The Vibe: All dark wood, leather and retro-clubby public areas where whiskey glasses clink.
The Area: Hotels don’t get more central than this one: in the heart of downtown, on bustling Michigan Avenue, and across the street from Millennium Park.
The DNA: The hip Chicago Athletic Association hotel is set in a former Venetian Gothic landmark building from 1893. It was a ritzy men’s club for more than a century, and the public spaces retain a masculine look with ornate carved woodwork, stained-glass windows and immense stone fireplaces. Marble staircases, mosaic-tiled floors and heavy leather couches and armchairs add to the vibe, which is luxurious but still warm and welcoming. The hotel offers seven award-winning food & beverage outlets – including the Prohibition-era microbar Milk Room, lively Game Room, the swanky, James Beard Award-winning Cherry Circle Room, and the hotel’s crown jewel, Cindy’s, its rooftop restaurant and bar perched 13 stories above Millennium Park. In addition, locals and guests alike are invited to experience the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s 150+ annual programming events, ranging from pop-up roller skating nights in the hotel’s vintage gym to hands-on cocktail workshops with in-house experts. In all it is rather classy without being stuffy.
Suite-Me-Up: Rooms have details referring to its former life with pommel horse-inspired benches and boxer-style bathrobes. Room facilities include bespoke linen and blankets, a flat-screen cable TV, a curated minibar and a bathroom in Carrara marble with rain showerheads. 24-hour in-room dining.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 241 rooms & suites (19-42m2) • hotel opened: June 2015 • architecture: HPA • interior design: Roman and Williams • bathroom amenities: C.O. Bigelow • parking possible at a location nearby (charged) • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible