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“Beautiful 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #82 of 169 Hotels in Chicago
Reno, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

The hotel was beautiful and a bit eclectic. It was right downtown and within walking distance of wonderful shops, restaurants, and sites. The staff was very friendly. The bar and restaurant were very overpriced.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 21, 2014
Hello 14bekah,


"Beautiful Hotel", I love that title! thank you for writing a review and offering your thoughts. I too agree that we have a great location that is still downtown with a neighborhood feel. We have a great staff and I'm always glad to hear them mentioned. I am sorry that you felt the restaurant and bar was over priced. We work hard to keep our prices as low as possible without sacrificing the quality. Next time you come back please reach out to me and your first drink is on us!

STAYPUBLIC,

Matthew
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783 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 (204)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

While the hotel has a nice lobby and the renovated Pump Room looked cool, the hotel is definitely not up to the quality of other Ian Schrager hotels that I have stayed at. Past the lobby/first floor, the hotel struck me as pretty dilapidated -- we noticed the musty hallways right as we stepped out of the scuffed and scratched elevators. Our room had dirty carpet, thin walls (we could hear the entire cell phone call of the guy in the room adjacent) and a clanky, rattling faucet (that woke my wife up at 5am). The room had the barest of amenities (there was shampoo but no conditioner). A pretty comfortable bed was the only thing that saved the night from being a total bust for us -- a couple with young kids who doesn't get too many nights on the town.

When I politely reported our "experience" as we were checking out, I was told that the website we used put us in a "bad" room and that there were many nice rooms at the hotel. We would receive a complimentary upgrade on our next stay, but as we live in Los Angeles, not only may it be some time before we get back to Chicago, but doubt that we will roll the dice on the Public again, upgrade or not.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 21, 2014
Hello Jay L,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us how you felt we could improve, we take all feedback seriously. I also think the Pump Room and Lobby are cool, they are some of my favorite features of the hotel. I am quite disappointed though on the rest of the observations. I would like to speak with you further and get more information about your stay, please reach out to me at your convenience.

STAYPUBLIC,

Matthew
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Edmonton, Alberta
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

We were in Chicago for Neocon 2014.

I was very impressed with the character of the architecture and the work that the hotel put into the aesthetics of the lobby, living room and Pump Room on Level 1. Immediately upon checking in, I was happy with the demeanour of the staff - very friendly and accommodating. Checking in took all of maybe a minute.

The hotel main lobby was very noisy, as the Pump Room was very busy with the design professionals in town - the noise carries out into the lobby. This noise was limited to the lobby - as soon as the elevator doors closed - you wouldn't have known there was an issue.

The rooms are finished beautifully, the king-sized bed was very comfortable, the television channel selection was great. There was an in-room safe along with the usual amenities, hair dryer, iron, etc. There was an ipod / iphone dock, however there wasn't an alarm clock in the room. There was a large wall clock integrated into the wall, however it stopped working during my stay and it was perpetually 8:43. (Not a problem, however).

One evening I placed a room service order, it was very well prepared and presented - food was wonderful.

There are a lot of interesting restaurants nearby of varying type, all within walking range. The surrounding neighbourhood is mature and rich with world-renowned Chicago architecture.

As we had a late departure flight, the hotel checked out luggage free of charge and with no difficulty upon check out.

I certainly would stay at the Public Chicago again.

  • Stayed June 2014, 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 H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Hello Stonecutter099,

My co-workers would not believe it but I am at a loss for words. I am truly appreciative that you took the time to write such a complimentary review. I have said it before, I get excited about service and this makes me feel like a kid at Christmas on a few shots of espresso!

We are very proud of our hotel, the history, architecture and overall feeling. Comments like the one you have written just reinforces the idea that hard work pays off. I am looking forward to welcoming you back, please reach out to me when planning your next visit to Chicago.

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

Booked through a last minute site and didn't know what to expect. I had a blast!
I give a HUGE Amount of the credit to the Pump Room downstairs. Wrote a 5-star review for it on another site, but had one of the best nights I can recall in ages, between the food and the drinks and the service, and the use of Ramps in the cooking, and the lack of attitude. Loved the celebrity photos from the '50/60s in the lower level.

The front desk staff was very aloof each time I went down or called. The guy on check-in promised me Gold Coast views if I paid for an upgrade. Not being familiar with Chicago I didn't realize that didn't mean a coastal view but rather just a view of high-rises and no water. When they called my room 20 mins after check-out to make sure I was happy, I asked about that, and the girl made no apologies for that "misunderstanding" and seemed completely disinterested in whether I was really happy yet rather just making sure she could check the box that she called me. Upon check-out, the snooty guy didn't even make eye contact with me or thank me for staying. Unimpressive front desk staff.

The room was BEAUTIFUL. I loved my paid upgrade, loved the living room, loved the bed, loved the (TINY) bathroom. The mini-bar was well-stocked and we made good use. Oh, and loved the lighting.

The coffee in the lobby didn't seem like La Colombe at all and was pricey. I hated that there wasn't simple coffee pot in the room. An immediate cup of delicious coffee in the room after a big night is a small luxury that would have made this 5-star. That along with front desk staff that actually cared.

But the room itself, the bed, and the PUMP ROOM (!) made this an incredible stay.

