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“Can't beat The James”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #48 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2008

I chose the James from Expedia for a short break and booked the night before I arrived. When away on business I normally stay in a Raddisson, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton etc etc and they all end up being pretty similar with at best pleasant staff, sometimes with a great restaurant to help pull in more room reservations. When on vacation I try for independant hotels and luckily I decided to try The James when visiting Chicago. Partly because of the deal I got and partly because of the reviews here.

I'm really glad I did as it definately rates as one of the best hotels I've stayed in. There was no one thing that defined this, it was more a combination of the extremely friendly and very helpful staff, the very cool public areas, large stylish bedroom, very high standard of cleanliness, amazingly comfortable bed, 42" plazma tv, stereo with a jack for my ipod, free internet, great location just off the mag mile which means its close to many attraction, shops bars etc.

I honestly can't understand some of the negative feedback, especially when it comes to comparing this hotel to a typical 3*. There is no way this could be viewed as a 3 *, the facilities, standard of room, well trained staff make it so much more than a Ramada, Holiday Inn or any other chain hotel. When booking, remember that this is a boutique hotel, which are in their nature, normally smaller but of a higher standard, offering a more personal service. I also can't understand how anyone can expect to pay less than $100 these days for such a high standard of room in the centre of a city like Chicago! Get real guys....

Opinions are personal and subjective but for what its worth, mine is that you can't really go wrong with The James.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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3  Thank Johnlogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,124 - 3,130 of 3,418 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2008

My sister and I spent a weekend at the James and were so excited upon arrival to be upgraded to a suite. It was a very cool room with a media room where we could watch free DVDs provided by the hotel. The products in the bathroom were great - all Kiehls and the beds were super comfortable. The David Burke restaurant at the hotel was outstanding and the concierge pointed us to exactly the perfect spot for breakfast...The only disappointment was the noise on the weekend while the hotel was holding a wedding reception and that the room stunk like smoke. I would definitely give it a another shot though on my next weekend in Chicago based on the location, the price, and the overall experience

  • Stayed: November 2007
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1  Thank AM_NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2008

What a pleasant surprise the James was - very nice little boutique hotel that has lovely staff. Think W hotel without the attitude. Great beds...and I mean great, Kiehls products in the bathrooms, a fabulous restaurant in the hotel and great cookies at turndown.

I'll definitely be back to the James and thoroughly recommend it!

Stayed: March 2008
2  Thank DiscerningDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2008

I had a wonderful experience staying at the James. My teenage daughter and I stayed here for 2 nights for some Spring Break fun in Chicago. The staff was wonderful and extremely helpful in getting us walking directions to all of the places we wanted to see. The doorman also gave us great restaurant recommendations. The rooms were cozy and the beds the most comfortable I've ever slept on in a hotel! We stayed on the 8th floor and although the elevators are small they are also very quick. This did not pose a problem at all for us in having to wait long for one. The bar area did get hopping pretty good both nights although since I was with my teenager I didn't get a chance to check it out. I highly recommend the valet parking, it's only $10 more than public parking, you just pull up to the door and they take it from there.

I will definitely stay at The James Chicago again!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank angibr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2008

I have stayed at the James three times for business. They have always been very accommodating. I find the location convenient to where I need to go and cabbies are familiar with the intersection. The staff is very attentive and helpful. The business center is in the lobby and very sparse, so if you need to make tons of copies of stuff (I did) it's probably not the joint for you. But I love the Kiehls bath products and the beds are very comfortable. The TV's are nice too, as is the room service from the David Burke restaurant in the lobby. The hallways are a bit dark but who really cares about that. I will definitely stay there again. It's worth the price while I'm on business, but if I was staying there on pleasure I might try and find something a little more affordable.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank ciabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2008

I often stay in Chicago for business and sometimes stay at The James. First of all let me start by saying that I subscribe to Dwell Magazine and love all things modern. So as soon as I walked in this hotel I feel in love with the wonderful art and modern layout. When you walk into your room the stark white blends well with the dark and light woods with a flash of red. The bed itself is extremely comfortable. My skincare regime includes many things from the Kiehl's line so I was thrilled to find it being offered in the bathroom. This last time around my flight was canceled so I got to really experience the hotel (usually I'm so busy with work that I only get to see the J Bar and my bed). When I checked back in they upgraded me to a suite. I ordered room service from the restaurant - the steak salad was delicious. The next day I had breakfast - but the $22 price for fruit, english muffin and coffee was a little steep. The gym was great - very clean, with all the latest equipment.
The hotel is situated very close to Michigan Ave so it's close to great shopping, restaurants, etc. I recommend this hotel to anyone going to Chicago! It is not a bargain price wise but well worth it if you can afford it or are going on business.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled on business
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3  Thank liltexas72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2008

I ended up with the James Hotel after doing a "blind" Hotwire hotel purchase. I had researched the listing (via BetterBidding.com) and thought I would receive the Conrad hotel based upon the hotel features and price.
After learning that I booked the James, I did online research and was satisfied with the reviews.
Our check-in was swift and pleasant. The front desk easily looked up our reservation and provided us with our room keys, then directed us to the elevators. We used the Valet parking, which ended up costing $46 for one night (with in/out privileges). The valet service was fast and courteous.
The elevators are exactly what I expected (thanks to Tripadvisor advice). They are TINY (VERY VERY TINY) and somewhat scary (they buzz, rattle, and shake). However, they managed to get us where we were going each time.
We ended up with an upper-floor room with a street view. We asked for a king bed, but ended up with doubles. That's no big deal, considering the method of booking. The hotel decor was modern, with interesting artwork in the hallways. The room decor was modern, as well, but with very little artwork. The layout of our room was somewhat awkward/cramped.
The room was clean, but you could definately tell there wasn't much attention to details in the renovation.
The bathroom was nice, with a window view out of the shower (unusual, but nice). The lighting throughout the room was great, with dimmers on anything and everything. The 42" plasma was nice, but they push analog signals to it, so grainy.
The turndown service was nice, with minimuffins on the pillows.
The best part of the stay was finding out that they have 2:30 PM checkout! I've never experienced that at a city hotel. It was great, after a long evening out at the clubs.
I would stay there again, but only if I paid under $100 for the room. There are better deals in downtown Chicago...

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank greggeast
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
#28 Family Hotel in Chicago
#31 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $127 - $311 (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. Enjoy convenience at your fingertips with The James Hotels Mobile App and in-room tablet powered by KEYPR offering a seamless way to discover our amenities and services. Experience The James as a culinary destination with signature restaurant, Primehouse and the Primehouse Bar - a perfect spot to enjoy weekly happy hour specials or a full meal. 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 rotating artwork from local, national 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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