Chicago Athletic Association
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Comeback
- Legendary designers Roman and Williams are behind the 2015 multimillion-dollar renovation of this 1893 landmark building
- The firepits at rooftop bar Cindy's are the spot for outdoor imbibing with a greenhouse-style bar serving up the cocktails; views are of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan
- A back door that opens up to the heart of The Loop—and a front door that welcomes the best of Chicago culture
- The outpost of famous burger joint Shake Shack and the Game Room, which will serve up classic cocktails and a playful menu of concession favorites
- The 241 guest rooms and suites have touches of the hotel's athletic club past (think pommel horse-inspired benches)
- Read more: Chicago's Latest Design Digs
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Docent-led tours of the iconic building are scheduled regularly in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation
- The Game Room has bocce ball, billiards and chess
- Get a reservation for the Cherry Circle Room restaurant from the team behind perennial Chi-town favorite Longman & Eagle
- Expect to jockey with locals for seats at the bar and restaurants as this is one of Chicago’s hottest new spots
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In the thumping heart of Chicago’s Cultural Mile is a hotel that’s as much a social hub as a place to sleep. That makes sense as the 1893 building once housed a legendary athletic/social club. The original Tarzan (and five-time Olympic gold medalist) Johnny Weissmuller once swam here and Muddy Waters sang in the supper club. Now instead of boxing or lifting weights, Chicago’s pretty people will be gathered around the firepits at rooftop bar Cindy’s, closing deals in the supper club and sipping classic cocktails with a playful menu of concession favorites in the game room. With 241 rooms by renowned designers Roman & Williams (of New York’s Ace and The Standard fame), the upstairs is as vibrant as the downstairs with nods to the building’s past in the form of pommel horse-inspired benches and storage racks that echo a wooden gym ladder. Other vintage details include replicas of retro furniture, brass-accented bedframes, striped wool blankets and deep leather club chairs. The bathrooms are luxurious, with soaking tubs, and gleaming black-and-white tile and marble counters. At Stagg Court, the hotel’s newly restored gymnasium, you can shoot some hoops, but if you’re looking for a stiff drink, mixologist Paul McGee oversees the inventive cocktail lists in the lobby, the Game Room and the fine-dining Cherry Circle Room.
In the Area
Set across the street from Millennium Park and all the diversions of Chicago’s best parks, the hotel has a location that rivals none. Art institutions like the Chicago Institute of Art, colleges (DePauw, Northwestern Law), and architectural monuments line up along the front entrance to the Chicago Athletic Association. Out the back door, guest are smack in the middle of the financial district, a.k.a. The Loop. Grab a coveted picnic table to sup on Southern fare at funky Parson’s, try to score a reservation at Stephanie Izard’s James Beard award-winning Girl & the Goat and splurge on the Michelin-starred fare at Alinea. Don’t miss the laughs at the world famous Second City, where such luminaries as Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carell and Tina Fey have performed. For a nightcap, head to Three Dots and Dash, a kitschy-fun tiki cocktail bar.
How to Get There
No effective bath room exhaust, after two days the room stinky
The lighting lamination is poor, it took us extended time to find our belongings
We could not figure out the air condition temperature setting. Is it Fahrenheit or Celsius
The game room is managed by a jerk, he refused to turn on the world soccer game commentator voice for kid kind of music and forced us to leave
The Chicago Association hotel rating is influenced. It is rated four star hotel to help them out, which is understood. However the hotel management did not honor this support. The rating should be re-evaluated . In my opinion the hotel rating can not be more than two star hotel.
Room cleanse is fare, however the color of the carpet and wall sidings are not thought off, and impact the cleanness apparent of the hotel
The bathroom water’s pressure is not stable. The water mix (cold & hot) needs to be continuously adjusted during one shower session. The bath exhaust fan is not effective as it was claimed centralized, thus the room odder after few days was not acceptable.
We came to Chicago for a concert and our original hotel was terrible so we went to a last minute booking site and take a flyer on this hotel. it was awesome and then some, my wife and I will come back next time we are in Chicago. Awesome location next to Millenium park for the kids and cool amenities like a rooftop bar.
This hotel was not only beautiful but a great experience all around. The staff was friendly and accommodating! It was nice being within walking distance of everything and also having access to the rooftop bar. Highly recommend!
