In the 1920s, The Palmer House was the largest in the world. First built as a wedding present from a rich man to his lovely wife, it burned down just days later in the Great Chicago Fire. Rebuilt and expanded, the Palmer House is now owned by the Hilton and still oozes 1920s glamour. Located only steps away from Michigan Avenue and State Street, find yourself within walking distance of Millennium Park, shopping, theaters, the Art Institute, and Buckingham Fountain.
A swanky bar and restaurant keep the breathtaking lobby lively until the wee hours of the morning. Almost everywhere you turn ornate chandeliers, expansive ballrooms, impressive elevator banks, and classic images of turn-of-the-century Chicago greet you.
Eerie labyrinthine hallways make a sighting of the creepy twins from The Shining a serious possibility. The rooms are a lot less spooky. Nice and clean with comfortable bedding, fluffy towels, and a large closet.
Friendly staff, great location, and a “Name Your Price” Priceline deal of $70 per night make the Palmer House Hilton an almost home-run. Another plus: the view from our 19th floor room included Chicago’s new Trump Tower (that blindingly reflects light at sunset).
The small bathroom, possibly thin walls, and lack of a coffeemaker are downfalls although the weekend we stayed was surprisingly quiet and we took advantage of the Starbucks located downstairs. The only other downside is the $55 per night valet parking. Cheaper parking is available across the street for almost $40 per night (with in-and-out privileges). However, those familiar with Chicago know nearby lots like N. Harbor Drive go for as low as $25 per night. It’s worth it to walk or cab it from there.