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A Celebration of our History

On  May 2, 1927, Hilton Chicago (originally the Stevens Hotel), opened its doors as the largest hotel in the world with 3,000 guest rooms, 27 chair barber shop, pharmacy, candy shop, 5 lane bowling alley, 1,200 seat movie theatre and an 18 hole miniature golf course atop the hotel, aptly named – the High-Ho Golf Club. Calvin Coolidge was President, a loaf of bread cost $0.09, Americans were listening to jazz and driving Ford Model T’s. Our story of exciting events began with the Chicago Mayor’s Committee and guests celebrating Charles Lindbergh’s first solo transatlantic flight at a dinner party hosted in the Grand Ballroom.

With the completion of a $150 million renovation, intertwining traditional design and contemporary nuances, we look forward to welcoming you to Where Classic Meets Cool.

History Timeline

The Stevens Hotel Opens, 1927

When the hotel first opened in 1927 it was the largest hotel in the world, featuring 3,000 guest rooms each with private bath, a barber shop, children’s fantasyland, pharmacy, bowling alley and 1,200 seat theater. So exciting was the opening of the hotel that the Vice-President of the United States, Charles Dawes, traveled from Washington D.C to become the first registered guest.

Amenities for the most Discerning Guests

When the hotel first opened, one of its most novel features was the Hi-Ho Golf Club located on the roof, 300 feet above Michigan Avenue. The club was a full 18 hole miniature golf course. Greens fees were approximately 35 cents for the first round and 20 cents for each additional round. The club was open until 12:30 AM every day and a brochure for the course stated “powerful illumination make night viewing a pleasure.” Directions to the club were simply “take an elevator to the roof.”

World War II

During World War II, the hotel was owned by the United States government and operated as a Technical Training School for the Army Air Force. Over 10,000 cadets slept four to a room while they trained across the street in Grant Park and on Lake Michigan.

A Banquet to Hilton honor her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Conrad Hilton escort her majesty Queen Elizabeth II to a banquet hosted in her Hilton honor in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Queen Elizabeth came to Chicago in 1959 for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Her visit was so exciting for residents in and around Chicago that over 3 million people came to welcome her fleet of ships as they pulled up to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Conrad Hilton purchases The Stevens Hotel

Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, greeting guests at his namesake hotel in the 1950’s. Upon purchasing the hotel in 1946, Conrad’s mission was very clear, to make it not only the world’s largest hotel, but also the friendliest.

What's New?

  • Included on USA TODAY’s 20 Top Hotels in Chicago – ranked #14
  • Top 100 Cvent Hotel
  • Chef Mario Garcia was recognized by the American Culinary Federation Chefs and Culinary Professionals of Chicagoland – Chef of the Year as well the 2017 Bacon Feast – Golden Rasher Award
  • Currently holding the top spot for fastest and largest internet bandwidth of 170+ Chicago hotels
  • 3rd floor meeting event area completed its renovation of new flooring, wall coverings, lighting and space configurations blending classic and cool design with a color palette inspired by Lake Michigan
  • Salon C has completed its renovation which now can provide 6 separate flexible space configurations featuring HufCor movable walls – the best of the best as it relates to noise cancelation
  • Continental Ballroom completed its renovation bringing contemporary touches with cool blue and grey hues complemented with lighting that provides the best balance of illumination and a reception area that can double as registration and reception in one
  • The Deck, located adjacent to the pool at the Fitness Center will receive a make-over in preparation for the summer season – a perfect spot to soak up the sunshine and Chicago skyline

Unique Highlights you Need to Know

  • 518 guest rooms accommodations combine 2 beds and 2 bathrooms
  • Unique corporate team building breakouts like baking apple pies alongside our culinary team in the pastry shop
  • Ability to provide full hotel branding take-overs and digital mapping
  • The hotel is the first stop along the returning bus route to McCormick Place Center
  • Digital Check-in – simply log on to your Hilton Honors App, select your guest room (just like you pick your airline seats), walk straight to your assigned room – unlock with your mobile device, unpack and unwind
  • How to use Your Hilton Honor Points – access Live Nation concerts, swap points with airline and credit card programs, donate to charity or shop Amazon
  • LightStays Sustainability Calculator – measure the sustainability impact of your meetings, simply by inputting your meeting details

Sip N' Savor

  • Kitty O’Sheas is celebrating 30 years of service and over 40 separate bourbons. Unique selections range from small Kentucky producers to boutique bourbon barrels from the Hudson Valley and even include interesting bourbons that have been aged at sea, crossing the equator 4 times prior to being bottled.
  • Kitty O’Sheas features its own tap to pint blend – Kitty’s Red, a classic Amber Irish Ale, which pairs wonderfully with the signature Corned Beef and live, weekly Authentic Irish performances.
  • 720 South Bar + Grill offers a Bourbon and Burger Menu
  • Executive Chef Mario Garcia cultivates his own rooftop garden and apiary as well as an urban Chicago farm plot which is geared towards the development of inner city youth

All Work

  • All meeting space will be fully renovated following the new flooring being added to the Grand Ballroom
  • Over 234,000 sq ft of meeting space
  • Ballrooms range between 10,080 sq. ft. to 21,996 sq. ft.
  • Stevens Meeting Center features four event spaces offering over 115,000 sq. ft. with registration area and registration office
  • Distinguished executive boardrooms between 260 sq. ft. – 697 sq. ft.
  • Smaller Salons and breakout space ranging from 960 sq. ft. – 2,976 sq. ft.
  • Office Space between 228 sq. ft. – 697 sq. ft.
  • Elevator bank of 14 separate cabs can expedite the transition between meeting rooms for a seamless experience
  • 50 unique event space to select, from smaller events to large corporate take-overs – we have the right space to fit your needs

Deserves Some Play...

  • All guest room accommodations have been fully renovated
  • 1,544 guest rooms including 204 executive level accommodations and business class upgrades
  • 13 renovated hospitality suites ranging from 800 sq. ft. -1,400 sq. ft.
  • Conrad Hilton Suite – the largest suite in the Midwest, received a $1.8 million renovation
  • All suites provide stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline landscape
  • Largest hotel Fitness Center in Chicago featuring indoor running/jogging plan, indoor pool, synergy 360 machine, cardio and strength training equipment plus the adjacent Deck to relax and unwind with sunshine
  • Sip and Savor at Kitty O’Sheas, 720 South Bar + Grill or venture to Herb N’ Kitchen for fresh, healthy gourmet market selections for a little picnic in Grant Park

History Timeline + Specialty Suites