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“Best hotel in Chicago”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #52 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 25, 2014

From the various hotels we tried in Chicago this is by far the best we've stayed. There is nothing to complain about. The staff is really extremely dedicated and we always felt very welcome. We will certainly come back when we are in Chicago next time.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Stefan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2014

Dear Stefan D,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. It is truly humbling to hear that because of the dedicated service provided by our entire team, that we are the best hotel you have visited in the city. Moreover, we are honored that you will return the next time you visit and hope to see you again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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1,685 - 1,691 of 3,435 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2014

Wanted to stay here whilst visiting Chicago, but it was full. We went by to see if it was a hotel we wanted to try to get into next visit, and had a drink at the bar of the restaurant. They have a great wine list, and the bar and restaurant were really busy with an excellent atmosphere.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2014

Dear Jane B,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit to The James Chicago. I am sorry to hear that we were unable to accommodate you in the hotel this time, but glad that you were able to experience both our lobby bar and David Burke's Primehouse and enjoyed the drinks and atmosphere. I hope you will stay with us 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.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

I booked a 3-night stay over Easter weekend through Hotwire at a hotel that turned out to be the James. I arrived early on Saturday to be warmly welcomed by the doorman and the front-desk staff. I was happy to find out that a room was ready for early check-in, but somewhat less thrilled to find that it was a room with two double beds instead of one king bed, and that it was on the third floor. The very nice girl who checked me in assured me that if I didn't like the room, I could always request a change. She also did a great job in telling me about all the hotel amenities.

My third floor room, as feared, did indeed have a pretty awful view of some HVAC equipment and an alley full of dumpsters. However, the positive thing about facing the alley was
the lack of street noise. Had I gotten a third-floor room facing the street, it would have been less peaceful. I kept my blinds drawn most of the time to block the inauspicious view, but otherwise, the room itself was perfectly fine. I was afraid the minimalist decor would feel too stark and sterile, but it managed to exude a sense of Zen-like tranquility instead. Everything worked well; I esp. liked the lighting with its dimmer switches and the amenities like coffee/tea-making supplies. The beds were super-comfortable and I slept really well all three nights.

The bathroom was also well-appointed and clean, though one thing that bothered me was that spare towels were stacked on a low shelf right next to the toilet. That seemed awfully unhygienic. Also, the medicinal smell of the Intelligent Nutrients toiletries took some getting used to at first.

While my room was clean overall, the standards of the housekeeping staff didn't quite match the service I found elsewhere in the hotel. First, my room never actually received any evening turndown service, though the hotel touts daily turndown service among its amenities. (I wondered whether lower-floor rooms are less valued and therefore receive more lackadaisical service, because there were other minor issues: my room was missing a safe; there were no slippers to go with the bathrobes; and the body lotion in the bathroom was never replenished when it ran low. To be fair, the only one of these issues I reported was the missing safe, and the staff not only rectified the situation promptly, but they were also as nice and apologetic as could be.

Despite the minor issues I encountered, my last impression of the hotel was one of graciousness and efficiency. Upon checking out, when I told the doorman that I needed a cab to the Clark/Lake station, he responded that the complimentary car service was available to take me there, and in no time at all, my luggage and I were whisked into the gleaming SUV.

I didn't use the hotel's business center, gym, spa, concierge or dining options, so can't comment on those services. Leafing through the dining menus, I did feel that the dining options were all really meat-centric, and therefore not appealing to me. My favorite breakfast destination in the neighborhood was the lovely, casual Pierrot Gourmet in the Peninsula Hotel.

For the low Hotwire rate I paid ($95/night), the James certainly provided excellent value. I do feel, though, that the minor housekeeping issues I encountered keep the James a notch or two below a hotel like the nearby Palomar (whose room decor and Kimpton perks I also prefer), but I'd definitely consider staying at the James again.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank travelbug61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2014

Dear travelbug61,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I appreciate your constructive notes regarding your stay; it is always great to hear candid comments from our guests to help us continually improve. I am sorry to hear about some of the shortcomings you encountered with the safe and slippers both missing, as it is our standard to have them in every room. Additionally, I would like to clarify that turndown service is available to all of our guests, but it is by request. Despite these setbacks, it is refreshing to hear that both the house car and service provided made your visit a nice one. I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to re-coup your confidence in us the next time you visit Chicago.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed April 23, 2014

Our stay started badly as the 'deluxe' room we were given was, as the wonderfully helpful Lobby Assistant agreed, in an 'unacceptable' state. The blind in the bathroom was held up by black sticky tape, the cover on the filthy heater was missing as was the cover on the light switch, whose plate was covered in greasy finger marks. There was no proper shower - just one in the bath. The bathroom had a sliding door and the wardrobe was behind a sad curtain. Chips out of the furniture. However, thanks to the Lobby Assistant, the hotel tried very hard to resolve the problem. He showed us every other room they had available and they were certainly in a far better condition. We were given a reduced rate to upgrade to a Loft Room and a credit towards food. The Loft Rooms (which, strangely, are not in the loft but on the tenth floor) are a better bet as they are bigger and have a proper table and chairs for eating/working at. They also have a double bed and a 'media' bed. The latter is for lying on to watch films on a big screen. Alas, projector was missing and we did not see a DVD player. Perhaps you have to ask for these. We weren't fussed and I am sure they would have been provided had we asked for them.

