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“Love this place, will return!”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #43 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Jupiter Florida
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Love this place, will return!”
Reviewed April 10, 2010

This was my first trip to Chicago, I flew there for a two-day meeting with colleagues from around the country. This boutique hotel blew me away. The service was top notch, every staff member I interacted with behaved as if they have been waiting all their lives to open a door for me or answer my question. My suite was so beautiful I wanted to move in permanently; two loft beds and funky, sleek modern furniture. Room service from the restaurant downstairs was of the highest quality. Meeting rooms were comfortable and the catered lunch and breakfast were excellent. The hotel is a quick walk from Michigan Avenue. I plan to come back with my husband, and book future meetings there.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Ticorella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rochester, MI
1 review
Reviewed April 8, 2010

Took my 18 year daughter for a mother/daughter weekend. The James Hotel was perfect for us. Modern, clean and very friendlly staff. We shopped all over downtown and this hotel was a perfect location to shopping and restaurants...Would highly recommend.....

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kimrob47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastbourne
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 8, 2010

I can't say enough good things about this hotel, it was everthing we hoped for and more, the staff are extremely friend, the hotel was very clean, in the bedroom, bathroom, the gym and restaurant. There were lovely finishing touches to the service like a little biscuit each night with a sweet treat for sweet dream message.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TabithaEastbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2010

Last summer, my mom, best friend, and her mom went to Chicago for a fun girl's weekend. I am very hard to please, so I got to search for our hotel. Glad I did!! I spent probably 1 week searching hotels in Chicago based on location, customer reviews, etc. We could not have had a better weekend!

We had drinks every night before dinner at the little bar in the lobby, ate dinner and breakfast one day at their restaurant. It was pricey, but definitely worth it. The night we ate at the restaurant, we were in a slight rush because we had a Broadway show to see. We informed our waiter, and he was so helpful with providing fast service!

My friend and I even ventured off to Oprah's store (huge fan), and when the conceirge got us a cab, he explained where we wanted to go. The taxi driver had no clue where he was talking about (how did he NOT know where Oprah's store was??!!) and so the conceirge grabbed the hotel's SUV and took us there ourselves!

The rooms were fabulous. The decor was ultra modern, and very cute. The rooms were a bit small, but I read that was usual for staying in a big city like Chicago.

The staff made recommendations for places to go out for me and my friend, as we are 20 somethings and our moms are 50 somethings. All the recommendations were right on. We talk about our trip to Chicago all the time, and are most definitely are planning on staying at the James.

BTW, if you use Kiehl's products-it's your luck! They use them in the hotel rooms! :)

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PalmettoTravelerSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2010

WARNING: Really long and detailed review... had some time on my hands today :)

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE JAMES HOTEL CHICAGO
During the last holiday season, The James Hotel was offering a "Cyber Monday" special where you could buy their "James Credits" online to use toward your hotel stay, and the hotel would then match that dollar amount in "complimentary" credits (E.G. if you buy $500 worth of credits, they will give you another $500 worth for free). This sounded like a pretty good deal to me. The day before Cyber Monday, I went onto the James Hotel Website to read about the credits-- the fine print stated that the credits were good for one year and didn't mention any blackout dates or restrictions. Ok, that's good because I wasn't planning our trip to Chicago until mid April 2010. The next day I went onto the website and bought $500 worth of credits. I didn't even notice that they had added one or two new sentences to the "terms and conditions" section- which now stated that complimentary credits were good until March 31st, 2010 and subject to certain blackout dates and restrictions, and can't be used in conjuction with any other offers. I guess my mistake for not re-reading the terms.

So as soon as I realized this, I immediately called the hotel and explained that I hadn't noticed they added to the "terms and conditions" section, and could they please either let me use the credits two weeks past March 31st, or refund my purchase. The hotel would absolutely NOT budge or try to work with me in anyway. So I was down $500 and stuck with $1000 worth of credits to a hotel that I had to use by March 31st. My husband and I are currently living in Europe where he is employed at the moment. He has a break and we're going back to the States for the month of April. We both love Chicago and vacation there often, so that's why I bought the credits in hopes to use for April. I always think I'm being a great bargain shopper, but it often times backfires in my face and I end up wishing I would have just paid full price!

So now that I was stuck with these James Credits, my husband and I talked it over and decided they should not go to waste. He said I should go to Chicago with a friend of mine so they could be used before March 31st. So my friend and I took the vacation that my husband and I were supposed to go on in April! I'm lucky he was so understanding.

When I went to the James Hotel website to book our room, I saw they were selling rooms for less than $130/night... and on another travel site those rooms even included perks like a $50 GC to use toward the restaurant/room service! But because I was using my "James Credits" I was forced to book the highest rate which was over $200/night- so I wasn't even getting much of a deal at all!

Upon check-in, I asked the front desk lady if there were any rooms larger than the others because my friend and I would be staying for 6 nights and I had heard from reviews that some rooms were bigger, and if you ask for them you can sometimes get those ones. She was pretty rude and just raised her eyebrow at me and said they're all the same.

