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Last year, after flying to London for 2 nights, a group of my friends decided to do it up in Chicago for New Years. Let me tell you…landing a New Years hotel last minute isn’t usually the most affordable option, but a JW Marriott for $205, booked last minute, in Chicago, over New Years. We snagged it. We had a great time ( although shortly after Chicago, the toll of an insane year of travel laid me out with some nasty flu – and probably why this review is late publishing.)
Staying in a big city hotel, over New Years, is a crazy experience. Reviewing said hotel – even crazier. I try my best to avoid capturing unsuspecting guests as much as possible – so please excuse the reduced volume of pictures I try to normally include in my reviews.
Additionally, the JW hosts its own NYE party which we didn’t attend, but contributed to the high volume of people at the hotel, but not necessarily staying there.
- When: December 2017
- Where: Chicago, IL
- Status: Gold Elite
- Rate: $205
- Benefits: Executive Lounge access
JW Marriott is smack dab in the The Loop – centrally located off Michigan Avenue and a very short walk to the Willis Tower. In hindsight I think we could have hopped on the train from ORD and gotten off at LaSalle and then cabbed it to the hotel. It’s roughly 45 minutes start to stop and traffic was nuts.
We arrived early evening on the 31st and the lobby was absolute mayhem. Shockingly…there was no wait at the Elite counter and we were in the room within 10 minutes.
Room are essentially the same whether you’re on the club floor, city view, low floor, etc. They’re all roughly 440sq ft and have vary from having single or dual vanity bathrooms. For a standard room – outstanding space.
Our bathroom was a handicap bathroom, hence the single vanity and rails around the toilet and in the shower itself.
We’d been put on the club floor although if you’re elite you should access either way. Times have changed since we stayed when merely Gold status was enough for entry. Now you’ll need Platinum.
Boy oh boy – I have NEVER seen a club this crowded. Shoulder to shoulder almost throughout the lounge. I was able hop into the lounge after the crowd had died down for pics. All the food was gone within minutes of serving, the same for breakfast. If you’re looking for a “lounge” experience…NYE is not the time.
I’d definitely stay here again. Central location. Great square footage for rooms, and I was impressed with how responsive the hotel was even though it was a raucous NYE crowd. When we requested late check-out they were on the phones immediately and able to secure it as part of our benefits. The staff in the lobby during check-in and before we out to our festivities were very responsive, and the hotel seemed well oiled for the volume of guests – barring the club room which was way past capacity.
Later in the year I stayed at the Marriott Michigan Avenue. Both are solid properties with the JW offering a bit more refinement and less corporate conference vibe. Across the street is the W – so if you’re looking to keep in the old SPG Brand but enjoy Marriott beneifts, that may be a good alternative to you as well…all things equal it would provide a trendy, younger experience.
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