The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel is the only hotel with an entrance on Michigan Avenue. The two tower property features dining at Michael Jordan Steakhouse and Eno and a health spa that includes a heated Olympic swimming pool.
The south tower of the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile began in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club. The club was a luxurious meeting place for members of the Shrine Organization, featuring meeting rooms, guest rooms, ballrooms, and fitness facilities which included a pool on the 14th floor. At the time this indoor pool was considered a feat of engineering. The pool is often referred to in the same breath as Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan and Olympic Gold medalist fame, who swam at the pool in the early 1930s.
Unfortunately for the Shriners, they lost the club due to the stock market crash in 1934. For the next ten years there were various owners until it was turned into the Continental Hotel and Town Club in 1944. In following years both the Sheraton and Radisson hotel chains operated in the building. In 1961 Sheraton built the second tower to the north.
In 1988 InterContinental Hotels bought the famed property and began an extensive renovation project. A former Medinah club member donated a 1930 yearbook to the project which enabled InterContinental to recreate some of the original designs.
The complete renovation took twelve years and over 250 million dollars to complete, and the result is an opulent homage to the building’s past combined with the technological advances of the 21st century.
Because of the structure of the two towers, there are several different room configurations. Standard guest rooms are located in both towers. The Historic Tower features deluxe rooms and suites. Rooms in the Grand Towers offer a more contemporary design and those in the Historic Tower provide more European decor.
The InterContinental boasts dining that draws not only hotel guests but also locals. Michael Jordan’s Steak House is one of the most well-respected steakhouses in the city. Eno, a wine, chocolate, and cheese bar, provides flights of all three. During the warmer months its expansive patio is filled with both locals and tourists. The Continental is designed more for hotel guests and serves breakfast and brunch.
The amenities at the InterContinental are befitting for a hotel of its luxury. In addition to the indoor pool and health club, the hotel offers knowledgeable concierges, a 24-hour business center, and a spa. Guests at the hotel can take advantage of the spa’s massage and reflexology treatments and can book directly from their website.
Staying at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is more than just sleeping in a hotel room. It is a piece of Chicago history that has been brought back to life through dedicated renovation with an eye toward’s preserving the storied hotel’s past.
The InterContinental’s distinctive gold dome was built as a docking station for dirigibles. Underneath the dome on the 24th floor was a miniature golf course, a shooting range, bowling alley, boxing arena, and more sporting facilities for the Medinah Athletic Club’s members.