The Chicago Motor Club was once an office building used to test and rate automobiles for consumers. Like the Consumer Report for AAA. Today the Motor Club has been purchased and transformed ($41 million) by Hampton Inn hotel. They have done a fantastic job restoring the art deco style and class of 1930’s. The Wesley’s stayed here one night (hotel points) during the grand re-opening of the building. The rooms are perfect sizes for a small family of four. If you have more, you’ll either have to do sleeping bags or get two rooms. We enjoyed walking through the art deco spinning door into the tall hotel lobby.
Remember the old TripTik books that would tell you all about the highway you’re traveling on? They were created here in the Motor Club building. Grandma Wesley used to love getting those pamphlets as a young girl, visiting gas stations while exploring the US. She has told us about them so many times that we’ve started to make our own. We started by purchasing the United States Coloring Book by Winky Adam (the publisher is Dover ISBN-10: 0486401685) and added the Kids US Vacation Crossword Fun book with illustrations from Craig McKay ( ISBN-10: 0762535784 ). Then we find other coloring pages, a blank US map and a couple of kids atlases (the ones that tell interesting facts about the states). Yes, it seems like a lot to bring along on a trip but we found that on some trips the kids really didn’t know where they were, despite mom and dad showing them on a large map. This way the kids color and discover interesting things about each state. We have them trace our route on the blank US map (an older kid helps). By the end of the trip the kids are quite proud of their trip packets and they make great souvenirs to go into their keepsake boxes. For more information about entertaining kids visit our article here.
The mural on the wall is original and doesn’t even have any interstates listed. Most of the lighting is original although some had to be restored. The car sitting on the second floor was supposedly purchased off of Ebay. Here is a fantastic article discussing the architecture and renovation in great detail.
If you’re in the Chicago area, stop by and take a peek at the interior of this amazing building. Or, book a room! The friendly staff is more than willing to answer any questions. That’s what made our stay here to pleasant.