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“Great Location, Great Value” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The James Chicago

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The James Chicago
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   55 East Ontario, Corner of Rush and Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611   |  
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Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #22 of 174 Hotels in Chicago
Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great Location, Great Value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We chose to stay at The James for our most recent trip to Chicago. We were there from November 21 to November 25 during the Thanksgiving week(end).
The main reasons for choosing The James over the many other hotels in Chicago was the location, value for price, and reviews on tripadvisor.
I am happy to say that The James did not disappoint.

Pros:

The James is located a block away from N Michigan Avenue - the heart of Chicago.
Almost every point of interest is within walking distance - the best restaurants (NoMi, Palm Court, Signature Room, The Purple Pig etc.), museums, and even the Willis Tower (previously known as the Sears Tower)

When we arrived at the hotel, the doormen greeted us with gentle smiles and courteously held the door open for us.
The lobby of the hotel is clean, sleek, and refreshing.
Upon check-in, we were informed that The James had already honored our upgrade promotion certificate, and had upgraded us to a studio suite.
The studio suite was very comfortable - there was a kitchenette at the entrance, a very roomy and clean bathroom, a dedicated living room space with a couch and a TV, and the bedroom area with the bed and a second TV across from the bed.
While there were no slippers in our room, I remembered seeing slippers on the housekeeping cart while passin by it, and simply went back there and asked for some slippers.

What most impressed me about the amenities in the hotel was turndown service.
It is unfortunate that hotels in the US do not really partake in this wonderful tradition.
I was pleasantly surprised that The James has turndown service - every day, we came back to the room to find the blinds drawn down, and a fresh baked good on the bed, along with a bathrobe fashionable laid across the bed, while the radio was playing 80s and 90s music in the background. While I am more used to coming back to a room that has classical music playing in the background, the 80s and 90s hits was a surprisingly pleasant new take on turndown service. It's these little things that make all the difference.

I am also very grateful that after unsuccessful attempts to find an ENT specialist who could see me the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the concierge found me a doctor who came and saw me in my room.

Cons:

We did encounter a rather snappy and rude concierge on our first day, who was not very eager to help us.

While the beds were very comfortable and clean, we were woken up by the noise in the hallway - sometimes from other guests, and sometimes from housekeeping.

Conclusion:
Because of a promotion we were able to take advantage of, The James' location, amenities, service and value for price was unbeatable.
Overall, we were very pleased with our stay at The James, and would most certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear IstanbuliteinBoston, Thank you for taking the time to write a thorough review on your recent stay at The James Chicago! It is feedback like yours that assists us in providing a positive experience for all of our guests. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your upgraded room and that our nightly turndown service made your stay extra special. I am sorry that you had a negative experience the first day with our concierge; please know that we will be following up accordingly, but I am glad that they were able to assist your request for medical services the next time. Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to welcome you back again soon!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Muncie, Indiana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Wanted to spend weekend close to N. Michigan. James great location. Everyone working at hotel very gracious and professional. Rooms clean and neat. Our bed was turned down every evening. Great breakfast at restaurant. We look forward to returning to The James.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Dennis T, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at The James Chicago! We very much appreciate your wonderful compliments of our staff and that you enjoyed the breakfast from David Burke's Primehouse. Most of all, we are glad to hear that your first trip to The James will not be your last, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012 via mobile

Our yearly Thanksgiving stay at The James was perfect...again. Part of a beautiful tradition. Thank you Meg Welter (from Guest Relations) for making things so perfect for us. And thank you to all the staff for such friendly service. See you next year!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear kathrynkay, Thank you for writing such a wonderful review about your stay at The James Chicago! It is truly an honor to be a part of your Thanksgiving tradition and that you have had a continually great experience with us. We appreciate your wonderful compliments of our entire staff, and I have shared your comments with Meg. Thank you again for your loyalty to The James, and we look forward to welcoming you back next year!
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Stayed there over thanksgiving and loved it! Clean, easy, super friendly staff. I rated the 'pool' low because I don't think they have one. Rooms are small, but well designed and very clean. As a Chicago native, I appreciate the great location.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear Jadesr, Thank you for sharing about your recent stay at The James Chicago! We appreciate your kind compliments of our staff and are glad that you loved your stay. Just to let you know, although we do not have a pool on-site, we do have arrangements at a neighboring property so just ask the front desk next time and they will be happy to direct you to it. Thank you again for spending your Thanksgiving holiday with us and we hope to see you again soon!
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Mexico City
Top Contributor
334 reviews 334 reviews
82 hotel reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

