When visitors plan their trips to Chicago, they might find themselves overwhelmed by the numerous hotel options. We've lived here for close to ten years and every time we head downtown we stay at a different property. Recently we stayed at the Kimpton Palomar Hotel in Chicago. I had never visited a Kimpton property before and was pleasantly surprised by the friendly service, stylish and comfortable design, and eco-friendly efforts we encountered at this boutique hotel.
What Works for Families
The hotel is located in the River North area of downtown. It is close to many fantastic restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options. Michigan Avenue is a five minute walk and a taxi can take you anywhere you want to go. A block away is the stop for the Red Line El train (elevated train) and you can hop on it to catch a ride to a Cubs game if you wish. The hotel is centrally located to everything the city has to offer.
The hotel does offer free wi-fi, but you will need to sign up for a Kimpton Karma rewards card. Signing up is free and offers additional perks once you begin accumulating additional stays, including a $10 “Raid the Mini Bar” voucher for to use towards in room or hotel restaurant purchases.
If requested, you can ask for a pet goldfish for your kids upon check in. I don’t know where I saw this, but I asked for it on the reservation request and sure enough, our pet fish was waiting for us on arrival. This was one of our kids favorite amenities of this hotel and the kids loved having our pet fish “Batman” for the duration of our stay.
If you would rather bring your own pet, you are welcome to do so. The hotel does not have a size or weight restriction, but does require an additional deposit.
The hotel is Green Key Certified and bills itself as one of Chicago’s great eco-friendly hotels. Most of their food and beverages served in the rooms and lobby are organic and/or fair-trade. They have a comprehensive recycling program in place for guest rooms and throughout the hotel and use eco-certified cleaning supplies. They also use energy efficient light fixtures and low flow toilets, showers, and faucets throughout the hotel which I think really attests to their commitment to being an environmentally friendly property. I can only hope more properties will follow their lead.
Wine Hour/Lounge Space
While I didn’t get to enjoy the free cocktail because I was traveling solo with my three kids, I noticed the property has a complimentary wine hour every evening from 5 to 6 p.m. in their lounge area. The lounge space is very comfortable and welcoming to travelers wanting to unwind after a long day of travel. They also have an adjoining outdoor patio area that would be a nice place to spend some time after a long day in the city.
Very Friendly Staff
From the front desk to the concierge to the cleaning staff, everyone was super friendly and helpful. Nothing was too big or small for them to tackle, and they were always smiling and engaging my kids.
Rooms are quite spacious and the beds are very comfortable. You can make a request ahead of time for the type of pillows you would like to have in your room. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows which let in a lot of natural light. The bathroom was large with a shower/tub combination and sink area with ample counter space. The hotel offers evening turn down service. My youngest had decided to make his own bed in the corner of the room out of blankets and pillows. The lovely staff even fixed up his bed, and did turn down for him as well. A very nice touch.
We did stay as a family of four, however, we are usually a family of five. The room was quite comfortable for us, but I think if we were traveling with my husband we would definitely need to find a larger room/suite or book two rooms. However, if I head downtown by myself again, this will definitely be my first choice for a hotel.
Many hotels in downtown Chicago have indoor pools and the same is true at the Kimpton Palomar. The pool is on the top floor, heated, enclosed by glass windows, with an attached sun deck. The pool is not overly big, it seemed crowded when there were 15 kids playing in it. We have found this to be the case at most downtown Chicago hotels, large pools aren’t a priority, so we are just happy when they have something.
Parking is not cheap. I believe it is $58 per night for valet parking. However, this is comparable to every hotel downtown. If given the option, take a taxi, walk, or use public transportation to get around the city.
The hotel has a restaurant attached to the hotel called the Sable Kitchen & Bar and offers room service as well. We did not have the opportunity to try the restaurant, but locals speak highly of the quality food they serve and the fun atmosphere.
The Kimpton Palomar Hotel really won me over during our stay. The hospitality of the staff, the decor and cleanliness of the hotel, and the location simply cannot be beat. The price was very reasonable, especially when compared to other downtown hotels. Should you find yourself looking for somewhere to stay in downtown Chicago, look no further, this place has it all.
If you are looking for related Chicago posts, check out: Things to Do in Chicago You Won't Always Find in a Guidebook, Chicago's Best Sites for Little Kids