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“Meh....”
Review of PUBLIC Chicago

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PUBLIC Chicago
Ranked #95 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Shakopee, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Meh....”
Reviewed 17 July 2014

Hotel itself....cool, hip, nice location in a residential area. But beyond that...mediocre for what you are paying for as there are very little amenities and the rooms are pretty stark. For example, you get free wi-fi for one device, shampoo but no conditioner, and when we asked if they had umbrellas for us to borrow, they were like we have them for $50. Bathroom needs an overhaul as it felt more like a gym locker. Would definitely not come back....

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lilynammer
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, 20 July 2014
Dear Lilynammer,

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the inconveniences you had while with us. The conditions and issues that you described certainly do not meet our expectations, and I am very sorry that this occurred. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service, and the response to the key problem you encountered certainly does not reflect that. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline and you can contact me directly at badams@publichotels.com. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Warm Regards,
Brian Adams
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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English first
Berwyn, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 July 2014

So my wife and I often have staycations in Chicago, and have stayed at many of the top hotel chains in the city. For our anniversary (one year of marriage) we wanted to do something special, so we looked up places that offered more than just a hotel stay (i.e. spots with nice restaurants, or nice lounges, etc.). PUBLIC of course ended up on the list! Given some business dealings that my wife has with the hotel for work, we were able to get a really great deal on a junior suite. So we booked, packed our bags, and held our breath. I mean, if you look at some of the reviews on this site not everyone has had a great experience at the hotel. Well needless to say our experience differed from that the second we got there! We valeted our car, which was great except that there's really no bellhop nor an easy way to enter the hotel with big bags. So I ended up lugging our luggage up the short steps to the main floor, so that we can check in. To be truthful that was the last inconvenience we experienced for three days! The hotel was buzzing as soon as we entered, and the front desk staff was awesome. We were promptly checked into our room and given directions as to how to get there. Upon entering we were blown away! The decor was super modern, and all white. I mean WHITE. White couches, white chairs, which curtains... white! Oddly enough, it worked! The furniture was extremely comfy and welcoming, and worked well to soften what could've easily been a cold atmosphere given the simple stylings. In addition upon arrival we had a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice, to commemorate our anniversary! We had a nice sized bedroom with a flat screen tv on the wall as well as a separate living space with a huge flat screen hanging over a desk. The ample lighting and ability to close off the spaces from one another via the hugely elegant white curtain were nice touches. Overall we loved the look and feel of the space!

As far as some of the 'cons' that have been mentioned, allow me to address a few of them. First, we did not feel as though the finishing touches of the room were skimped on or skipped. We realized that an older hotel had been converted into a newer one, and thought that the hotel did a good job of doing so without making things appear cheap or half-done.

We certainly did experience the issue with light coming in every morning. The curtains are white and they are NOT blackout-style curtains (like those frequently found in hotels), so when light hits the other side of the curtains it is in no way blocked. I can definitely see how this could bother some folks. We considered it a minor nuisance, and a cue every morning to get up and get out! So while it wasn't ideal, it wouldn't keep me from staying there again.

The other issue oft mentioned was the length of the curtains and the fact that they could easily block the air conditioning/heating unit. We didn't find this to be an issue either. I simply folded the bottom of the curtains up and set them on top of the unit and voila... no obstruction. All in all no detail was missed in the room, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

As for the service at the hotel it was impeccable. While they did not have bell staff at our every beck and call those people that we did come into contact with were awesome. So no complaints there.

Lastly we LOVED both The Library and The Pump Room. Both spots were buzzing during the weekend, and offered us a great place to sort of 'pre-party' before heading out. As a matter of fact we ended up staying at the Library for the entire night, even though we hadn't planned to. The drinks were so good and the vibe so great that we opted to spend our money there, and merely head back upstairs at the end of the night as opposed to cabbin' it back to the hotel from elsewhere. The Pump Room had a more laid back vibe, but also had great drinks and good food. These were both great places to either start or end the night. Again... nothing but good things to say.

So overall, we loved our stay. The hotel is a bit swanky and has an 'air' about it, but we found these things to be cool and didn't have any single thing interrupt or bring down our stay.

Check out PUBLIC for yourself, and see what you think. As for us, we'll be back!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Connoisseur78
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, 17 July 2014
Connoisseur78,


WOW! That was such a detailed and amazing review of the hotel. Reading it was enough to skip my cup of coffee to wake up this morning! I am thrilled your experience was so great and next time you stay with us please reach out to me I will be happy to show you how to close the blinds.

Thank you again for your wonderful feedback, we truly cannot wait to see you and your wife again soon,


STAYPUBLIC


Matthew
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Arrived at 4pm and was told my room was not ready.
I had been traveling since 3am and was exhausted.
I sat in the lobby for an hour.
The man staffing the desk was extremely rude.
There are two eateries on lobby level, making it very noisy and crowded well into the night.
The air conditioning unit sounds like a jet plane taking off.
The sink and tub drains fill up with water quickly due to poor drainage.
There is no fan in the bath so I had to leave the door open when showering.

Room Tip: I would not recommend this hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank D G
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, 17 July 2014
D G,


I am truly sorry about your experience at PUBLIC. Please contact me at your convenience so we may discuss your concerns further.


