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“Bad start lead to an Ok stay.”
3 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
Toronto
Level Contributor
49 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Bad start lead to an Ok stay.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

Headed to Chicago for St Patty's weekend with my girlfriends and we were looking for a smaller hotel in a great location. The James fit this perfectly! However, the tone in which our trip started left a lot to be desired.

We were 3 in a room which we called a week ahead to book a cot and were told that there would be a $40 per night charge but not a problem. Great we were more than happy to pay for the service! Upon check in we asked for it to be delivered, when leaving for dinner we asked again as it had yet to arrive. Once returning from dinner the cot STILL wasn't in the room. When we enquired we were told first that it was a fire hazard and that it couldn’t be accommodated (remember that they had already confirmed that it would be OK a week prior to arriving AND at check in) and then it came out that there weren’t any left. Apparently the staff when we checked in knew this, but chose to ignore the issue so that he would be off duty before it became an issue.
When we spoke to the night staff they quickly got VERY rude with us and told us that when you check in at a hotel you should expect that things dont always go to plan. I was then told to be “thankful” that they were providing me with quilts and pillows to sleep on the floor. It took us over 2 hours and eventually we were brought an air mattress (it deflated 10 minutes in, but at least it was offered by a cleaning staff who felt bad for me).
The manager dealt with this in the morning and we were then delivered a cot and compensated fairly. However, this started our trip off with a very bad taste in our mouth. Our group travels a fair bit and none of us had even been spoken to so rudely by anyone in a hotel before!
Aside from this bed issue, the hotel is in a GREAT location. We were a little surprised that at such a new hotel we had issues such as no hot water in the morning to shower, our shower was clogged so we were standing in about 2 inches of water while shower, and our toilet was clogged. Although the James has all the makings of a great hotel, they are going to need to pay closer attention to the smaller maintenance issues and ensure their staff is trained to better handle customer service situations.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ashgToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Dear ashgToronto,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at The James Chicago. I would like to apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay with us. This is far below the expectation we set for our guests, and I am truly sorry that we did exceed the high service standard that we pride ourselves on. I am glad that our manager was able to address these concerns the following day, but please know that this is not the experience we expect our guests to have. Thank you again for bringing these issues to my attention in order to rectify them, and I hope we can welcome you back at a later time to provide you with the stay you deserve.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (418)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

My girlfriend and I moved to this hotel for the second half of our trip to Chicago. The first half was for business, second half to relax and have a good time. From the moment you are greeted at this hotel the experience is wonderful. The doormen happily stand to greet you or send you your way, providing insight and directions. The Front Desk staff had our room ready upon arrival, and made check in quick and painless. The room we had was a great corner unit, which had a nice window view, great bed. The attention to detail is above and beyond you expectations, intelligent nutrient bath products, bath robes, custom pillows, turn down service with a baked treat from David Burke. I can safely say that I have No complaints and I am definitely hard to please. Stay here if you want to be pampered.

Room Tip: It seems like all of the rooms here are great!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank theburgerlution
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Dear theburgerlution,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay at The James Chicago. We truly appreciate your wonderful compliments of our services, unique amenities, and especially our friendly staff. Most of all, I am glad that you enjoyed a pampered experience while with us and that your first stay will not be your last. Thank you again, and we look forward to seeing you the next time your travels return you to Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
123 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed at the James Hotel a couple of weeks ago. We found the staff to be very helpful and the service was very good. The rooms are well appointed and attractive- we stayed in a King loft which features a nice bar area, a large bathroom with good products, a living space, a platform King bed area, and a nifty media nook with a projector. We did encounter a few snafus though. Some of the lights did not work, a lamp was broken and the group across the hall were very loud until 2:00 a.m. I did contact the manager and the party was shut down (after the third call) and the lights and lamp were repaired the next day. I filled out the questionnaire that was e-mailed to me after our stay, and the manager send me an e-mail offering a complimentary night next time I am there. Also, the restaurant was very good for breakfast. The bar area was under construction, but it was quite lively. Overall, a cool hotel with a good vibe and location.

