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Public Hotels debuts in Chicago

11 Oct 2011 by BusinessTraveller
The latest brand by hotelier Ian Schrager makes its debut today, with the opening of Public Chicago housed within the former Ambassador East Hotel. Built in 1926, the hotel’s lobby was featured in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, but the property has now been transformed by Schrager and interior designer Anda Andrei, president of design for the Ian Schrager Company and previously design director for the Schrager-founded Morgans Hotel Group. According to the opening release Schrager has “stripped the building of pretence and filled it with a warm feel to comfort every one of its guests”. The hotel’s 285 rooms start from $135 per night, although when Business Traveller checked today, a midweek stay in mid November started from $240 including taxes, for a non-refundable advance purchase rate. In-room features include “custom and iconic hand-picked pieces of furniture” and bathrooms with Thassos mosaic tile floors, custom-designed Corian sinks and bathtubs. The building’s iconic Pump Room restaurant is now headed up by French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the accompanying bar transforms into a supper club at night, “recapturing the glamour of the 30s and 40s with a modern twist”. Other facilities include 8,800 square feet of meeting space, a 1950’s style library and coffee bar, the Screening Room with 110-inch screen, the Living Room with communal work tables featuring iMac computers, and a 24-hour fitness centre (guests also have complimentary access to the nearby David Barton Gym). Schrager’s take on the new property? “We are trying not to be hip, we are in fact anti-hip, and therefore by definition, we are.” According to a report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Schrager is “close to securing deals to develop five hotels under his new brand”, with plans for two properties in New York, one in London and one in LA. For more information visit publichotels.com. Report by Mark Caswell
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