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
- 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
Older hotel in safe residential area near the lake. Valet parking was $67, way too much for this hotel. Staff members were very friendly. The lobby and hotel are beautiful, but the style and elegance of the main floor doesn’t match the rooms. Our room was clean, but very dated... like a room and bathroom at your great grandma’s house. Might stay here again, but it’s time to renovate.
Although the rooms were small, there was a lot of charm at the Ambassador Chicago. The staff was incredibly helpful when we asked about dining recommendations as well. Visit the restaurant on site for a great cocktail, and then make sure you head down stairs to view all the old photos of famous people who have visited the restaurant over the decades. Lots of history here! Also, very close to the lake.
The walls were thin, and almost everyone in our group had a story to tell about their neighbor. That's my biggest complaint.
I am in love. First of all, the location- for someone who used to live 2 blocks away I’m partial to the Gold Coast - walking distance to the loop (if you’re the type who likes to walk), close to the red line, w/in blocks of some of the best shopping & restaurants Chicago has to offer and a stones throw to Oak St Beach.
My room is super cozy and comfortable. I actually forwent going out to dinner to stay in and enjoy the room (yes that’s a dining table that seats 10 in the pic!). Nice treat having an overstuffed couch to stretch out on.
The room was clean - I looked extra close to see if i could find something that would take away from my first impression, but nope, it was flawless!
The hotel lobby is charming. The Pump Room is quintessential old school that oozes charm with great food and an even more amazing HH.
There are so many small touches and attention to detail everywhere; I honestly think I’ll make a point to stay here every time I’m in town.
Stayed two nights at this grand hotel. Very favorable experience overall. Great location near lakefront, Lincoln Park, Old Town etc. Beds are low to floor but very comfortable. Bathroom is small but serviceable. I was given a room directly in front of elevators, but thankfully noise was not bad. Great bar in hotel also.
Omg not worth it. Spent 221$ for one night and that was with a wedding block discount. Check in was 3 pm we arrived 330. Room wasn’t ready. Had to stand at the check in for 15 minutes. Lady never even apologized for the wait or wished us a “nice stay”. Sheet on bed had a stain on it. Bathroom wasn’t clean. Had toothpaste marks on sink. Room is small. So not worth the money for downtown chicago. Way better upscale hotels.