006 for an entire week and thank goodness it was paid for. But this was way too extravagant for this occasion. The internet in the hotel room was overpriced along with breakfast and laundry service and even local phone calls were close to $1.00 a minute.

    I would have done better at a Marriott Fairfield Inn away from downtown for this occasion.

  • ashmfoay's Profile Photo

    A very nice hotel!


    The lobby of the hotel is so beautiful, and there were weddings there 2 nights we stayed, which was fun to be around. Our room was pretty small (we had 2 double beds), but very clean, and the size didn't matter much since we were hardly around. The location is very good, but if I had more money to spend I would stay closer to the magnificent mile at Rush Street.

    My friend and I were looking to hit up some bars while we were there, but there aren't too many near the hotel, but the 2 that we did go to were pretty fun.

    Most of the good restaurants that we would have liked to have eaten at were on Rush street, but we really didn't find those until the end of the trip, so that is a great location to stay around, but this hotel is a very short and cheap cab ride, and a 10-15 minute walk.

    Unique Quality: The lobby is very elegant and beautiful, and I felt like royalty staying here. It was worth the walk (which isn't too far to the sights) to stay at a place like this, and it was fairly affordable at the time we went (labor day weekend). I would definately recommend it, but I would stay closer to the Hancock observatory if I could afford to.

    There is a lot of shopping around here too!

    Directions: Monroe at State

  • dircelo's Profile Photo

    Old Landmark Building


    Small but fine rooms, with windows which open to let in fresh air, but also aircondition. Clean, crisp rooms, usual 5*hotel amenities, such as TV, Telephone, internet access, minibar.

    Unique Quality: The architecture inside makes you think you belong to that old age of glamour.

    It also has a pool, sauna, a gym, which is for the number of guests too small.

    Breakfast was deliciuos, in the Lobby Breakfast restaurant.

    Directions: State street and Monroe/Chicago Loop

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    125 Years of Splendor...


    "No other city in mainland U.S.A. can offer a spectacle like the Loop, where dozens of major buildings lie within the compass of an afternoon stroll." Reyner Banham, British architectural critic, 1964

    Don't even ask how many years ago I stayed at the wonderful Palmer House (before Hilton owned it)! I was a senior in high school & attended a Newspaper Convention in Chicago. Can you believe that we stayed at the magnificent Palmer House?
    When my daughter Jill was married here in Chicago, my dear friends, Marilyn & Bruce Hart, stayed at the Palmer House Hilton. They loved it, bringing back my own memories.
    It's such a part of Chicago, & for all 125+ years, people from all over the world have come here to stay when they visited Chicago. Why? Because of the Beaux Arts ceiling in the Lobby, the mythological statues all around, the famous EMPIRE ROOM, & because of its location near Chicago's business & financial district. It's also within walking distance of The Art Institute; Symphony Center; Goodman, Chicago, & Shubert Theatres; Grant Park & the Lakefront.
    My friends said that the rooms were smaller than most luxury hotel rooms, but they were still more than satisfied.
    It's a huge hotel with over 1500 deluxe rooms & almost 90 suites. The Penthouse Suite has 11 rooms!
    The Palmer House Hilton has what they call "an Executive Level", which my friends belong to, & so they enjoyed the following:
    a. complimentary Continental breakfast
    b. complimentary hors d'oeuvres at cocktail time
    c. private elevator to a private registration area, lobby, & lounge

    Restaurants & Bars:
    a. The French Quarter (American Cuisine)
    b. Windsor's Lobby Bar & Cafe
    c. The Big Downtown (new) Bar/Restaurant
    d. Jacques for caffeine lovers who eat on the
    run such things as pastries, muffins, or
    There is also a Fitness Club with Nautilus equipment & other exercise gear plus massage therapy, sauna, whirlpool, & steam room. Oh, yes, there is an indoor pool.

    Unique Quality: Just a few days ago (July of 2004), Allan & I visited for old time's sake...the Lobby is wonderful with all the restoration of the ceiling by a Florentine artisan who also worked on the Sistine Chapel. A staff member let us into the famed EMPIRE ROOM, which has also been restored and is used for special parties. I'm so pleased, as you, too, will be when you experience this 1971 Landmark Hotel.

    Note: Price is per person. Here in the USA, prices are quoted per room; however, the choice here is per person so calculate accordingly.

  • mpcasey's Profile Photo

    Palmer House


    It has a great location walking distance from Grant Park and the lake front.

    Unique Quality: It has an old elegance charm. It's a Hilton, so it has everything a person needs, if not they will try and find it for you.
    They have specials so this hotel is affordable

    Directions: Downtown

More about The Palmer House Hilton


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Forum Posts

The Big Downtown at the Palmer House Hilton.

by nyc_chef_1971

Going to be in Chicago tonight thru Thursday. I was thinking about eating at the hotel tonight for convenience. Can anyone offer a review of the restaurant?

First time in Chicago, I would really like to try the Pizza. Is it good here or should I venture out.


RE: The Big Downtown at the Palmer House Hilton.

by zuriga

If it's cold, stay in! I don't know Chicago well at all but was there for the first time about a year ago. Across from my hotel, people would line up to eat at Grand Luxe Cafe. I only had one night so I decided to try it. Maybe it's because I've been living in the UK for 3 years, but the food there was so good and just wanted I craved... huge hamburger, fries and great desserts. It certainly wasn't a diner - lovely place and really buzzing. Have some pizza for lunch - it's the thick crust variety and ask what's the best around.

RE: RE: The Big Downtown at the Palmer House Hilton.

by ljbs

It's not going to be very cold tommorow (Wednesday)--Chicago weather is much like New York's. The Big Downtown is ok, but not anything special. Just a bit south of the hotel at Wabash and Monroe there's a Geordano's which produces a good example of Chicago style pizza. In the Palmer House's main lobby there's a very pleasant bar where you can get sandwiches, etc. along with drinks--both alcholic and non-alcohalic. And Immediately south of the hotel on Wabash there's Millers,s Pub. It's a steak house cum sports bar (tv's tuned to every sorts even that's broadcast in Chicago all over the place.s Good steaks and ribs and various greek dishes, and even with its location it's not overly touristy; it's quite popular with Chicagoans.

RE: The Big Downtown at the Palmer House Hilton.

by TRimer

The Big Downtown's food is not bad. When I was working down the street we used to meet after work for happy hour. They have a good beer selection, margaritas and your basic bar food. They also have good salads and sandwiches. If you are looking for more finer dining I would try Rhapsody which is a block away (Adams and Wabash). They have a really nice dinner menu and a separate bar menu. It will be in the low 30s tomorrow nite. Not exactly frigid.


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 The Palmer House Hilton

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Palmer Hilton House
Palmer House Chicago
Palmer House Hilton Chicago
Chicago Palmer House Hilton
Chicago Hilton
Hilton Hotel Palmer
The Palmer House Hilton Hotel Chicago

Address: 17 East Monroe Street, Box 75845, Chicago, Illinois, 60603, United States