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“updated review” 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) (Near North Side)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #86 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“updated review”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This is my second review for this hotel - which overall is one of the best hotels in Chicago no doubt. My 'poor' rating is due to one single reason only and I want to warn other travellers of this annoying thing about this hotel. Do not accept ANY rooms ending in '06' or along the East side of the building next to the alleyway. Several mornings now, and this morning a Saturday, the garbage dump truck comes at around 6:45 AM - yes on a Saturday morning at such a time! This means you hear the truck working the dumpsters in the alleyway for about 20-30 minutes while they unload the many recycling and garbage containers. Really not cool for the hotel management to let this sort of thing happen. On a weekday morning it didn't bother me so much cause I was getting up early to go to work, but on a Saturday morning? You just can't excuse this. So, get a room away from this alleyway.

Hotel aside from this is amazing.

Room Tip: don't take a room along alley way ending in 06 especially and down low, you will regret it with...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viviana R, Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Thank you for your feedback on the hotel. We certainly appreciate your comments about enjoying your stay at PUBLIC. The hotel management apologizes for the early weekend noise from the alley and will be looking into the vendors of neighboring buildings to see if there is a better date and time for pickup.
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850 reviews from our community

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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 (224)
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English first
Lafayette, Indiana
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

(This stay was via Hotwire for $107 - $134 with taxes and fees)

Last time I stayed at this hotel it was the early-mid aughts and it was the Ambassador. Back then it had a old style charm and funky small room layouts.

Now it has hip charm -- the public areas are chock full of young people in the evenings -- and funky small room layouts with modern decor.

The positives are that the looks of the hotel are still quite stunning. The updates downstairs were especially old-style meets modern elegance. My room had a nice modern desk and chair set, a mini-bar, nice lighting options. The room was VERY clean. The staff is warm and welcoming which is very imporant. This hotel has all the amenities you'd want of a hotel of its class.

The negatives:
Compared to the Marriot bed and pillows I experienced earlier this month the bed was lacking. It was neither firm nor soft and generally didn't do it for me. The pillows were all fairly average. Nothing really spectaclar about them. Reading other reviews I can see either our tastes do no match or room quality levels vary greatly in this hotel and they pawn off the rooms that haven't been refreshed lately to Hotwire when they aren't where they want to be capacity wise.

The tub was rather tall and that may be a problem for people with balance issues getting in an out of the tub/shower.

Neutrals:
I stayed in 1301 which is right against the elevators, but I didn't really hear it or register anything I heard as elevator noise. Also, it didn't really bother me but the bed was a low platform bed and that may be an issue with some people. If you don't like boutique-style hotels this is not the hotel for you.

While I'd not be happy with the room if I paid full high-season price for this hotel, in general it has the basics down and is very charming. It's location is set just a littlw ways away from the action. You are really only a 5 minute walk at the most to several public transportation stops including the Clark/Divison stop on the Red Line. They offer special pricing in the off season (winter) which makes it more attractive.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Viviana R, Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Dear Kelly -
Thank you for your recent stay with us and posting a few comments about the hotel. We are glad you enjoyed the simple, sophisticated design and certainly hope you like the changes from Ambassador East. We are sorry you didn't enjoy the bed and will take your comments into consideration for the future. We hope to have you stay with us if your future travels bring you back to Chicago.
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We stayed for the first time on Saturday night and were very happy! The bed, linens, and pillows were some of the best we've ever slept on in a hotel. Please tell me where I can buy those pillows so that I can get some for my bed at home??? So comfortable! We slept great. The room was ice cold thank god since it was hot and humid outside and the shower pressure was excellent. We loved the hotel. Close to everything and very chic.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philip D, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Thank you so much for the delightful review. We are thrilled that you enjoyed the bed, linens and location and we agree with you! Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the pillows at home…but when you need a “home away from home” we look forward to seeing you at PUBLIC again!
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san diego, ca
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

If you have children and strollers or need wheelchair access... DO NOT STAY HERE! It is almost impossible to get to the lift to get in and out of the hotel. They use that hallway as storage. There are stairs at the entrance and very narrow doorways. I will NEVER stay at this hotel again!! When you can find someone to help you, they are very nice and accommodating but it could take 10-15 min sometimes for them to clear that hallway. What if there were an emergency or fire?!

