I recently stayed four nights at the Chicago Athletic Association, and had a wonderful stay there. What a hotel! I was obsessed with its historic architecture. This hotel is part of the Hyatt Unbound Collection, which meant that I could book it with World of Hyatt points. At the time of my stay, it was 15,000 points per night. I had a few Hyatt points already (4000-something) so I transferred the rest from Chase Ultimate Rewards points and I was on my way! Four nights for a total of 60,000 points. Basically, a steal. And free is a great price.
I was also completely obsessed with the location: 12 S. Michigan Ave and right across the street from Millennium Park. The Bean and the Crown Fountain are directly across the street. It was steps away from train stations to take you anywhere in the Loop. I also enjoyed the fact that it was steps away from a Target and a Primark and all of the great shopping on State St. Stepping out from the front door, there was the Chicago Institute of Art to my right, and the Chicago Cultural Center to my left. It was also a fantastic central location for meeting up with my food tours as I could easily walk inside the loop, or catch the L to anywhere else.
The service at the hotel was lovely. I arrived at about 10:30am, and I knew that check in was at 3:00 but I had a hopeful heart that they would have something ready for me at that hour. And they did! It was quite a relief after catching such an early flight from Boston.
My room was great. Not fancy, per se, but perfect for just little ol’ me. I know they don’t give the good rooms or the great views to points bookings, but I was quite happy with my little space on the 9th floor. The windows were quite dim and dark, overlooking a dank narrow alley surrounded by high buildings that never got light, but it was totally doable for my purposes. Hell, I was just happy to be there. A KING bed, just for me?? And my room had a POMMEL HORSE. I loved the gymnasium-chic feel to the décor. It was cool and comfortable at the same time. The ceilings were incredibly high and must have been 12′ high at least.
The bathroom was cool in an old vintage locker room sort of way. There were plenty of soaps and shampoos provided, all with a really nice spicy masculine scent. The shower was an open concept, with only half the stall enclosed in glass, and the rest was wide open. It was very similar to my showers in Italy, but nothing like what I’ve seen in the US. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold. Honestly I like the more enclosed showers just to keep it warm. But the rainfall showerhead was really nice.
Housekeeping was not every day. When I checked in, I got to choose a selection of whether I wanted no housekeeping at all, or just a quick check in every couple of days. For my stay, that worked out to once after the 2nd day which was perfect. I got new towels which I was happy to have and a quick cleanup.
Shake Shack for the Win!
I honestly have to say that one of the very best features of this hotel was having a Shake Shack on the ground floor. As someone from a little town in New Hampshire, I had never seen nor had Shake Shack in my whole life, so this was a revelation. It was amazing. I checked in at 10:30, and by 11:00 I had downloaded the app to my phone so I could place my order as soon as they opened. Then, I went downstairs and grabbed my order off the pick up shelf. It was fantastic.
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 S. Michigan Ave.