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“Trendy, fun hotel with personality and style”
Review of Ambassador Chicago

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Ambassador Chicago
Ranked #101 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 July 2014

A group of us recently stayed at PUBLIC Chicago, and I had a great experience. I enjoyed the decor and modern flourishes, the (Deluxe King) room was spacious, the bed was comfortable and the location was ideal.

The food was yummy (though, for what it was, a bit overpriced) and the concierge, Terry, was nothing but kind and helpful in helping me set up some plans.

Unfortunately, the weekend we were there, an elevator was out of service (they only have two), so I either had to wait 10+ minutes for one (which was usually packed), or had to take the stairs. There wasn't really any communication about this, which was disappointing.

Maintenance issues aside, I enjoyed my weekend stay and was well taken care of. The hotel is a bit pricey (especially if you eat or dine), but, as they say, you get what you pay for -- and in my case, it was a pretty terrific weekend. (I'd just make sure the elevators work before you book!)

Room Tip: Lower rooms get a lot of street noise.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Tim F,


I would like to thank you for the kind words and taking the time to write a review on PUBLIC. I'm very happy to hear what a great job Terry did and that your overall experience with the hotel was pleasant. I am sorry that you had to wait longer for the elevator, though. I know how frustrating this can be. I hope that you can come visit us again soon and experience PUBLIC with fully functioning elevators!

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew

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Reviewed 28 July 2014

This hotel (in the old Ambassador Hotel location) is a jewel. It's on the Gold Coast, so it's close to the sights but also tucked into a quiet corner close the lake. The vibe is very chill ... the front desk staff and the staff in the bar were unabashedly friendly and helpful but also blessedly low-key. The room decor is sleek and un-fussy -- everything was super clean and the linens were spectacular. The bar is a nice place to meet up with friends or just hang out -- lots of comfortable seating and some good people-watching opportunities to boot. I'm looking forward to a getaway weekend here in the fall -- I'll be able to try the breakfast buffet, which I understand is excellent. I didn't eat at the fabled Pump Room restaurant (the only Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant in Chicago, I think), but will when we return. I found this to be a great value and I've already recommended this hotel to friends.

Room Tip: You can ask for a lake view, but I always prefer to see the city lit up at night, so I'd recomme...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Cory S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Cory S,

I think our hotel is a "jewel" as well! Thank you so much for such a excellent review, I enjoyed reading it very much and have already shared it with our team. Our breakfast buffet is amazing so please do try it next time. I hope to see you again soon,


STAYPUBLIC

Matthew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Last year, we used Travelocity to book a mystery room in downtown Chicago, and we got The James hotel which was awesome. Not so lucky this year. $300/night, and it was easily the smallest hotel room we've stayed in.

We booked the room for 3 people, my Husband, myself, and my Mother. Unfortunately, my Mother fell ill and was unable to come with. When we got to our room, oh, there's one bed. When we booked (and we double checked the printed out copy of the reservation) we did, in fact, put down that 3 ADULTS were staying, and I believe it said it would be a standard room with 2 double beds.

Whatever, since my Mom wasn't with us, we were just going to stay. I took a nap, when I woke up, my Husband said that he wanted to try to switch rooms, because the people staying below us had been throwing things and yelling at each other for over half an hour, and we were right next to the elevator, so that was pretty noisy as well.

I got ready, we got our stuff packed back up and went downstairs, and oh, they have no more rooms. Since we booked it through a third party, they seemed very unable and unwilling to help us, didn't even blink an eye when we said that we had booked the room originally for 3 adults, just said that "oh, it just shows here that you booked a standard room." Okay. Perhaps you should update your system then that you have that deals with third party websites that sell your rooms, so it's clearly indicated to you what type of room people book. They said they could move us the next morning, got my Husband's cell phone number and said that a "Matthew" would be calling in the morning. Guess what? That never happened. We decided that since we were staying for only 2 nights, whatever, we'd just stay in that room, it wasn't worth the hassle.

I smoke, so Friday night I had wanted to go down for a cigarette before bed. I go out to wait by the elevator, and a couple is there who asks me how long I've stayed there. I said it was my first night, the woman said "Oh, so you don't know if the lifts are always this shi**y." I said I didn't, all I knew was that one of the two elevators had been broken since we got there at 5 in the afternoon, and it was now 1am. Well, the second elevator was now broken. We were on the 10th floor. That was a fun walk down and back up the stairs, and when I got back to our room, my room key did not work. I tried it at least 20 times, numerous different ways, and nothing worked. My Husband had been asleep, so he wasn't too thrilled when he was awoken by me knocking on the door.

