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
Great Chicago hotel right next to the bean. Funky restoration of a historic building. Rooms have great amenities (linens, big showers). Great coffee shop, bar and restaurants on site. Staff is friendly and helpful.
The hotel property has lots of style and character. The staff is genuinely helpful and engaging. Far better than a hotel stay at a brand/chain. I want to come back to Chicago JUST to stay at CAA and utilize the property more.
This is the finest hotel I've ever experienced. Beautiful decor, great rooms, great food, great service staff. The hotel offers many restaurants & unique bars that would fit anyone's taste.
I highly recommend the Chicago Athletic Assoc. Hotel
The feel and history of the building is amazing but what really made it special was the staff. I even made it a point to write the names down of staff that made our stay special and I know I have missed a few. JoJo, Jose, Dave, Vince were all great but Flor and the concierge team went above and beyond by going to Starbuck to get me a new cup, as mine accidentally got thrown away during lunch at the conference I was attending with TSI. I was tired and did not have time to run down the street but a gentleman brought one to my room on that team. That was very nice of Flor and team! The front desk staff was amazing as well. The only issue was the mattress wasn't very comfy but I did notice they were changing out some mattresses while we were there. They could have a little more counter space for women in the bathrooms too. Fine for men however.
This hotel is very unique and charming. There is plenty to do right at the hotel, but you're also perfectly located to walk to many local Chicago attractions. The rooms are small. We got a queen, and it was tight for my boyfriend and I. However, we also only were paying $104/night, so it worked for us for the price. Everything was clean and that is our main priority. The hotel staff was all very nice and friendly. We visited each of the hotel's restaurants besides the Milk Room. Each was good and we would visit them again. The atmosphere at Cindy's was very neat. However, we did have trouble getting served at the bar at Cindy's. At both at Cindy's and the Game Room, we had trouble charging food/drinks to our rooms. They charged our room, but we still have pending charges on our cards for the same amount. We'll see if they come off or not...