FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The James Chicago

Oct 31, 2014
2014 / October 2014

Arrival/Check-In: After an early-morning flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, I was eager to check in at The James Chicago and freshen up a bit. The light-filled lobby was welcoming, and my colleague and I were both checked into our rooms — ready early — within just a few minutes. The lobby is long, with couches, chairs and ottomans to the right of the main entrance, joined by a tucked-away business center. To the left of the entrance are additional seating and the restaurant and bar.

Every time I strolled through the lobby on the way to the elevators, I was taken with the luggage art installation by Joel Ross. In a motel between Texas and Chicago, the artist paid for a one-night stay and brought in 50 vintage suitcases, dismantling the entire room from bedsprings to light bulbs. The suitcases, filled with the motel room contents, are now the focal point that drew me in every time. Art is showcased throughout the hotel and described in detail on the website.

Guest Quarters: My king loft room was spacious, especially generous for a city hotel. The room opened into a living room area with a couch, chair, small end table and two large ottomans doubling as a coffee table. Across from these was a rotating flat-screen TV on a dresser, which could also be seen from the other sitting area in the room. Here were a corner booth and table, which I used as my desk. It was next to a private media room; an additional king-sized bed can be made up as a second bed or used to sprawl out and relax in-room while working or watching TV.

The bathroom and closet were to the left of the main doorway. The bathroom afforded plenty of space to get ready and good lighting; toiletries were in large, secured bottles in the shower. To the right of the door was a wet bar which featured the in-room bartender, all the supplies needed to create custom cocktails inroom. (Instant coffee with a kettle was provided, but not a full coffeemaker.)

The bedroom area was tucked away in a private corner a step up from the living area. Two nightstands flanked the king-sized bed, and another flat-screen TV was mounted in the corner. A curtain of metal chains separated this area from the living room, and a large, full-length mirror leaned against the wall immediately between.

Services/Amenities: After checking in and settling in, I enjoyed lunch at the on-site David Burke’s Primehouse, named No. 1 Steakhouse in Chicago by Chicago magazine. My Caesar salad was prepared fresh tableside, and the menu features unique selections like bacon lollipops and pretzel-crusted crab cakes. The restaurant also serves breakfast and dinner and provides in-room dining. JIMMY is the hotel’s speakeasy-style, intimate cocktail lounge, serving custom cocktails that change seasonally. I stopped in one evening of my stay after a long day of meetings, around 9 p.m., and the lounge was quite busy.

I utilized the 2,500-square-foot fitness center, located one floor down from the lobby and next to the hotel spa. Danny Errico, founder of Equinox Fitness Clubs, designed the gym. With a variety of different, state-of-the-art machines, I varied my workouts; I particularly liked the separate mat/stretching area, which was more ample than in most hotel fitness centers.

The Experience: I can’t think of one thing wrong with my stay at The James Chicago. Its location was within walking distance of many Chicago highlights; my guestroom was large, comfortable and loaded with amenities; and the on-site facilities were superb.

GT CHECKLIST

[checklist]
[item check=yes]Doorman/valet[/item]
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
[/checklist]

The James Chicago

55 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 337 1000
jameshotels.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 22, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Panama City, Panama, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.

Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

LGBTQ+
Jun 18, 2021

Show Your Pride with Essentia Cocktails

Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 16, 2021

Harmony at Hotel San Luis Obispo

Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 16, 2021

Vitamin Sea, D & Me at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta

Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.