Review: JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District

jw marriott edmonton review featured image

While we love international travel at Frugal Flyer, sometimes a brief staycation scratches the travel itch. While we don’t have many luxury hotels in Edmonton, the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District opened in 2019 and I have had many staycations at this hotel since it opened.

Let’s take a look at the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District to see if it is worth checking out the next time you are in Edmonton.

Booking

A few weeks before our stay, I booked a cash rate for $220 in a base-level room. Rooms are often redeemable for rates around 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, which often isn’t great value at this property unless you are booking around holidays or a big hockey game (since Rogers Place arena is right next door).

If you are looking to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay, you can easily earn more than enough points from the welcome bonus on the American Express Marriott Bonvoy card.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.

Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy card review for more details.

BONUS
50,000 Marriott Bonvoy
MINSPEND
$1,500
NET VALUE
$330+
ANNUAL FEE
$120
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

As a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum member, I always reach out to hotels in advance to see what they can do for upgrades. I find asking for a specific room type goes a long way, as opposed to just asking for an upgrade (no different than the $20 trick in Las Vegas). 

The day before our stay I messaged the hotel via the chat option in the Marriott Bonvoy app, asking for an upgrade to a 1 bedroom suite since they were still available. At that time, they were able to secure me into a corner deluxe guest room. Not wanting to push too hard early on, I left it at that and decided I would reach out to them again the next day.

A few hours before check-in, I reached out via chat with the same request. This time, they said they would be happy to move me into a suite but it wouldn’t be available until 5:30 pm. I let them know that would be fine as we planned to have a few drinks at the lobby bar when we arrived. However, I then received a message at 3:30 pm saying that the suite was ready for us.

And so, we arrived at the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District, an approachable luxury hotel in the downtown entertainment district. Similar to other JW properties, such as the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District and the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, the classic Griffin logo is prominently displayed at the entrance.

jw marriott edmonton ice district griffin logo

Location

The JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District is centrally located in downtown Edmonton, directly connected to Rogers Place which is the venue of the Edmonton Oilers as well as many top touring artists. The JW Marriott is actually connected via pedway to Rogers Place, making it a great choice if you are in town for an event.

There are also a number of excellent restaurants and bars nearby if you are looking to venture off-property during your stay.

Parking

Valet parking is available at a rate of $55 per night; while this is a steep price, it is convenient for a one-night stay, especially in the cold Edmonton winters. The valet area is small and does get incredibly congested, especially on game days, so using the valet may be more frustrating than self-parking.

If you don’t want to splurge on valet parking or want a less stressful option, there are nearby parkades with hourly and daily rates. There is a parade directly below the JW Marriott Edmonton that charges $35 for a daily rate and is the best option and has an elevator available to take you right up to the lobby.

Many of the parkades are also connected via pedways to the JW Marriott Edmonton.

Room – 1 Bedroom Executive Suite

Located on floors 20 through 22, the 1 Bedroom Executive Suite is the lowest level suite at the JW Marriott Edmonton. For this stay, our room was on the 22nd floor which is the same level as the executive lounge which is great when you have complimentary executive lounge access thanks to Marriott Platinum.

Upon entering the suite, the bathroom is located on your left while the living room and bar area are straight ahead.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite entrance

The bar area has an island with a mini-fridge below, the perfect area for making a drink. Directly behind the bar is a Keurig machine complete with a few varieties of pods.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite bar

There are a number of complimentary bottles of water located on the island bar as well as everything required to make a cup of coffee or tea.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite waters and coffee

The JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District also has a signature handcrafted ice menu available for all guests. This is an incredibly cool unique touch and absolutely worth taking advantage of should you make cocktails during your stay.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite ice menu

The living room area is big enough to host a group of people, especially if you are heading to a hockey game or other event at Rogers Place that same night. Windows wrap around the entire living room, giving you a view overlooking all of Edmonton

The bedroom is simplistic yet tasteful; Alberta-inspired art adorns the wall above the bed. A lounger sits in the corner with yet another flat-screen TV mounted on the wall right in front of the bed.