What I liked best about this hotel was its convenient location, walking distance to the train station at Grand and a block away from Michigan Ave. Room decor was nice, clean and trendy but the elevator gave me a bad impression as the carpet is not clean and walls are not perfectly painted, also the hallway gave me the impression of being in an airport hotel. There is room service 24 hours which is quite good and free wifi.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear viajeramx1, Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at The James Chicago! I would like to apologize for the issue in regards to cleanliness of the floor; as this is not a common occurrence for us, I have addressed this issue accordingly with our housekeeping department. Despite this setback, I am glad that you enjoyed your stay overall and found our location to be convenient. I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon!
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Akron, Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

While visiting our daughter over Thanksgiving, we decided to spend a night downtown (my back couldn't take another night on the airbed!). We Hotwired a 4.5 star hotel in the 'Near North' area of downtown and wound up at the James. Although we paid considerably less, this hotel is worth every bit of the normal $250+ per night rate. The rooms look to be very recently remodeled with sleek tile bath, elegant lighting, large flat screen and tastefully appointed rooms. The staff was very helpful and courteous (they often aren't when you come in at the last minute with a Hotwire reservation). The location could not be better being only a block off of the heart of N. Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile. The only downer is that parking was $52 per night- Yikes!

Room Tip: Go for the highest floor you can get and avoid the interior alley view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear AquaNut, Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at The James Chicago! We appreciate your wonderful compliments of our modern rooms and especially our friendly staff. We are glad that you found us and hope that after this positive experience, you will stay with us the next time you visit Chicago!
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Perrysburg, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

My wife (who is 8 months pregnant) and I decided to get away for Thanksgiving weekend. I've eaten at the restaurant before so I was somewhat familiar with the hotel but never stayed here.


Location
James has a great location - actually perfect. Just a block from Mich ave and not nearly as busy. We drove our car here and it was very easy to get on/off highway from hotel.

Service
Again it was great. My initial reservation was booked online but later I called to see if I could get a better room and they really took care of us. Front Desk/Doormen/Concierge were all very friendly and helpful.

Room
I had originally booked an apartment loft but ended up in the penthouse suite. Won't go into the details of how this transaction transpired but.....the hotel really gave us a good deal and we really appreciated it. Suite was great, big living area, big bedroom area, big bathroom. Surround sound in room was great.

Side note for James hotel....I lost my wedding ring someplace in this room so if you find it please let me know - I alerted the front desk once we checked out. The temp Kohls ring I have on is turning my finger green.

Food
Ate breakfast 3 times and lunch once at primehouse. All were great and no complaints. I loved the sausage biscuits, my wife wasn't as in love as I was but her palate is changing daily with pregnancy.

Summary
Loved everything about this hotel would give a 4.5 if they allowed it, I just can't do 5 stars. A few little things (barley mentionable)
1. Ice service - took 45 mins two of the nights we stayed.. Granted I was mixing booze I bought at a liquor store not the hotel - maybe they knew that!
2. We had breakfast included in our rate, called down for breakfast one morning and whoever answered was very confused by what was included in our rate. Wife was a little rough on him when food was delivered (I was looking for my ring) - but she tipped him good as it was a holiday.

A few other things more insignificant than above happened, but not worth mentioning.

Will for sure stay here again, very trendy but elegant , cozy but not stuffy, friendly but not overbearing.

Places we ate
Hub 51 - great chicken nachos and steak tacos.
Tavern on Rush - thanksgiving night, most restaurants had pre fixed menus so we were happy to find a normal one - pizza was very good
Quartino - Very good also.. Mushroom risotto was really good. And the deserts were really good also.
Pops - champagne bar we (I) had drinks , really fun atmosphere.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abel06, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Dear Dominosmaster, Thank you for sharing about your stay with us over Thanksgiving weekend! It is great to hear that our staff was able to provide the great experience that you and your wife deserve and that you enjoyed the upgraded room as well. I would like to apologize for the delay with the ice service and any inconvenience that this caused. Although our housekeeping department has thoroughly searched your room, please rest assured that we will contact you if your missing wedding ring turns up. Thank you again for staying with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back to The James Chicago soon!
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Additional Information about The James Chicago

Address: 55 East Ontario, Corner of Rush and Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Chicago
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Business Hotel in Chicago
#18 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#19 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#25 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The James Chicago 4.5*
Number of rooms: 297
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The James Chicago offers a stylish and engaging alternative for the contemporary business or leisure traveler. - Ideally situated right in the heart of downtown Chicago, just steps from Michigan Avenue and celebrate cultural attractions - Complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel - Early check-in, late check-out - 24-hour room service provided by David Burke's Primehouse - Triple-distilled water refreshed twice daily - Twice-daily housekeeping with turndown - Environmentally thoughtful local car service - Experience The James as a culinary destination with David Burke's Primehouse, named the #1 Steakhouse in Chicago by Chicago magazine, Primehouse Bar and JIMMY Chicago, a new craft cocktail lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
James Chicago Hotel Chicago
James Hotel Chicago
Chicago James Hotel

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