JW Marriott Charlotte: Excellent surprise, but no Elite recognition

For the first night of my stay in Charlotte, I decided to stay at the city’s JW Marriott, centrally located and very close to the conference center.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryBusiness trip to Charlotte
2FlightAmerican Airlines Economy, Boston Logan – Charlotte, Airbus A321
3HotelJW Marriott Charlotte
4HotelAC Hotel by Marriott Charlotte SouthPark
5LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Charlotte
6FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Charlotte – Boston Logan, Airbus A321
Today’s itinerary

Booking

I booked this hotel just a few days before my arrival in the North Carolina capital. I had originally intended to stay three nights at this hotel, but revised my plan to stay two nights close to the meeting place where I would be for 2 of the 3 days of my stay.

I booked via the Self Booking Tool used in my company, with a flexible public rate.

Two days before my arrival, I checked in using the Marriott Bonvoy app, which allows to specify arrival and departure times. For this stay, I requested an early check-in at noon.

Arrival

After a hectic morning in the air, I nevertheless arrived at the hotel shortly before the scheduled check-in time, i.e. around 11:30 am.

I had little hope that my room would be available, but if it wasn’t, I planned to work from the Executive Lounge.

However, much to my surprise, a room was ready for me and I was able to complete all the check-in process.

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As usual in the US, I wasn’t upgraded, but the welcome was nevertheless charming and check-in formalities completed.

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As the hotel had an Executive Lounge, breakfast would be taken there, and I chose the points as my Ambassador welcome gift.

The receptionist escorted me to the elevator, introduced me to the hotel’s catering options, and showed me the procedure for using the elevators, which is a little complicated since you have to use a screen on each floor.

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Room

My room was on the 18th floor of the 22-floor hotel.

The room’s location seemed to be a slight upgrade from what I booked, given the hotel’s floor, since the property offers high-floor rooms for around $10-$20 more per night.

The entrance leaded into the hallway, with a large closet on the right, a charming space for getting ready with a sort of boudoir and a large mirror, a minibar that was more of a refrigerator since it was empty, and a coffee machine of fairly average quality that made American coffee. On the left was the bathroom, modern and well-equipped, with a large shower albeit with low pressure, a spacious toilet and a washbasin.

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Then came the bedroom, with a large TV set on the right, additional storage space and an elegant, tastefully decorated desk.

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At the far end, on the left, a large, comfortable armchair and coffee table facing the view and allowed a good relax after a long day.

Last but not least, a king-size bed that was not very comfortable, with bedding of rather average quality, which was a real shame.

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Finally, a video tour:

Hotel facilities

Surprisingly for a hotel in the center of a North American city, the hotel boasted a wealth of facilities.

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On the second floor was a spa, unfortunately closed on Monday, the day of my stay.

On the fifth floor of the hotel was the 24-hour fitness room, as well as a rooftop with an outdoor pool.

Gym

I used the fitness room on the morning of my stay for my daily exercise. It was well-equipped, with plenty of machines to satisfy all fitness needs, and enough to cover the morning rush. Around 6 a.m., the peak time for fitness use in North America, there was still room on some of the machines.

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Pool

The pool was also located on the fifth floor of the hotel, and was surrounded by a bar/restaurant where you can enjoy a drink during the day. While the pool is open continuously from 8am to 8pm, the bar service only operates from 3pm.

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I did not take advantage of the pool, but took a few pictures for this review.

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Catering

The hotel had several food and beverage outlets. In addition to the poolside bar/restaurant, there were two additional full-service restaurants.

The first, Dean’s Italian Steakhouse, which I would describe as All Day Dining, was located near the lobby, and offered a quality American-Italian menu.

The second, Caroline’s Oyster Bar, was a fish restaurant on the second floor.

Also on the second floor was the Executive Lounge, which I made good use of both for work after my arrival and for breakfast in the morning.

Lunch – Dean’s Italian Steakhouse

After arriving at the hotel, and before my afternoon meetings, I had lunch at the bar.

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The service was very charming and the barmaid took my order: I had a lobster bisque, with an excellent Negroni cocktail that she prepared in front of me.

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For dessert, I finished off with a croissant, which turned out to be quite excellent, surprising in North America.

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Breakfast – Executive Lounge

I had breakfast in the hotel’s Executive Lounge. It was very elegant, nothing like the usual Marriott or Sheraton lounges in North America, and the decoration was very well done.

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During my afternoon visit, the coffee machine and soft drinks were available, without even a small snack such as cookies to satisfy a small hunger.

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For breakfast, on the other hand, it was a limited but good-quality selection that did just fine to feed me. I had some scrambled eggs and potatoes, which were excellent. A selection of yogurts, cereals and toast was also available, as well as a few pastries.

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Service

The few interactions I had with the staff, for example at check-in, were quite charming, and the service in the restaurant was excellent. I hope to be able to test the service in a more extended way during a future stay.

Departure

Check-out formalities were quite easy, as they were carried out via the Marriott Bonvoy app, and I had previously received the invoice by e-mail in the early hours of the morning, enabling me to check the charges posted by the hotel during my stay.

Bottom line

A very successful stay at this new hotel in the North Carolina capital. Even though I wasn’t really upgraded, the modernity and tasteful decor made this an excellent hotel that I would be happy to stay in again.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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