Great Staff, vintage hotel, not an Omni anymore
This Historic hotel has character. The staff made our stay very enjoyable. We were there June 8-12, 2006. When we arrived we were unhappy with our room, disappointed,room hot even with A/C running at MAX cool and blackout curtains drawn. Bathrooms have no fans. We had an additional night stay on Sun because of flight schedules (Hotwire hotel prices had gone up significantly by the time we found the good airfare prices, plus with Hotwire we didn't know where we would end up, even with 4 stars.) We immediately made other reservations at both The Drake and The Omni. (We used our cell phones, EACH local call $1.15 whether connected or not.)
Ambassador East Staff was tenacious, yet courteous and professional in their efforts to keep our business at the Ambassador East. Oumania was upfront about wanting to keep our business with them and upgraded our room to a suite on the opposite side of the building (no afternoon sun) .We received the upgrade whether we or not we stayed the extra night. We decided to spend our entire time at the Ambassador East, partly because the cost was significantly less than the Omni or Drake but also because the Ambassador East staff was friendly and helpful plus the upgraded suite was more what we were expecting from the original booking on Hotwire.
We were not exactly thrilled with Hotwire's policy of not knowing the hotel until AFTER you pay. We only tried Hotwire because friends we were going with recommended Hotwire, they had gotten The Drake for less than we got the Ambassador East. The bottom line for working stiffs like us is PRICE. We will probably use Hotwire again,but we will book as early as possible. As it was we booked about 2-4 weeks after our friends (who have used Hotwire for the same timeframes and have gotten The Palmer House and this time The Drake, both for less than we paid for the Ambassador East) and we paid $150/night for the Ambassador East, they paid $112/night for The Drake. The Ambassador East is no longer an Omni hotel.
I loved the Ambassador East's Business Center (2nd floor), open 24hours, free internet and free printing for my Yahoo! maps of the area. I could check my e-mail but more importantly I could print my SouthWest boarding passes 24 hours in advance.
The Pump Room restaurant was okay (2 comp breakfasts) but pricey. It would have been $47 plus tip for the Chef's Table(buffet), an American Breakfast(2 eggs, ham, potatoes, toast), coffee and juice. The Pump Room itself was cool, B/W pics of celebrities from "the good old days". Staff there was also very nice.
We did not rent a car, mostly because of the high daily valet parking rates $36/day in/out privileges, covered garage Across the street was a public parking lot $29/day, not sure of in/out rights. The parking in Chicago was expensive, about $10-15 minimum, $20-30/day rate.) We would stay at the Ambassador East again, if the price was right (less than $100 night).