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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan / local breweries, Homewood Suites, and JW Marriott

December 2016

You can find more details about the Homewood Suites, JW Marriott, and local tid bits downtown Grand Rapids in previous blog posts. Click the links above, or click on any label at the bottom of this post. I am sharing newly discovered information and hotel guestroom photos in this post.

Old door made into a table at Atwater Grand Rapids

Downtown Grand Rapids breweries and Happy Hour specials

We visited Atwater Grand Rapids Brewery, which opened in the fall of 2016, for the first time. The brewery is located on the northwest corner of Monroe Ave. and Michigan St.—very close to DeVos Place. It is worth a visit to this brewery just to see the decor. Tables, and the front of the bar were constructed from old pieces of wood, such as house doors and cabinet doors. Some of the light shades were made from barrel halves. The table picture I posted above does not clearly convey how cool the inside of this brewery looks.

Atwater Grand Rapids Sampler

Atwater did not have much in the way of Happy Hour specials like many locations downtown in the afternoons; however, they added some specials after I initially posted this. You can check out the details on their webpage (link above). We decided to share a beer sampler. This sampler of four cost $10.

Another new stop for us was J. Gardellas. They have specials every day that they are open (they are not open Sundays). The food choices range from things like appetizers and salads to sandwiches, burgers, and lake perch (their Friday special). Complimentary peanuts in the shell are available when you enter. We visited on a Thursday, which is "Appy Hour" day. Appetizers were $5, and beers on tap were $3. We tried one of their homemade tater tot appetizers and a local beer. The food and beverages were both very good.

View from Homewood Suites guestroom 619

Homewood Suites, king studio suite 619

We thought this was a fabulous guestroom! It is on the top floor, and we had a view of the Christmas tree by Grand Rapids Art Museum and Rosa Parks Circle.

View of kitchen and entrance door
The guestroom was spacious. The kitchen area contained the usual Homewood Suites amenities: full size fridge, microwave, burners, sink, dishwasher, and coffeepot with supplies. We turned the ice maker on in the freezer as soon as we arrived, and we got ice right away.

View from entrance
View from bed

A work desk/table with chair was located between the kitchen area and the living room. The living room furniture was comfortable. The king size bed and bedding were comfortable, as well.

View of bathroom from bed area
This guestroom has a walk-in shower in the bathroom. A closet was located across from the vanity.

We were disappointed with the food this stay. The calendar said is was Asian night; however, the food was Italian. The eggs in the morning did not taste fresh, and they were not very hot. Fortunately, oatmeal from rolled oats was offered, and the oatmeal was fresh. The rooftop bar at this hotel is seasonal, and it was not open during our stay. We could see the bar from our guestroom at the JW Marriott, and that picture is below. All pictures in this blog can be enlarged by clicking on them.

View of valet entrance at Amway from JW
View of Homewood Suites
from guestroom 2305 at JW Marriott

JW Marriott, king concierge guestroom 2305

This was another fabulous guestroom! I love the corner guestrooms at the JW, because I like the way the foot of the bed faces the window rather than the wall. This guestroom is next to the concierge lounge, and we were not disturbed by any noise from the lounge. We had a partial view of the river, and a partial view of downtown.

View of ice skaters in Rosa Parks Circle from guestroom 2305
We liked the amenity with turndown service, which was different than our previous stays. We received a small package of local caramel corn.

Turndown amenity
This guestoom had the same amenities we have had in all the concierge guestrooms at the JW: super comfy bed, desk area with chair, chaise lounge, small fridge, large safe, bottled water, single-serve coffeemaker with supplies, and closet with folding luggage rack and robes.

Mirrored building in the background is the Amway tower
The bathroom was also similar to the other guest rooms we have had at the JW: good quality amenities and towels, a walk-in tile shower and separate tub.

Bathroom shower in guestroom 2305

The breakfast food in the concierge lounge had been impressive during one of our first stays at this hotel several years ago. Since then, it has always been similar continental breakfast foods only. We must have stayed during the week at that time, because I overheard one of the concierge lounge attendants tell a guest that hot breakfast foods are served during the week, and continental breakfast is served on the weekends.

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to share this post!