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“Nice place to stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The James Chicago

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The James Chicago
Ranked #44 of 187 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
224 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Nice place to stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

Nice suite and close to everything on the Mag Mile. Got to check in early and drop our bags off which was greatly appreciated. Would stay again on our next trip into the city and would recommend to others.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Tony 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, 25 June 2014
Dear Tony M,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am glad to hear you enjoyed your visit, thanks to the early check in and our convenient location. Most of all, I appreciate your generous recommendation of us to fellow travelers and that you would return. Thank you again for writing and we hope to welcome 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (408)
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English first
Level Contributor
263 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed here just over a month ago and absolutely loved it!!

Before arriving I emailed the hotel to advise it was our anniversary during the stay, and also asked about some sports games whilst we were visiting. Concierge were fantastic and really helpful, emailing back extremely quickly with information!

On arrival they had provided us with free European breakfast tokens for every day, which was really nice!

The rooms are lovely, and the beds are so comfy! After arriving in our room we found the fridge wasn't working - called reception and they delivered a new one within 10 minutes! Excellent service.

Really enjoyed our stay here - The location is wonderful, the staff are fantastic and the hotel on a whole is great!

We will 100% stay here again, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank KatK1
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, 25 June 2014
Dear KatK1,

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 visit, thanks to the outstanding service provided from our entire team especially the concierge. It is truly an honor that you chose to spend such a special occasion as your anniversary with us and that you plan to return. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
156 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

The James does contemporary in a relaxing welcoming way. This is a 300 room hotel perfectly located about a block off Michigan Ave. I could hear the sirens at night but they weren't right outside my window. It felt very safe to be out walking around this area at night and we found it easy to see all the sights plus we were about a 15 min walk to the main subway station in the loop.

The rooms were very clean, modern without being stark. Loved the lighting options, cozy desk nook and the amenities in the bathroom.

The concierge arranged for tickets to the river architecture cruise and gave us options and information beyond what I'd already learned off the internet. When I asked about a food tour - he offered honest advice and he gave me a copy of a pamphlet he'd put together on the eateries in the neighborhoods I was interested in. He also offered to put together a walking and eating tour for my group with everything pinpointed on a map. Sweet! His advice on restaurants/bars was spot on.

I can't imagine a better place to stay in Chicago.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lexi99
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, 23 June 2014
Dear Lexi 99,

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 our convenient location and comfortable rooms, but most of all, that the advice offered by our concierge helped to make the most of your time in the city. 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tromso, Norway
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

I was so happy I've chosen The James hotel for my stay in Chicago this June. The hotel is very cozy, friendly, clean and the stuff is full of hospitality an knowledgable. I especially appreciated the complimentary morning coffee. I can't describe enough the location. It's just superb! Near the shopping divine Magnificent Mile and only 1 km from the Lake Shore/lake promenade and running trail, in addition to the beautiful beach (Ohio str beach), it took me only 8 min walk to the promenade and beach. My room was very clean and I was happy with housekeeping. I can warmly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Elena K
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, 23 June 2014
Dear Elena K,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. It is an honor to hear that you had a perfect visit, thanks to our convenient location, complimentary coffee, and the remarkable job our housekeeping does. Thank you for your generous recommendation of us here on TripAdvisor and I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back when your travels return you to Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

The James Chicago is one of those hotels where, although they appear to do everything right, something holds it back from being perfect.

Let's talk about the positive points first. The location is excellent. Being a block west of Michigan Avenue, it has the advantage of being slightly closer to the Grand Street subway stop for the red line train than a lot of the rest of the hotels on the Magnificent Mile. More so than any other mode of transportation, my girlfriend and I used this on a daily basis during our 4-night stay at the James. I try to avoid expensive cab rides where possible, but if you need a cab, there is usually always one waiting in front of the building on Ontario Street.

The staff is wonderful. The maid service is very friendly, and the personnel working the front desk were always very professional. From what I understand, the concierge service is top-notch. Although we never fully utilized it, they were always ready and waiting to help out with any task we would need them for. They even intercepted my girlfriend while she was looking for the ice machine on our floor and told her that we could call a concierge to get us our ice. My girlfriend and I would never dream of calling a concierge to fetch ice for us when the machine is on the same floor as us, but I guess it's good to know that they are more than willing to take on any task.

The bartenders make wonderful drinks. Or I guess I can confidently say at least one of them does. I didn't catch his name, but he served us drinks in the lobby near the bar while we were waiting for someone from the airport to drop off our delayed luggage.

The rooms pretty much fulfill all your basic needs. They give you a comfortable place to rest your head at night and supply all the essentials that you'd expect from a hotel room. The TV has all the standard basic cable channels that you get with most hotels, so if you're staying in for the night, you've got a decent selection.

Now I must get to the negative points. These rooms are not going to blow you away. There was absolutely no "wow" factor when I entered the room, and for how much they charge for them, I expected a little more. In the way of decorating, they certainly shoot for the modern, minimalist fashion that seems to be the trend with a lot of these higher-end hotels. While I'm not expecting to have my jaw hit the ground when I see these rooms, I am expecting a certain amount of satisfaction upon my first impression of unraveling the neatly-wrapped package that the James Chicago handed me when I checked in. Something about them seemed a tad sterile and lacking character. I'd perhaps go so far as to say they were a bit impersonal and not very warm or cozy.

First off, one of the first things I noticed about one of the beds is there was a dead gnat on the "clean" white sheets near the pillow. A gnat is obviously not a show-stopper, but it's not exactly the perfect picture of cleanliness. Also, three framed art prints were sitting on top of the headboard of one of the beds, with one of the prints appearing to be in a busted-up frame that no one bothered to reassemble correctly.

