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“A clean stylish hotel in a convenient location”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #48 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 March 2012

My husband and I stayed here in December 2011 for 7 nights whilst on business. The first room we were allocated was a double room with a very comfortable bed, nice bathroom, very clean & plenty of room. This room had a glass table which decided to shatter of it's own accord early one morning. The hotel staff said that this was the first time any such thing had happened, so it was difficult to explain. However neither my husband or I were injured, and the reception sent up a member of staff immediately to clear up. They were very kind and concerned and moved us to a suite, which was really nice (and had a wooden coffee table), and also sent up some lovely flowers which was a really nice touch. The suite had a sitting room with sofa, dining table, was very modern and stylish and again spotlessly clean - I must admit I was rather sad to leave.
This hotel offers free WIFI which was highspeed and reliable.
The lobby of the hotel has a bar which was nice for an evening drink after getting back from dinner.
The door staff were really friendly, and made us feel very welcome and 'loved', as did all the staff. All in all we found this a perfect hotel for a trip to Chicago and will be staying here agian when we visit next.
This hotel is situated at the top end of 'The Magnificent Mile', and is a great base for sightseeing, and shopping.
The only complaint I have is that they need to install a bedside reading light, as the over the bed one is a bit bright.

Room Tip: Try and get a room on a higher floor as sometimes the road below can be noisy due to the rubbish col...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank catherine8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2012

I often stay on business in Chicago, and this is the best hotel i have found.

I stayed on recommendation for the first time in February and found the staff to be friendly and helpful, the room light, airy and clean, and the location perfect. In spite of my jet lag I slept like a baby in the very comfortable bed. When the hair dryer didn't work (my fault, not theirs!) a member of staff was with me in moments to fix it. Likewise the staff on reception, the doorman and bell boy were all charming and offered help/coffee/directions each day.

I thoroughly recommend The James for business or leisure trips to Chicago.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Flaherty99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

We recently stayed at the James for our 10th anniversary and I can say the staff are what make this hotel. The hotel itself, however, while having undergone a recent refreshing, going more "modern" with its setup doesn't necessarily mean it went to a 4.5 star as many sites are listing.

The James was easy to find. Staff were happy and greeted us genuinely. It was nice to see people who like their jobs! Check-in was quick and our upgrade (we tweeted after booking directly on the James's site) was honored flawlessly. In fact, I had the reservation on my phone but couldn't pull it up right then. The woman checking us in told me to just bring it down later that day and she'd apply it. There was no freakout that we were scamming them or something. It was all quite refreshing, actually.

The Room: We purchased a King room and should have been upgraded to a King with a view. When we booked the room, we thought there was a parking credit or something else within the package so my husband had to call their help desk. He said the person filled in the gaps (there wasn't a parking credit in that package) but also checked to see if any of the other promos would save us money. Where in the hell have you ever heard of a hotel wanting to save you money?! She also saw we had noted our anniversary and offered an upgrade then, too. He questioned if it was the same as the twitter upgrade she said yes but then moved us to step-up King so when we arrived we were actually upgraded to a King suite (no view).

The room was nice and we were prepared for the in-facing scenario as opposed to the street view. Interestingly enough one of the art pieces is on display for only in-facing rooms. Check out the brick wall in the evenings and you'll see. Pretty cool.

The suite was spacious and held a couch, 2 flat screens, a king bed, a well-stocked mini bar (smaller but more full-size bottles of alcohol lived on top of the wet bar area. The bathroom was decorated nicely and things were clean. I did have a so-so vibe about their upgrades though. I like the couch and it looked fancy but felt like something from IKEA. The bathroom was newly tiled and modern looking, but the toilet paper holder was so far away from the toilet you have to take it off the rack. The towel shelving had also pulled its safety dollies out of the wall and our tub was on an odd slant, too. So, everything LOOKED great )5-star but worked at a 3.5 star level for me.

I also agree with Trevor R regarding the switch from Kiehl's products. I was very much looking forward to using Kiehl's but found they had switched to the Harmony products. I also agree that there weren't any other signs of "going green," other than the reuse-your-towels-so-we-can-save-too scenario adopted by 99.9% of hotels, that made me think this was anything more than a saving them cash scenario. I think they do care and chose the line because of the earth-friendliness but they shouldn't position it as a green movement. By the way, James, minty body wash sounds like a good idea but have you guys tried to wash with it. Cool and tingly isn't always good. ;)

The bed and sleeping area was nicely laid out. We had sufficient room and could store things fine. Appreciated the little bench where I could sit to get dressed. iPhone-accepting radio was also a plus. The bed, however, left something to be desired for us. It looked wonderful, it was clean but it was a rock. The pillow top was very thin and I don't believe the beds were part of the hotel's recent overhaul. (Could be wrong though.) I would 100% come back if the beds got an upgrade! We experienced turn-down service one night only (out of 3) but that may have just been because we started our day later and may have missed the opportunity to take that "do not disturb sign" off in time.

