Expansions & Renovations

Built in 1926, the Iconic Ambassador Chicago Debuts Following Restoration

CHICAGO, IL. July 31, 2017 - Journal Hotels, a management company, today announced the debut of Ambassador Chicago restoring the legendary property to its historic identity. Built in 1926, Ambassador Chicago draws inspiration from the city's Golden Age, having served as a local mainstay to celebrity icons such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. With deep historical roots in the Windy City, Ambassador Chicago will pay homage to the city's storied past through thoughtful programming and elegant design.

Nestled within the illustrious Gold Coast neighborhood, Ambassador Chicago offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan with easy access to Chicago's main shopping boulevard, Michigan Avenue. The property features 285 spacious guestrooms, a 24-hour fitness center, two restaurants, local programming and amenities curated by Chicago-based artisans and chefs, in-room dining and other luxury comforts. Attached to the hotel is a legendary restaurant having served as a celebrity favorite during the Jazz Age, which is currently being reconfigured by Lettuce Entertain You Group to introduce invigorating, innovative design and cuisine concepts that play up the glamorous history of the space while simultaneously infusing modernity into the venue.

Taking cues from its early nineteenth century art-deco design, the property celebrates Chicago's vibrant history reflected in the intricate design details such as vaulted ceilings and original crown moldings, providing a unique environment for rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. Glass doorknobs, original mail-chutes, and ornate wrought iron juxtapose against modern furnishings and art installations of painting, photography and sculpture serve as reminders of Chicago's cultural presence and the hotel's rich past resulting in a contemporary, chic vibe.

"We're thrilled to add a legendary hotel such as Ambassador Chicago to our portfolio," said Stephen Brandman, Chief Executive Officer at Journal Hotels. "The rebranding will return an iconic Chicago property back to its roots through creative activations and allow Journal to not only grow in a critical market, but continue to celebrate iconic spaces that invite discovery."

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will be returning to this historic location to work with the Journal Hotels to operate all food and beverage in the new Ambassador Hotel. From the re-concept of the restaurant, which is projected to open late fall 2017, to creating new menus for room service, catering and private events and the lobby bar, Lettuce is excited to serve the Ambassador guests and Gold Coast neighborhood. The restaurant group previously ran the space from July 1976 - January 1998.

"Lettuce has a lot of history at this location. Our first restaurant here was exciting and so much fun that I'm thrilled to be doing it again in a more modern way," says Rich Melman, Founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

Ambassador Chicago will join Journal's collection of hotels which includes The Hollywood Roosevelt, Two Bunch Palms and Hotel G as part of Journal's rapidly expanding portfolio of storied hotels rich in cultural tradition and steeped in history. As with all hotels in the portfolio, Ambassador Chicago will maintain its distinct character while providing guests a truly memorable stay and authentic Chicago experience.

About Journal Hotels

Journal Hotels is a collection of iconic properties including The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, Hotel G in San Francisco and Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs. As a partnership between GCPH, the Chang Family and Stephen Brandman, Journal Hotels distinguishes itself by combining exceptional hotel management with a creative and independent approach. With properties rich in culture and steeped in history, each hotel has a distinct character that invites discovery and enables guests to stay storied.

About Ambassador Chicago

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.

Contact:
Jill DeSantis
jill@brandmanpr.com
212-683-2442

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.