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Well, my London Christmas trip got cancelled by the Omicron variant (ok, not cancelled but it became infeasible to go with the length of quarantine implemented). I began looking for a place close to home since it was also now too expensive to buy a ticket being so short term. I happen to live somewhat driving distance from Chicago, and I found astounding rates at the Palmer House, a centrally located downtown grand icon of old school hotelishness.
I drove in from Minnesota, a brutal 7 hour trip due to the return of the notorious Chicago traffic. 10 miles took an hour near downtown on I90/I94. Well, I'll leave earlier next time.
I stopped at the main entrance on Monroe, and off loaded my luggage to the bellman. Then I went to park offsite (at $65 a night, when I could park a block away for $45 for the weekend? Well... I don't just throw money away!)
The lobby is on floor 2, walkup, elevators and escalators abound from the 3 entrances to the hotel, from the east, west, and north (the main one).
No upgrades for this Diamond, I arrived pretty late though and well, you'll see how things are going there as you continue to read.
The view was ok. 17th floor doesn't get you over many buildings in downtown. But at least it was an external view. The cheap rooms face the central shaft of the building.
Food and Drink
The restaurant and the lobby bar are open. Plus a very extensive "Grab & Go" which is almost a full coffee shop. Lots of great options there.
This has been an event hotel since day one, and man, the rooms and 4 floors of spaces would allow you to hold a meeting for most of the 1600 rooms available for your guests.
The gym and pool were open all the way except the steam room. I couldn't get you a lot of pictures of the workout areas, well, thanks to Dani Mathers and her fat shaming.
And really cool displays with artifacts from the 150 previous years of the hotel. That's a long time.
A very solid 4 star hotel that is truly a unique property. There were service issues, as noted above. This is my favorite hotel in Chicago, and I have stayed here multiple times in the last 2 decades. I think after the world comes back to a bit of normal, I'll return to her.
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