The historic Chicago Athletic Association’s days as a men-only, members club is no more, now that it has been completely transformed into a boutique hotel with 241 rooms. With roots tracing back to the 1890s, the Venetian Gothic building saw the crème de le crème of Chicago’s elite before it was shut down in 1997. Instead of allowing the landmark structure to be destroyed, Commune Hotels & Resorts and AJ Capital Partners bought the property in 2012 and set out to reopen the 11-story building as a luxury hotel.
With the help of Chicago’s Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and New York's Roman and Williams, the Association Hotel looks to strike that perfect balance between old and new. With much of the original look maintained, the hotel (which opened this spring) features original millwork, tiled flooring, stained glass and cast-iron details on the exterior.
There are several food and drink options, including ones maintained by the Chicago's Land & Sea Dept. and New York's Shake Shack on the first and second floors, as well as a rooftop restaurant that offers sweeping views of the city. Guests can find craft cocktails in Milk Room, which is both a coffee shop and a cocktail bar, and features rare and vintage spirits. If you’re up for some board games and poker, head to the Game Room where you’ll find classics like shuffleboard and bocce ball.
In terms of where you will be sleeping, the accommodations start at around $329 a night and include classic king and queen rooms, as well as several different suites that will make you feel like you stepped straight into the past.