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“Never again! Much better hotels in Chicago!”
Review of The James Chicago

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The James Chicago
Ranked #45 of 188 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Never again! Much better hotels in Chicago!”
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We checked in for a room which was rated in the 9s on trip advisor. The room was so tiny: 2 twin beds, a bench, end table. No chairs, couches. Ridiculous for $254/night. The entry had old luggage displayed (as if "art"), the elevator was tiny with low ceilings and ugly "jungle" wallpaper outside the elevator. Light bulbs were out in the low-ceiling hallways. We left that room and my husband told them it was "worse than a night in jail." They gave us a corner "suite" and we stayed because we had a non-refundable deposit. The suite was OK. But never again!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank USA1st
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 29 December 2013
Dear USA1st,

I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us The James Chicago. We aim to provide a great experience for all of our guests, and I am sorry to see that we did not live up to your expectations, or our own. Although our team was able to provide you with a suite after you did not enjoy your original room, I am sorry that this did not re-coup your confidence in us and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com.

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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Lambton County, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 28 December 2013

Perfect location. The rooms are plain but we were not in our rooms very much. They were clean and had everything you needed. Breakfast was very good.
The gentlemen who stood outside were exceptional. They went out of their way for us. They seen us coming back and stood on the street to ensure our safety. What hotel does that?

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 29 December 2013
Dear Chris M,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, thanks to our convenient location and most of all, the exceptional service provided by our door team. Thank you again for writing and I hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to The James again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We booked a package at the James through the Chase Luxury Collection. This package includes daily breakfast for two. However, the hotel billed us for breakfast each day claiming they had no knowledge that breakfast was included. We had them call Chase, who confirmed this and they removed breakfast from the bill, but then charged us again for the last day's breakfast. Again, we told them it was included and again they claimed they had no record of this. After returning home, we contacted Chase, who contacted the hotel, confirmed that the package included breakfast, and we were told they would refund the charge. A month later, there was no refund. We called Chase again. They called the James and the billing person again said there was no record that our package included breakfast. So, a month later, two prior confirmations that breakfast was included, a broken promise that they would refund the breakfast payment, and they are STILL trying to make us pay for a breakfast that was clearly included as part of our package. It is difficult to know whether this is incompetence, dishonesty, poor management, or all of the above. It's too bad, because it's a nice hotel and otherwise well run. Why they are doing this and creating all of this bad will is beyond me. Bottom line: Avoid booking packages at the James until they stop these unfair billing practices.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Dear Robert L,

We take any issues with billing very seriously and I am sorry for the issue you experienced. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication with the company you booked through which mistakenly advertised that you would receive breakfast when the package did not include this. While you were with us, we removed the breakfast charges accordingly to give you what you had been promised while booking. If this still has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may email me at jameschicagoGM@jameshotels.com and we will be happy to clarify. I apologize again for this inconvenience and look forward to speaking with you soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago, Il
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel as a part of a weekend get-away combined with a business trip. A nice aspect of the hotel is its fabulous location for shopping on nearby Michigan Avenue and State Street. Perhaps its location is what garners its title as a luxury hotel. I did not find the room itself to be luxurious.

In fact, I did not find the room to be anything special at all. The mattress was uncomfortable (too soft) and there was not a blanket in the room - just a sheet and the heavy duvet. I probably could have requested one if I had realized this earlier, but by the time I was ready for bed, I did not want to go through the hassle of calling the desk and waiting.

The door to the bathroom was a large sliding barn-type door on a track which took a significant amount of effort to slide open and closed. I noticed that our room was a "handicapped" room when I sat on the toilet and it was so high my feet were dangling! I then wondered how a person with a handicap or a wheelchair would ever be able to maneuver the door!

I personally did not care for the toiletries that were provided. The bar soap had an odd scent and the body wash in the shower was so powerful it felt as if my skin was burning. I verified this with my husband who also agreed that the body wash was definitely too powerful!

I stay downtown about once a year, so I know that it can be noisy outside at night. I found this to be particularly true of the James Hotel. In addition to street noise, there were frequent sirens. The next day I found out that it's just a couple blocks from a major hospital.

My last uncomplimentary comments pertain to the various elements in the room. The TV was small and far from the bed for viewing. The bright lights hanging over the bed were glaring. There was no seating area in the room and the closet only had a low hanging bar, far too short for my clothes.

I will conclude by saying that it was not a horrible experience by any means. The room was clean and the staff was polite and helpful. There were just too many aspects that were unpleasant to justify the expense and the parking ($60).

