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“Are you kidding????”
Review of St. James Hotel

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St. James Hotel
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Selma
Reviewed 11 July 2008

First of all...the drive into Selma was extremely unsettling!! My husband and I were quite shaky about parking and actually getting out of our car to check in. We are "welcomed" at the front desk by Gail--on her cell phone. After about five minutes, she told the party on the other end of the line that she would have to call them back (uhhh, so sorry Gail we are making you work...) She then asks if she can help us, and I told her that I had just made a reservation over the phone, and I would like to check in. After a slight eye roll above her wonderfully drawn on blue eyeliner, she looked up our last name and we proceded to check in. We are HUGE history/ghost buffs (This is why we came here. The website boasted it up like it was full of tours and exciting things to see....WRONG!!!) She starts telling us that they have had paranormal activity there, and there were many exciting things to see and do. We were extremely gracious and excited so we hurriedly put our things in our room. About the room: It was historical, and really interesting; however, it smelled a little musty and I couldn't tell it was or had been cleaned in awhile. Our room was a riverfront, which was really pretty, but I was a little scared about sharing the balcony/porch with other guests. Plus, the windows didn't look too protective. Have I mentioned that the hotel's surroundings weren't exactly what I would list as "safe"? I felt like I was in a bad scene of a movie. On our way out to see the historical surroundings, we asked Gail to direct us to the best tours. She sent us to Cahawba, and luckily we had a TomTom to navigate us through the lifeless, barely paved roads. We reached the tourist center to find that the last tour had just left. Also, he said that the ghost tours only occur twice a year. The guy walked us through a binder of historical pictures, and explainied that there was nothing left to "see"; most of the monuments were destroyed. Supposedly, the state hasn't yet provided funding to the reconstruction of Cahawba. One more thing the tour guide told us: Selma wasn't very safe--FANTASTIC!! Very disappointed and feeling even more unsafe, we drove back down the "roads" (luckily it was still light out) to the St. James ready to check out. I informed Gail of our disappointment and the "Selma isn't safe" bit, and we wanted to check out. After "staying" there for 2 hours, Gail's boss said to charge us half price---What? The website didn't say anything about renting rooms by the hour! Is this a brothel?? We unwillingly paid the $71.50, and got out of dodge!! Needless to say, someone needs to update the boastful websites and tours that don't happen. What a waste of our time and money!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hateselma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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53 - 59 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 21 December 2007

Part of a roadtrip, we ended up in Selma. Alabama . And I am old enough to remember Martin Luther King.

We 'dropped in' the St James and it was wonderfu. Pleasant surprise. Nicely done. Have I said I liked the St. James yet?

Hotel was slow, and, we are in the business so we got upgraded to a corner suite [small apartment, actually] that overlooked the Peace Bridge. Spectacular!

Yeah, sure, Downtown is a little blasted. BUT if you look around you will find the Historical Society and some really cool Antibellum houses. We walked to a local, community recital, that was , well, fabulous.

If you want suburban America, DON'T go there. If you want Selma, then do.

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank Tonicurtis1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2007

Spent overnight here with 4 fellow Craig AFB graduate Pilots from 1963. Exactly what we need for our 45th Anniversary Reunion in April, 2008. Planning our entire weekend around the hotel and visits to the base and local area.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled on business
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Thank Stew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2007

Do NOT stay here.
Smells old.
Floors not level.
Continental breakfast is orange juice.
My credit card number was stolent there.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled on business
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1  Thank weezrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2007

