Review: JW Marriott Miami, Florida, USA
The JW Marriott Miami remains to be one of the better reward redemptions in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. As an urban and upscale property, Marriott Bonvoy credit card holders have access to this property through an annual certificate with the Marruitt Bonvoy Credit Card. We would stay at this property on a free night redemption getting excellent value on a $600 USD a night room. Read on to see how our stay was.
This post is one chapter on our trip during the pandemic to Curaçao in the Southern Caribbean. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: The Caribbean Coves of Curaçao via American Airlines First Class
- American Airlines Business Class: Vancouver – Dallas Fort Worth
- Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott, Texas, USA
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Dallas Fort Worth C Gates
- American Airlines First Class: Dallas Fort Worth – Miami
- American Express Centurion Lounge Miami
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge Airlines – Miami Gate D30
- American Airlines Business Class: Miami – Curaçao
- Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Curaçao
- Cas Abo Beach
- Grote Knip Beach
- Klein Curaçao Island
- Crossing the Queen Emma Bridge into Willemstad, Curaçao
- VIP Lounge Curaçao – Hato International Airport, Curaçao
- American Airlines Business Class: Curaçao – Miami
- JW Marriott Miami, Florida, USA
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Miami, USA
- American Airlines First Class: Miami – Los Angeles
- American Airlines Business Class: Los Angeles – Vancouver
Review: JW Marriott Miami, Brickell, Miami, Florida, United States of America.
“An Excellent Value on Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Certificates, this upscale urban JW Marriott offers all the amenities of a full service hotel, in the heart of the trendy Brickell neighbourhood of Miami, Florida, USA”
The JW Marriott Miami represents one of the great Marriott Bonvoy reward redemptions in the United States. As a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 hotel, it’s one of the few luxury hotels that can be used with the annual free night certificates with the American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card. Since the room rates here can regularly exceed over $500 USD a night, this can potentially represent a great value for travellers.
Booking the JW Marriott Miami:
I booked the hotel directly on the Marriott Bonvoy website. The hotel offered cash rates at the time of our stay that were approximately $430 USD. These rates climbed to $636 USD during our stay. As a result, we used a Free Night Certificate from the American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card to apply against the room.
This free night redemption from the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Credit Card represented an excellent value in getting a $630+ USD a night room for free. It was probably among the best returns on these certificates I’ve had throughout the life of the program. We booked a base level Guest Room 1 King.
Marriott Suite Night Awards:
The Suite Night Awards pool was pretty limited. Given our short 9 hour hotel stay visit, we didn’t apply any suite night awards to the reservation. At the time of our stay, the hotel offered the upgraded Inspired Suites and “regular” 1 Bedroom Suites in the Suite Night award pools. These were in addition to the Inspired Guest Room that we happened to receive a soft upgrade into as a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level members.
Getting to the JW Marriott Miami:
1109 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida, USA, 33131
The JW Marriott Miami is located in the urban upscale Brickell neighbourhood of Miami, Florida, United States of America. We opted to take a rental car to and from the hotel, given that we were departing at odd hours very early in the morning.
We landed at Miami International Airport from American Airlines Business Class Curaçao – Miami. As we were arriving from the Dutch Overseas Republic of Curaçao, we cleared international customs with Global Entry and headed via the MIA people mover to the Miami Rental Car Center.
Rental a car with Hertz Ultimate Choice at a major American airport is about as good as it gets. With a dedicated area for Hertz President’s Circle Elites, it doesn’t get much better than choosing any available car in the area and go.
There wasn’t much in the Hertz Ultimate Choice Aisle today with a few tired looking Ford Escapes Chevrolet Impala’s and Nissan Rogue SUV’s. There were a few Porsche Macan’s, Tesla Threes and Range Rovers in the Premium Upgrades aisle today, but we ended up settling on the best of what’s left with a freshly washed Silver 2022 Nissan Maxima with 4,300 miles on the odometer, for our brief rental today.
We drove over from Miami International Airport to the JW Marriott in Brickell Miami. This took us about 27 minutes in Tuesday rush hour traffic, despite the hotel being only about 6 miles from the airport. It is worth noting that many of the regular highways around the airport operate on the Florida SunPass system which involves a pay toll. We used the urban city streets to bypass the hotel in order to get around inconvenient tolling systems and administrative car rental service charges.
The JW Marriott Miami is located in the upscale Brickell neighbourhood of Miami. It is conveniently located near many restaurants, upscale urban walking spaces and within many modern conveniences including drug stores ands a Liquor Barn.
Checking Into the JW Marriott Miami:
We arrived to the JW Marriott Miami. We parked in the porte cochere and were immediately attended to by the arrival team which included a valet group. Assistance was immediately offered with bags.
The valet team explained that the parking was $42 USD and included 24 hour in and out privileges. There is no self park option at this particular property.
It’s also worth mentioning that the design of this hotel (when arriving by car) has a series of stairs in order to navigate. Road warriors that like to self navigate without assistance will have to use the side elevator to get up to the lobby level.
We rode up the short elevator to the lobby level which was one level up from ground floor. The lobby has an old man’s library feel to it and is decorated in dark mahogany browns accented with white leather furniture. It provides an upscale but not all to memorable lobby setting.
There was no line at check in and we were immediately attended to.
At check in, we were offered a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium soft upgrade to a renovated room. The hotel has been undergoing a renovation of all its rooms and had been charging more for the “Inspired” branded (renovated) rooms.
