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
I love this hotel! The ambiance is great and the food delightful, the beds comfortable and the decor modern and chic. But what sets this hotel apart is the people who work there! I was greeted by Ashley and Angel who checked me in and knew I was staying for a bachlorette party. They helped me to upgrade to a little bit bigger of a room to meet my needs and sent up a fridge! During my stay Blake in the library bar (who makes amazing coffee) gave me some wine glasses and plates so I could entertain. Finally on my departure Jacqui and Maria gave me an extended check out so I could make sure everything was in order! Not the mention this hotel is pet friendly so I was able to bring my pooch! The valet was also super helpful holding my car as I loaded and unloaded! The bellman were also great! Luis and Fransisco! I cannot rave enough! The location is also super walk able - able to walk just up to wells (old town) for a night out AND great food!! Again I cannot recommend enough!
This hotel is in a great historic building. It has an intimate feel to it, with narrow corridors, low ceilings, etc. I liked the dim lighting. This would be very cozy if the upkeep was a bit better. Some refurbishment is needed.
The furnishing of the rooms was very disappointing. The beds were extremely low - practically on the floor. The "furniture" appeared to be particle board covered in contact paper...very odd. The windows had a residential rather than typical hotel appearance, which was appreciated. The bathroom appeared recently updated while still maintaining an historic vibe. Actual furniture and some attention to detail would make for lovely rooms, but they missed the mark.
I didn't eat a regular meal (off the menu) in the hotel restaurant but the group I was with had catered/buffet food. It was pretty good. I wouldn't be surprised if the food was good at the restaurant.
Happy hour was great. I liked the bar, and the happy hour prices were extremely reasonable. The house wine was good, and my colleague had the cocktail punch which he enjoyed.
Here's a nitpick: turn down the music in the elevators!
This could easily be a 4-star property if the upkeep was better (you can only put so many coats of paint on the trim before it looks very caked-on) and if there was actual furniture in the rooms.
I stayed here for a small conference and was completely charmed by the cleanliness, the rooms, the five-star dining, the lobby, the roof-top reception room, and the friendly & helpful staff. The Ambassador is one of those quiet luxuries providing a refreshing respite in the midst of a bustling city. A range of affordable to higher end dining for foodies are in easy walking distance (but don't forget Booth One off the first floor lobby). I came for business, but I'll be back for pleasure.
I had a really tough time at this hotel - my experience overall was worse than when I have stayed in some cheap backpacker hostels. The lobby was pretty, as described in many reviews, and the room was nicely appointed and comfortable, no complaints there.
When I checked in after a long flight, I asked specifically for a quiet room. But it was not to be.
Sadly, the hotel seems to attract party-goers of all age groups, and the walls seem to be very thin. In my first room I was opposite the elevator (ping! ping! ping! all day and night), also next to a room shared by a loud group who enjoyed a drink. After a very rough night's sleep I was given a second room on the 8th floor - I discovered there is a noisy ice machine there and over the next three nights I was tormented by three different sets of neighbors, all of whom loved to host their friends and party on, and crank the TV up nice and loud. Compounding the problem, in the renovation it seems that the inner doors (that can shield the room from excess corridor noise) were removed - big mistake!
Of course I can't blame the hotel for noisy clients, but having complained of lack of sleep the first night, I feel more effort could have been made to put me somewhere just a little more out of the way, or with thicker walls, or higher up. Show some real concern and fix the problem, maybe.
Perhaps this is what you get when you book online and get a good rate - but what exceptionally poor value it turned out to be (views of a brick wall, not the Lake). I do hope your experience is better, should you choose to stay there.
everything was ok. modern and clean rooms, comfortable beds, delicious food, friendly staff..there are a plenty of restaurants, cafes and supermarkets nearby. we enjoyed or stay and would love to come back.