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“Slipping slowly into medocrity”

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The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile
Ranked #46 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We've stayed here a few times - from the early days, when it was fresh and hip; to this weekend, when it ... wasn't. It's just slowly sliding towards mediocrity, which is a shame for a property that used to be pretty special.

Basically, the rooms are starting to look dated, with odd design choices and unappealing furnishings. The service seemed tired, starting when we checked in and were asked if we wanted a king room rather than two queen beds - and told that would be an extra $30 per night.

Overall, The James has just become ... well, ordinary. And for an allegedly four-star hotel (3.5 seems more accurate) charging upwards of $200 a night at a slow time of the year, that spells trouble.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank ablcfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2013

Dear ablcfamily,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the shortcomings you experienced. You are very valuable to us as a returning guest, and I am truly sorry that you did not feel this stay was on the same level as other visits. Although we have been open for several years, we are constantly striving to improve and to never provide a mediocre experience, as we work to exceed expectations. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline, I can be reached at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com. Thank you for bringing these issues to my attention and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviews (3,331)
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1,813 - 1,819 of 3,331 reviews

Reviewed 18 November 2013

This is a very nice hotel with upscale features that are not stuffy in any way. Check-in went exceptionally smoothly. The staff were friendly and extremely competent.

Our room was just cool (and I am not talking temperature here), comfortable and very clean. There was a stocked minibar with everything you might need (if you want to pay for it), light fixtures that easily dim and a huge mirror that leaned against the wall (in a trendy way).

At night someone from the staff came to our room, brought us ice, turned down the bed, gave us a brownie and emptied the trash. Very cool.

The hotel is located just a block from Michigan Ave. which makes it a perfect distance to the "Magnificent Mile" as well as several different food options.

I would highly recommend this hotel.

With that said if I would have been travelling with small children (which I do most of the time), I might have asked for them to clear out the minibar as it might have been too tempting for small fingers to snag a $4 bag of m&m's. My girls would also have been disappointed as their is no pool. I - though - would feel my kids would have been very welcome at this location.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Amsdentraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2013

Dear Amsdentraveler,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am honored by your compliments of our mini bar selection, complimentary turndown service, and especially our friendly staff. If you do travel with your children next time, you may be interested in our Lil' James program which will make their stay more special; you can see more information about this by visiting jameshotels.com. Also to note, although we do not have a pool, we do have an arrangement with a facility across the street. Thank you again for writing and I look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed 17 November 2013

Stayed at the James for two nights for a recent city break in Chicago. We got upgraded to a studio room with a living area off the room due to our Tablet Plus membership. The room was excellent and check-in a breeze. It also has one of the best steak houses in town so we enjoyed the room service (try the truffle fries!).

If you like peace and quite perhaps ask for a room on a higher floor as the noise from the street can bother some folks. It certainly was no issue for us as we live in Manhattan so we're used to the noise. In fact I cant sleep unless there are sirens blazing in the background.

We loved the modern rooms and the clean decor of the rooms. Certainly a plus if youre into design and contemporary looks. Will definitely be back on our next trip to Chicago!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank friskygeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2013

Dear friskygeek,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am delighted to hear your compliments of our delicious room service, and that our stay was excellent in our studio suite. Most of all, I am honored that you will stay with us again; we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed 15 November 2013 via mobile

Booked by calling hotel's own reservation line - and received a confirmation e-mail. When we arrived; however, the hotel did not have the reservation. We were able to get a room, but not quite the one we expected. Also scheduled massages at the spa, again receiving confirmation e-mail. Guess what? Spa had no reservation either.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear Robert B,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your experience with us at The James Chicago. I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the delay in locating your reservation, which is an issue we rarely encounter especially when you book directly with us. I am glad that the staff rectified this for you, but am sorry to hear that your room was not what you expected; our front desk is always willing to assist in finding a more comfortable space for you as want all of our guests to have an excellent experience with us. We take low scores very seriously and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed 15 November 2013

Recently had a wonderful couple of days at this property. Had lunch and it was very good, service was fast and the food presentation was excellent. One of the best things about my stay was the efficiency of Lauralin. She put together all of our travel and sightseeing plans flawlessly. I highly recommend this hotel on all fronts.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Pamibowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear Pamibowen,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am glad that you enjoyed our restaurant and that the service provided by Laurelin attributed to making your experience in Chicago a great one. Most of all, I am thankful your your recommendation of us to fellow travelers and hope we will see you again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed 15 November 2013

The James is an excellently decorated modern hotel that still manages to be comfortable. The staff is all super helpful and accomodating. They have a courtesy car that can drop you off within Chicago to make for an easy way to go out for the night or see the sights.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear Lauren M,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am thankful for your generous compliments of our decor, complimentary car service, and most of all our helpful staff and they attributed to a great experience. Thank you for your recommendation of us, and I hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

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Reviewed 14 November 2013

I live in the suburbs of Chicago and was staying one night (a Monday night) for a conference on the 2nd floor the next day. You'd think on a school night, it would be quiet.

You'd Think.

The walls are paper thin. I was kept awake most of the night by babbling neighbors who had at least 4 people in the room, laughing, cackling and having a great old time. Finally at 4am, I called downstairs. 30 mins later, I called again because the noise was still happening. They told my my floor (8th) was quiet. So the floors or ceilings must be paper thin. They finally shut up at 5am.

Next, I expected perfect fluffy towels and a super comfy bed. I had neither. the bed was fine but not overly impressive. Although I did enjoy my pillows.

Bathroom - loved their amenities but the bathtub was in bad shape. (room 815) with a big 4inch scrape/chip on it. give it some paint/love!

Enjoyed bath soaps/shampoos, etc.

Service was fine. Unimpressed with the efforts to find my noisy neighbors.

I just wanted a good nights sleep before my big presentation in front of my new peers, my new job. I barely got a wink of sleep.

oh. valet parking is $60 which is about $15 more than other hotels on the SAME STREET. it took 20 mins for them to even get my car.

not worth the money in my opinion.

Room Tip: ask for a quiet room if you value your sleep.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Thank lilyipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago-Magnificent Mile, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear lilyipper,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am disappointed to hear about your experience with us; we strive to provide the best accommodations for all of our guests, and I am very sorry that we did not exceed your expectations or our own. I appreciate you mentioning the room you stayed with us in so that we may address some of these issues to avoid other guests having a similar experience. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com. Thank you again for bringing these issues to my attention and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#30 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#33 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £134 - £370 (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 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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