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“Beautiful but sad hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of St. James Hotel

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St. James Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1200 Water Ave., Selma, AL 36701   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Selma
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful but sad hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

This truly is a beautiful place and a piece of history. It seemed like a ghost hotel when I stayed though. The front desk folks were a bit lackluster. It almost seemed like no one else was staying there. It was a bit eerie. The continental breakfast was very weak and I had to ask for plates and utensils because none were provided. This place has so much potential if they could spruce up the help and the amenities.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissajoyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    11
    20
    11
    3
    10
See reviews for
8
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10
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

The St. James is a historical hotel, so don't stay here and expect all the amenities of a modern hotel. There are no other businesses in this depressed part of town. It's situated overlooking the Alabama river. Get a room with access to the balcony and enjoy a cup of coffee while soaking up the history of the march from Selma to Montgomery. You will be able to view the Edmund Pettis Bridge and walk over it from the St. James.

Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank YankeeFan06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

When in Selma this is where we stay. (Okay, with our grandson we stayed in a motel on the highway that offered him a swimming pool.) This is a beautiful property that offers a great view of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. There are sometimes glitches in the service (this time bath towels but no hand towels), but even so it is THE place to stay. The interior courtyard is lovely. We have had some very good food in the dining room, but it is not always open.

Room Tip: The riverside rooms are priced a little higher, but offer a beautiful view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gordon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paducah, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2011

i cant get over the people who complain about st.james hotel in selma alabama.some say it has

musky odor etc what did they expect from a motel as old as this if they would have smelled closely they would have smelled a scent of lavender from jessie james girlfriend.the staff and people who live in selma are very friendly .i used my visa card and had know problem with any other charges other than my own,my grandson and i walked outside at night with know problems.our truck was not messed with.pull up saint james hotel and surrounding selma area.if you dont like it dont go.i myself will go back soon and not worry about anything but enjoying myself.we stayed in jessie james room and i can assure you he is in there late at night that is if you willing to talk to him.thank you KENNY RUPP. kdalerupp@yahoo.com

Room Tip: ask for jessie james room unless your to scared
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kenny90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2010

My family stayed at this hotel for the weekend. During the course of the stay my mom took a nap while the rest of the family left on an outing. Seeing the car leave, someone working in the hotel used a key to open the door to the room, then seeing my mom in the bed, quickly grabbed her purse and ran out of the room.

We filed a police report, but it was certainly an inside job (they had a key), and the hotel did not seem to take the incident very seriously at all. This hotel is really as bad as it gets. I highly recommend that you don't stay there... and if you do... that you bolt your door and carry pepper spray.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank amandavsellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Selma hotels

California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the St. James Hotel in Selma during Pilgrimage Weekend. While it is located in the old part of town, that is to be expected in an historic hotel such as this. Our room was spacious and clean. The weather was fine, so we were able to enjoy a glass of wine in their charming interior courtyard and listen to the pleasant sound of its fountain. We had a very nice and inexpensive dinner in their lounge and the servers were friendly and competent. The generous breakfast provided included cook-your-own waffles, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, milk, Danish/bagels/bread. We were very satisfied with the room, with the service, with the staff, and with the food served in the lounge. An additional bonus was that the St. James is located within easy walking distance to the Pettus Bridge and the Voting Rights Museum. Parking, while not covered, was free. All in all it was great value for a very reasonable price. We would not hesitate to stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lcgcalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2010

The St. James is an old historic hotel maintained by the City of Selma. It's claim to fame is that it was where Jesse and Frank James "vacationed" when they were taking a break from robbing banks and trains. In fact, Jesse is supposed to haunt the old hotel, and there's a second ghost, the lovely Lucinda, whose portrait hangs in one of the downstairs common rooms.

The rooms are all decorated the same--which I don't particularly care for in an historic hotel--but some rooms open onto a long porch overlooking the Selma River, where it is very pleasant to sit and have a drink before dinner. (Note: you have to supply your own drinks--there is no room service on the porch.) The beds are very comfortable and the bathrooms adequate.

One thing we noticed was that members of staff seemed to always walk about the hotel in pairs. We thought this strange and asked one young girl who appeard to be in her early 20s. She asked if we didn't know "this place" was "hainted" and said, "There ain't no way I'm gonna walk around here after dark by myself!" How very charming!

The food in the dining room isn't the best in the world, but it wasn't the worst I've ever had either. On the other hand, the lounge serves a Southern breakfast to die for: ham, eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits--the works!

The only downside to our stay was that one night, there was "live" entertainment in the lounge, but our rooms were on the third floor on the river side of the hotel--far enough from the lounge that we weren't disturbed.

One other thing, parking is free, but it's on the street, not in a designated hotel parking lot.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lavenderlady77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. James Hotel

Property: St. James Hotel
Address: 1200 Water Ave., Selma, AL 36701
Location: United States > Alabama > Selma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Selma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — St. James Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St. James Hotel was built in 1837 and is one of the few river front hotels, which remained standing after the Civil War. During 1881, it is reported that Jesse and Frank James were guests of the St. James Hotel. The exterior doors and window casings are all original to the hotel. The cast iron fireplace in the lobby is also original. Most of the furniture in the public areas are period antiques bought at Paris antique auctions or donated by individuals. The tea set in the lobby was donated by a lady who is ancestor of Catesby Jones, who was the Commander of the Merrimac in the Civil War. Fabrics and colors used throughout the hotel are historic and have been used to reflect the period when the hotel was in operation. The period of architecture reflects the French influence used extensively during the 1800's. The fountain in the courtyard is symbolic of the artesian well, which was located on the property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St James Hotel

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