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“"Lap of luxury"”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #48 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2008

Loved the James hotel in Chicago. We stayed there on a girlfriends trip for a concert. We were treated like rockstars from the moment we entered the hotel. The staff was excellent, knowledgable, and very accommodating. It felt wonderful to have the door opened for us and to be treated like ladies. The rooms were chic, the room service was prompt and not unreasonably priced. I would highly recommend this boutique hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Rondy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,089 - 3,095 of 3,418 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2008

I just returned from a 2 night stay at the hotel. I had requested a high floor, quiet room. Neither request was honored. The windows are not well insulated, because the traffic, car horns and sirens continued all night long. On the first night two drunk parties woke us up in the hallway. The safe in our room did not work. Someone had locked it before our arrival. One of the pictures under the tv had been removed, leaving a screw sticking out of the wall. The lights are so dim, that is next to impossible to read. A small alcove with a stained bench had a "reading light" that was about 50 watts. Our room key cards didn't work, so we returned to the lobby where they recoded them. Upon returning to our room, they didn't work again and we stood there trying over and over again until finally we succeeded with no help from the staff. The bathroom is small and has no fan, so the steam covers the mirrors, and unless you leave the bathroom door open, it does not clear. On Friday night one small cookie was left in our room. What about a second guest. Are we supposed to split a 2 inch diameter cookie???!!!! On Sunday the phone rang with a 7 am wakeup call. We had not requested to be woken up!!!! The concierge did not know the way to get to O'Hare by train, and gave us a longer route than was necessary. I have stayed in much better hotels in Chicago...quieter and more spacious, more elegant and worth the money. This is definitely not worth $400 a month. (By the way, I live in Washington, DC and am used to city noise. This was unacceptable!)

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank fieldmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at the hotel for 4 days. I like this is hotel for several reasons:

• The location is great. It’s one block away from the Magnificent Mile, walking distance to several neat boutiques and well-known restaurants, such as Giordano’s, the Rosebud, Gino’s East, Pizzeria Uno, Roy’s, Lawry’s, and Tru, just to name a few. Right across from the hotel is a Trader’s Joe’s and a Starbucks. Metro station and bus stops are also a block away, which makes getting to places really easy.
• I also like the décor of the hotel. The lobby is very simple and clean. The room is very modern, sharp, and pretty to look at. Our room was on the 14th floor. It was a pretty decent size room. The only problem was that the room had a strong odor when we checked in. I think another reviewer mentioned the same thing. We reported it to the front desk, and they sent someone to “refresh” the room for us, but it didn’t help. We ended up using my perfume and my boyfriend’s cologne everyday to freshen up the room. To be fair, the odor came and went during our stay and we couldn’t figure out where it came from.
Aside from this minor problem, everything else about the room is great. You get a full set of Kiehl’s products in the bathroom, wireless internet access, daily Danish/cookies for the room, stereo system that is iPod-compatible, and white crispy linen and fluffy down comforter.
• The staffs were very friendly and helpful. Whenever we needed assistance, whether it was restaurant recommendation or directions to places, they had always offered their best effort. Personally I found their services genuine and quite impressive.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank ceirela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2008

Overall this is a nice hotel if you like modern decor. We were initially placed in an exterior room, but the street noise was incredibly loud so we moved to an interior room. The rooms (we had a loft suite) are large and very cool. My complaint with the hotel is specifically about the conceirge. I was celebrating my birthday that weekend and both my good friend and my boss seperately ordered drinks and chocolate covered strawberries to be sent to my room upon arrival. The female conceirge who I will not name, but who trust me will hear from me, did not place the notes that were supposed to be sent with the gifts, but instead wrote a note from the hotel thanking us for staying with them! Can you believe they took the credit! Of course I am horrified and embarrased when days later I am approached by both my friend and boss to ask if I enjoyed the gifts! At $400 a night I expect more.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank nina2727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2008

As a fan of this property when it was "The Lenox Suites" I have been waiting for a long time to try The James but have had to wait for years to get a deal that I could afford ( Expedia ) as the normal rack rate is prohibitively expensive.
I was not encouraged by the hotels own web-site which is very sparse on practical information.
Sadly, The James did disappoint to a degree without ever really giving cause for serious complaint.
It is a visually stunning hotel and there is an air of quality throughout. The fixtures and fittings fall within the "boutique", style and for people who like that kind of thing, they will absolutely love The James. The investment made in renovating the property appears to be considerable ( sad then, that in our room the enamel in the bath was peeling and the air-conditioner was faulty ).
They definitely try to encourage a feeling of exclusivity here, helped by impresssively attentive staff and the already mentioned rack rate of $400+. To be fair they do pull that off to a great degree.
If you can afford that kind of money and are in town for only one or two nights, then this is a hotel that should seriously be considered.
However, for somebody like me who generally stays in Chicago from 3 to 5 nights, then The James is totally impractical.
For one thing there is absolutely no closet space in some of the rooms. We were forced to store most of our clothes on the floor !. The room furniture, though very stylish and contemporary, is not what I would call comfortable. The James is all about visual presentation and for me it lacks the necessary comfort and intimacy that I always look for in a hotel. I need a home away from home and in that regard I realised very quickly that I do not fit into their target demographic. Nor to be fair, did I expect The James to meet all of my criteria for the perfect hotel.
This would probably explain why I was impressed with aspects of what The James offers and yet did not like it overall. The ceiling projection alarm clocks, the remarkably unobtrusive housekeeping staff, free in-room wireless internet access and the latest check-out time that I have ever experienced ( very welcome ) are things that The James should be commended for, as they are unique in my experience.
However, I came away feeling that this was one location where I would always expect more for the money.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Colmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

Two night weekend stay at The James was great. Our room, 414, must have been a handicap room because it was very large for a single king room, but had no bathtub - which was odd. The only drawback was that the shower curtain would "attack" you since there was no tub to restrain it.

The bed was very comfortable and we had no issues with noise even through there was a party in the first floor lounge the 2nd night.

Conceriage was very helpful. Found a bar nearby that my boyfriend could watch his football game at and got us last minute tickets to a sold out tour.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelmizen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2008

From the moment we arrived, the staff at the James and the hotel itself wowed me and my husband. When we booked our trip, we mentioned that we were coming for our honeymoon. Upon arrival, the front desk staff informed us that they upgraded us to a loft suite (which was absolutely amazing) and also gave us a gift that our family had sent for us.
The suite had a fantastic view, was modern and clean, and was full of luxurious amenities (especially the robes). I loved the Kiehls bath products and the bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The crisp white linens were a pleasure to snuggle into!
We spent some time in the JBar, the bar affiliated with the hotel and accessible with a very, very quick walk around the corner from the front door. Our waitress was so friendly and the food was delicious and not too pricey.
The hotel staff quickly responded to my needs, bringing a stack of bandaids when I asked for only one and quickly bringing more coffee pods when we wanted more than just one cup apiece.
The concierge spent more than enough time with us when we asked him for a suggestion for dinner, even giving us printouts and maps.
The music in the hotel was soothing and modern and even played in the elevator.
I can't say enough good things about this place! I highly recommend it to couples out for a romantic getaway.
It's location is so perfect! So close to the Magnificent Mile and all of the great downtown restaurants.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jillianlibrarian
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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