The InterContinental Chicago is the only luxury, historic hotel whose doors open directly onto the Magnificent Mile section of the famed Michigan Avenue. It was built in 1929 as a private luxury athletic club and, after undergoing several ownership changes, introduced in 1990 with the InterContinental brand. Its 792 guest rooms, all recently renovated, overlook either the city or Lake Michigan.
The hotel’s architecture and interior design reflect an eclectic mix of multiculturalism. The Indiana limestone façade, for example, at the eighth-floor level is banded by large relief carvings in the ancient Assyrian style. Each depicts a different scene, representing wisdom, consecration and contribution. The exotic gold rooftop dome, for example, which is Moorish in influence, originated as part of a decorative docking port for dirigibles before the Hindenburg disaster changed the country’s mind about the future of travel by blimp.
The bronze entrance doors open to a four-story lobby featuring a grand staircase, mosaic tile floor and ceilings painted with Celtic and Mesopotamian nature motifs. The 14th floor indoor swimming pool, with its blue Spanish majolica tiles and terra cotta fountain of Neptune, is a destination in itself. When built, it was heralded as a feat of engineering. Today it is commonly referred to as the Johnny Weissmuller pool in recognition of the Olympic athlete and Tarzan actor who trained in its waters.
The hotel is richly appointed with fountains, intricate tile work, marble steps, statuary, stained glass windows and chandeliers as well as references to Camelot, Versailles and perhaps a touch of Hogwarts thrown in for good measure.
Among the guest amenities are spa and health club, concierge service, dog-friendly accommodations, business center and valet parking. Dining choices include 24-hour in-room dining, Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, ENO Wine Bar and Starbucks. Nearby attractions are Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo, Field Museum and Oak Street Beach.
The InterContinental Chicago is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
505 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611