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“Great minimalist, boutique hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of PUBLIC Chicago

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PUBLIC Chicago
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1301 North State Parkway, Chicago, IL 60610 (Formerly Ambassador East Hotel) (Gold Coast)   |  
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Ranked #83 of 177 Hotels in Chicago
New York City
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great minimalist, boutique hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

I loved the look and feel of this hotel - its very minimalist, so if that's what you like, this is the hotel for you. The rooms were spacious enough, very clean, beds super comfortable and the bathrooms spotless. The restaurant and bar downstairs were quite the scene - had dinner in the restaurant, which was totally packed on a Monday night and the food was delicious. The room service is served in paper bags and to go cups, which is nice if you're in town for business. The gym was decent - had sufficient machines and free weights. My biggest area of complaint was that I waited for a taxi for almost a half hour both days - perhaps it was weather related and the concierge assured us that she called for taxis numerous times, but either way was frustrating. I even called ahead to the concierge on the second day to avoid being late to my meeting, to no avail. Great location if you have time to explore Lake Michigan. Overall, a great room and hotel, especially at the rate I paid.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
We were so happy to hear that you enjoyed the look and feel of our hotel and that you had a chance to dine in our fabulous Pump Room. I am sorry about the diffculty with taxis. There are days when Chicago is fully booked which makes taxi availability a challenge. We are actively working with a number of taxi companies and the city to create a taxi stand in our area, which will improve the situation. We look forward to your next visit.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
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958 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (242)
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Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Really loved the hotel stayed there only 12 hours but had a great sleep and good room service ,staff was friendly and got upgraded to a suite ..the good lighting was also a nice detail .
really lovely hotel !

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Too bad you weren't able to stay with us any longer than 12 hours, but it was good to hear that we met all your needs in that short period of time. Maybe you can stay a little longer next time?

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

excellent location ,with many great resturants and barnes noble book store around the corner.
We stayed in October of 2012. The hotel staff were very good and met all our needs.
The room was very nice and large.

Room Tip: they offer free bikes and you are only a couple blocks from Lakefront bike trail!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay, our location and the bikes we have available. They are available year round, depending on weather conditions. Please come and see us again the next time you are in Chicago.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
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Louisville, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Ironically, this hip and happening hotel is located on a quiet corner in a lovely old Gold Coast neighborhood, a couple blocks from the lake and a couple blocks from the northern tip of the Mag Mile. The entrance is actually on Goethe, despite the North State Parkway address.

We arrived at 9pm or so on a Thursday night and the fashionable set from the Pump Room restaurant and bars overflowed into the lobby along with the boom-boom music, described by another reviewer. The entire first floor of the hotel is essentially one large party. It was more than a bit jarring. There are stairs, with no ramp, from the street to the lobby contributing to the less than ideal arrival experience. The two elevators are slow, small and crowded. You wait in the din surrounded by all the beautiful people. In the light of day, the space is transformed, serene.

We reserved a superior king room and, without forewarning, were given an accessible room with roll in shower, cabinets instead of closets, etc. on the 13th floor. We asked to be moved and were given a standard king room on the 10th floor. It was small and stylishly (if not always smartly) designed. Everything is white. The furniture is built-in with a long counter/desk along one wall and a king platform bed with shelves on the other. The platform bed is very low to the floor, comfortable at first but after three nights I found my back hurting. There are ample electrical outlets throughout the room. The bathroom is small, dark, and the fixtures are placed awkwardly low. The square sink looks great but apparently poses a problem for housekeeping; the corners were beginning to stain with mildew. There is no fan in the bathroom, no make up mirror, no coffee maker (a small cup of coffee was $3.60 downstairs, no refills), the shower curtain set on a rail, not a curved bar, blows in (it needs weights or magnets), and the only full length mirror is on the inside of the closet door which opens awkwardly into the entrance door. During the day the room was bathed in gorgeous light from two large windows with a nice view of the city, including the Sears Tower in the distance. The wall to the adjoining room next door was thin but we were lucky to have quiet neighbors. We could not hear the noise from the lobby. We could, however, smell marijuana smoke in the hallway on Saturday night.

