Chicago’s River West neighborhood is remodeling and reopening a 19th century former factory building as a giant 20,000 square foot complex of hot tubs, plunge pools, and spa treatment rooms.
Imagine ancient Rome, or Game of Thrones, without the fear of being stabbed while relaxing. The ambitious project comes from Aire Ancient Baths, a Spanish group known for bringing new life into historic buildings by turning them into spas modeled on the public bathhouses from Greek and Roman antiquity.
They already have successful locations in Barcelona, New York and several other European cities but the Chicago location is set to be the company’s largest facility to date.
Located right on the southwest corner of Halsted Street and Chicago Avenue, the upcoming Chicago location has been in the renovation process for two years now. The group’s meticulous effort is to reveal and preserved the old structure’s original exposed brick walls and timber beams, according to their website.
Patrons of the spa will have the access to a 90-minute pool experience with warm, saltwater and an outdoor-indoor option that allows visitors to swim outside for $70. The Himalayan Salt treatment includes a salt crystal body wrap and hour-long massage with hot salt stones. Silvia Barnett, the company’s head of marketing for North America, encourages patrons to wonder around the space, “There’s a little bit of an exploratory element to it.”
Chicago-based real estate investment firm R2 Cos. owns the property. Which happens to be just across the street for the Tribune’s massive multi-phase development proposal known as The River District. Measuring a whopping 37-acres, the site is one out of 10 locations submitted to Amazon in Chicago’s bid for the tech giant’s second North American HQ.
It’s scheduled to open later this month and will be accessible by reservation only.