Bathrobes were delivered each early evening and they were a nice touch.

We had one instance of a group partying it up on the floor below. One call and about 20 minutes and it was taken care of. The next morning we asked if the individuals would be returning and they confirmed they weren't. They did offer to move us if that hadn't been the case. We later noted this (and the bed) in our follow-up email survey. We received a response within 48 hours and a discount for a stay within the next 9 months. Again, the customer service is spot-on.

THE HOTEL: The art pieces around the hotel are cool and added to the atmosphere; the suitcases were my favorite but you have to read the plaque to "get it." The magazine rack downstairs filled the time and I was allowed to bring as many back up to my room as I wanted.


We didn't stay inside much, after all, we came to visit the city. Having that Trader Joe's across the street was helpful and there is a Starbucks around the corner, too.


Overall, I'd certainly come back.


By the way, those complaining about noise- it's CHICAGO. The hotel is on Ontario and Rush. This isn't the countryside; there's street noise. Welcome to the city.

Room Tip: Ask for a street view if you want the visuals. Come prepared that it's a street view. In a city.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank thesnooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Loved: big bottles of toiletries, better for environment and easier to use
-nook with couch in room was awesome, a kid would love sleeping there and its a great work space
-awesome full blast shower
-soft beds
-nice front desk
-great location, walk to stores

Didnt love: pricey restaurant, is $100 a head without booze and although food is great it is too much for people without expense accounts

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Scubashark0822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Still the best Value near Michigan Avenue, I love the James. Welcoming front desk staff, fantastic bell staff, smart guests. Easy to overlook the need for a facelift because of location, staff, appointments, and excellent rates. Best features - outlets where you need them, lighting controls where you need them, tv selections, smart use of space, via coffee in room, comfortable lounge area in room, blackout shades instead of dusty blinds, turn down service with ice, cookies, music and lighting, small but lively bar, and did I mention the wonderful staff?

Room Tip: Never had a bad room at the James and have stayed here many times in the past
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Advourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

My son and I did a spur of the moment trip to Chicago - to see a Cubs game and the sights. We stayed at the James, which was newly remodeled. It was beautiful - and I have honestly never been treated better by any staff, at any hotel anywhere in the country or world for that matter. The room was comfortable - the view - not so much - but we were on a budget, so didn't get the best room in the place - but it was a beautiful, comfortable room.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank chaos_slc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

I have stayed at the James a few times, it is my go to hotel in Chicago. This last trip makes me think it is time to start looking for other options.

The Good:
Location is awesome, just off Michigan Ave, Trader Joe's across street for some healthier snacking. It is a great location, easy to walk most anywhere. The door staff are very friendly and helpful. The overall feeling is modern, upbeat. Turn down service with cookie is nice. Free Wifi (which worked to varying degrees throughout stay)

The Bad:
They claim to be a 4.5 star hotel, which to me, means better then a 4 star and online with a 5 star (without a pool). They used to have Kiehls toiletries and now have "Harmony" brand. Additionally, they now have the large bottles attached to the wall which you get to share with the other guests that stayed in the room before you. It is what I would expect from Holiday Inn or my gym, but not a 4.5 star hotel. I asked about the switch (mainly because when I booked they still had Kiehls in website description) and they claimed that the reason they went the communal bottle route was to be "green". That is hard to believe, as it's not like the hotel is making other efforts to be green (they still have incandescent light bulbs, housekeeping leaves the lights and radio on when they do turn down, they don't recycle in room, etc). They are obviously trying to cut costs, and it shows.

More: the rooms are in need of some updating, they are looking somewhat tired. My third floor room was quite loud with the motorcyclers trying to prove their manhood out front (not their fault). Don't take the stairs (as the stairwell is straight out of horror movie), even though the wait for one of the two elevators might be awhile. The phone staff was fairly rude (granted, they didn't like me questioning their toiletry change).

I feel bad giving such a low rating, but it really did not come close to my expectations (from previous stays there). I will start trying out new hotels in the area.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank Trevor R
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:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £96 - £234 (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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