I’m not normally one to write negative reviews (just check my history). More often than not I don’t like the idea of my individual sullied experience to cast a shadow on an establishment that may just have had an off night. But I see enough reviews on here who seem to have had similar experiences-so I’ll share.
To summarize: this hotel relies too heavily on its name and the need to be uber-trendy than it does on actual quality of service. You pay a high cost for nothing other than the name.
To start, customer service from the front desk staff and service management was appallingly callous. No one seemed to have much information regarding the hotel and were shockingly curt on the phone regarding general inquiries on the room or available amenities. Everyone on staff seemed oddly stressed. Was this due to lack of organization or a barebones staff? I don’t know.
If you like the idea of paying hundreds of dollars a night for a bougie-hostel vibe, then this hotel is for you! The hotel’s structure was confusing to navigate. It was extremely dark and chaotic and loud in all the public spaces. Which can certainly be fun, but it can also be overwhelming.
We stayed with a large group in a pretty swanky room. It had a lot of space (which we paid through the nose for) and had a nice decor. But The mini fridge was broken and was scarily producing quite a bit of heat. We called the desk to let them know, but they didn’t seem concerned. I hope that fridge doesn’t cause that room or patrons any damage.
I could continue on with this hotel’s odd idiosyncrasies, but you get the picture. If you want to be on-trend and like a more boisterous-but-less courteous feel, than this is definitely the place to see and be seen. If not, then I might recommend other hotels in this fun city.
I stayed at the CAA this past weekend (13-15th) and from the beginning, my experience was odd and unorganized, at best. I hate leaving negative reviews as I own a small business in the hospitality industry, however, I feel this is an opportunity for feedback which can be used for training and standard of service purposes.
After reflecting on my stay, I feel there is definite training that most of the staff either didn’t receive, or does not execute. There were no visible “steps of service”- I did not feel as though customer service was a pillar of this establishment.
Upon our arrival, we waited no less than 7 minutes for someone with a luggage cart to help load our things and escort us to our room. When someone finally did show up, he basically inferred that we would have to load our luggage ourselves and he would wheel the cart to the elevators for us. This was very odd and did not set a good tone for the remainder of our stay.
When we retrieved our room keys (from an incredibly dimly lit lobby/bar/game room), we were able to make our way to our room. Our room was on the 9th floor, and as we exited the elevator, I noticed that all of the carpet in the hallways was bubbling and looked as though it had not been installed properly. The hallways reminded us of a hostel and smelled slightly musty. When we got to our room, we called for a rollaway bed- which they informed us they were out of. We then noticed the mini fridge in our suite was broken (it was actually making our wine hot), and called the concierge to inform them of the issue. I asked if they had any replacement fridges, to which a curte “No” was the reply. I asked if they’d like to come take it out of the room to see if it can be repaired. Her reply was, again, a short “Okay??”. No one ever followed up about this.
Our group realized mid way through the trip that we needed more space- I decided to call the front desk and ask if they had any more rooms (even though I did not want to continue to stay at this hotel). When I reached the front desk, I asked if they were sold out, the gentleman’s reply was “yeah, we are sold out”, and that was it. No offer to take my number and follow up with me.
When we arrived, only two elevators were functioning. This issue was later resolved, however, I’ve never been in an establishment where the elevators took several minutes to shuttle guests to and from floors. It took 6 full minutes for an elevator to arrive to the 9th floor. We thought we were being Punk’d! Several times, we were not able to brandish our room cards in time (you need to swipe your room card every time you try to use an elevator) and we were then forced to ride the elevator up and down to floors we didn’t need to go to. Often times, the crowds waiting to board an elevator overwhelmed the hallways and the scene would become quite chaotic.
On Saturday, a wedding was taking place at the hotel. Typically, if an establishment is well run, it is not noticeable to other guests that a large event is taking place on site. At this hotel, it was very obvious they could not handle the volume of people they were accommodating.
Staff was very hard to come by, and when we were able to locate people to help us, the way on which we were spoken to and how our inquiries were handled did not match the price of the hotel. For what we paid, we should at the very least, be given a proper greeting upon arrival and proper attention to detail paid to requests. If requests cannot be accommodated, guests should be offered an alternative and spoken to in a way that honors a true guest experience.
We ended up leaving the hotel and checking into a Westin off the Mag Mile.
Staff, amenities, the rooms, the vibe- it was all lackluster and not worth the price of admission. I really wanted to enjoy our stay here, but it all fell short.