I was staying with my son so we asked for the media bed to be made up for him. Indeed it was but with a horrible polyester blanket that gave him electric shocks! This was changed immediately, at my request, the next day. Incidentally, their bedlinen is beautiful, fine Egyptian cotton.

The bathroom had the same strange sliding door as the deluxe room but at least it had a proper (and very good) shower. That said, they should provide some instructions on how to use it! My son is an engineer and it took him some time to work it out. I hated the toiletries, as did he. They were supposed to be some organic stuff and were plentiful in the shower but they stung!

The hotel is a conversion from some old apartment block and it is not an entire success. The rooms are small and dark. They aim to be uber-cool but are not and are all beginning to look rather tired.

However, the staff is very helpful, the position could not be more perfect - just off the 'Magnificent Mile/Michigan Avenue' and the David Burke Primehouse is a fantastic restaurant. Mainly steak, obviously, but a wonderfully wide range of food. Great waiting staff; the wine waiter took infinite care over my two glasses of wine! Food fantastic. The restaurant was full so you need to book in advance.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank N S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2014

Dear N S,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am sorry to hear about the inconvenience you experienced in your room; the conditions you described certainly do not meet our standards and I am relieved that our Lobby Assistant was helpful in switching your room. I'm glad that you enjoyed the Loft Suite more and appreciate your constructive feedback on what could be improved. Thank you for your compliments of the delicious food at David Burke's Primehouse, and especially the helpful service provided throughout your visit. I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome 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.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

The James hotel is a great place to stay while in Chicago. First, the staff at the hotel were friendly and great. The rooms were clean and the bed very comfortable. The hotel is very well located to many of the tourist sites. There are lots of restaurants and shopping near the hotel. Laurelin Hefter at the Concierge was most help in arranging tours for us. Other concierge staff also provided us tips and guidance to many of our questions. Thanks to The James for a wonderful weekend.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank greyowl54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2014

Dear A TripAdvisor Member,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am honored to hear that you enjoyed your weekend, thanks to our convenient location and especially our team. The best compliment I can receive is to hear that the excellent service provided by our team is what made your visit a memorable one. Thank you again for writing and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back the next time you visit Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed April 23, 2014

We stayed here for a mother daughter getaway with some school friends. I chose this hotel as it had a great location, and offered great value for money. We took the train in, which was a short cab ride from the station. The doorman greeted us with a warm welcome. We did get both rooms on the same floor, which was a bonus. Beds were very comfortable and the extra amenities such as a mini bar, snacks, shampoo, bathroom and writing desk was a bonus. Concierge desk was helpful (Laura Lynn?). The best of all is that they had a car service ,if available, will take you to where you want to go downtown. We used it twice an Audi Q7, NICE. EJ was such a gentleman and good driver :) I would stay again as well as recommend it to my clients.

Room Tip: Higher up the less noise
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank travelfun457
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2014

Dear travelfun457,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us thanks to our comfortable rooms, mini bar, and our complimentary car service. Most of all, I am honored that your visit was memorable thanks to the outstanding service provided by our entire team. Thank you for your generous recommendation and we hope to welcome you back 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.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

I'm so glad we booked this hotel for our weekend! Upon arrival I was immediately pleased with our choice. Alex at the desk checked us in and we were upgraded to a studio room, (I booked through expedia). He was very friendly and knowledgable about the hotel. In fact every member of the staff we encountered was not only helpful but also genuinely friendly. Anyone can be polite, but everyone we interacted with seemed like they really did enjoy their job and were more than happy to help.
Our room was lovely, intelligently designed and a great use of space throughout. The bed was really very comfortable and though we didn't take advantage of this perk, there was a note in the room that offered a few different types of pillows that you could try. I slept so well, and that is rare for me when I'm traveling.
The bathroom is a good size and I personally really appreciated the lit magnified mirror. The tub was not so comfortable for soaking but that's ok. The shower head provided a nice soak and the water pressure was pretty good. I really liked that this hotel uses full size communal shampoo, conditioner and body wash; so much less waste and if you are staying for multiple days it means you don't have to bring those items with you.
I didn't get a chance to use the hotel's spa, but in the brochure they offered a wide range of services. If our trip had been longer I would have loved a massage.
I really liked the gym as well, they had a variety of equipment and everything was clean and well organized. I had a good workout and it was a good way to start the day.
As we were leaving, one of the guys at the door was nice enough to give us a ride to the train station in the hotel's car service. I wish I could remember his name because he was super nice and friendly, plus he saved us a cab ride. I kind of forgot that the hotel offered this service; we will definitely take advantage of it more next time.
Which brings me to my next point: We will absolutely stay here again, repeatedly, and so should you.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank lah343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2014

Dear Iah343,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I sincerely appreciate your wonderful compliments of your visit, and am glad that our environmentally friendly bath products, comfortable room, and complimentary car service made your stay a memorable one. Most of all, I am honored by your comments regarding the service provided by our entire team; we pride ourselves on delivering genuine service to each of our guests. It is humbling that not only will you return, but that you took the time to recommend us to all travelers on Trip Advisor. Thank you again for visiting, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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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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
#16 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#26 Business Hotel in Chicago
#28 Family Hotel in Chicago
#32 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $129 - $380 (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 locally-inspired, seasonal dishes - morning, noon and night at The James Kitchen + Bar. 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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