The staff is nice but pretty casual. It is a beautiful, old, renovated hotel. The rooms are not kid friendly, as there are a lot of dangerous corners. Furniture is very Ikea like. 4 star hotel.... I don't think so. It seems to be more of a night scene. So if you are single (without kids) and looking for a fun place to have drinks and eat, this is your place.

As for cleanliness, they just lightly clean. They have not scrubbed my toilet in the 3 days I have been here. I know cuz the same spot has been on the same side inside of the bowl since I got here.

We are here for work, so I am stuck in this hotel for a while!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philip D, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
I apologize about your experience with us and for the inconvenience. I know that you spoke with our management and hope you have noticed some differences since then. At PUBLIC, we strive to accommodate all audiences and hope to make your stay more memorable over the next few weeks. We are very thrilled to have you and your group in the hotel. If there is anything I can personally do to make your stay more enjoyable, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

When I travel for business in Chicago, I either stay at the W Lakeshore or at Public. The rooms in the public are modern, and clean. Basic in room amenities and a comfortable bed. The hotel is a great property, friendly staff and yummy drinks. The food is amazing, and love that you can get food at any time of night. Perfect location, as it takes only a 5 minute walk to get to restaurants and shops. The Valet and Bell-boys are the nicest people!!

Room Tip: Ask for a King room facing the city.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Philip D, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thank you so much for the wonderful review.

I am pleased that you always enjoy your PUBLIC experience.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Regards,
Philip Dailey
General Manager
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to afford to stay in an Ian Schrager property. But then the company developed PUBLIC, which is chic, minimalist and (surprise!) economical. I'm all about value.

But I'm also all about staying in a hotel with some personality. This one has it. My room had no wasted space and was relaxed and unfussy. The minimalist decor and light neutral color scheme is soothing and sophisticated.

The adjoining Pump Room is a nighttime hipster hangout, but this middle-aged fuddy duddy was grateful for a quiet table during lunch. It's a happening, boisterous scene at night, where the bar's the star. The restaurant, and its superlative food, is the star by day.

Service is stellar. A housekeeper took time out from her duties to ask if I needed help finding my room. The concierge cheerfully endured a lot of questions from this first-time visitor to Chicago.

I'll definitely be back. Much like Michael Graves and his line of home goods for Target, Ian Schrager has brought good design to the masses. I'm grateful.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
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Philip D, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thank you for this wonderful 5 Star review. I am so pleased that you got the uniqueness of our new PUBLIC brand of hotel - great service, great design, great value.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon! Please feel free to contact me directly at the hotel so that I may personally handle your arrangements.

Thank you again!

Regards,
Philip Dailey
General Manager
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Helsinki, Finland
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights after staying 6 nights in Marriott Downtown. I really enjoyed the totally different experience in location and atmosphere of both hotels. Here we had a standard queen room with very comfy bed, good air-con, small bathroom and walk in closet. The room was really basic and the furniture more IKEA style rather than contemporary and stylish. The lobby was really beautiful and bars were nice. The lounge bar which has a fire place and relaxed ambience was really nice and the Pump Room is very stylish, loud and crowded.

The location was good and there are great restaurants and bars within few blocks. It is a bit far for shopping in Michigan Avenue or the Loop but I think taxi fares are ok so that was not a problem for us (and I already made most of my shopping while staying in downtown )

I would stay here again if in town for entertaining but I would be looking for some serious shopping time I would probably stay in downtown area.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Philip D, General Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thank you for the 4 Star review and I am pleased you enjoyed your experiences from two very different hotels.

On behalf of all of us at PUBLIC Chicago, we look forward to welcoming you back soon for another visit and for some serious shopping!

Regards,
Philip Dailey
General Manager
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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 > 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:
#44 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#66 Business Hotel in Chicago
#72 Family Hotel in Chicago
#80 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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