I’m a big fan of the JW Marriott hotel brand. Their consistently great service, sizable rooms, and amenities set a high standard. When I saw the newest JW Marriott property would be opening up in Dallas, I was immediately intrigued. However, I often find myself disappointed rather than dazzled when staying at any North American Marriott hotel. So, I was curious as to how the newest addition to the JW Marriott portfolio would measure up. My brother and I booked a somewhat impromptu long weekend trip to visit Dallas for the first time, and to check out this brand-new hotel.
At the time of our visit, the hotel had been open for just over two months. Paired with that, I was excited to be getting a glimpse of the latest vision for the JW Marriott brand.
Although I anticipated encountering some growing pains at such a new property, we didn’t actually face anything major during our stay. In fact, after our three days there, I have no reservations saying it’s among the finest North American city hotels I’ve ever stayed at.
Booking & Check-in
For our stay, I was able to benefit from a favorable industry rate, which I was happy to take advantage of to try out this new property. Typical rates range between $500-$600 USD per night.
Marriott Bonvoy redemptions are very reasonable at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District, hovering between 35,000 and 47,000 points per night. This represents very solid value against the nightly cash rates, coming in at well over 1 cent per point, which is quite uncommon for high-end hotels in popular cities like Dallas.
Upon our arrival, we were immediately greeted by a member of the staff who escorted us to the check-in desk. The entrance on the ground level features matte black and white painted metal panels that showcase the signature JW Marriott gryphon and logo.
The JW Marriott Dallas Arts District is part of a mixed-use tower development. The hotel occupies floors 11 to 25, with the lower 11 floors serving as a private parking structure. Additionally, on the ground level, there are several restaurants unaffiliated with the hotel. Consequently, this property features two lobbies: one at ground level and another on the 11th floor of the building.
The ground floor lobby consists of two check-in desks and the hotel bar and lounge. Staying true to the essence of the JW Marriott brand, which I’ve always felt is an approachable take on luxury, the lobby was elegant and stylish while remaining relatively understated.
Situated at the center of the Dallas arts district, the hotel brims with sculptures and textured walls throughout its public areas, paying tribute to both local and globally renowned artists.
The eleventh-floor lobby hosts an additional elite check-in desk, lobby seating, and several of the meetings and events spaces at this hotel.
Although it’s not unusual for hotels occupying only a segment of a building to have a ground-floor lobby and another on a higher level, this design did result in the minor inconvenience of requiring two separate elevator rides whenever we were leaving or returning to the hotel.
On the 11th floor, the lobby showcases the extensive use of glass panels — a design element repeated throughout the hotel. On its south-facing side, a two-story-tall wall of glass floods the space with abundant natural light.
I had already checked in through the Bonvoy app prior to our arrival, so with most of the formalities already taken care of, just a quick check of my ID and credit card was all that was required.
The front desk agent acknowledged my status and informed us we would receive complimentary access to the JW Executive Lounge on the 12th floor. We requested two beds for our stay, and we were assigned the exact room type I booked. The JW Dallas only has nine suites in total, which didn’t raise much hope for an upgrade. And given that most hotels tend to outfit their suites with just one king-sized bed, I didn’t even inquire about an upgrade during our check-in.
We were arriving to the hotel from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The JW Marriott Dallas is easily accessible from either of the Dallas metro airports via rideshare or public transit. We took an Uber from DFW which took about 20 minutes in the mid-afternoon.
The downtown area of Dallas utilizes a streetcar system for its public transit, and the closest tram stop to the JW Marriott Dallas is just a four-minute walk away.
As its name would suggest, the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District is located in the heart of America’s largest contiguous arts district. The hotel is within a 5-minute walk of the Dallas symphony, opera house, and nearly a dozen museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art, which is directly across the street. Additionally, there are several live performance venues and theaters, such as the AT&T Performing Arts Center and American Airlines Arena, both within a few blocks.
Also within walking distance are popular sightseeing locations such as the JFK Memorial and Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
Besides its easy transit access, we found that the neighborhoods surrounding the hotel were incredibly pedestrian-friendly. With so many live entertainment venues concentrated in a small area, there were what seemed like hundreds of dining options nearby. This made walking to dinner each night a convenient option.
Covered parking is available on-site in the same parking structure that shares the building with the hotel. Valet parking costs $48 USD per night while self-parking is $25 USD per night.
Room – Standard Two Queen Guest Room
We were assigned room 1609 on the 16 floor. In my experience, even the base-level rooms at JW Marriott hotels are often quite spacious and well-appointed. This hotel was no exception, the room came outfitted with all the modern amenities one would expect at a brand-new hotel.
