We only chose this place because we were screwed over at another hotel called "The Berkeley Shore" - which was WAYYYY WORSE. They wouldn't refund our money so they sent us here. It wasn't AS BAD, but we had no choice. Rooms aren't that nice or clean. We ended up bringing our own towels, sheets, and pillow cases. There was an odd strong smell in the hallway and entrance. (I saw they had air fresheners hidden in the outside plants). The elevator is scary, TAKE THE STAIRS. The stairs were very narrow and the entry doors for each level were very heavy to open. We asked for toilet paper once and they didn't even give us a new roll, it was out of the paper and it looked like they gave us one from the bathroom. Otherwise, the man was very friendly so that somewhat makes up for it.
***Also, bugs all over microwave and non-working hair dryer***
It seems most likely that any positive comments are written by the owner.
Desperately filthy and inhabited by low lifes. It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could sleep in the beds - the salvation army is certainly cleaner. I could review this "hotel" with one word - "NO" - But I will write more... This is definitely the worst place I have ever stayed - this includes flea pits in Athens, YHA places in the 60s and hippie friends' rooms in the early 70s.
It is absolutely filthy.
I only needed one night - a perusary look made me believe it would be OK - I must have been suffering sunstroke. I pulled back the bedsheets to find filthy - not just unclean - sheets with masses of hair left by the previous "guest". I asked for clean sheets - she re-made the bed. These sheets were almost as dirty - I got myself some "clean" sheets. I slept on towels with my clothes on.
It is difficult to describe the sorts of people I saw wandering in and out - I suspect they were associated with the lower eschallons of the sex industry or using the place to consume narcotics.
There was no hot water - in any case I would not have used the shower. In the UK, this place would be closed down - for health and fire safety reasons.
It was a long night and there were strange noises. I shall post photos but these may not convey the full desperate depravity that is the James Hotel.
If you are that desperate then sleep in the car.
It was a frightening place to stay - if you are on such a tight budget then sleep in the car.
I stayed at the James Hotel in summer 2008. Seemed like a charming little place, great location, lovely lady behind the front desk. The rate per night was reasonable! The rooms had the necessities, but are far from a motel room were you can just hang out and relax. The bedside lamps did not work, the A/C power socket sparked when you turned it on and off, the shower was cold and to top the cockroaches that were living in the refrigerator, I woke up at 1am to be surrounded bed bugs. They were coming from everywhere and i had bites all over me. The man at reception gave me another room, but did not help me move all my luggage in the early hours. The next morning I seen them dragging the mattress out but didn't receive so much as an apology from the owner upon checkout!
...I've stayed at the James three times now and each visit has been great, the room are clean and comfortable and they give you free parking(a real luxury in ths zone).
The parking is especially crucial because the James is right at Collins and Lincoln making it a breeze to walk everywhere.
But the best thing about the James is the price, it's always been well below the local average.
I will definitely stay here again.
We stayed at the James Hotel in May 2007 because it seemed to offer great rates compared to the rest of South Beach. It is true that the hotel is in a really good location - however, there were aspects to it that some people may find unacceptable. For example fixtures and fittings were basic and very tatty, light bulbs that had blown had not been replaced, the floor and some surfaces were unclean (the floor was so sticky I would only walk on it in flip flops!) Despite this though, it suited our purposes - we were out a lot and needed somewhere convenient and inexpensive (very hard to come by in South Beach). Essentials at the James were covered: bed linen was clean and beds comfortable, the shower was good and it was great to have a TV and fridge in our room. My conclusion is that if you want a practical hotel to lay your head then the James is one to consider; but just bear in mind that its standards are not high.
Stayed there Feb 2007. The other positive ratings of this old dumpy hotel must have been written by the owners. This was the worst hotel room I have ever stayed in, and I have traveled in many third world countries. I was afraid for my bare feet to touch the floor, I was afraid to even look for bed bugs for what i might find.
SoBeach hotels seem to have quadrupeled in the past two years, and this dump was asking for over $200 per night. I felt like I was living in a miami crack house/tennement.
I could go on an on, but you get the picture. On the upside, the location was close-in. The only reason that I did not move was because everything nearby was sold out, and I did not have a rental car. Otherwise I would have stayed farther out for less money and a clean bed.
We stayed in this hotel for one night in November 2005. The hotel is really close to the beach (1block) and has little parking space that is included in the price of stay. The atmosphere in this hotel is really amazing. The staff is very friendly. It is one block away from the main street that has a lot of outside restaurants and butiques. The rooms are very specious, have fridge and a little eating area. The hotel is very colorful: the walls in the hall are bright orange, yellow, pink, blue - name the color and you will see it there:) I loved it!
It is definitely not a Luxurious hotel, but if you just need a place to sleep and plan to spend all day on the beach and exploring an area-that is a perfect place.
Will stay there again!
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