It also ended up reeking of skunk outside of our door beginning late Friday night, and lasting the rest of the stay. Thankfully the smell stayed in the hallway, not in our room.

Saturday before we go out for the day, my Husband says that we should try our room keys just to make sure his is still working. No. Neither of our keys are working now. We stopped by the desk and got knew keys, and just hoped that our keys and/or the elevator (really, at that point we were hopeful for one or the other, that's how low our expectations were of things working properly) would work when we returned.

Saturday evening, about 9 o'clock, I was outside smoking and decided to call my Mom to see how she was doing. I was sitting on the bench, when halfway through my cigarette, someone who worked there (in what capacity, I don't know) came up and was just staring at me for a few seconds, so I asked my Mom to hold on, and then this man said to me that I had to move, they needed to "move the bench", I said okay, and just moved to the curb where the bushes and such were. They turned the bench around, so it was facing the hotel. They didn't "move" it. Alright, I figured that the man had many important things to do, so he had to move it ASAP, but no, I stayed out there for about 15 minutes on my phone, and he was outside the entire time. He also came up and moved the ashtray to the other end of the sidewalk, for seemingly no reason.

The only thing I can think of is that I wasn't dressed fancy (blouse, jeans), so therefore I felt that I wasn't treated with the same respect as someone who was dressed to the nines would've been. So that was rather insulting and annoying. Again, had the man had somewhere to go, I would've had no problem getting off the bench, but.. Asking me to move while using it, while making a phone call, and then you still just stand outside doing nothing for the rest of the time I'm out there? Incredibly rude. I've worked customer service for 15 years, and I just can't fathom anyone being that rude to paying customers.

On the plus side, the one working elevator didn't break the rest of the time we were there, though they never got the second one working again, and our replacement room keys worked.

The tv was nice. The pillows and bed were pretty comfortable. The light switch in the bathroom being at eye level (I'm 5'5) was rather odd. All in all, this experience was enough to put us off from ever getting a blind item hotel ever again, which kind of sucks as we'll be in Chicago again in just a month, but we're going to go with Holiday Inn, if that tells you anything.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Casey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Casey S,

I don't know what to say for such a review. Your issues greatly concern me and I would like to talk to you further about this. Please contact me at your convenience.

STAYPUBLIC

Matthew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Thge experience at this hotel was problematic from the beginning. I will list the problems we experienced:
1. Only one elevator working, forcing everyone to wait for up to 30 minutes for the one operating passenger elevator, try to ride on the service elevator, or walk the stairs. Most people seemed to choose the latter, walking up steep, narrow, poorly lit stairs with only sporadic rails in place.

2. Tiny rooms, paper thin walls, unbelievably narrow corridors, tiny bathrooms, no vanities, no disposable bathroom cups (the room had 2 porcelain cups that we were supposed to use. Truly gross.

3. Poor service throughout. One person at the reception desk, resulting in continually long lines, horrible bar service (I gave up waiting each time I tried to get a drink for up to 20 minutes), slow room maid service, resulting in a wait for rooms when we checked in (after the 3 pm Check-in time). I also was never able to get an operator to pick up when i called.

4. Internet service is very slow and is limited to one access unless you pay a $20 per day fee for faster service for more users.

In short, we will never stay at this hotel again, and will advise our friends to avoid it as well.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank wdbiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Public Chicago is a lovely looking hotel with a beautiful entrance way, lobby, restaurant and bar area. Our room was clean and spacious, with a very comfortable bed and good lighting.
I booked the hotel on Hotwire and was initially concerned when I saw the location, however upon our arrival, I was pleasantly surprised. Public is located in a beautiful residential area of Chicago that is an easy walk to many restaurants and cafes on Rush Street and we found it to be very accessible to the downtown area as well.
Unfortunately while we were staying at Public, they were having issues with the elevators and throughout the entire 4 night stay, only one elevator was working. As we were situated on the 14th floor, this was quite inconvenient. We resorted to using the service elevator after watching several full elevators pass us by many times. One elevator for a hotel of this size is definitely not adequate!
If you are looking for a hotel that is slightly removed from some of Chicago's hustle and bustle, but close enough to lots which will make your stay enjoyable, I would recommend that you check out Public Chicago.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Pat K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Pat k,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our hotel, I too enjoy the neighborhood and location of PUBLIC. I am sorry though, for one of our elevators being out of service during your stay. I know how much of an inconvenience this can be. I hope that you can return soon and utilize both of our elevators!