The sliding door into the bathroom isn't exactly practical, and loses its charm after a few uses where you eventually just wish there was a door you could open and close. This was the beginning of me realizing that this hotel is probably not ideal for families traveling with children.

The sink in the bathroom is very wide and shallow, which is also fairly impractical. It would make sense to allow more counter space by making a sink that isn't as wide, yet has a much deeper basin. Our sink also drained very slowly, so it wouldn't take long for the basin to start filling up.

The nook designated for reading or dining contained a small sofa that had some sort of fabric covering that was attached with velcro strips, yet appeared to be coming apart and tattered. It looked rather shabby and uninviting to sit on, so we never used it.

The air conditioner was unusually noisy, with a vent near the ceiling blowing directly on one of the double beds, which makes sleep slightly unpleasant when you have cold air being blasted at you.

It also seemed like the door to the hallway was very thin, as I could clearly hear all conversations in the hall without even being near the door. It seemed like during the day, I could constantly hear either fellow guests congregating in the hallway or the cleaning staff talking to each other.

Having booked this room through a travel site, I realize there's always a tad bit of unofficial "discrimination" against guests who pay less for a hotel's rooms, so I understand the James Chicago is okay with giving me one of their less than desirable rooms. It was frustrating, however, when the man at the front desk suggested that I had purposely booked a room with two double beds, which I had never done. Although it's probably not his fault, he might not know that it's the hotel that actually matched my request for 2-person occupancy while bidding on the travel site and automatically assigned whatever the hotel had available, which happened to be a room with two double beds. If I ever had any say in the matter at any point, I would've preferred a room with a king-sized bed, but unfortunately the travel site does not allow guests to specifically indicate their lodging preferences when placing bids.

So upon suggesting to me that I had personally booked a room with double beds, he noticed the confused look on my face and immediately said he might be able to get me a room with a king-sized bed for an additional fee. This in itself is fairly absurd, because if you look on their website, a room with a king-sized bed costs LESS than a room with two double beds. They'd be charging me more for something that costs less. This makes no sense, other than it being an opportunity for them to take advantage of upselling me. Nevertheless, upon searching for a room I could "upgrade" to, he couldn't find any rooms with king-sized beds that would be available all four nights of our stay, so I stayed with the room with two double beds.

This experience somewhat clouded my first impression of the hotel in general, which is a shame to start off that way.

Also, when I first booked my room earlier this year, I noticed something on the James Chicago's website about Burke's Bacon Bar. It sounded really fun and intriguing, and I couldn't wait to check it out. Once I got there and asked about it, they told me it had been closed for awhile. I noticed it's now gone from the website, but is still mentioned in the booklet in the room. So if you see it in the booklet, disregard it.

In summary, the James Chicago strikes a more sophisticated tone on their property, which will certainly appeal mainly to an adult crowd. Their hefty list of amenities and concierge services is worth noting, especially for guests who enjoy the luxury of having all their needs being catered to, along with the comforts of such things as turndown service, dry cleaning and many other extras. Children will likely be bored with the modern sterile aesthetics and lack of a swimming pool, but adults traveling for leisure or business will probably enjoy their stay here. Great location and great service, but the rooms lack character, sacrificing practicality for a minimalist style. Adding to the mediocrity of the rooms were the issues I outlined above, which detracted from my personal experience at the James Chicago.

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, you might want to request a room on a higher floor, due to all the city...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LemonyLlama
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, 23 June 2014
Dear LemonyLlama,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. It always great to receive candid feedback from our guests and I appreciate the effort you took to write about all aspects of your experience with us. We are in the process of rethinking our current rooms and your feedback of what you did not like is truly appreciated as we aim to best suit our guests' preferences. I apologize for the misunderstanding regarding your room type booking as some websites do not share your preferences with us and book you at what is available at the hotel. I am glad you enjoyed the service provided throughout your visit, although I am sorry we did not exceed your expectations as is our goal with every guest. I would like to extend a sincere "thank you" for your thoughtful review and hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back the next time you return to Chicago!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014

This is a great hotel - from the moment you walk in the door you can tell it's a special place. From the fruit infused water, to the spa, workout room, and the rooms themselves. Every area of this hotel is VERY clean, great ambiance, and a very courteous and friendly staff. The location is very convenient, yet at night the rooms were very quiet, not at all like other hotels I've stayed in. I will be back for sure! Perfect for business or with the family.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelly C
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, 23 June 2014
Dear Kelly C,

Thank you for taking the time to share about your recent stay with us at The James Chicago. I am honored to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us, thanks to our spa, quiet rooms, and most of all, our friendly team. It is humbling that you definitely plan on returning, and on behalf of all of us at The James, we look forward to seeing you again next time!

Warm Regards,

Stephen Blackford
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

Very close and convenient to main downtown Chicago activities. Staff was very welcoming and professional. I loved the rooms that are European minimalist in style managing to fit everything you need/want and not look over crowded. Looked bright and fresh. Lots of nice touches including a nice little seating nook with a light you can turn down low when children are sleeping in main area. Loved the shampoo, soap, lotion collection too.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Virginia K
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, 20 June 2014
Dear Virginia K,

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 you enjoyed our convenient location, comfortable rooms, and most of all the welcoming atmosphere created by our team. Thank you again for writing and I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to welcome 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
#17 Spa Hotel in Chicago
#26 Business Hotel in Chicago
#31 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. 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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