Easter Deal at the James Chicago
The hype machine at the new James Hotel in Chicago has been in overdrive since well before the place opened (more on that later), but we like the Easter week deal they're running for $169 a night. You have to book it through TravelZoo though or call the James up and use the code TZOOM.
The other option is to spring for one of their package deals, which are also attractive. We especially like the DINE deal, which throws in a tasting menu dinner, two classic cocktails, and breakfast. Their webmaster is not too on the ball though with the prices and expirations, so you may want to call them to sort it out.
Hopefully they can still afford a good staff after spending so much on publicity. The TravelZoo description is all giddy with this praise: "Since it opened in March 2006, the James has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler and was recently named to Travel + Leisure's 'It List' as one of the world's 15 coolest new hotels."
Call us cynical, but considering Travel + Leisure has a four to six-month lead time on stories, somebody was hyping this as one of the world's coolest hotels before anyone from the magazine had even stepped inside--much less slept there. (If you're opening a new hip hotel anytime soon, you may want to get in touch with Ms. Puck or Ms. Schnabel for a shot of that magic.)
We especially like the amenities at the James though: 42-inch plasma-screen televisions, complimentary wi-fi and stereos with an iPod dock.
The weather at this time of year can be a crap shoot in Chicago, but flying to Rome to visit the Vatican can be dicey too. For $169 a night, lock it down and pray for sunshine.
· James Hotel Chicago reviews [TripAdvisor]