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“Great hotel, great location!”
Review of The James Chicago

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The James Chicago
Ranked #45 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
El Cerrito, California
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great hotel, great location!”
Reviewed 8 May 2012

This is a small, modern boutique hotel located just one block from Chicago's magnificent mile. I couldn't have picked a better location for a quick overnight stay in Chicago. We were upgraded to a suite and it was just perfect.

The staff were wonderful--gracious and courteous. I usually don't consider my experiences with staff when giving a rating but everyone was so exceptional that I feel they deserve some accolades. I will definitely stay here again the next time I'm in Chicago.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lhooq19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (428)
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NY
Level Contributor
129 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012 via mobile

This was our first trip to Chicago and we wanted a nice hotel centrally located. The James hit the mark perfectly. The room we had looked like it was recently remodeled, maybe they all have. It was very up-to-date. The bed was also new and very, very comfortable, which is nice when you've been walking around the city most of the day. We really aren't interested in all the ammenities, like spa and gyms or pools, so I can't comment on these factors. The James is close to everything you'd like to see or do in Chicago. Definitely worth a booking if you plan to visit.

Stayed May 2012
Helpful?
Thank GLaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Western Springs, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012 via mobile

I had 16 friends in from college, and this was the perfect place. Great location. Bill, the chef concierge, steered us perfectly to Union for dinner. Could not have asked or more!

Stayed May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank LMitchell4627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Cool hotel with great lobby design and trendy art – unfortunately the art and design aspect was not reflected in the guest rooms. Rooms were slightly more average/bland then the rest of the hotel, and we would have appreciated a little more luxury in the bathroom – tub was too shallow to take a bath. Good location in Chicago; you can walk to all shops from The James Hotel (up or down N Michigan Ave., and up to W Oak St). Good 24-hour Gym in the lower level of the hotel with proper gym equipment. “Primehouse” Restaurant by David Burke (connected to the hotel) is worth a stop for dinner - go for one of their Dry Aged Reserve Steaks, opt for the custom Caesar Salad to start, and save room for 'Cake in a Can' - you can always store the left over cake in your room’s minibar fridge. Service at the hotel was okay, but for a Five Star Alliance Hotel no one went out of their way to ensure our stay was great. Overall 'okay' experience, but for a hotel that gets 'rave' reviews, a little underwhelming.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MM-TorontoTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
Level Contributor
112 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2012

What’s true in real estate applies to hotels in Chicago as well. The James Hotel is in a near perfect spot, one block west of Michigan Avenue, close enough to be right in the thick of things but removed so that you can breathe when you walk out of the lobby.

This was our first stay at the James and we will likely return; the hotel has that sense of understated cool, from the lobby and its Paul Frank bicycles to the contemporary colors and furnishings in the rooms. Before you book, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The lobby is busy, it’s a little tight for space but really you won’t be spending a lot of time there anyway, the staff is attentive and checking in was a breezy. The elevators up to the guest rooms are cramped, no, seriously, cramped. If you’re at all claustrophobic you will need to take a deep breath, but remember, this is a small hotel, its and its not unexpected. We stayed on the third floor and to be honest the one issue that you’ll likely have is street noise. It is a city after all but still I’d say that there was a touch more street noise than in other city hotels. We also ran into issues with the roman window shade; the draw-pull was basically nonfunctional which meant that we had to turn the roll by hand which was enough of a pain that we kept the shade down and the room dark all the time, a minor nuisance.

The rooms are well furnished with a sleek and modern theme; there isn’t an overstuffed chair to be found, for me that’s great. The bed was super comfortable and I very much appreciated that all the lights were on dimmers, very nice touch. Speaking of dimming lights however; the cool Sony alarm clock – iPod/iPhone dock has a very bright LCD screen; it looks great and you almost consider buying one when you get home until you go to bed. There’s no way that we could find to dim the display and as a result the screen was like a beacon in the night, we ended up throwing a towel over it so beware the cool factor, suffice it to say it was immediately deleted from my Amazon cart.

The bathroom is smallish, but not uncomfortable. The sink is odd; it’s a stylish flat bottom sink that is very shallow, it takes some getting used to. The “Intelligent Nutrient” toiletries are amazing if you’ve never tried them before. I simply can’t say enough about them, they had a great tingling clean sensation and are definitely among the best I’ve had in a hotel; those are still definitely in the Amazon cart!

One amenity that didn’t work out for us was the complimentary car service. Apparently this is first come first served and one, shall we say, “high maintenance couple” managed to squat on it by sending the husband down to “hold” the car while his wife continued to get ready saying she’d be down “any minute”; yep, 15 minutes later and we ended up taking a cab so be forewarned.

All in all it was a great place to stay, as I said, we’ll likely return. If you’re after a more hip alternative to the mega hotels that dominate the Chicago market the James is a great place to have as your home away from home.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pablo_a2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
288 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2012

As a woman travelling alone, I felt safe and comfortable at all times at The James. There were always friendly, courteous and helpful staff at the door and in the lobby. The room was spotlessly clean. The housekeeper even held the door for me as I wheeled in my suitcase upon arrival. There was plenty of bathroom counter space. There are toiletries available but I didn't use them as I travel with my own. The sheets were soft and the bed was very comfortable. I appreciated the unexpected upgrade to a mini-suite when I arrived at 12:30 pm and my room was not ready. Noise was not an issue on the 14th floor. The location of the hotel couldn't have been more perfect. It is only a block from the center of the magnificent part of Michigan Avenue and walking distance to the fine restaurants in the State Street and Rush Street area. I loved that the hotel was across the street from Starbucks and Trader Joe's supermarket. I picked up some water and yogurt and there was room in the mini-bar to keep it cool. I used room service twice and they were quick and got the order right both times. I am a traditional style person, but I didn't mind that The James is in the Euro-Contemporary style, as they did it in a functional way. The hotel even has a driver who will drop one off at a local destination if they are available, which was the icing on the cake. The only thing that I could have wished for was a coffee maker in the room. They have complimentary coffee in the restaurant downstairs, but I didn't want to go there in my jammies.

Room Tip: Higher floor if city noise bothers you.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank edyrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

I spent the weekend at The James and really enjoyed my stay. The staff is attentive and plenty. I never opened a lobby door my entire stay. The room (we stayed in a Standard King) is large with everything you need including a very expansive mini-bar. The bathrooms are small, but efficient. And the "Intelligent Nutrient" toiletries are fabulous and regular sized for normal enjoyment and use. We used the room service for breakfast and a late night snack and found them to be on-time and delicious. Additionally, I stopped by the Spa on saturday morning for an hour massage. The spa was small, but tranquil. And the massage was just what I needed to get ready for a day of shopping at the Magnificent Mile.

Cons:

- The hotel lobby bar gets packed. If you want to sit there before dinner for a drink, you will most likely be snuggling up to another group on the couch.
-Ask for a room above floor 10. Otherwise, you will definitely hear some street noise as apparently car horn honking is a pastime in Chicago.
- Elevators are tight, but run quickly and there are two of them

Pros:
- One block off Magnificent Mile
- Turnover service is great with brownies left on your bed
-Fitness Center was packed with the right equipment and the spa is wonderful
- Hotel Staff is knowledgable and friendly

Room Tip: Get a room above the 10th floor to avoid street noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aparr1230
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

Property: The James Chicago
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
#16 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 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 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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