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Monday, February 16, 2015

Grand Rapids, Michigan / JW Marriott Grand Rapids

February 2015, Weekend, 1-night, King concierge guestroom 2311

The JW Marriott is my favorite hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am no longer traveling for work, so we decided to enjoy one last stay at the hotel before I lost my Gold status. Here are links to reviews of some of our other stays: March 2014, September 2012, April 2011, and February 2011.

view from guestroom

Gold perks and check-in

A couple of days before our stay, I looked up my reservation online and saw that we had been upgraded to a concierge city view guestroom. When we arrived around 2:30 p.m., our room was ready. I needed to show my AAA card for the AAA rate we had booked, which I did not recall doing before. This was not a problem for me since I always carry my card with me.

My experience this visit was similar to previous stays. All employees were professional and gracious. The front desk agent walked to the lobby to hand me my key packet after check-in was complete. The next day, we were granted late checkout when I called to ask about this.

Guestroom 2311

This is the same guestroom we stayed in March 2014 and September 2012.

We did not have the beautiful sunrise we experienced in March because the sky was 100% cloudy this visit. The downtown view from this guestroom is great. Rosa Parks Circle was lit up at night, and the building top that had been lit up for St. Patrick's Day in 2014, was lit up for Valentine's Day.

The guestroom contained the same furnishings and amenities as all of the concierge rooms I have stayed in at this hotel: two bathrobes, iron and ironing board, bath amenities, scale, lighted makeup mirror, single serve coffee maker with supplies, steel ice bucket, glass glasses, two small bottles of water, large safe, mini-fridge, king size bed, nightstands, chaise lounge, end table, straight back chair with soft seat, soft bench/chest at the foot of the bed, flatscreen TV on an armoire, desk and chair, a full length mirror, and two telephones.

The safe is located in a drawer under the beverage center, and the small fridge is located underneath the safe.

One telephone was placed next to the bed, and the other one was on the desk. The full length mirror was on the wall next to the bed.

The bathroom is located across from the beverage center and closet near the entrance.

I have included several pictures in this blog post, and you can find more photos in my other posts.

The guestroom was well lit and comfortable. The complimentary Internet worked great on my iPad and on my telephone. We received two chocolates and the weather forecast with turndown service.

The only thing I observed in the guestroom that needed attention was the buildup of dust on the carpet along the baseboards, which needed to be vacuumed from the corners. I am amazed how often this is neglected in hotels. My husband often jokes that he could start a business vacuuming out the corners and baseboards in hotels. I have included one photo showing the dust in our room, which is visible when you click on the photo to enlarge it.

Concierge lounge

The concierge lounge was open in the evening for hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and dessert, and it was open for breakfast in the morning.

Some wine and beer was complimentary. Upgraded brands and cocktails were available for purchase. The included wine brand had changed from Canyon Road, and merlot (one of my first choices) was no longer offered. I do not recall the current brand, although Cabernet and Pinot Noir were the included red wine flavors. I tried both, and preferred the Pinot Noir.

Evening foods included cheeses, cold meats, crackers, snack mix, and two hot/deli items. The cheeses and snacks were the same as I observed during previous visits. The two changeable food items were chicken slider type sandwiches, and rye bread with beer cheese. My husband liked the chicken sliders, although I thought the food items were merely "okay." Desserts were served after 7:45 p.m.

The breakfast foods in the morning were exactly the same as I have seen during every stay: pastries or muffins, breads, bagels, yogurt, granola, cold cereal, milk, hard boiled eggs, cheeses, cold meats, smoked salmon, and fresh fruits.

Bottled water, soda, and juices were available in the fridge all day, and there is a cappuccino machine accessible all day, as well.

Pool area

This hotel has a pool, a whirlpool tub, and steam rooms on the third floor. Additional spa services are available for a fee.

Meeting rooms

There are meeting rooms and ballrooms in this hotel. The social area in front of the ballrooms is spacious, and the decor is beautiful. This photo is the view from outside the ballrooms looking over the stairway that leads down to the lobby level.

Misc. and area information

This is a great location to stay for downtown events. The skywalk from the JW Marriott connects to DeVos Place and VanAndel Arena.

An ice sculpture event was going on the weekend of our stay, and there were over 25 ice sculptures on display. I could not locate a map for the sculptures before our stay, and employees at the front desk were not aware of one when I inquired. After our stay, I discovered a map of the sculpture locations on the downtowngr page. I have now added this page to my Facebook "likes" so I will be alerted about future events. I had found out about the ice sculptures from a post by Experience Grand Rapids; however, they did not have a map of the sculpture locations.

one of the sculptures in front of the JW
As much as I like this hotel, we probably will not be staying here in the future unless the hotel is offering a great promotional rate. When JW Marriott hosted The Little Black Dress party last year, rooms were offered for $99, which I think is a fabulous rate. The rate is usually over $200, which seems high to me; especially, if I no longer have Gold status and do not receive an upgrade to the concierge floor. The parking fee is $19 for self-parking and $29 for valet parking.

Still a nice hotel overall, and I hope we get a chance to stay here again some day!