Palmer House Hilton


Palmer House has been around since 1875 and the lobby still has an awe-inspiring opulence – Tiffany chandeliers, marble pillars, ceiling frescoes – that makes a look-see imperative. The 1600-plus guest rooms give off a more updated vibe: most are spacious, done up with playful chartreuse touches and geometric-print drapes and carpet. The Art Institute and Millennium Park are within spitting distance.

Chicago millionaire Potter Palmer set many worldwide records when he opened the property (first to use electric lighting, first to have in-room telephones, invention of the brownie…). Today it remains the nation's oldest hotel in continual operation. Its huge size makes it a convention favorite, which is why prices fluctuate wildly across the year. Wi-fi costs $12 per day.

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