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
Kay checked us in quickly and was friendly and very helpful. Kay was very upbeat and helpful.
The location can not be best. The Gold Coast has it all. Shopping and food. Quick walk or Uber to Michigan Avenue.
Let’s start with the positive aspects:
Location - Gold Coast far enough away from loud city street noise in a residential area
Historic building with great architecture
Friendly housekeeping and bellman staff
Clean room with comfortable bed & temperature control though small
Well stocked mini bar
Paper thin walls so you can hear everything in the next room at all hours
Spotty front desk staff in terms of friendliness and competence- examples:
Upon checking in we were told the driver room was not ready. We were asked to leave my cell phone so that the front desk a call when the room was ready. They never called.
First morning, after calling at 6 AM when our next room neighbors were in ordinately loud, I was told that they could call to ask them to turn down the TV and that they were checking out the next morning. When I went downstairs at a more appropriate hour the girl that checked me in was there. She said that she could not tell me the status of another rooms reservation. When I told her that’s fine then I’ll need to change my room, all the sudden she told me that they were checking out on that day. The Morning that I was leaving, I Asked for a late check out which I was graciously granted. However my room key ceased to work after checkout time, Requiring yet another trip to the front desk to have a new key programmed.
$21 breakfast buffet or grab & go options- no real dining options
Very limited fitness center
The Ambassador fit the location we needed on this trip but I would not consider it a four-star hotel, and would not stay there again.
It was quiet and in a wonderful neighborhood, the Gold Coast but we could walk to downtown. Our room was lovely and spacious. Hotel staff was very helpful in all respects. It wasn't too expensive. All told, a great place to stay when in Chicago. Only drawback was the lack of a restaurant but we heard they are going to restore the restaurant in the future.