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“Business Traveler's Home Away from home!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The James Chicago

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The James Chicago
Ranked #45 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Business Traveler's Home Away from home!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

I am a frequent business traveler of late and the first time that I stayed at The James was due to a convention in town having booked all the hotels that were near the Merchandise Mart (where my company's Chicago office is located). So I decided that I could stay at this unknown hotel, a little farther away than I had planned for the first week I was in town.

After the first night, I changed my hotel reservation for the next week from a chain hotel to The James for a second week.

The hotel staff provided excellent service, they were friendly and helpful at checkin and the bell staff was courteous when I arrived out front.

The room was lovely, and the bed was extremely comfortable. The amenities were better than I expected and I now call The James my home when I am in Chicago for work, which has been very often lately.

I don't think that the rooms are especially kid-friendly, but as a business traveller, this is not on the list of things that I am interested in. What I need is a comfortable place to call "home" where I can get good rest and can easily find somewhere to eat dinner each night.

Oh, and dinner? That's a snap! The room service menu has plenty of choices, and if that's not your thing, Pizzeria Due is in the same block (on the same side of the street even!), there's a Trader Joe's across the street for breakfast and fresh fruit and there are a WIDE variety of restaurants within a five minute walk, so there's no shortage of choice. (One tip, though, avoid the Mexican restaurant next door, Su Casa, it's just not very good at all.)

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor for a quieter room. Courtyard rooms are larger as well.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Katey J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Dear Katey J, Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review about your experience with us at The James Chicago! We are truly humbled by your gracious compliments of our friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and amenities. We appreciate your loyalty and are honored that you feel at home with us while travelling on business. Thank you again for staying and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (408)
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English first
Center Point, IA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

We have stayed at the James twice now, and would stay again. Perfect location just off Michigan Ave, friendly (but not extremely helpful) staff. Rooms are on the small side, but that's to be expected for a boutique hotel in the area. Bed was extremely comfortable. Bathrooms are nice sized. On our first visit, the in-room fridge did not work. Took them over an hour to come up to check on it, and never did get it working. Biggest issue with this is that in order to get ice you need to call the front desk--it's annoying to have to tip someone just for a bucket of ice. The nightly turn-down service is a nice touch, and the in-room coffee was much appreciated!
We had a voucher for the connected restaurant. Was not impressed, so was glad we didn't pay for it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dana82899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Dear dana82899, Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay at The James Chicago. I apologize for the delay you experienced in regards to having your refrigerator repaired; this is not the prompt response we expect our guests to recieve and I am sorry for the inconvenience. Nonetheless, I am glad that our comfortable rooms and convenient location attributed to an enjoyable stay with us. We are very appreciative of your loyalty, and look forward to your next stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Bend, IN
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

I can't remember when I've stayed in a hotel that had such impeccable service. No detail affecting a guest's comfort is left to chance at the James. Beginning at check in, everyone is friendly and accommodating. An employee shows you to your room and answers your questions, gets you settled in. It's a personal greeting that goes well beyond the typical bell hop dragging your luggage for you. And for the remainder of the weekend, I don't think I ever entered the lobby without someone wishing me goodbye or welcoming me home. When we left at the end of the weekend, the doorman made sure that we had bottles of water for our journey. (And here's another detail I noticed: the front of house staff including the doorman are dressed in understated, elegant clothing. Very classy.) Shortly after I checked in, I discovered an issue with my TV, called the desk, and it was addressed immediately. Here is a list of some of the amenities that I enjoyed during my two night stay. Plush bathrobes, an amazingly stocked bar with room left over in the refrigerator so that you can keep your own supplies chilled, an iPhone dock, twice daily maid service including turn down with treats and a refreshed ice bucket. (That's so nice to come home to in the evening.) They have a good choice of newspapers each morning, a complimentary car service--we used it for a trip to Steppenwolf Theater on our first evening. And there were things available that I didn't explore such as a gym and spa and a concierge. In short, the James offers a level of personal service that is elegant in an understated, comforting way. Nothing is flashy or obtrusive; it's all meant to put you at ease. All that said, the rooms are a notch below what you might expect of a five star hotel. They're fine, clean with comfortable beds and well appointed bathrooms. They just don't quite match the sophisticated service. But the excellent location and the urban refinement that you just don't find much anymore makes up for a bit of worn upholstery.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SuzyQSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear SuzyQSB, Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay at The James Chicago. We are truly humbled by your generous compliments of our unique amenities and are glad to hear that the issue you experienced with your television was quickly remedied. It is our goal to provide a luxury liberated experience to all of our guests, and I am pleased to hear that our remarkable staff did not disappoint. Thank you again staying with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back home to The James soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fort wayne
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

My husband and i just returned from a weekend in Chicago and we stayed at The James. Very nice. Bathroom is small but that's okay because it is very modern and well equipped. They have full size bottles of shampoo conditioner and body wash. The magnifying mirror is also very nice to have. The mini bar Is very well stocked. Bed very comfy. Staff was friendly. Nice seating area in lobby to enjoy a great martini. The elevators were also very speedy. Only negative Is that you can hear the street noise even from the 11th floor.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank lolo1865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear lolo1865, Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay at The James Chicago. We are truly humbled by your generous compliments of our lobby bar, rooms, and especially our great team. Although our convenient downtown location does subject us to some city noise, I am glad to hear that this did not affect a great experience with us. Thank you again for staying, and we hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lockport, Illinois
Level Contributor
120 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

I stayed here for one night in early January. I do not agree that this is a 4 1/2 star hotel.

