Jan. 22, 2017

Ambassador Hotel, Tulsa

With eyes adjusting, a sigh of relief gave way for us to take in the luscious lobby before us. The Mediterranean style was inviting, even understanding of the heat, with beautiful whites and neutrals seeming to say “come sit down and cool off.”

When we arrived at the tall brick building there was anticipation of two things--seeing our best friends, and getting water. Fast. July, 2016 was hot, and Oklahoma heat is even hotter. When we walked under the canopy and into the doors of the Ambassador, cool swept over us. With eyes adjusting, a sigh of relief gave way for us to take in the luscious lobby before us. The Mediterranean style was inviting, even understanding of the heat, with beautiful whites and neutrals seeming to say “come sit down and cool off.”

The front desk handed us “Ambassador” private-label bottled water. Impressed and thankful, we sat on the plush couches, acclimating to the temperature of the room. Upon further study of the lobby, we noticed it was the high ceilings that made the space feel large, but really it was just the right size to make it feel quaint and quiet. A private conversation could be shared while lounging on the two couches facing each other. Soft pillows made for a cozy setting while echoing the neutrals of the room. A thick rug of brown and tan swirls sat beneath the couches and mirrored coffee table. A large fireplace sat at the end of the couches, centrally positioned in the room. And while no one would want a fire lit in July, it brought a feeling of welcome, warmth and relaxation to the space. Summers are hot in Tulsa and winters can be very cold. I imagined how guests would huddle around it, waiting for friends to arrive and glad to be in the warmth. But for now, the cool stone and tiles fit our needs comfortably.

With our friends running behind and texting us saying “make yourselves at home,” we decided to settle into our room. They told us they had splurged and reserved “Corner Suites.” So as we took the elevator up to the third floor, and walked down the lush, lamp-lit hall to our room, we weren’t sure what to expect. Opening the door, we both literally squealed in excitement as we took in the space before us.

A king bed sat to the right with the same complementary color scheme. A printed duvet and shams were placed on the crisp, white, triple-sheeted, pillow-top comforter.

To paint a picture, let’s start with the carpet. A yellow and gray pattern set the tone for the room: calm, yet bright. It was thick carpet, woven delicately, soft to walk on, a hint to how the rest of the suite was masterfully assembled. A king bed sat to the right with the same complementary color scheme. A printed duvet and shams were placed on the crisp, white, triple-sheeted, pillow-top comforter. A couch and pillows with coordinating colors sat at an angle across from the bed. An oval glass coffee table held ample current and historical reading material. Behind the couch, sheer white curtains were pulled to the side from the windows, with thick drapes ready on either side to create a blackout. As the sun streamed in on the yellow and gray of the room, the heat that hung outside was forgotten, and the yellow created just enough warmth to balance the cool-gray.

A built-in desk sat to the left of the entry door and beyond it, was a long yellow chaise lounge for yet another relaxing option. The room was complete for any need that could arise. Walking further into the room, we found the entrance to the bathroom with white-tiled floors, a beautiful vanity with a perfectly-lit mirror, a closet with robes and slippers and more. Beyond that, a separate shower room, with a walk-in shower, completely tiled, and large enough to accommodate a twin bed. We stood back after taking it all in, pleased and excited.

A knock on the door meant our friends had arrived. We hugged and gushed about how stunning the suite was, and did a quick recap of the last couple of days they’d had. A large storm system had moved through the city and the outlying areas, so although this was meant to be a staycation for them, it was perfect timing because their home still had no power from the storm. Tired from their experience, and seeing just how lovely the Ambassador was, the idea of leaving it and going back out for dinner sounded exhausting. We decided to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, The Chalkboard, and split up to get dressed.

My favorite thing about these friends? They’re foodies like us. Wherever there’s a cheese plate, expect this group to order it.

Once ready, we took the elevator back down to the lobby and walked across the room to a small staircase that lowered into The Chalkboard. We were pleasantly met with a cozy ambience of white table cloths and dark brown and red accents in the chairs and carpet.

My favorite thing about these friends? They’re foodies like us. Wherever there’s a cheese plate, expect this group to order it. And The Chalkboard version did not disappoint. Bleu cheese, cheddar, spicy mustard, pecans, crostini--it was all there. Drinks were in order so we perused the menu. The Chalkboard boasts an extensive wine list and even a reserve list available upon request, but there are interesting cocktails as well. In July, there was a cocktail feature called the “Amalfi Coast.” It was outstanding. Gin, lemon, mint and rosé were shaken together and poured into a coupe glass. After seeing and tasting mine, everyone ordered one.

After the nourishment of hors d'oeuvres, and all four coupe glasses were brought to the table, the full details were laid out on the troubling events with the weather the past 36 hours. Not until we felt completely caught up, did we finally turn our attention to more hearty servings of food. After studying a while, we ordered the crab cakes, the hummus spread, the bone-in breast of chicken, and the bone-in pork chop.

