Disclosure: Our family was provided a complimentary stay at The James Hotel Chicago. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.

We were in need of a stay-cation and was happy to check out The James Hotel Chicago. We were even more intrigued since it offered a kids program.


Nitty Gritty:

Location:  55 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois (Rush St. and Ontario). A few blocks away from the Michigan Avenue. Close to plenty of restaurants, and even a Trader’s Joes across the street.

Parking:  Parking is $60 for valet parking with in and out privileges.
Category: It is a boutique hotel. They do have their own rewards program here

Hotel Highlights:

    • As it always should be, The James offers free wi-fi.
    • Great check-in and check-out times at 2 p.m.
    • I had a conference call and I was able to use one of their conference rooms for free! Love that!
    • We love it when a hotel is pet-friendly. Came with a doggie bed, water and food bowls. There is a $75 fee for cleaning though.

Room highlights:

We had the opportunity to stay in a Loft Studio Room. It wasn’t as large as I would have imagined, but they had they made most of the space with a king size bed, sitting area, and a private media room.
  • Comfy bedroom with choice of three different types of pillows. Always a plus! The kids, of course, couldn’t get enough of the beaded curtain. Really liked that the beds were low to the ground for the boys.
  • Nice sitting area, but the couch was uncomfortable. Every time I leaned back, I would hit my head on the ledge!
  • A first for us (and our most favorite part of the stay) – a private media room. It had a projector showing the movie on the wall with the speakers. We could lounge on the huge bed and just sit back and relax. It was great!
  • One of my favorite parts of our stay – relaxing in the nice, spacious bathroom.
  • First time we’ve seen a hotel use full size toiletries that can be used by the next guest. If we wanted the smaller, travel-size products we could have requested it.

Amenities Highlights:
One of the main reasons we went here was to check out their kids program, ‘lil James.

  • Upon check-in, the kiddos received a James backpack including a cool Chicago coloring book, and rope. We had expected a Kiwi crate though but had unfortunately ran out. Also received a list of kid-friendly attractions and restaurants. This is always very helpful!
  • Loved we could “check-out” movies from a list. Some included: Brave, Hugo, Rio, and more.
  • Also cool that we could borrow board games – fun preschool games such as Candyland and more.
  • Always love milk and cookie turndown service 🙂


  • Though we loved our stay, we were a little bummed that we didn’t have a pool. It wouldn’t have been so bad, since usually we could explore around. But given that it was still a bit chilly outside, we resorted staying indoors. We were so happy that we did have a media room though. That way we could lounge around and watch movies.
  • I’m all for cool designs, but not at the expense of comfort. We found that the couch in the sitting room was not comfortable at all. We couldn’t lean back since the couch without hitting our heads on the wood or ledge.
  • The concierge was helpful at first, but when they got busy it was hard to get a hold of them. We placed our “order” for the DVDs and board games, said it would take 10 minutes to deliver to our room, but 30 minutes later still nothing.

Bottom Line:

The James Hotel Chicago is a wonderful boutique hotel located close to all the action. Their lil James Program that caters to kids is a wonderful perk, but we felt that the hotel could have done a little better to follow through

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