The good - The location is fantastic for exploring the River North Mag Mile area. There are lots of excellent restaurants within walking distance and the shopping is, of course, wonderful. It is a short 5-7 minute walk to the river on Michigan Avenue and about a 10-15 walk north to Water Tower Place. The staff is friendly - everyone from check in to cleaning staff seemed to have a genuine smile. The valet parking with in and out privileges was nice, but pricey ($52). We had a room with 2 double beds - comfortable, but a bit too soft for me - comfy pillows - the room was clean. There is a stocked mini fridge and snack cabinet - high prices as you'd expect. My 12 year old asked what the Mile High Intimacy Kit was that was next to the containers of gummy bears and cashew nuts...I successfully skirted the subject. We did have breakfast in the restaurant adjacent to the lobby and thought it was good. I didn't try the room service, but it was available.

The average - As others have said, road noise is a bit of an issue. One problem we noticed was that one of our windows wasn't closed properly at the top, leaving a 1 inch gap with the cold wind coming into the room...and lots of road noise. I was able to fix the window, but they are poorly sealed. It was freezing by the windows. Closing the shade helped some. We were on the 11th floor, and once I set the thermostat to have the fan run constantly, the road noise didn't bother us at all. The rooms are very small, and the sitting area is a tiny padded bench tucked away in a corner. My daughter tried to sit back there for a moment, but it was like she was banished to a closet. While the beds are comfortable, there was nothing in the room that says this is a 4 1/2 star hotel. Ikea type furniture doesn't stand up well to hotel use. And then it was all of the little things that didn't go with the 4 1/2 star rating - cheapest kleenex and toilet paper possible, rough, thin towels & robe, and a large flat screen TV without HD. We rented an in room movie (Avengers - $15) and were thoroughly annoyed at the rainbow colored fuzz that dominated the screen. It was tough to look past it and enjoy the movie. The turndown service was fine. They emptied our garbage which was getting rather full. They re-fluffed our beds, laid out a robe (which I then hung back in the closet), turned on the clock radio (which I then turned off), left fresh ice in the ice bucket, and left one small cookie (which my daughter enjoyed).

Maybe I've gotten too spoiled from staying at other hotels in the city. We go into the city for a night or two about 3 times a year.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kristen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear IWantAnotherVacation, Thank you for taking the time to share about you time at The James Chicago. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the inconveniences that you encountered during your stay. The issues you reported are not the experience we expect our guests to have, and I am sorry that we did not live up to your expectations, or our own. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss these issues with you offline, and I sincerely hope that you will give us the opportunity to re-coup your confidence in us the next time you visit Chicago.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

Our The James vist at Chicago was between December 23 and December 27
Their early check in at 2pm and late check out at 2pm is simply amazing. No need to rush in the mornings.
The room service is great, very very clean. And the added luxury with the turndown service is a great touch.
The concierge service and the room service is fast and very friendly.
I did mention it is great for the kids, becuase they have a wii that you can have while your staying and let me tell you my kids did not even want to go out to the field museum :)
The location is great it is close to everything, we did rent a car though no one wants to walk or bike in the winter especially in the Windy City.
The restaurent is a must especially their breakfast.. Nummy their sirloin, eggs and holidanse sause is just amazing.. Especially the way they present it. And of course there staff are very friendly.
Great relaxing luxurious family vacation with kids :)
Thank you James Chicago looking forward to see you again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Danny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear Danny M, Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. We truly appreciate your wonderful compliments, and are delighted that our 2:00 PM check out and nightly turndown service made for an overall luxurious experience for you and that our Wii made the trip fun for your children. Thank you again for visiting, and we hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

Stayed at the James Chicago three times in the past few months, and each experience was good. The service at the hotel is great, and the rooms are spacious and well decorated. Not to mention its situated 30 seconds off michigan avenue which makes it convenient for food, drinks, sightseeing and shopping too! planning on going back there next month, im sure it will be solid as always.

Room Tip: if you can, ask for rooms closer to the elevator; if you get stuck in a room far away it could be a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VD89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AbelCartagena, Director of Rooms at The James Chicago, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear VD89, Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay at The James Chicago. We thank you for your great compliments of our hotel, and are especially pleased that our staff made your stay a great one. Most of all, we are truly grateful for your continued loyalty to us, and hope that you continue to have an outstanding experience every time. Thank you again, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The James Chicago

Property: The James Chicago
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
#17 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#26 Business Hotel in Chicago
#31 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#33 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):
An urban hub on the Magnificent Mile and one of Chicago's most celebrated boutique hotels, The James Chicago 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. 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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