STAYPUBLIC


Matthew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

This hotel tries to be posh, and fails miserably....there is no character.
Rooms are so bland! Bath is tiny.

Staff is less the welcoming, and know nothing about Chicago! Maybe have your employees walk around the block??!!! Valet guys and bar staff pretty much blow you off if you ask a question!
Cleaning lady showed up after 5 pm....

We were on our honeymoon, and very disappointed with our stay! Love Chicago though!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank julianacaporali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

julianacaporali,

I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay as much as we would have liked you to. I know being on your honeymoon is a very special time and we wanted you to enjoy yourselves, that is why we upgraded your room from a standard queen bed to a superior king at no extra cost.

I would like to address your perception of our hotel rooms, I apologize that you found them bland. We did simplify the rooms as part of the design, we decided to keep them light and airy so our guest's have as much space as possible. Our building was built in 1926 so needless to say the bathrooms were a lot smaller then and we know this, you will never see us advertising that our bathrooms are enormous, because they are not. They are however very nicely appointed and not overstuffed with items that are not needed. We do not want to take up any more room than we need to.

We are proud of the city here at PUBLIC and our concierges have an abundance of information about the city. I would highly recommend utilizing their services, they know all of the great places to go!

If you ever do find yourself back in Chicago we would love to host you again and turn all of your concerns around.

On behalf of PUBLIC we wish you a long and happy marriage,

STAYPUBLIC


Matthew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

The PUBLIC is a very stylish hotel and I'd highly recommend it on a stay in Chicago. A big hotel, it does not feel like it, more intimate than its scale would suggest.

Situated in a great part of town, the Gold Coast, it is pretty handy to anything you might want to do in CHI. Easily reached by the Red Line, it's a short walk to heaps of good restaurants and a bit further on to the 'Magnificent Mile'. In fact, to walk downtown it only takes about half an hour or so. But if walking doesn't catch your fancy, the hotel has a handful of old jalopy bikes you can borrow to get you around faster.

The service is excellent. The help given by the concierge was amazing, knowledgable and friendly, and always ready with a hotel voucher to get you a discount on a local meal or even the Chicago Divvy bikes, if the hotel ones are all out. Being an Australian, I was delighted not to be accosted by the door staff on arrival, but the service is there should you need it.

The hotel itself is great. The room I had was small with a rear view, but the minimal decor made it feel bigger, and the bathroom and its amenities were spot on. The bars are appealing, well staffed, and not so expensive as hotel bars can be. But beware, of an evening, it's a very popular place and it seems like half of Chicago is perched at the bar. Great for the atmosphere, less handy for a quick drink.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank sk4nder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUBLIC H, Front Office Manager at Ambassador Chicago, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

sk4nder,

Thank you for the generous review, we are always happy to assist! We look forward to hosting you 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 Ambassador Chicago

Address: 1301 N State Pkwy, State and Goethe, Chicago, IL 60610 (Formerly PUBLIC Chicago)
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
#61 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#74 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £71 - £229 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ambassador Chicago 4*
Number of rooms: 285
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a rich history rooted in Chicago’s Jazz Age, Ambassador Chicago is the city’s original boutique hotel dating back to 1926. Located in the heart of the Gold Coast, the iconic property has hosted the who’s who of the 20th and 21st centuries having served as a local beacon to countless celebrities. Uniquely individual, Ambassador Chicago is nestled among graceful mansions in a quiet, gilded neighborhood tucked into the center of the Windy City offering incredible views of Lake Michigan with easy access to Chicago’s main shopping boulevard, Michigan Avenue. With 285 spacious guestrooms, a 24-hour fitness center, two restaurants, thoughtful programming and amenities curated by local artisans and chefs, Ambassador Chicago maintains its distinct and legendary character while offering guests an authentic Chicago experience. ... 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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