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“Would happily return” 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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Ranked #83 of 176 Hotels in Chicago
S
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Would happily return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014 via mobile

Public was an excellent choice for our time in Chicago. The hotel itself was very gorgeous, and seemed to have an extremely popular bar and restaurant downstairs. The rooms were well sized and clean. It offered free wifi but only for one device at a time, however the lobby had free wifi as well which we made use of. The staff were also very welcoming and pleasant. We only had one issue on checkout where we were charged for dinner at the restaurant when we hadn't dined there. Luckily this was sorted out before our checkout and we weren't charged. The location of this hotel is also good, it's a bit of a walk to magnificent mile but it's in the most gorgeous neighbourhood, it's a pleasure to walk through. Overall I would happily stay there again and recommend it to friends.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at PUBLIC Chicago, responded to this review, June 26, 2014
Modo3971,

We would love to have you stay with us again! I love the neighborhood as well, it is incredibly historic. (Tip) If you walk a block or two north of us they still have gas street lamps that make you feel like you are back in "Old Chicago".

I am thrilled that you took the time to review us and even happier that you had such pleasant things to say. I hope you visit us again soon so we can continue to exceed your expectations!

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew
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930 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 (236)
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English first
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014


M Antoinette Dobson reviewed Public Hotels.
38 mins ·
★☆☆☆☆ It is unapologetically an adult, business, night life hotel with little amenities (they call it minimalism). Families, try the Drake if you want the Gold Coast Neighborhood, Sheridan next to the Chicago River or the Hilton near Museum Plaza. All of the effort is in the lobby and suites so if you are sold on this hotel, move up to a suite. The television inputs have been disabled so do not bring video games or streaming products. Even room service is inconsistent but if you walk a block to State Street or a bit further to Rush Street, there are infinitely better choices for meals then the brown bag express meals they call Express. For example, we ordered the same Express Breakfast multiple mornings and it was different each day, some days with 2 pastries, other days 1...and guest services could not be bothered. It is the old adage where the help is more conservative and snotty then their employers. Finally, you can beat all of the Concierges deals by a mile online just book 24 hours ahead. Stay somewhere else, come to the Public Hotel just to party. I will say that the housekeepers were so kind and accommodating, it gave me home that their level of service will spread among their colleagues. We travel for leisure as a family 6 times a year and this has been by far, our worst experience.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 26, 2014
MadEsq,

I usually look forward to our reviews on TripAdvisor, wondering what the next guest loved about the hotel. I am disappointed that this was not the case with your experience. We are passionate about our service and product and I am truly sorry that you did not feel this from us.

At PUBLIC we try to differentiate ourselves from other hotels by focusing on which services are most important to our guest's. As you mentioned our PUBLIC Express options, we have created these handmade items for fast delivery(between 10-15 minutes) since so many people are on time restraints. Our regular room service menu has quite a few other choices if one does not want the Express option. I apologize if you were not aware of this.

I am truly concerned with our staff falling short of your expectations. I have said this in several responses and am very passionate about service. I would like to obtain more details on what we could have done better.

Thank you for providing some feedback about your stay and would very much like to get more information.

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

My family (me, my wife, and our 6 month old) stayed there one night in the middle of the week. I was a little concerned beforehand after reading some reviews on here, but I must say that this hotel was perfect. The staff was absolutely great. They were very accomadating with all that we asked for including a quiet room away from the elevator and bringing us a crib for our daughter. The room itself was huge. I'm used to small hotel rooms in boutique hotels in Chicago, but this was not that. Very big and very modern. The bed was really comfortable, but now my wife wants one.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 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 22, 2014
Patrick S,

What a fantastic review! If I didn't work here I would want to stay at PUBLIC too just from what you wrote. I hope you, your wife and baby can come back again soon to see us. Please reach out to me if you do I would love to give you a tour of the hotel and talk to you about some of our rich history in Chicago.

Thank you again for your exciting review,

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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
79 reviews 79 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
96 helpful votes 96 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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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 > 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
#46 Business Hotel in Chicago
#68 Family Hotel in Chicago
#77 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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