Laura Leigh Bean
Illustration, Visual Branding + Design
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Public Hotel Chicago Tour

I walk past Public Hotel in the Gold Coast fairly often. It opened within the last year, and is anchored by the Pump Room, an old celeb haunt from the 40's that's recently reopened (same name!) to huge fanfare in Chicago's nightlife scene.

Today while chatting and planning with a girlfriend over Skype for an upcoming bachelorette party, Public came to mind as a potential recommendation for the girls coming in from out of town. If you're not from Chicago, the Gold Coast is a neighborhood just north of what you'd consider downtown, and about as far east as you get, meaning super close to the lake. Basically, primo Chicago real estate!

The entrance is striking and perfectly symmetrical - there's a large awning or overhang covered in bright lightbulbs, with uniformed doormen and lit torches at night.

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I love hotels, and especially boutique hotels. So naturally, I was pretty excited to have an excuse to head to their website and check out some pictures... but even with high expectations, I was blown away.  I mean, look at this place!

> Photos via

I am absolutely obsessed with the black, white, neutral and green color scheme, the intricate details and the incredible lighting.  After doing a little reading, the caliber of design is no surprise - Public is the brainchild of Ian Schrager, one of the co-founders of Studio 54.

Chicago is slated to be the first of many Public Hotels - I hear New York is up next.

Here's the best part - its totally reasonable. Compared to New York or Miami, Chicago's hotels are not SO expensive, but I'd still anticipate a $300+ price tag for any hotel right in the heart of the city.

At Public? Rooms start at $150.

I may be booking a staycation soon!