Stay Fit: Chicago Hotels With Great Workout Programs

Chicago and working out go together like deep dish and pizza (for one thing, working out is a terrific way to justify eating a casserole that masquerades as a pie). You don’t have to go outside to get a great workout. Some of the city’s best gyms are hidden inside the city's hotels, a well-kept secret among visitors. If you’re looking for the best hotel gyms in Chicago, book a stay at these spots.

Soho House Chicago
The fact that this isn’t just a hotel, it’s also a members’ club aimed at creatives, translates into ridiculous fitness facilities. Namely, a boxing ring and a 17,000 square-foot workout nirvana (there’s a pommel horse ferchrissake!) Ask about their MMA program, fitness classes and personal trainers if you’re looking to take full advantage here.


113-125 North Green St., 312-521-8000

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
This is one of the most amenity-loaded gyms around, hotel or not. The place boasts a basketball court, yoga room, spinning studio, weights, cardio, indoor and outdoor pools, steam room, sauna and 1/5-mile (320-metre) track. Hotel guests are benefiting from the fact that the building also includes condominiums, and the gym caters to residents as well. Speaking of the building, this is one of the most striking structures in Chicago, with wave-like structures lining the balconies. At 82 storeys it also happens to be the tallest building in the United States designed by a woman architect – namely, Jeanne Gang.


221 N Columbus Dr., 312-565-5258

Trump Hotel Chicago
The fitness centre is stocked with the latest cardio and weight equipment, offers scores of classes and guests can schedule an appointment with a professional trainer. And the Chicago views from those cardio machines are stunning. But Trump really distinguishes itself with its Travel Fit program: Guests who forget their workout clothes are fired! Actually, no: They will be outfitted in Under Armour gear and an iPod shuffle.


401 North Wabash Ave., 877-458-7867

The draw of the Swissôtel's fitness centre is simple: it's got a stellar view. It's so spectacular that while roosting on the 42nd floor of this triangular glass hotel its likely to make you want to actually work out longer. Overlooking Lake Michigan and Navy Pier, the enormous space has a sizable lap pool and a solid variety of cardio equipment. For those who need a little more motivation, the fitness room offers weekly boot camps with a mix of calisthenics and cardio and staff-guided group jogs.


323 East Upper Wacker Dr., 312-565-0565

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
The junior Olympic-sized pool on the 12th floor of the Intercontinental Chicago was built in the late 1920s, and the Art Deco touches – ornate columns, tiles, statues – are breathtaking enough to make you forget you're there to work out. And then there’s the gym. The property originally opened in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, which was a luxury health club for Shriners, so it's only no surprise that the three-level fitness centre is among the best hotel gyms in the city.


505 North Michigan Ave., 800-628-2112

Hotel Palomar
The 17th-floor fitness centre and pool are just the beginning here. In addition to treadmills and elliptical machines, Hotel Palomar invites you to ratchet up your workout’s intensity with the trainers from the local studio Shred415, who lead heart-pounding workouts on the 17th-floor terrace of the property (video versions are also available 24 hours a day via the on-demand service in guest rooms). Hotel Palomar also hosts guided runs along the lakefront, led by a manager. And it makes stylish Public bikes available to guests so they can pedal through art-themed route maps created by bike-centric tour company Bikabout. All of this is free. Yoga mats are also available in every guest room, along with a yoga channel on TV.


505 North State St., 877-731-0505

The Peninsula Chicago
With floor-to-ceiling windows 19 storeys up, you can gaze out at Chicago from the indoor half Olympic-size pool or the extensive fitness centre, here, filled with the latest cardio and Free Motion equipment. Forget your workout clothes at home? No sweat, you can borrow apparel and still take advantage of the 30 free fitness and strength-training classes offered (power yoga, aqua pilates and others). And you’ll want to do just that if you indulge in Chocolate at the Pen, the Peninsula’s beloved chocolate buffet, offered Friday and Saturday nights.


108 East Superior St,, 312-337-2888

Published Friday, July 24th 2015

Header image credit: Courtesy Soho House



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