CHICAGO: THE PALMER HOUSE

CHICAGO: THE PALMER HOUSE

Hilton manages this charming little piece of history.

Here are some fun facts about The Palmer House:

  • Can you believe that this hotel opened September 26, 1881 and burned down in the great Chicago fire just 13 days later?? Talk about your bad luck! It was eventually rebuilt to be an even greater hotel across the street in 1873.
  • The ceiling in the lobby was actually designed and painted by the same fella (Louis Pierre Rigal) that restored the Sistine Chapel
  • The Palmer House had the first elevators in the city; advertisements claimed: “A perpendicular railroad connects floor to floor, rendering passage by stairs unnecessary.”

We were upgraded to the executive suites (on the 22 and 23 floors.)  These suites have their own private elevator and community lounge/reception area where complimentary breakfast is served (buffet style.)  If you need of your familiar morning fix, there is a Starbucks in the lower floor of the hotel and for you Duncan Doughnuts lovers, there is one just around the corner.  This hotel is in a great location, where you are able to walk to all of the big attractions that Chicago has to offer.  Just a block or so away from the waterfront too!

AMBIANCE | AMENITIES +++++ The quaint curb appeal of this hotel driving up quickly turns into a jaw-dropping experience as you walk into their grand lobby.  Check in was smooth and friendly.  I appreciated this hotel because while a hotel of this style could be considered stuffy (by someone like myself), I was impressed with how they had small modern twists to keep it contemporary.

FOOD & BEVERAGE  The complimentary breakfast (for the executive suites) was good for a grab and go. Besides breakfast and Starbucks, I didn’t really eat at this hotel.  Just steps out your front door is DT Chicago and well, little Italy was calling my name.  If you are ever in the Chicago area, Giordanos is a must for a casual dining option.  I grew up eating this pizza when I was  in town and still is one of the best deep dish pizzas ever in my book. I have even left the Chicago airport during a layover to run into town and grab a pizza to bring home to my family in Seattle.  Anyway, no rating for this hotel’s food because I didn’t give it a fair shake.

ROOMS ++++ Elevators leading to the executive rooms were charming and complete with beautiful brass accenting.  Rooms were big and clean.  French guest room décor was tasteful and married the older charm of the hotel with a contemporary flair. Our room had 2 bathrooms which was convenient and the view over the Chicago rooftops from our room was beautiful too.

EVENT | WEDDING | MEETING SPACE++++ The ballroom space here was nearly as impressive as the lobby.  Very ornate and gorgeous.  This style for a wedding would command a clientele that loved the elegant 1920’s vintage feel. A perfect space for big, formal weddings.  They also had smaller rooms for business meetings, etc too.  Lots of options for indoor space.

Hotel Best for: Business Travel, Girls trip, upscale Bachelorette Party, Bachelor Party, quiet hideaway for 2, honeymoon, multi-generation family trip, dt Chicago sightseeing, grand wedding or gala

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