You had us at Shake Shack in bed and no weight restrictions
By Si Si Penaloza
Photo: Instagram / @2husketeers
Over a century ago, the Chicago Athletic Association was home to a private gentleman’s sporting club. It was a place to blow off steam in physical and social sparring matches, from fencing to poker. In a clear nod to the city’s architectural Golden Age, this historic club has been reborn as an upscale hotel with a decidedly Windy City feel. Anchored directly across from Millennium Park in The Loop, the hotel’s enviable location lies steps away from Crown Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Willis Tower.
Teach Your Dog To Shake
Now let’s get down to the real reason we’re panting for this place. Not only does Chicago Athletic Association Hotel welcome up to two pets per room with no size restrictions or extra fees, it is the only hotel in the world that allows you to skip the perennial lines at Shake Shack with in-room dining service. Talk about a work around. Smokeshacks in bed for you and Bruiser? Yes, please! Room service from the on-site Shake Shack offers a menu for dogs with specialized burgers and baked goods.
Indeed, a weekend spent wisely at Chicago Athletic checks off several buzzy spots without leaving the hotel’s social and culinary ecosystem. At sunset, head up to Cindy’s on the 13th floor. The secret’s out, this sky high Lake House-themed restaurant boasts trophy views to drink a toast to. Everything tastes better alongside the sparkling beauty of Lake Michigan. Design firm Roman and Williams Building and Interiors endowed this rooftop with serious splash. Come summer time, stake out a plum spot for illuminating views of Navy Pier’s stellar nightly firework display.
Between the five restaurants and bars, the property teems with chatty creative types and savvy travelers. Families with young children may want to book something more kid-friendly as Chicago Athletic is more geared towards adult leisure and networking. The hotel’s heritage comes to life in the wood-paneled Game Room. With Schlitz on tap alongside a bevy of local brews, kick back over plucky foosball challenges. Outfitted with a built-in bocce bay, billiards tables, shuffleboard, chess and checker stations, this sprawling space is your second childhood waiting to happen.
Linger in the Milk Room over customized cappuccinos until 2:30 p.m., then watch it transform into an intimate 8-seat craft cocktail bar. Formerly the club’s speakeasy during Prohibition, this wee watering hole is an ode to the old school apothecary.