Stuff That Works: Review of JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, MI

Julie and I got married on New Years Eve and in 2013, after hearing some customers at our shop RAVE about their stay (thanks Bruce & Beth) at the JW Marriott - I decided to book us a room along with dinner reservations at the 616 restaurant located in the hotel.
 
You check in here - I love the curved walls.

If you want to be at the JW on NYE, I suggest you make reservations early. When I reserved the room a couple months in advance I was told the "river side" of the hotel was full. So I asked for a room as high up as possible on the downtown side. Julie and I were very pleasantly surprised when we found out our room - 1704 - was a CORNER room with a spectacular river view as well as a peek at downtown out of the smaller widows in the corner. (Someone must have cancelled and we were bumped up - maybe an advantage to having a Marriott Reward Card?)
 
This was the layout for our room on the 17th floor.

They provide very, very comfortable beds.
 One reason we like Marriott hotels is the comfortable beds - even at the Courtyards. With the great view and fluffy pillows, we found it very hard to get out of bed in the morning. No worries - they let everyone have a late check out on New Years Day.

The view from the big set of windows in our corner room.

 
We rode down to the lobby for our 8 pm dinner at 616. We had eaten here with a group when they first opened, but had not been back. It was very, very good. After a discussion with our waiter, Julie had her first ever meal of pheasant and she was extremely happy with her selection.
 
Before the meal, we started with a cheese sampler plate and Julie had one of the best Brussels sprout salads of her career. (616 information here.) The cheese sampler was excellent - in addition to several Michigan cheeses, we had Maytag bleu cheese. Wow.
 
Even though we were pretty full (I enjoyed Scottish salmon), we decided to split a malted chocolate torte which was a combination of pecan brownie. chocolate marquise malted milk chocolate mousse,  and vanilla anglais. YUM.

 
Believe it or not, Grand Rapids is hopping on NYE. For the last several years there has been a ball drop and live music at the HOT NYE Party sponsored by a local radio station. In 2013, the music was hot but the temps were NOT. Witness the bundle of clothing Julie is sporting above when we braved the 10 degree weather to take part in the shindig.
 

 
It was great to see hundreds, and eventually thousands, of people filling up downtown Grand Rapids to ring in the new year with skating, music, food and fun. Bigby coffee and Panera Bread were doing land office business warming up the cold crowd.

 
After freezing my tail at the party, I could hardly wait to take advantage of one of MY favorite aspects of our stay - the shower. Not only was there plenty of room for everyone - the shower, manufactured by Grohe - yes, I looked!,  had a movable arm with two shower heads that
were also adjustable. I am 6'3" and lots of hotel showers hit me in the middle of the chest - this one would accommodate all but the tallest of NBA players.  I easily adjusted it to spray down on the top of my head. Ahhhhh - the thaw came quickly and comfortably.

 
 
The room was spotless, the bed was comfortable, view was great - food was good and the shower rocked. When you toss in the fact that everyone we had contact with was friendly, courteous and helpful you can understand why this first visit will NOT be our last one.

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DISCLAIMER: No, I am not a Marriott employee nor was I compensated in any way.
Color me a satisfied customer.
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