Sure, Chicago is family friendly, but the corner of Rush and
Ontario? Well yes, if you're talking about the James Hotel, a hip
boutique hotel, now reaching out to families.
I was skeptical when we entered the lobby where suitcases serve
as sculptural artwork. I was afraid my rowdy boys would, at worst,
break something and, at best, be seen as a nuisance. I'm happy to
report that my family, kids included, was treated graciously and
with utmost respect.
Staff at the front desk are beyond polite. In addition to
dispensing keys and handling luggage, we were given information on
dining options, car service and hotel amenities. The James is one
of few hotels that provides car service, complete with car seats
and boosters. In keeping with their fun and funky decor, the car
seats are decorated by designer Paul Frank.
The front desk is also where we received City Passes, good for
admission to a host of city museums. The complimentary passes are
part of The James Weekend Adventurer Package, available to families
who book a stay by April 30, 2010. Given car service and admission
to places like the Chicago Children's Museum, John Hancock and the
Field Museum, it would be easy to spend no time in your hotel
But the rooms themselves are quite wonderful, if not
child-proof. My sons loved our suite's "screening room," filled
entirely with a giant bed and cushions. After having the concierge
deliver some of the hotel's free family-friendly films, we all
cashed out to watch Harry Potter projected onto an entire wall in
Bose surround sound. "Mom, this is awesome!"
Given the hotel's neighborhood, dining options are endless, but
we chose to eat dinner at the hotel's popular David Burke's
Primehouse. While not overly fancy, this upscale eatery specializes
in a variety of high-quality, aged steaks, making my husband
extremely happy. I can also attest to the quality of their salmon.
Thankfully, the restaurant also offers a generously portioned
children's menu with pasta and chicken. Returning to our room after
dinner to find complimentary cookies and lovely turn-down service
was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
The James Weekend Adventurer Packages start at $279 per
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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