My fiance and I just made a trip to Selma this weekend and stayed overnight at the St. James Hotel in Selma. Room was under $100. We arrived late Saturday afternoon, just before dark, and were disappointed to see the downtown area where the hotel is located basically abandoned looking. I would not have felt safe to get out and walk after dark. We had a room with a balcony on the second floor,overlooking the Alabama River. The view was nice, the room was clean...the bed was clean ( I am extremely picky about the linens, they were fine) the bathroom was clean, the room had a slightly old smell, not unpleasant...it didn't stink by any means. The lightbulb in one of the lamps was burned out and the hotel replaced the bulb. The remote control was dead. When we checked in I think we were the only guests in the hotel, although we heard some other people later on. All of the rooms open to outside corridors that overlook a very pretty courtyard with a fountain. The hotel's restaurant is no longer open except for reserved parties. The front staff said they had alot of weddings there. They served coffee and packaged pastries at breakfast in the lobby, which was better than nothing since we were not expecting anything. The king bed was comfortable....the hotel as a whole was clean and the front desk staff was friendly enough and helpful when needed. We had a difficult time finding somewhere to eat dinner in Selma. There was one restaurant in the whole downtown area open on Saturday night and it was Mexican; we decided to keep looking....there are surprisingly few restaurants (at least that we could find) that were not fast food chains. We finally stopped at a place called Golden Ranch that was packed with people (no wonder) and ordered Fried Grouper that was really very good. All in all, the experience was nice...but I have to admit we went into the whole thing not expecting much, so it was a pleasant surprise!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank alabamagirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2006

Beware of this hotel! I was told this was a renovated hotel in Selma that overlooks the Alabama River downtown, boy was the comments wrong! The staff was not customer service oriented, especially Veronica, I asked her about making reservations at the desk after checking the hotel online at hotels.com, she said we have no availabilities. So I waited 15 minutes and phone on my cell, and all of sudden they had 3 rooms for my party! STRANGE, but I insisted on staying at the historic hotel. The sheets on bed were dirty, the comforter spread was extremely filthy! Had to sleep in clothes! TV Remotes was nasty, the cleaning staff will wake up at 10:45 AM, bamming on door saying Housekeeping, as if you they did not see the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN. The bathroom towels were dingy, did not have enough towels for the family, staff acted like they could not give you additional at front desk. I will not waste my money or time at this dump! Parking is a bad here, nowhere to park, people park like crazy, parking extremely too close with parellel parking. Please save your money and go to Hampton Inn, they were a whole lot cleaner and nicer.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with family
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3  Thank cookie05creme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2006

Went to Selma in March 2006 for weekend during their historical home tour. The hotel was located in downtown Selma. The downtown area itself is dead....boarded up buildings, no pedestrians, etc. Did not feel like the safest place to stay. Hotel was "renovated recently", but looked tired and worn. Several lamps in the rooms did not have light bulbs. Room was dark, windows were dirty, carpet was worn, etc. It just looked sad and tired. When we arrived the staff behind the front desk were laughing and talking to the cleaning staff and took their time attending to us. They said that breakfast was included on the website, but when we got there, they said they had stopped it several weeks ago!! Overall, it was a bad experience and I would not recommend it. (As a side note, my minivan was parked on the street out front of the hotel--their standard parking. Overnight, I was side-swiped down the whole side of the car by a hit-and-run driver!! It ended up costing my insurance company about $6,000 to fix it. They also hit two other cars parked adjacent to mine.)

  • Stayed: March 2006
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9  Thank travelnut123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about St. James Hotel

Address: 1200 Water Ave, Selma, AL 36703-4471
Region: United States > Alabama > Selma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Selma
Price Range: $74 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — St. James Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St. James Hotel was built in 1837 and is one of the few river front hotels, which remained standing after the Civil War. During 1881, it is reported that Jesse and Frank James were guests of the St. James Hotel. The exterior doors and window casings are all original to the hotel. The cast iron fireplace in the lobby is also original. Most of the furniture in the public areas are period antiques bought at Paris antique auctions or donated by individuals. The tea set in the lobby was donated by a lady who is ancestor of Catesby Jones, who was the Commander of the Merrimac in the Civil War. Fabrics and colors used throughout the hotel are historic and have been used to reflect the period when the hotel was in operation. The period of architecture reflects the French influence used extensively during the 1800's. The fountain in the courtyard is symbolic of the artesian well, which was located on the property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St James Hotel

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