The room we got was tiny. I don't know if the lady did this on purpose because she was angry I asked for a bigger room, or if they were all just that small. Now my friend and I were both coming from Europe where everything is a bit smaller, but every hotel that I have stayed at in Europe has had a bigger room/bathroom than the James Hotel. My friend and I decided to upgrade to a loft suite for an extra $80/night. The suite was nice, although some of the furnishings seemed a little cheap to me.

PROS:

-Great location. If you don't care what your room looks like or how big it is, and you can find a good deal, may as well stay here because the location is one of the best. Starbucks, Trader Joe's, a sushi restaurant, and cute little breakfast place right across the street. The hotel is a block from central Michigan Ave, and a block from the Luxe Cafe... where we definitely ate a couple times....

-The housekeeping staff did a great job and were very friendly. They even organized my bathroom stuff that I had left out all over the place one day. Everytime we got back to our room, it seems like it had been magically cleaned. I think they did service twice a day (I don't know if that's because we had a suite or if they do that for all the rooms). And they somehow always knew when we weren't in the room because they never bothered us like at a lot of other hotels where it seems like they're banging on your door at 7 am and yelling "housekeeping!!!" or walking into your room when you're in the shower.

-Beds are really comfortable (comparable to the Westin Heavenly Beds) but I like soft and squishy, so if you like firm mattresses, these may not be for you.

-Kiehl's bath amenities were a great perk. I never use the toiletries that hotels provide, but this was the first time I actually wanted to use them instead of my own stuff. Really high quality products.

CONS:

-The whole debacle with the James Credits, which alone, will probably prevent me from returning to this hotel in the future. The lack of flexibility they showed, especially since this is a boutique hotel and not a huge chain. It would have been easy to contact upper management and make an exception to let me use the credits in mid April. Usually boutique hotels can offer this kind of "special treatment" in certain circumstances.

-Small guestrooms, small bathrooms, small closets... the double beds even seemed to be somewhere between the size of a double and a twin, and not a true double

-Much of the furniture in the guestrooms and even in the loft suite seemed cheap and flimsy... I'm pretty sure a lot of it was from IKEA

-Rude and somewhat arrogant front desk staff

-The bar/lounge in the lobby doesn't stay open late enough. I think it closes around 10 pm which then forces you to go to J Bar, which is more of a club than a lounge where you can just sit and have a casual drink

-J Bar had kind of a pretentious vibe. Definitely saw a lot of creepy old men with what looked like Russian mail order brides-- not the hotel's fault though, obviously

OVERVIEW
In my opinion, this hotel has been over-hyped in reviews. It's a very average 4 star hotel, nowhere near 5 stars. It's location saves it... as well as the awesome housekeeping staff. Stay here if you can find a good deal and plan on spending most your time outside of your room- which most people do anyway- but I always love coming back to my hotel room after a long day out and about, and feeling like it's so much nicer than being in my own bedroom... and this place did not give me that feeling, I would have rather been in my own bedroom than the small, starkly furnished/decorated guestrooms at The James.

I never used the gym or spa, or ate at the restaurant, so I can't comment on them.

Other hotels I have stayed at in Chicago- I will list them in order of the ones I liked best:

*InterContinental on Michigan Ave- great location, feels very luxurious, great breakfast buffet

*Westin Michigin Ave- not quite as luxurious as the InterContinental, good sized rooms, our dog stays for free at is treated well, good location

*The Talbott Hotel- now this is a true boutique hotel, smaller rooms but still felt luxurious, had evening snacks like cookies/hot chocolate which was a nice perk

*The Hyatt Regency on E Wacker- great customer service, mentioned we saw a beetle in our bathroom upon check-out and they comped our parking for the entire stay (don't take advantage, people!), good breakfast buffet, unfortunately they don't allow pets and we usually travel with our litte guy

I would probably choose The James over these two:

*Swissotel- nothing really stands out, a bit further off Michigan Ave
*Radisson Michigan Ave- not very nice rooms according to my memory

Next time we travel to Chicago, we'll either stay at the InterContinental, Westin, Talbott, or try Hotel Monaco or The Fairmont- I've heard good things about them. And on the next SPLURGE trip, I would love to stay at The Penninsula.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lacmck019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2010

Took my hubby there for his birthday, nice chic modern hotel. The room was medium size and it had a great gym in the basement. The folks were very professional but not as friendly as I would have liked. The concierge didn't have a lot of suggestions so we found a lot of stuff on our own. There is a Trader Joe right across the street to get supplies which worked out amazing. The bar area was nice, some vibe but not a lot. Gret location, close to a lot of places to eat and things to do. You can walk anywhere in Chicago, it's easy to get around. Hotel was safe walking back late at night and I loved the quiet of the room. Good choice for couples, friend getaway but think not a family place.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jasmina26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 25, 2010

The James is a cute, mod boutique hotel. The modern furnishings are nice. The room and hotel has nice small touches. The fitness room is quite nice. The staff are very friendly, very helpful. There are also spa, bar, lounge area, restaurant and it has a nice central location. It has far more character than a chain business hotel. Only two small complaints: no full-length mirror anywhere in my room and it is a bit dark. But all-in-all, I would absolutely stay here again. It was also a great value.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wanderwoman10
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 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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