A few years ago my husband and I took an indulgent get-away weekend in Chicago to celebrate a milestone birthday. Usually we are practical people who stay at Best Westerns, where we lug our bags ourselves up the back stairs from the parking garage, and eat breakfast from a cooler we brought from home. But this weekend was about celebration and indulgence. So we stayed at the Chicago Intercontinental Hotel, an exorbitantly lush historic building, restored to its original grandeur of when it was the luxurious Medinah Men’s Club, with opulent ballrooms, a four-story foyer and a famously appointed Olympic sized swimming pool.
We, the people who usually spend our vacations slogging around on bikes until we’re sweaty and dirty, exploring out of the way shops and beaches and eating at local taverns and diners, allowed ourselves to be indulged. We let doormen hail us cabs and ate all our meals in restaurants. We shopped at Ann Taylor, the real one, not the Loft. We watched “Wicked” from pretty good seats; we slept in and stayed out late.
We had so much fun that we didn’t take time out to take photos, but did catch a few of the amazing swimming pool room. Considered an engineering feat when built in 1929, it is the only part that remains of the elaborate exercise facility once housed there. The pool room features Neptune’s fountain, hand-painted mosaic tiles, and stained glass windows. An elaborately tiled tiered seating area remains where spectators once gathered to watch the famous and not so famous in swimming competitions. The photos do not do it justice: you’ll just have to indulge yourself and visit there to experience the true beauty of the building. (Or at least visit the website here!)
© Huffygirl 2012