The hummus had extra olive oil on top (my favorite), and the crab cakes were served with a remoulade and onion marmalade spread. The chicken was excellent, with dijon beurre blanc poured over the top, and served with mashed potatoes, artichokes and spinach. The pork was served with a curry cream sauce (the number one reason I ordered it) and a plantain mofongo (reason number two). If there is curry or plantains on a menu, both will be ordered--it’s a fact. Verdict: everything we ordered was masterfully prepared. We all sat for three and a half hours soaking in the company, catching up on every new thing, and passing the baton to talk as well as passing around our respective dishes. Eventually we all made our way back to our rooms and into those triple-sheet pillow-top beds.

The Ambassador, therefore sits truly as the ambassador of Tulsa, at the center of all the beautiful areas and amazing rebirth the city has experienced in the last few decades.

Besides one early riser among us, the rest didn’t make it back to breakfast in The Chalkboard until about 10 am, and only then for the steady stream of hot coffee. While thankful that the rooms have the benefit of Keurigs, that’s not quite enough for this crowd. After sending our breakfast orders in, I requested a coffee carafe be left on our table, and much like the night before, we sipped from our cups and talked for two hours before moving again.

We were visiting our friends in Tulsa for a wedding engagement party that evening so we took the day in slowly. We decided to do a bit of shopping at Utica Square in the afternoon, and were pleased to discover that the Ambassador offers a luxury SUV that will transport you anywhere within a five mile radius, which actually covered everywhere we would want to go. The hotel location is perfect with an address considered “uptown,” but less than 600 feet to the loop that encompasses “downtown.” The hotel is also just one minute to the west of the popular Cherry Street area. The Ambassador, therefore sits truly as the ambassador of Tulsa, at the center of all the beautiful areas and amazing rebirth the city has experienced in the last few decades.

In the afternoon, getting ready in the spacious bathroom, robe and slipper clad, was a dream. I placed the iPod docking station in the bathroom and sang to every song on my Pandora, stringing out my time, and only left at the very last moment possible. Returning that evening to such kind staff, who continually provided us with water bottles whenever we’d like, and that comfortable bed, ended the night well. The next morning was the same as the one before: a steady stream of coffee in The Chalkboard. We reluctantly left after coffee, with plans to return again soon.

The Chalkboard, as well, was dim and warm with it’s reds and browns, candles lit on every table, and this time they said, “stay a while, you’ll warm up here.”
I visited again just last week, and this time, I walked in from a cold and rainy January day to find that the lobby was as accommodating now as six months earlier. The fireplace was blazing, the lobby couches and pillows as cozy and warm as before. The Chalkboard, as well, was dim and warm with it’s reds and browns, candles lit on every table, and this time they said, “stay a while, you’ll warm up here.” I went in for appetizers and drinks to catch up with a friend, and I was pleased to see that the menu had changed, reflecting the seasons. I was, again, drawn to the cheese plate which had a brand new assortment. This time there was a notable horseradish havarti, and a wonderfully spiced proscuitto among other new additions. The cocktail menu presented a new selection as well. Seasonal cocktails played on the titles of classic novels with anecdotal names like “A Tale of Two Tequilas,” and “Manhattan Nights Dream.”

Notably on the new drink menu was the “Batatas”: an award winning house-made sweet potato-infused Jack Daniel’s whiskey. You can try this infusion on the rock with an orange zest, or mixed into a beer cocktail. Yes, that’s right, a beer cocktail. New to this concept? This is one of the best introductions you could receive! It’s called the “War, Peace and Batatas,” featuring Batatas, Prairie wolf dark--an all-natural coffee liqueur distilled in Oklahoma--bitters and black lager. The depth of the black lager lends easily to both the coffee flavor and the sweet potato whiskey, adding just the right amount of bite to this dark and slightly sweet concoction.

Are you loving the Ambassador? Maybe you should have your next get-together here. Check out the Wine Cellar, a few steps down from the Chalkboard Restaurant. This space is perfect for small banquets and parties and can accommodate up to 50 people. The Provence room is off of the lobby to the west and is ideal for board meetings, luncheons and intimate parties, accommodating up to 40 people. The Tuscany Room is the largest and can serve seminars, banquets and receptions, accommodating up to 90 people. Catering is offered by The Chalkboard with a variety of customizable menu options available.

Experiencing the hotel in opposing temperatures solidified the fact that it lends well to all seasons, both with ambiance, and taste. Perfect for events, perfect for getaways, perfect for lounging in the restaurant for hours (we give you our blessing). Perfect all around.


Capacity

Provence Room: 40

Wine Cellar: 50

Tuscany Room: 90


Want to learn even more about what Ambassador Hotel Tulsa has to offer? Go visit them.


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Posted in: The Space

Tagged: Boutique Hotels

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