Definitely recommend with a tiny hint of reservation. Go!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 3 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 H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Hello phillysilver,

Thank you for taking the time to say some kind words about our restaurant and hotel. I agree that our Pump Room is amazing, having tried some of the food myself. I love to take guest's to our "Wall of Fame" and talk about the different celebrities that have stayed with us throughout our 75 yrs.

I am truly sorry to hear that our front office staff fell short of your expectations. I'm happy that you felt the room was BEAUTIFUL! But I completely understand having an image in mind and then when coming into the room not seeing it. I agree that the verbiage should have been more clear and we have already addressed this with our team.

I hope when you come back to Chicago you think of us and I would like to personally assist in turning around your perception of the hotel.

Please feel free to contact me with any further comments/concerns,

STAYPUBLIC,

Matthew
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

I recently had dinner at the Pump Room with friends and went over to the PUBLIC hotel bar for after dinner drinks. The food at the restaurant was amazing, and the drink selection was great. We each tried a signature cocktail and various entrees. The kale salad with parmesan dressing and fresh lemon and mint was a standout for me. Their Moscow mule was one of the better ones I've had. The decor was gorgeous, and our waitress was friendly and attentive. The hotel bar was beautiful and modern. Our waitress was absolutely adorable and so sweet. We were lucky enough to get a tour of some guest rooms, one of which has a large balcony with stunning lake and city views. Overall, it was the staff and the ambiance that set this hotel apart from the many others in the city. There were many "regulars" there that staff greeted on a first name basis. It gave the hotel a friendly neighborhood feel. We all agreed that we would return soon to try out the guest rooms.

Room Tip: The Marilyn Monroe suite has a fantastic balcony!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 12, 2014
Laura M,

I must say that is probably the best review I could read! I am very happy you could experience the hotel and learn about it's rich history. I hope you will have the chance to stay with us soon and please reach out to me when you do. I look forward to your next visit!

STAYPUBLIC,

Matthew
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014 via mobile

Having stayed in at other Ian Schrager hotels, I knew what to expect. At least I thought I did. Lobby was spectacular and the check in staff were more than friendly.

It all started to unravel however when I got to the room. The only way I can describe the room is that it felt so cheap and nasty. The furniture all looked like it came from IKEA (actually this is probably unfair to the Swedes, it is actually worse than that!). This impression is only reinforced by the dirt stained plastic light switches and plastic fire alarm which obviously predate the current owners by several decades. And just when I thought it could not get worse, the walls are paper thin. I can hear the conversation in the next door room (two people chatting at normal volume), not quite to the point where I can follow the conversation but very close.. I am just glad they didn't do more than chat any time whilst I was so close next door.

In the morning, "breakfast" is served in the bar. The image of plastic boxes of food on a shelf just screams cheap motel. The coffee was terrible. To then get charged for it all is highway robbery, or just pure greed on the part of the operators.

So on the plus side, all the staff I spoke to were great and very friendly. And the hotel location is good to be fair. On the downside, the rooms need a total refit to come anywhere near the standard you would expect from the price.

Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 12, 2014
Hello H Grieves,

Let me start by saying how glad I am to here about our "more than friendly" staff! I believe whether you are a bed and breakfast or five star resort what will truly make the stay complete is the service. I tend to get excited about great service and that did it for me. However, I am not as excited about your other perceptions of our hotel.

Having stayed at other Ian Schrager properties I'm sure you know how serious the element of design is to him and I do not think we fall short in this aspect. Each room was designed with high quality custom furniture specially picked for our hotel. The rooms are light and airy blending modern with our historical building. You are actually correct though about IKEA, our Lambskin seat covers come from there, I actually have one in my office at home.

Since our building was built in 1926 the walls are made of plaster and sometimes you can hear noises easier than newer hotels with more insulation. I am truly sorry about this and am also glad they were simply talking!

In the morning we have several different options for food including our Pump Room restaurant, PUBLIC Market options and Library Coffee Bar pastries. I can assure you our options are anything but cheap. Our award winning culinary staff have made our options in The Library Coffee Bar a passion project. By this I mean we make all of the options in house using only the best ingredients, most of which are locally grown. We listened to our guests and what we kept hearing is that they wanted an option in the morning that was quick and delicious. Having personally tried most options I believe that they have accomplished this.

I want to thank you again for your feedback and invite you to contact me directly if there is anything else you would like to talk about from your stay. I would love for you to come back and I can have one of the chefs give you a tour and presentation of our exciting new options for PUBLIC Market.

STAYPUBLIC,

Matthew
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Oakland CA
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

I went to the Library bar and cafe on the main floor and found a picture of my good friend Ron Crotty in Dave Brubeck's group in the 50's in a William Claxton book that is a treasure of jazz history. The rooms are very comfortable all with o lovely view. The staff are very obliging: my favorite is a hotel hospitality clerk from Spain. This place has history and the photographs to prove it.

Room Tip: Be friendly not pushy.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PUBLIC H, Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 6, 2014
Hi badEXPEDIA,

You couldn’t be more right about the history of PUBLIC. If only these walls could talk they would have so many good stories to tell. Actually, our walls do tell stories through all the old black and white photographs of the various celebrities that dined here during the 30’s and 40’s that you were able to check out. I am happy to hear you enjoyed the service provided to you by our staff. We agree, Isabel our Front Desk Agent is pretty special!

Sincerely,
JJ
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#40 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#66 Family Hotel in Chicago
#66 Business 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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