A favorite wedding venue, the Palmer House is one of the oldest hotels in North America. Forever entwined with Chicago history, its first incarnation was razed to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, just 13 days after its inauguration. Famed as the place where the brownie was created, the Palmer House was the first Chicago hotel to have a phone, an elevator, and electric lights. Designed in Beaux Arts style, the Palmer House is ostentatious at every turn. The frescoed lobby leads to a brilliant confection of richly appointed ballrooms awash with Tiffany chandeliers, frescoed ceilings, billowing drapes, and gilded artifacts. All rooms feature Serenity beds, flat-screen HD televisions, and Wi-Fi. For more space, splurge on a deluxe room or executive suite that mirrors the lavish overtones of the public spaces (think red velvet, heavy drapes, and plush carpets). There are four restaurants on-site, a spa, and a health club.