Finally, the bathroom is accessible through sliding doors through either the bedroom or the entry hallway. A stunning double vanity is the focus of the bathroom, complete with amenities and gorgeous lighting.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite double vanity

Directly behind the vanity is the bathtub, which was one of the best I’ve seen in a North American hotel.

jw marriott edmonton one bedroom executive suite bathtub

On either side of the bathtub was the toilet and walk-in shower. Both doorways were made of frosted glass.

Overall, even as a base-level suite, the room was stunning. It is well worth using a Nightly Upgrade Award for a potential upgrade during your next stay at the JW Marriott Edmonton if you are interested in a room that is quite a step up from the base-level accommodations.

Restaurants & Bars

There are four restaurants and bars at the JW Marriott Edmonton: the Lobby Bar, Alchemy Cocktail Bar, Kindred Food + Drink, and Braven Restaurant.

For those Marriott Bonvoy members who have Platinum Elite status and above, there is an executive lounge available on the 22nd floor as well.

Executive Lounge – Complimentary Marriott Platinum Breakfast

The Executive lounge is located on the 22nd floor and access is coded to your room key card if you are eligible for access. While the lounge is open all day, breakfast is available during the morning hours, and hors d’oeuvres are served from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm daily (with an alcoholic cash bar available as well).

Breakfast is available from 6:00 am to 10:00 am during the week and 7:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. There is a variety of seating options available, and there is enough room in the lounge to find space for yourself and your travel partner without being crammed near other parties.

The breakfast spread is very typically North American, but good enough. Breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, sausage, french toast, smoothies, meats, cheeses, and a variety of pastries were available during our visit.

jw marriott edmonton executive lounge breakfast buffet

There are also bottled juices and soft drinks available in a fridge should you want to take something to go. We particularly enjoyed the coffee machine that made a great latte and travel cups were provided if you wanted to take your second latte to go.

Lobby Bar

The lobby bar is a comfortable yet classy space with bar seating, smaller tables, and couches. A well-thought-out cocktail menu is available consisting of unique creations and classic cocktails, in addition to a number of bar bites available from Braven.

lobby bar jw marriott edmonton ice district

While many may prefer sitting at the bar, the chairs and couches are particularly comfortable and a bit more intimate.

jw marriott edmonton lobby bar seating

While I’ve stopped here for cocktails a number of times and they have always been great, the lobby bar does get exceptionally busy especially if there is an event or hockey game happening across the street at Rogers Place. If it’s a bit too crazy, Alchemy might be a better choice if you can get in.

Alchemy Cocktail Bar

Alchemy Cocktail Bar on the 5th floor of the hotel. Hidden behind a bookcase, this small speakeasy-type bar has an interesting aesthetic and a menu to match. Reservations typically guarantee you seating for 90 minutes.

alchemy bar jw marriott edmonton ice district

While we have visited a handful of times, Alchemy is always a good time. The service is strong, and the cocktail menu is ever-changing and presents a variety of options for those who prefer darker spirits in addition to those who want something lighter and fresher.

jw marriott edmonton alchemy cocktail bar drinks

While a significantly more expensive experience than the lobby bar, the cocktails were well made and the experience has always been enjoyable when we have visited. If you are at the JW Marriott Edmonton, it is absolutely worth stopping by Alchemy for a cocktail or two.

Kindred Food + Drink

Before we headed to Alchemy for late-night cocktails, we decided to have a quiet dinner at Kindred Food + Drink located on the main floor of the JW Marriott Edmonton, right next to the lobby bar.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy, and we were seated quickly. We started with a round of cocktails, many of which were Italian-inspired.

jw marriott edmonton kindred food and drink cocktails

For dinner, we opted for a sandwich (served with fries) and truffle pasta. The pasta was the standout of the meal, and the portion was big enough to take leftovers for lunch the following day.

jw marriott edmonton executive lounge breakfast buffet

Dinner and service were great, and we would absolutely return to Kindred Food + Drink on our next stay if we desired a more casual and Italian-American cuisine-centered dinner experience.

Conclusion

Overall it was a great stay and Edmonton is lucky to have a JW Marriott to call our own. Service was great all around and we enjoyed both venues that we dined at. If you are looking to go off-property for food and drink there are some excellent and conveniently located restaurants and bars in downtown Edmonton, such as Baijiu (which also has a speakeasy – Little Hong Kong).

It is worth staying at the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District if you are in town and can find a good rate as I believe this to be the best hotel in the Edmonton area.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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