What We Love
- Jetsetter 2014 Best of the Best Finalist: Best for Foodies
- Sophisticated style that makes for an elegant vibe
- Jean-Georges Vongerichten–crafted menu at the historic Pump Room
- Free bikes are available for use to explore the city
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- The Pump Room and Library Bar are evening scenes
- Expect to wait a bit for a drink at the busy Library Bar
- The property was renovated and re-branded in October 2011
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In a 1926 landmark building in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the first outpost of Ian Schrager’s PUBLIC brand bears the hotelier’s perfectionist signature at every turn, from the custom-designed lighting to the “no-color” palette. The posh lobby of the PUBLIC Chicago makes an immediate impression. A giant clock with a backward-moving hand ticks softly behind the front desk, bellhops dressed in vest/tie/jeans/sneakers getups move through the Art Deco–inspired doors, and Mac computers rest on a table beneath archways and rectangular columns. It’s a lively introduction to this elegant hotel.
Bed & Bath
The 285 guestrooms evoke a minimalist glamour, thanks to a palette of black, taupe and white, and luxe details like glass hurricanes, coffee table books and sheepskin throws. There are also local touches like framed black-and-white photos by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and curated postcards of iconic Chicago jazz musicians, which hint at the building’s past as a celebrity hot spot. The sleek style transfers into big bathrooms, with Thassos mosiac tile floors and custom Corian sinks and soaking tubs.
The historic Pump Room — onetime host to the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra — draws a lively crowd for its reimagined, ultra-chic interiors and Jean-Georges Vongerichten-crafted menu. The space is outfitted with leather booths and glowing earth-toned orbs that hang from the ceiling; the lighting is dim, but the energy is high. The reasonably priced menu features dishes like Lake Superior whitefish with chilies, red bliss potatoes and spinach. If you failed to make reservations, you’ll have to pass a long wait at the Library Bar. It’s an utter joy thanks to leather couches big enough to seat 10 and pisco cocktails made with rosemary, grapefruit juice and house-made grenadine.
In the Area
The downtown Art Institute houses famous works like American Gothic by Grant Wood and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Nearby, the Tavern on Rush serves such steakhouse fare as bone-in filet mignon and New York strip. Oak Street, a half-mile to the south, is lined with high-end boutiques including Barneys New York, Hermès and Prada. Only a stone’s throw from the hotel, the 3rd Coast Café & Wine Bar has a laid-back vibe and a wall of wide-ranging wine options.
How to Get There
The location was great. It’s close to the lake and close to great restaurants and shopping. On the downside, the valet was $67/day or you can self park half a block away for $45. The hotel looks great for an old building. We booked 2 rooms and they gave us adjoining rooms which worked out pretty well for us. The bathrooms were small but decent and the rooms were a good size. The beds were comfy. In our room, the side table lamp keeps going on & off late at night without anyone turning it on. I say ghosts but hubby thinks it’s an electrical short. Either way would be scary lol ????????♀️
We just stayed at the Ambassador and had a great experience with this hotel. We were traveling with our 2 young kids and had a 1 bedroom suite. This was a great choice and affordable for anyone traveling with kids because the bedroom had a separate door from the living room and a huge walk in closet. This is an awesome location to the water and restaurants and access to the train. Thanks for a really nice time and we will for sure be back.
Overrated. Outdated. Poor WiFi connection. Air conditioning barely worked. Only a duvet on bed. No separate sheet. Website said you get breakfast if you book directly with them but had to argue to get them to honour that - which they barely did. The breakfast itself wasn't worth it - sandwiches or limited continental. No complimentary water. Safe was small and placed about 6 feet up on a shelf. Nowhere to put suitcases. Only positive thing was cleanliness.
This place relies on its reputation and looking pretty but doesn't deliver of 4*.
Would not recommend