"Old World Atmosphere" The Palmer House Hilton Tip by Callavetta

The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago: 7,907 reviews and 16 photos

  Photo from the hotel website
by Callavetta

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 Qualities: 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.

Address: 17 E. Monroe Street
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Phone: 1-312-726-7500
Price: US$120-180
Theme: Hotel
Website: http://www.hiltonfamilychicago.com

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 23, 2007
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