A Chic Stay in Chi-Town: The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Chicago Hotels Athletic Associaton

* An 1890s athletic club gets a second life as a chic boutique hotel
* Enjoy in-house hotspot Cindy’s, a rooftop terrace, restaurant and bar
* Commanding views of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago

Don’t just take in the historic sites of Chicago during your next visit, stay in one. Painstakingly restored and reimagined as a chic boutique hotel, the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has become a sought-after address for both locals and travelers in the know. As its name implies, the hotel was once an athletic club, circa 1890s, a history you’ll find reflected in the building’s redesign.

Through the vision of award-winning design duo Roman & Williams, wooden gym ladders are repurposed as storage walls; a pommel horse becomes a bench. Both public and private spaces are filled with vintage inspired furnishings like leather club chairs, lacquered wood furnishings and kilim rugs. It all lends to a clubby, all-American vibe that’s cozy and charmingly nostalgic.

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel


While the grand history of the building serves as a reference for its decor, the amenities are squarely 21st century. Rooms come equipped with everything the modern traveler needs: complimentary WiFi, flat-screen TVs, luxury bath products and bedside power centers with USB outlets.

You won’t have to go far for great views and even better dining, either. Just head upstairs to Cindy’s, the Athletic Association’s buzzed-about restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace, where you can take in stunning panoramas of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.

While there are quite possibly hundreds of Chicago hotels to choose from, only a handful tick the boxes of great design, great nightlife and great amenities. And from there, there’s only one place that can claim a legacy with this much character and novelty: The Chicago Athletic Association.

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