STAYPUBLIC,


Matthew
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Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

The restaurant and bar were fantastic but the rooms made me feel as if I was in a nice college dorm room with "IKEA-like" sparse furnishings. What a contrast to the inviting lobby area! And its the only place in recent history where I had to ask for a bar of soap after the room had been attended to AND they do not provide any hair conditioner. The cleaning service also decided to give us one clean towel instead of two despite the fact that it was clear that we were two in the room. So strange. Its as if management instructed them to conserve on soap and towels.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank 323PAULH
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, 17 July 2014
323PaulH,


It is wonderful to hear that your impression of the Pump Room bar and restaurant was fantastic! I really enjoy the ambiance, service and of course the food/drink as well(the prosciutto wrapped pork chop is phenomenal!) I am sorry though that the room furnishings were not up to par for you. I have heard from a few guest's that it reminds them of Ikea, which I'm not sure how to take. I happen to love Ikea, but I can understand it is not for everyone. Our furniture in the room is actually high quality and was hand picked by our owner/designer Ian Schrager which is to say there was quite a bit of thought behind it.
In response to the soap issue, yes you most certainly should have had it in your room. We actually had problems with our supplier and what should have taken a few days to deliver went for a few weeks so we did have to tighten up a little. But have not fear, we are swimming in soap now and would be happy to give you as much you could ever want the next time you stay with us.

Thank you for your time and feedback,


STAYPUBLIC,


Matthew
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

The room was fine for a road-Warrior and maybe a trendy couple. My major complaint was the height of the platform bed. Far too low and I am less than 6 feet tall.

I would say the top of the mattress was maybe 14 inches off the floor. the bed is worth a one star demotion for me.

Great location, clean and staff seem friendly. Maybe more trendy than I needed but I got a good price on Hotwire.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MinnJimm
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, 17 July 2014
Hello MinnJimm,


I am very happy to hear that you thought the staff was friendly, the hotel was clean and that we are in a great location! I have to agree with all of those statements as well. I love our location, and feel like the staff here are family. There is also not enough to say about our housekeeping department, they work very hard to keep this place immaculate! I am sorry that you are not as big of a fan of our platform beds as we are.(We are pretty excited about them) I know it can be a big difference from what most people are used to.

I hope that you will come and visit us again soon, we can even add another mattress on there for you to make you more at home.


STAYPUBLIC,


Matthew
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Calgary, AB
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

So close to being a 5. Stayed for a week with great friends. Definitely liked returning each time and soaked in the whole "feel" of the place. There were times where the service was outstanding: visiting with the bartenders, a great Pump Room meal, being welcomed by concierge and set-up, breakfast drop-offs (breakfast room service is adorable with the Public Express system). Other times the service was a bit of a miss with some confusion and chaos, even indifference/passing off.

The rooms are are clean and comfortable. Simple white motif, and beds were great for crashing after Chicago adventures. Others have mentioned that you can hear word-for-word the tv's in the rooms mounted behind the beds and that's very true. Our neighbours were enjoying lots of funniest home videos. The sinks have a trickle of water and are giant rectangles: alright to look at but makes you wait for housekeeping to have a clean, usable sink for next time. Our wall clock was only right twice a day but nbd.

There was a real elegance to the common spaces. Old mixed with new. The lounges and restaurants were a real hub. Buzzing and trendy. Beautiful design elements (and reflections of them) great you each time you arrive. Computers for use. Coffee, wine. Pump Room all there, and each time exciting.

Location is great. So close to the coast (great for fireworks); awesome neighbourhood and a stone's throw from Olde Town. Every cab driver knows where Public is, didn't even have to mention Gold Coast.

Not sure if the PUBLIC is a work in progress... some of it seems so great. Just missing a little extra edge to make it amazing: not quite anticipating what folks are looking for. I would return for sure, but think it could be a real destination. Alllllmost is. Pulling for the place.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travis R
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, 14 July 2014
Travis s,


I have to say, you are very thorough with your reviews! I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of the hotel and it's ambiance. I hope you do return again soon so that we can push for the 5 of 5. I will also be happy to take some of the "needs improvement" items to the appropriate people so we can fix the issues.


STAYPUBLIC


Matthew
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Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
Reviewed 10 July 2014

I booked a room at PUBLIC Chicago last minute after visiting a friend downtown. I couldn't have picked a cooler and nicer hotel. I was able to check in early and was greeted by 3 different staff members while I was walking in and felt very welcomed. Awesome lobby and bar. Very fashionable crowd and fellow guests who I chatted with in the lobby. One of the managers, Bryan, made sure my room was perfect and gave me some great ideas while I was waiting for my friend to meet me for dinner. Sad I didn't get to eat at the Pump Room but will for sure on my next visit. Hoping to be back soon! PUBLIC is the place to be!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben S
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, 14 July 2014
Ben s,

I could not be happier to hear that you were greeted by three different people while walking in! Bryan is terrific and I will be sure to tell him that you said so. We would love for you to come visit again soon.


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

Property: PUBLIC Chicago
Address: 1301 N State Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60610-2334 (Formerly Ambassador East Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Gold Coast , Near North Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#52 Business Hotel in Chicago
#59 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#63 Family Hotel in Chicago
#74 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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