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“Mixed Feelings - A lot must depend on your room location”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #48 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 5, 2009

The James is a very cool, well-appointed hotel. The room service was perfect and reasonably priced for breakfast. The amenities and decor are wonderful (plus there's a huge big flat screen TV), as is the location. But...if you have an lower floor East facing streetside room, like I did, good luck getting a good night's sleep. It was VERY noisy. The street noise went on most of the night - motorcycles, trash trucks, etc. Even with earplugs in, because my room was so small, I was awakened one night at 4am by a dog barking (do they allow pets?), and another night by people talking loudly in the next room. Then, because the shades don't completely cover the window, the sun streamed in too early in the morning. I got a Hotwire deal, so maybe not the best room (they couldn't switch me the first night after I'd been waiting since 10am to check in), but that means I can't recommend this hotel. Probably not what they hoped for when they made the rooms available on hotwire.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Fr0mtheheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,048 - 3,054 of 3,413 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2009

This was my first visit to the James Hotel. I stayed here based on the reviews I saw on Trip Advisor. I thoroughly enjoyed this hotel. Not only are you one block from the Mag Mile but you are walking distance to everything else downtown. The entire staff could not have been more accommodating. The concierge gave us great recommendations for nearby local restaurants, art galleries and even the most beautiful church for Easter Sunday Mass!!
The gym they have is FANTASTIC! They have a huge cardio and weight lifting area. I was very impressed since most hotels have a few cardio machines and that's it.
The room was a nice size and the beds were so comfortable I could have slept in every day!
The main floor has a computer area with a few computers and a Mac to boot. We were able to print our boarding passes without any hassle. I would highly recommend this very trendy/cool hotel.
Can't wait to visit the next time I am in Chicago.
I did not try the restaurant but heard it was very good.

1  Thank foodlover2795
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2009

First, several days prior to my stay, I called and spoke at length with the concierge. At that time I specifically requested that a large pot of coffee for two people and one large glass of orange juice be delivered on Saturday and Sunday morning at 9:30 am. After speaking with the concierge, I was telephoned to confirm this order by another individual at the hotel. When, on Saturday morning I did not get my order, I called in-room dining. They had no idea I had placed the order and stated that they weren't told about the order from the concierge. I waited another half an hour before they delivered the order to my room. They brought two (2) orange juices (more than I ordered) but I did not argue the point. On Sunday morning I received my order at 10:15 - they provided two (2) large orange juices (again - not what I ordered) and a large pot of coffee with only one (1) cup (there were two of us). Again, I did not argue but simply overpaid. In sum, I ended up paying around $60 for items that were (1) not what I ordered, (2) late, and (3) required my nagging to receive.

I was further inconvenienced by in-room dining staff when I ordered room service Saturday night. First, the food was limp and uninspired. Further, I ordered the soup- which arrived without a spoon. When I called in-room dining to request a spoon, I was told one would be forthcoming. 15 minutes later, a waiter arrived with a menu. When I explained I already had food and I didn't need a menu - I needed a spoon, he had the audacity to argue with me. I respectfully requested he return with a spoon and he agreed to do so. Another 15 minutes (and one bowl of cold soup) later I decided to call in-room dining back to request (again) they send someone with a spoon. They too argued with me and expressed that they'd already sent someone with a spoon. I explained that they had not - that I had received a menu I didn't request, but that no spoon was forthcoming. Another 15 minutes later, a spoon finally arrived. I ended up paying $100+ so that I could argue over cold, flavorless food.

In addition to the gross customer service, surly attitude, and sorry food, I found the room woefully lacking. It reeked exhaust fumes so much so that on Saturday night I woke up from the smell. Further, I had specifically requested when I booked the reservation that I be kept away from the elevators… I was right next to the elevators and had the displeasure of listening to them ding all night long as other guests came and went.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank ConstantTraveler01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2009

My husband and I staryed at this hotel this past weekend while he attended a conference in Chicago. Prior to our arrival, I had contacted the manager of customer service to try to get tickets to Oprah and to get some restaurant recommendations. She came thru for us on all accounts. The rest of the staff was equally amazing, helpful and friendly. Location was great...close to everything with Trader Joe's and Starbucks right across the street. The room is a little sparce, with barely anyplace to unpack. Bathroom is small, but modern and stocked with kiehl products...my favorite! Turndown service at night. Upscale hotel without being shi-shi. Highly recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Bronna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2009

I found the James through a deal on Travelocity in January. The reviews here were about 50/50 but the deal was too good to pass up. I'm a single mom traveling with an almost 15 year old and I have done a great deal of traveling to give you some perspective. We arrived early (cab from O'Hare was $40 with tip) and our room was ready immediately. The hotel is immaculate and stunning (for those who like the contemporary vibe). The room was perfect for us - beds were perhaps the most comfortable I've ever stayed in. The room is very contemporary - great tv, typical city view, not overdone. The staff bent over backwards for us through out the stay. From a clogged toilet to restaurant recommendations, they were very attentive. Mr. Marcellus (evening concierge) even went to the trouble to print my boarding passes for me the night before we left. We did not eat at the restaurant on site but we did order dessert from them one night via room service - it was very good. The hotel is about a block off of Michigan Ave. The Hard Rock, Rainforest Cafe, and Rock & Roll McD's are within easy walking distance. The Red Line is an easy walk and buses come right down Ontario. My suggestion is to go to CTA's website in advance and buy passes - we did an unlimited 3 day pass for $14/each that was good for buses & the El. Nothing to do with the James - but I also strongly suggest eating breakfast at Lou Mitchell's (3 blocks from Sears Tower).

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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Thank holly228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2009

I had a very nice stay here for 5 nights recently for a conference in town.

Positives:
-- Great location, right off Michegan Ave and close to great shopping / restaurants etc
-- Trader Joes right accross the street
-- Rooms are very clean and housekeeping is great (turndown service even includes home baked treat)
-- Great lighting throughout the hotel - room lights all had dimmer switches
-- Gym, although not huge and in the baseroom is very well equipped. It's so nice to see hotels get the gym right
-- Original art

Negatives:
-- No views, and many rooms look into interior courtyard (as did mine) / directly into other rooms
-- Althought I got a great rate on hotwire, I was offered only a smoking room, or the option of paying $40 / night extra to upgrade to a non-smoking junior suite. This is annoying.
-- Small and slow elevators (although probably not much that can be done about this given the buildings age).

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank lonergan123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2009

Stayed at The James for four nights on a girls' weekend getaway. We were able to walk almost everywhere we wanted to go, and when we had to take a taxi, the doorman was extremely helpful. The room was very clean and comfortable, lots of towels and nice toiletries were provided. The staff was very attentive and always cheerful. I would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed: April 2009
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Thank st-hookem
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
#30 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#33 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: $130 - $324 (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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