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!!!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- St James Hotel