The James opened its doors in 2006 in one of Chicago's coolest design conversions at the time (it was formerly the Lenox Suites). Design tastes may have since evolved past the hotel’s wood, slate, and marble minimalism, but the James has maintained its reputation. Great concierge service and an attentive staff get high marks, and location is also tough to beat: two blocks from the Magnificent Mile, a safe, easy walk to the River North restaurant scene, and a short bus or cab ride to the architectural history lesson that is the towers, old and new, in the Loop and on both sides of the Chicago River.
The clientele mixes business travelers, foreign tourists, and families (who get a milk-and-cookie turndown service). Smart, complimentary amenities include bedside filtered water, Wi-Fi, and loaner bikes for adults and kids.