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.
[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 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]
The James Chicago
55 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 337 1000
The world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool will open in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. One of the region’s most anticipated attractions, AURA SKYPOOL will begin welcoming guests in mid-November.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.