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
The building was beautiful. The amenities were great. Staff was amazing. Loved the buildings history. There was tons to do on site. Great nightlife. Room decor was different and classy. Views were great. Great location!
This place has a GREAT vibe. The bar has pool tables, shuffleboard, Foosball and more... The inside looks like Hogwarts, including gothic fireplaces and heavy wood-work. The lobby, has a bar as well with quiet private seating areas and tables that can be reserved. We ate of a Prix-fix menu for a hosted party, which was just ok, but the service was very attentive. It should also be noted that the bar carries only mid-level spirits and local versions of vodka, gin and the like.
We will be returning. What an amazing experience at this property. Fantastic experience all around. Very clearly a popular location among local Chicago residents as well for good reason. All around amazing experience. Can't wait to return.
Don't quite know what to make of this hotel. Was highly recommended by person who usually stays there on business and perhaps that's the trick, I was on holidays. It is perfectly situated, easy walk to everywhere or to the train station and perhaps it has a great history or story to tell. But at check in, I was given a room that was so dark, it felt like a dungeon, overlooking the fire escape route of the opposite building. When I gently remarked that I had come over 20000 km to visit the place, they put me in a 'better' room but I still had to pay extra. I thought it was expensive for what it offered as upon checking out, they ask for a further US$25 extra per day for a 'resort' charge, therefore it was US$25 a day to use their WIFI or drink the water in the room as I didn't play in the 'game room' and did not partake of the free cup of tea. I would not stay there again, nor would I recommend the place. It was a great disappointment on an otherwise fantastic visit.
My husband and I stayed at the Chicago Athletic Association the night before a 5K run. The room was comfy, spotless and the view of Millennium Park was very Chicago. The place has lots of personality, unlike big chain hotels.