Midwest Living Review
Public Chicago isn't just a renovated hotel. It's the Gold Coast neighborhood's hottest new hangout. The former Ambassador East recently reopened feeling really friendly and accessible, thanks to hotelier Ian Schrager's urban-contemporary take on the 1926 classic decor. He softened the formal lobby's look of Corinthian columns, coffered ceilings and chandeliers by turning the open space into a relaxing library-lounge. Guests sink into plump white couches and gather around the transitional a.m. coffee turned p.m. cocktail bar's roaring fire. You'll do double takes at the portraits of stoic women wearing medieval wimple headdresses of soda cans and bubble wrap. Equally playful are the guest rooms' black-and-white photo montages of jaunty dairy cows sporting garden party hats. Public has 285 modern-minimalist rooms outfitted with puffy cloud-white couches, flat-screen TVs and platform beds. Wi-Fi and a 24-hour fitness center included in rates from $135. Public's chic-chill vibe reverberates through the revamped iconic Pump Room restaurant. James Beard 2011 winner chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten designed an affordable, seasonal menu. Multicourse dinners go for around $50 a person, including appetizers, entree, dessert and $12 glass of wine. We loved the tangy roasted carrot-avocado salad, grilled beef tenderloin and creamy chocolate sorbet. A celebrity patron photo gallery foyer preserves the hangout's glam history.