Service was friendly but not fawning. The concierge was unable to get us theater tickets on Saturday night, but it was a difficult request. There were lots of fun touches such as: offers for a personal shopper at J. Crew, Public Express meals and snacks delivered to the room without delay or charge, a well stocked mini bar, and the use of bicycles.

All in all, I suppose we would stay here again if we were in the neighborhood. Perhaps the larger rooms are bit nicer.

Room Tip: Insist on a room on a high floor to avoid the noise from the restaurant and bar.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write the detailed review you posted. We were happy to hear that you will return to PUBLIC if and when you're back in Chicago. I have shared your comments with a number of my staff and we will make sure that we address some of your concerns immediately. Please know for your next visit that we do offer unlimited refills for drip coffee in our Library coffee bar.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

We stayed at the Public for 2 nights in September. On arrival, it was one of those perfect fall days in the Midwest - warm with blue, blue skies. So everything looks better in that light. The Public is situated in a very cool neighborhood in downtown Chicago. On arrival, I did not immediately spot the hotel as it blends in with the nearby buildings. A further note on the neighborhood - there are tons of cute restaurants and bars within easy walking distance. On Saturday morning, a Farmer's Market was being held on some of the local streets. It is also easy walking to the best shopping in Chicago. The area still feels like a neighborhood, though, with brownstone homes and beautiful trees.

The hotel is decorated in minimalist chic with a neutral color palette. The staff were very friendly and always greeted us with a hello as we came and went. The common areas downstairs consist of a 'sitting' area as you enter - couches and a large work table with computers. The bar is to the left and is fairly warm and inviting. IN the back is a private room with large couches and floor pillows (feels somewhat Moroccan). The restaurant is to the right (the Pump Room) and also has a bar. We stayed on the weekend. During the day, the hotel was quiet and classy. At night, the bars fill with the young and rich and the place was humming with people and 'boom-boom' music. We could not hear anything in our room though.

We had a loft. More minimalist decor but the bed was very comfortable and on Saturday morning we sat on the couch and worked away on our separate laptops (WiFi was free, as it should be). There was a ton of natural light. The bathroom is the only slight downside. It is small but stylish. However, there really was not counter space for my toiletries (and I tend to like to spread out some). Having said all this, I would venture to say that the Public will be a go-to hotel for us whenever we visit Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, despite the fact that you couldn't spread out as much in the bathroom. We look forward to your next visit when you come back to Chicago and please don't hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do for you in the meantime.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I stayed here for small business conference in early October. The rooms were nicely refurbished and the hotel was in a nice location in the Gold Coast area. Elevators were small and slow and the conference room was long and narrow. Would have liked a little wider room to make the presentations more easily viewed by the people in the back of the room. Staff was really great in helping with all our needs. Would come back again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review of our hotel. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that your meetings went well. Please let us know when we can be of assistance to you again in the future.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sf,ca
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

i stayed at the Public for two nights in Sept. The staff was great. The location was good but suprising. It is in a very quiet reidential neighborhood but only a few blocks from the restaurants and shopping of Chicago's Miracle Mile.

The public spaces were amazing. My room was great: Good size. Comfortable bed. Large closet. The bathroom was quite small but fine for one.

A negative: my room was on a low floor in the back of the building. I basically looked out at the building's mechanicals. Not very pretty so I basically kept my curtains closed all of the time.

A good choice for a stay in Chicago.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC_Manager, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Thank you very much for the review of your September stay with us. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us, despite the view of some of our mechanicals. Please come and stay with us again the next time you are in Chicago.

Warm regards,

Peter Walterspiel
Gemeral Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PUBLIC Chicago

Address: 1301 North State Parkway, Chicago, IL 60610 (Formerly Ambassador East Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#42 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#47 Business Hotel in Chicago
#65 Family Hotel in Chicago
#75 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — PUBLIC Chicago 4*
Number of rooms: 285
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
PUBLIC, conceived by Ian Schrager, is an entirely new class of hotel. Its fundamental attributes are innovative, sophisticated, authentic style; spot-on, personalized, empathetic "essential" service; lasting comfort with complete functionality, all at an affordable price and offering tremendous value. For the first time, this type of hotel experience will be available for everyone and anyone who wants it ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Public Chicago Hotel Chicago
Ambassador East Hotel Chicago
Hotel Ambassador East
Ambassador East Chicago

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