My husband Kevin and I both grew up in Chicagoland. His parents have recently relocated to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (a post about THAT is in the works!), but my parents still live in the ‘burbs. The city of Chicago will always be a place we visit when we’re home for the holidays.
For a Christmas gift to ourselves, Kevin booked a night at the Palmer House Hilton on Monroe Street the day after Christmas. The price was EXTREMELY reasonable (around $140 for the night), and because Kevin is a Gold Member at Hilton (he does a lot of travel for work) we were upgraded to the Executive Floor. Basically the Executive Floor has a private elevator and breakfast, appetizers, and drinks are provided at no extra cost for Executive Level guests. I know, fancy schmancy.
The Palmer House is STUNNING. It is old, but that is part of its charm. The service is excellent, and it is in a great location. We will stay at the Palmer House again.
Above: The famous peacock elevator at the Palmer House Hilton
For dinner that evening, Kevin and I went to Eataly. Eataly Chicago opened a few months ago on East Ohio Street. It is a 2-story Italian market with wine (for drinking and for purchasing bottles), groceries, bistro-type restaurants, gelato and even a Nutella bar! It was pretty crowded, but if you don’t mind crowds and some lines it was a unique experience to have downtown.
After eating some meat, cheese, fresh-baked bread, and gelato (of course!) we went to Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar on West Hubbard Street. If you like live entertainment, cheesy music, and mixed drinks this is DEFINITELY the place to go. Yes, it’s highly commercial and drinks are a bit overpriced, but I enjoyed myself.
The next morning we checked out and walked around on Michigan Avenue (right around the corner from the Palmer House), shopped and checked out the Christmas displays that were still up. It isn’t as fun after Christmas is over. For those of you who have never spent Christmastime in NYC or Chicago, window shopping in the city IS a big deal.
All in all, this was a great little getaway for native Chicagoans. We’re going to try to make it back for a night next year!