Skip to main content

The Chicago Athletic Association Livens Up Downtown Chicago

Don’t be fooled by its name. The Chicago Athletic Association may not be a good name for a hotel (I immediately thought I was going to be staying in some sort of YMCA), but it’s actually a luxury boutique hotel that is perfect for Manual readers. The Chicago Athletic Association gets its name from the private athletic club that was started some of the biggest families in the sports industry — Wrigley, Comiskey, and Spalding — that used the building as its home. It reopened this year as a 241-room hotel with 17,000 square feet of event space.

Each room was meticulously put together by Roman & Williams, the firm behind the Boom Boom Room, the Ace Hotel in New York, and the Facebook cafeteria in Menlo Park. Some rooms have features like boxing bags and pommel horses, keeping in tune with the heritage of the hotel’s home.  C.O. Bigelow toiletries come with each room to make sure you’re smelling fresh before a night out. If you’re in the mood for a drink or a meal, the hotel also has several spaces for socializing, like Cindy’s, a rooftop bar that has prime views of the Chicago skyline and Millennium Park, or the Game Room, which has plenty of activities like bocce ball,  billiards, shuffleboard and chess to keep you busy for an afternoon or evening.

Related Videos

Stagg Court, the Chicago Athletic Association basketball court has been fully restored and doubles as a place to work out, or an event space. My most favorite feature of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel was the Shake Shack located downstairs. So next time you’re in Chicago, book a room at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. If you have the same taste as us, you’ll love every minute of it.

For more information, visit

Editors' Recommendations

Your Key West travel guide for enjoying Florida’s more bohemian side
Key West travel guide: Where to stay, what to do, and more
Beach in Key West in early morning.

A chain of islands surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Key West is a world apart from the mainland. The southernmost city in the continental United States, the sun-soaked outpost treats visitors to a seamless blend of nature, nightlife, and history. Of course, it's easy to assume the place is little more than a three-mile-long bar -- and that's not entirely untrue. But, beyond the buzz of Duval Street and the side streets full of endless-happy-hour spots, there's more to see in this island paradise than most visitors ever consider.  The town has famously been home to literary giants including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, and Elizabeth Bishop. Of course, the tropical outpost was also the longtime home of Jimmy Buffet, who has regularly paid musical homage to Key West in his songs.

Today, locals appreciate the eccentric, the artistic, the bohemian, and celebrate anyone or anything that’s just a little weird. It's typically a bit more laid back than larger, busier Florida mainstays like Miami and Orlando. Here’s a guide to traveling the United States’ southernmost outpost like a proudly off-kilter local.

Read more
Bang Rak, Thailand – lebua at State Tower may be the best hotel in the city
Our review of Hotel lebua, the best luxury hotel in Bangkok
lebua hotel Bangkok.

Bang Rak is one of the most historic districts in Bangkok. Here, along the water at the Saphan-Taksim sky train stop, you’ll find the oldest street in the city — Charoen Krung — along which are a slew of delicious-smelling street food opportunities, jewel, gem, and souvenir shops, the Robinson department store, and a delightful bustle of markets tucked away in the intersecting alleyways. Soaring over it all is the lebua at State Tower, one of the most renowned hotels in Thailand.

In addition to the hotel, a so-called vertical destination, guests have access to a smattering of impressive restaurants, several of which offer magnificent panoramic views of the city from the 68-story building’s rooftop. I recently spent several days exploring lebua and the surrounding neighborhood, and I can say with confidence that it is an essential Thailand travel experience.

Read more
Cabo: Baja’s popular beachfront destination isn’t exactly what you think it is
Get under the radar with the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
things to do in cabo san lucas, Mexico Resorts and Condos

We’re hesitant to describe any destination in terms of “tourist versus non-tourist” because it's a silly distinction. But Cabo San Lucas has always been an unabashed tourist-centric town full of all-inclusive, budget beach resorts, never-ending 3-for-1 happy hours at bars (and gas stations and a surprising number of other places), and garish dive bars like Cabo Wabo where tequila is (almost) cheaper than water and the neon daiquiris flow every day from 8 a.m.

However, the city boasts a strange charm that most hardcore Mexican tourist centers lack. So, if none of this is your cup of horchata — if you’re looking to dig a little deeper — here are a few of our favorite places to play, eat, and stay in Baja California’s most well-known waterfront playground.
Know your geography

Read more