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“Great location--great modern hotel.”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #46 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 29, 2011

Stayed with my husband in a King studio suite with a terrific wet bar, two televisions and a huge King bed. A very comfortable room with a view of the courtyard which, at first glance, seems like a terrible view; however, at night a cool moving image (think Museum of Contemporary Art type-image)/video runs on the blank wall of the courtyard...it's an artist's representation of a day in the life of the city...a pleasant surprise for an early-riser like me. The James is a neat place to stay...much more interesting than most high-end hotels. The amenities in the room were luxurious. We also enjoyed in-room dining and breakfast at Primehouse, the restaurant downstairs. The service and presentation at breakfast was perfect down to the smallest detail. The food was excellent as well.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank lgd-chi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,589 - 2,595 of 3,334 reviews

Reviewed November 28, 2011

From the moment we walked in everyone was very nice. We got our package on luxury link so we got great deal. The room was a good size, no real view, but very comfortable bed and a really nice bathroom. Our deal came with a couple of cocktails and the bar was great and the staff was wonderful. We even got an extra drink. The only thing we didn't like was the charge for the parking, but that is every where in Chicago. We would definately go back!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Micht123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We stay regularly at The James.
The service is top notch.
As for those who complain in other reviews I am quite surprised since we have never experienced anything negative in the many times staying here. The rooms are clean, the location is perfect and they arrange all things to run like a boutique hotel should. We truly love this hotel. The doormen are knowledgeable and courteous.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank inspecting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2011

Let's start with the flip, snarky check-in, where the young man mistook us for another couple of guests, unbeknownst to all of us at that time. He gave us an 'upgrade' based on THEIR reservation, which was several grades below what WE had reserved. When we went up to the room, we noticed that it was exactly what we had booked. Not that that was a problem itself, but he had made such a big deal of the upgrade and the promo at the time was 'show the upgrade barcode on your phone for a free upgrade.' When we pointed out that the room was exactly what we had booked and NOT an upgrade, he insisted it was and had I not had a hard copy of the reservation, he still wouldn't have believed us to this day. Then he mumbled something about mixing us up with a different reservation and that 'oh, yes, here's yours. But sorry there are no upgrades available for that room'

Not a good beginning, but the Jr Suite was adequate for our needs. There was an odd, hard banquette and a side chair made of paperclips, or so it seemed. The non-view was of exterior walls and other windows in some sort of interior courtyard arrangement. Couldn't even see the sky to see what weather might be happening outside.

Location was excellent, as we knew it be, walking distance to restaurants and shopping.

I made the mistake of asking the concierge a very routine question, but it just highlighted her lack of knowledge of anything outside her immediate realm of comfort and her reality. Tourists are interested in other things besides just where are the bars? Architecture and tours were beyond her and she couldn't even research on the internet very capably. Luckily, I had done most of my homework before coming, so we didn't need her.

Our attempt to have breakfast one morning was met by FINALLY being acknowledged and being led to a long table for about 8. There was just 2 of us. When I asked if we could have a smaller table for 2, she said "why, when you can have all the legroom you want here?" So we went across the street and had great breakfasts for the rest of the week.

I gave the James an average, when it seemed so poor, on the merit of their location, the fact that I loved Chicago and that, with a sweep of a magic wand, if most of the present staff would just disappear and be replaced by competent professionals, this place has great potential.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amelietravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2011

Things were rocky upon arrival and we were told our four "double" rooms were not available. They were holding the "you booked on Hotwire" card against us. Trouble was, I had called earlier in the week and they said they had plenty of rooms and it would be no problem. The day of travel, in the morning, I called again to confirm the rooms and I was told it was in the system and our rooms would be waiting for us. Even with assurances, it appeared we were going to get screwed. Most grown men don't like to share beds, that's why we wanted the doubles. After a bit of debate, the young lady at the desk finally relented. There's a lesson here for everyone... when you call asking for something, get names! Once I started naming the people I had conversations with, they couldn't dispute my argument. Once we got that settled, we got the rooms we wanted. Heck, the young lady actually said we were getting upgraded to larger rooms. They were very nice. King bed on one side of room, with a big Japanese bed on the other, which was quite comfortable. It also had a big couch and living room area. The original dispute not withstanding, it is a very nice room with very nice people working there. Lots of stuff nearby for all tastes and pocket books. Grocery store right across the street too.

Room Tip: There's a great breakfast place down the street called Eggsperience. Huge portions and the pric...
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BarrioTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2011

Loved our stay at The James, walking distance to many restaurants, bars and shopping. We arrived Friday, after driving through the belly of the beast, to valet parking that was a bit too much money, $48.00/night, really? Check in efficient. Nice room, clean and on the tenth floor (requested upper floor). Beds are comfy and sheets so nice, towels smell great. Cracked a window as room was pretty warm even after adjusting thermostat a few times. Reserved a nice rate on the hotel website for a Loft Suite. The room has a bed, living area and "movie bed" area. Bath is nice with big shower and tub, single sink that is too shallow. No Kiehl's bath products as advertised on their confirmation email. On arrival received some lovely cupcakes from restaurant to celebrate an occasion, very yummy and thoughtful. Mini bar has bottles of booze (not just mini size bottles) and starbucks via coffee. Room service right on time and food good/hot. Saturday had a massage in spa, excellent massage, service was great. Saturday night stopped in JBar, the bar in the lobby area for a James Martini, very delish! Rooms have some street noise even on tenth floor. Hallways and other rooms quiet. Black out shades, thank you. Umbrellas available at desk, newspapers also. Used concierge for reservations very helpful. Ate in David Burke Steakhouse on property for Sunday Brunch, Meh, not really loving the food there. Waited a bit for valet, even though we called from upstairs before leaving. Nice place to crash while in Chicago.

Room Tip: Upper floor as always in the noisy city
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank FastGirl39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2011

We stayed at the James hotel over a weekend in August and we had a very pleasant stay. The staff was very helpful and attentive and the various meals we had at the restaurant were really very good! Our room was comfortable and I appreciated the clean lines of the decor and that it wasn't overly conceived. The rooms were also very clean and spacious.

The two downsides of this hotel were that 1) there are only 2 elevators so you can often be waiting a LONG time for one during the busier times of the day and 2) though the decor is updated, if you look below the surface, the hotel shows signs of its age. Nothing too dramatic, but you can certainly see signs of wear and tear.

Overall, though, the hotel is a great option for Chicago and has a central, convenient location.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank wlfmn77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile

Address: 55 East Ontario, Corner of Rush and Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611-2727
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 ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#15 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#26 Business Hotel in Chicago
#30 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#33 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $179 - $502 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile 4.5*
Number of rooms: 297
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An urban hub on the Magnificent Mile and one of Chicago's most celebrated boutique hotels, The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile is a sophisticated nod to Windy City culture. It continues to garner buzz and accolades through its casually sophisticated blend of warmly modern design, intuitive service and thoughtful touches such as complimentary Wi-Fi, early check-in and late check-out, local car service and triple-filtered water. Enjoy convenience at your fingertips with The James Hotels Mobile App and in-room tablet powered by KEYPR offering an intuitive way to discover our amenities and services. Experience The James as a culinary destination with signature restaurant, Primehouse - named #1 Steakhouse in Chicago, Primehouse Bar, a perfect spot to enjoy weekly happy hour specials or a full meal, and The Patio, a seasonal alfresco dining spot. Also featured at The James is The Gym, open 24-hours, The Spa by ASHA, 7,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, as well as seasonally rotating artwork from local and international artists. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
James Chicago Hotel Chicago
James Hotel Chicago
Chicago James Hotel

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