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ramekin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
Dear Ramekin,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am disappointed to hear that you had a less than exemplary experience with us, due to a few issues with the room. I appreciate your candid feedback as it offers us a chance to examine our practices to ensure we are providing the best possible experience for our guests. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline and 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Location, service, food, and people all work together in this great hotel. Without a doubt one of the best places I have ever stayed in the world and the best in Chicago. Upon check in I enquired with Laurelin Hefter about an item I was in looking for in the city and to say she went beyond what would be expected in an understatement, hats off to her and the entire hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Victor I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
Dear Victor I,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with us at The James Chicago. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, thanks to the outstanding service provided by our team. It is humbling to hear that you consider our hotel as one of the best you have ever stayed at, and I am truly honored by your compliment. Thank you again for staying with us and I hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to The James again soon!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2013 via mobile

Our stay at The James started very pleasantly when we arrived at 1:30 and were graciously allowed to check-in early. The front desk staff and everyone who took care of our luggage were very pleasant and we made sure to tip well.

As we were walking towards our room, we noticed we were right next to one of the housekeeping stations. Near the station (of which, the curtains were wide open) there was a cart piled high with what appeared to be dirty towels. This cart stayed there over an hour. Although not a huge deal, it did not feel very 4.5 star-ish. I get that housekeeping needs to do its thing, but at least the curtains could be drawn, hiding this from view.

Once we got in the room, we found everything as expected, although you could tell the carpet and some of the furniture were starting to show wear. The fresh, complimentary water was a real bonus and DELICIOUS. There were also cookies and robes provided with turndown service.

One thing that was extremely noticeable was disrepair of the television. Now understand, this is our first night EVER in Chicago, and we are staying at a 4.5 star hotel, so I have decently high expectations. The TV was 'fuzzy' no matter what channel we were on and there was no closed captioning for my hearing impaired husband. We called once to have it fixed and 5 hours later no one had come. We called again (this time getting ready for bed) and the nice staff person apologized and said they would send someone up "straightaway." We waited for probably a half hour to 45 minutes before someone knocked on our door. By this time we were in bed (and only staying one night) so it was pointless. I have also read reviews where others have cited TV issues as well.

In summary, this is getting 3 out of 5 stars in my book. I don't believe this should be a 4.5 star hotel. Although I can't say there was anything atrociously horrible about our stay, I really feel there is an excellence lacking. If you're thinking of staying here, I would consider a less expensive 4-star chain hotel above this one.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank WrenHarper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Dear WrenHarper,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am very sorry to hear that you were underwhelmed with your visit: it is never our aim to provide an average experience for our guests, but to exceed each visitor's expectations. I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced with the television; we will be updating these in the near future and look forward to the completion of this soon. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further offline and 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2013

I stayed here in November for one night on business, and I absolutely loved this hotel - everything about it. From the moment our cab (I was traveling with colleagues) arrived in front of the hotel, the doorman had already taken all our luggage out of the trunk and placed them neatly on a luggage transporter for us, while we were paying the taxi. That was a great first impression. Then we were greeted warmly by the staff in the lobby and there was hot apple cider waiting for us - wow! I thought the lobby was very modern and had an impressive layout and design. I loved my room - it was very clean and the bed was so comfortable. I loved the little alcove office too. Great lighting. Great bathroom and bathrobe! Interesting bath products....they leave you feeling a bit tingly! When I got back to my room at night after all my meetings, the room was lit dimly (the hotel offers turndown service, so the look of the room from when I first saw it was already different but wonderful!), and there was soft music playing like I was in a movie. The bathrobe had been placed on the corner of my bed, asking to be worn. Plus, they left a nice sweet treat from David Burke's Primehouse saying "Sweet Dreams." Very nice!

The next day, they gave us no problem with holding our luggage at the front desk although we had already checked out (we still had meetings all day and didn't want to bring our luggage to the office). When we got back, we still had several hours to kill before our flight, so the doorman got the hotel car to drive us along Michigan Ave and take us straight to the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago. Amazing. I was sad to leave.

The best part was that the rest of our colleagues had chosen The Palmer House while just the three of us chose the James. Way better for us!! I hope I get to come back soon and bring my husband!

Room Tip: I think my room was 404; I did note that not all the rooms have the same layout, and my co worker...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sharon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheJamesChiGM, General Manager at The James Chicago, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Dear Sharon B,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am truly humbled to hear about your experience with us, and that your stay was enjoyable from start to finish. I appreciate your generous compliments of our daily turndown service and as always, our friendly team. Most of all, it is truly an honor that your first visit to The James will not be your last; on behalf of all of us, we look forward to welcoming you back again 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

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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