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
This is the type of place you want to stay when you visit Chicago. You'll most likely want to get out and visit the city but if it's the dead of winter and you find yourself wanting to stay in, then this place is perfect. It has a coffee shop, game room, and a rooftop bar that's by far the best view in the city. Absolutely would recommend!
The hotel itself was very nice, tour room only two floors over the trash bins was not. There was a constant noise from the bins being loaded into the trucks pretty much from early morning to the afternoon. Then it started up in the early evening. Very annoying!
Spent a long Valentine’s Day weekend in the city! Great experience at the Chicago Athletic Association. Had the best steak ever at the Cherry Circle Room on site. Was in town to see Hamilton, the hotel was a short walk from the theater. The only down side was the cost of parking!
Really nice rooms, a great hotel, just go on an off time or you will not be able to do anything there. It was so busy (with people who were not even guests at the hotel) it really diminished the overall experience.
Arrived with my sweetheart for valentine's day stay. Great service at the front desk and the room, while small, was cozy and very well presented. However, we went to the Cherry Circle room for dinner and had a waiter who was a bit too into himself. After all, I'm the guest and he's the server. Then he tasted the wine before offering it to me. Never had that happen before and I don't like it. I paid for it and don't recall offering him any. Also, tried to have lunch at Cindy's but found a VERY limited menu there (like 6-7 items). Only "standard" was the hamburger - and can you believe it - they were out of burgers! Can't understand how you can't keep enough burger patties in the fridge, but they didn't. Will go back for the well-priced room, but will eat elsewhere.