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
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Design-centric digs in an architectural landmark, with a hip rooftop bar, firepits, and burger joint Shake Shack
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
It's exactly what you expect... but better. The rooms are not large but functional, comfortable, and cute. The bars have a fun drink menu and variety. We played in the game room, relaxed in the library, and had a super brunch at Cindy's plus a classic breakfast in the Cherry Circle restaurant. Food is wonderful. Staff are all helpful. Overall a great experience.
When I arrived, there was hair on the bed and worst of all, the heater wasn't working. Then, on my second day I arrived to a broken glass water bottle all over the desk. They actually left the shattered glass and no note. I you've seriously hurt myself. Water soaked my laptop case, with laptop inside, my book and pajamas. All around horrible experience.
Absolutely stunning property, gorgeous public areas. But it's 2 in the afternoon and you want to relax with a book and a beer and soak it in? Not happening. Everything is full or reserved. If you're solo, you might be able to share a couch with someone, but if there's two of you, forget it. Room was nicely decorated to the athletic theme. Note that there is a nightly fee for amenities that doesn't really get you much (sure, you can skip the line TO Cindy's, but then you get to wait in line AT Cindy's if you want to order a drink).