Room Tip: King Loft with media nook is great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LASGarcia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear LASGarcia,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at The James Chicago. I am sorry again for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay with us, but glad that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again and provide you with the experience you deserve. Despite these setbacks, I am grateful that you enjoyed our wonderful staff and convenient location. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed for a weekend at The James. The room was clean an spacious. The staff were very friendly, polite and helpful. The location is great - just off Michigan Avenue. The decor isn't exactly my taste, though the others with me loved it. I really like the environmental consciousness.

We would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We were in the center without a view, but it was very quiet.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GRJones3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear GRJones3,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your thoughts about your recent experience at The James Chicago. We appreciate that our wonderful staff, location, and efforts to be enviromentally conscious will make you a return guest. Thank you again for staying with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

Great location if you're in town for shopping the Gold Coast or visiting the museums. Also, the service was great (attentive, friendly). The hotel and the room, however, was sliding toward the shabby side. Perhaps it's because the furniture isn't the best quality (think CB2 instead of Crate and Barrel, for instance). Maybe the furniture looked good for the first few years but it wasn't really made to stand up to heavy use. The room, king facing Ontario, was a typical size but with an efficient layout; thus, the room seemed larger than it really was. The room's interior design could be described as Clockwork Orange--lots of white with a few faux-modern touches--this contributed to it looking tidy and reasonably clean. Overall, though, you could tell that the decor was basically slapping lipstick on a cleaned-up pig. I agree with most reviewers that this hotel is probably best for 20-to-30 somethings looking for someplace kinda hip-looking; the room is nice enough, but it's not really meant for hanging out. The bed was comfy; so, overall, it's a reasonably good place to spend one or two nights if you can get a lower rate for the room.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JetSetLibrarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear JetSetLibrarian,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. Although you enjoyed some aspects of our property, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any disappointment you experienced while with us. It is not our goal to provide an average stay or just a semblance of luxury; the conditions that you described are not what we expect for our guests, and I am truly sorry that we did not exceed your expectations, or our own. I welcome the opportunity to discuss any issue with you further at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com and I thank you for bringing these issues to my attention.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

I loved everything about the James Hotel from the time I found it online. My hotel room was booked with ease for four nights in January. I actually got the fourth night for free, which had me feeling good from the beginning. I inquired with a couple of questions before my arrival and the concierge emailed back within hours - excellent start! The things that make me love the James started with my arrival on Monday morning. Before I even finished paying the taxi, the doorman already had my suitcase out of the trunk and greeted me by name. My suitcase was put at the front desk for check in, where the man at reception then greeted me by name (they obviously read my bag tag - impressive!). I couldn't have been more delighted from this first experience. Upon check in, the man at reception was super polite and when I asked if an upgrade was possible, gave me a king suite with no hesitation. Amazing customer service! He told me about the hotels amenities and I was off to my suite. Nothing outrageous, but comfortable, clean, tasteful, spacious and trendy. My favourite things: two robes, unlimited bath products (they come in full sizes instead of the usual small bottles that are never enough for long hair!), free wifi, a great gym, and the turndown service is a great treat. It makes you feel special, even though its very simple. I continued to receive this amazing service throughout my stay from ALL employees, which will make me a James advocate for life. What really sealed the deal for me was this: on my second evening at the hotel, the doorman was asking if I needed a cab - when I said yes, he informed me that the "house SUV" was available and would be happy to take me to dinner free of charge. Wow - for the cost of my room, this was absolutely over the top (in the best way possible). The staff at the James deserve big kudos for making me feel so special at every encounter. I WILL be back!!

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank R0nus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear R0nus,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review about your stay with us at The James Chicago. I am delighted that you enjoyed the upgraded room, and that our amenities such as the house car and full-sized bath products attributed to a great experience. Most of all, I am truly humbled by your wonderful compliments of our staff; I am glad that they made your stay so special, and that their collective efforts will make you return. Thank you again for writing us, and we look forward to welcoming you back the next time your travels return you to Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

My friend and myself loved our stay here. The staff was friendly and helpful! The rooms were clean and spacious. I liked the location as it was central and across from Trader Joes grocery. We walked to many nearby places like a piano bar and pizza place.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lillers01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Lillers01,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay at The James Chicago. It is great to hear that our comfortable rooms, convenient location, and most of all, our friendly staff attributed to a great experience for both you and your friend. I hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back the next time you visit Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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
#16 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#26 Business Hotel in Chicago
#30 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. 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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