However, we received an upgrade to a nicer room in the Inspired category. I did happen to notice prior to checking in that some suites were available for sale on line “almost sold out” basis, so it must be a hotel policy not to upgrade Marriott Bonvoy Platinums / Titanium’s to suites. Given a short stay, and because we were headed out for the evening, I did not further pursue the issue.
Breakfast was also offered between 6:30 AM – 10 AM as a result of the lounge being closed. As we were leaving before 6;30 AM, we were not able to participate and just accepted the Marriott Bonvoy Titanium welcome bonus of 1,000 Welcome Points.
The Room: An Inspired Guest Room – 1 King.
The hotel rooms in the JW Marriott Miami all face 9th Avenue in a long straight corridor. The corridor is a light colour which is soothing to the eyes but, being a light colour, tends to show a lot of marks. We led ourselves up to Room #611.
Room #611 was a compact Inspired guest room. While it was a standard sized room, it didn’t have a super spacious feel to it.
The room was nicely decorated with a comfortable and soft king size bed. The pillows were soft; almost a little too soft for my tastes.
The room featured a long counter space for storage.
Being a JW Marriott, the room was well appointed with a full mini bar. There were snacks available for purchase, in addition to Fiji water.
The room layout for the hotel offers a straightforward design. It has thirteen rooms per floor, with one suite per floor.
The bathroom offered a single vanity. The bathroom had a stand up shower with a rain shower / wand combination. I used the rain shower during the stay, which I found to be okay without much strong pressure or a wide drizzle pattern. It certainly wasn’t the most memorable rain shower experience of my hotel stay. Despite not being memorable, the bathroom was recently renovated and looked great and stylish.
The soaps were the upscale Hopal variety.
The room overlooked 9th street. When taking in the view, it had an office like feel to the environment.
The sleep quality was good and we didn’t hear any street traffic or noise from other guests after the lights went out. The room was also nice and dark with the thick curtains.
Around the Property:
The Outdoor Pool:
The JW Marriott Miami offers a small outdoor pool and deck space off the spa reception. The spa appeared to be a bit of an after thought and it located in a nice office like space. It is not a purpose built facility bit a perfectly private space in order to check in to a spa appointment.
The outdoor pool looked inviting. Unfortunately, the outdoor pool was completely closed between 1 PM – 8 PM on our visit due to a private event (conference) that was being held at the hotel. This information was only made available to us at check in.
The hotel offers a small gym split across two rooms. The rooms were quite tiny and adjacent to the pool area. There were a few elliptical and treadmills, although I would expect as a business hotel that this area would get quite busy during the after work hours and you may need to fight for a machine or be prepared to wait.
The Terraza Café and Bar
The hotel’s restaurants were mostly located on the second level. The Terraza Café and Bar, like the lobby, was also decorated in dark woody colours. It didn’t appear to be too exciting or inspiring a place to hang out but would have been perfectly suitable for a light lunch or dinner.
The other hotel restaurant was Isabella’s. This location was completely closed on our visit and was listed as the hotel’s breakfast dining option.
Visiting the Brickell neighbourhood:
After we had settled in, we left the hotel to go and get dinner in the Brickell neighbourhood of Miami.
The Brickell neighbourhood has many upscale eateries and restaurants. Immediately one block to the West is South Miami Street, which offers dozens of restaurants. Many of these offer dining until late (past 10 PM on a weeknight). With so many great choices around the hotel that are within a reasonable walking distance, it’s easy to find something to eat off property.
There is also a CVS Pharmacy immediately next to the hotel that is open twenty four hours a day.
Departing the JW Marriott Miami:
When it came to depart, we had an early departure for our American Airlines First Class Miami – Los Angeles flight. We were up at 2:30 AM for a departure from the JW Marriott Hotel at 3:15 AM, in advance of a 6:03 AM flight departure.
While I was still in the room at 3 AM, I called the number on the valet ticket to have our car brought up from valet parking. I was led into an automated call tree “Press 1 for Departure” & “Press 1 for Final Departure from Hotel”. I received an ambiguous message indicating that the call was being processed. However, when I went to the valet stand fifteen minutes later, the car wasn’t there. The valet attendant stated that no one had called him. He went to go collect the car, which was fortunately there in a quick 5 minutes.
I went down to the front desk to check out. The desk was unattended and it took a while to locate someone given the early morning hour. They were unable to check me out given the time at 3:15 AM, so I just returned the key in order to get my folio later. I later used the self check out feature via the Marriott Bonvoy App. I received my folio electronically through the mail without incident.
Since we were on a reward stay, we didn’t earn points on the room rate. My 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for the Titanium Welcome Bonus posted to my Marriott Bonvoy account without any issues.
The Bottom Line: The JW Marriott Miami
The JW Marriott Miami is the type of hotel that is great to stay during a business trip. The accommodations are upscale, the rooms are well appointed and there are lots of great restaurants within a 10 minute walk that would be great to enjoy if you were on business expenses. It is a bit of a less exciting stay on a personal leisure trip, since you’re surrounded by glass towers and expensive restaurants. As a result, I can see why many Marriott Bonvoy reward travellers don’t redeem at this particular hotel when there are many other great Miami Marriott Bonvoy options out there in South Beach or with greater leisure features. Being our first visit to the Brickell neighbourhood of Miami, it was a great opportunity to test out this property to try something new and I would certainly consider the property again if my travels took me this way.