One of the most common questions I get asked about my travels is “Where do you stay when you visit [insert city here]?” As a result, I figured that I’d start documenting some of the more interesting hotels that I stay at. This is installment Number 1.
The James Hotel
55 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611
The James is one of those hotels which, on the surface, might seem too trendy for its own good. It is a design hotel with a sleek interior, clean, well-designed rooms and a young, good-looking staff. But the service it provides goes well beyond its good looks – it is a comfortable hotel which excels at accommodating the most serious business traveler.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable with great bedding, a beautiful bathroom, shower or tub and interesting furniture in the seating areas. There are little things, however, which really make the stay comfortable and enjoyable: Massive 47-inch plasma TVs (multiple of them if you get a larger room), comfortable couches, an abundance electrical sockets for you to plug in your laptop, Tivoli Audio radios with iPod inputs, a (kind of) full bar in each room with full bottle of vodka, gin, champagne, etc., Keils products in the bathroom and a great variety of interesting snacks stocked within your in-room bar. Room Service is great, as it’s supplied by David Burke’s Primehouse restaurant downstairs, which makes great breakfast and dinner. The gym is quite well-equipped for a hotel of this size.
It’s location makes is a good choice for the business traveler or tourist alike and the rates tend t0 vary greatly by the season. Last year, someone put me up there in the spring in a standard King room for almost $400 a night, but on a recent trip in January, I paid only $209 a night for a studio apartment suite.