Walking down the short hallway and into the main living area, there were the two queen beds on the left with a nightstand in between. Take notice of the recessed LED lighting above the beds, this type of lighting was seamlessly incorporated throughout the room. Though subtle, it’s these kinds of features that really showcased the modernity of this property.
Opposite the beds was a large wall-mounted flatscreen TV. Below the TV was a built-in desk and chair.
The prominent use of the enormous glass panels framing the exterior of the hotel is also on display in the guest rooms. Thankfully, the elegantly furnished guest rooms have been equipped with excellent black-out curtains.
Proceeding down the hallway towards the room entrance, the bathroom sits on one side, opposite the minibar and closet.
The minibar came stocked with bottled water, coffee, tea and an Illy branded coffee maker. Directly below the coffee maker is the mini refrigerator.
Beside the coffee and pantry area is a large closet. Inside the closet was an iron and ironing board along with the in-room safe.
The bathroom was sufficient for our needs, offering plenty of counter space and a large walk-in shower.
The hotel provides an evening turn-down service. Upon returning to our room for the night, the curtains were partially drawn and the bedsheets were neatly folded back. A fresh bottle of water was on the nightstand and chocolate or cookie was placed on the bed for us.
Overall, we were satisfied with the guest room at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District. It checked off all the criteria I look for in a luxury hotel room: spacious, modern, and clean. I also really appreciated the USB charging ports, wall outlets, and wireless charging pads that are cleverly integrated into several useful locations, such as the bedside and desk areas.
The Wi-Fi was fast in our room and the rest of the public spaces within the hotel. However, on our second morning, we faced a minor issue when both the internet and TV were down in our room. We notified a staff member at the elite desk before heading out for the day, and upon our return in the evening, the problem had been resolved.
Restaurants & Bars
The JW Marriott Dallas Arts District has a few dining options, including a signature full-service restaurant, two bars, and a grab-and-go coffee shop. We never ate a meal at the hotel aside from breakfast in the Executive Lounge which I’ll cover in detail later on.
Given the abundance of incredible steakhouses and barbeque restaurants in downtown Dallas, my brother and I weren’t very inclined to dine at the hotel during our stay. However, Margaret’s Restaurant did appear to be quite popular with many of the hotel’s guests.
The outside temperature wasn’t quite warm enough, so Vincent’s Skybar was closed for the duration of our stay. However, I must say the 11th-floor open-air terrace offered some outstanding views of the Dallas skyline.
800 North is the lobby bar and lounge located on the ground floor of the hotel. To be honest, I never saw a single person in the bar throughout our entire stay. I’m not entirely certain if my anecdotal observations reflect a critique of this place or if we always happened to coincidentally pass by during a quiet moment. Either way, there was always a bartender on duty ready to jump into action.
From the JW Market, hotel guests can grab a morning coffee from the barista along with some grab-and-go snacks and cold drinks.
With the property only a couple of months old, the facilities at JW Marriott Dallas Arts District are in pristine condition. The pool and gym were among the most impressive and better-equipped facilities I’ve encountered during my travels.
JW Executive Lounge
Marriott Bonvoy members of Platinum status and higher, as well as guests staying in an executive-level room, are granted complimentary access to the JW Executive Lounge. The lounge is located on the 12th floor along with the fitness center.
The JW Executive Lounge puts on a relatively impressive offering of food and drinks throughout the day. While nothing can match the Executive Lounge I experienced at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai a few months earlier, I left with very positive impressions following our stay.
I couldn’t help but notice the double-stacked windows wrapping around the far side of the lounge upon entering. The windows provided some more great views of downtown Dallas and contributed to a bright and inviting ambiance.
The lounge boasted a variety of seating options, including tables, booths, couches, and elevated bar-style seats positioned along the windows, offering guests a diverse selection of seating for dining, working, and relaxing. There are also several wall-mounted flatscreen TVs scattered throughout the lounge.
JW Executive Lounge – Breakfast
The breakfast service in the lounge is the most comprehensive offering provided during the day. The breakfast service runs daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.
You’ll find all the regular items one would expect at an executive lounge buffet. This includes warm items like scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and oatmeal.
Also available were fruits, cheeses, smoked salmon, croissants, toast, and cold cereal.
Throughout the day, there was a self-service coffee machine and a wide selection of teas provided. During the breakfast buffet, a few juices were set up on the counter.
We really enjoyed breakfast in the lounge each morning. While certainly not the most extensive buffet, it was more than enough to satisfy our needs, and the quality of the food and service was superb.
JW Executive Lounge – Midday
The hotel doesn’t offer a formal afternoon meal service. Instead, the lounge staff set out snacks and drinks for guests to help themselves to whenever they like. This includes items like beef jerky, chips, granola bars, and candy.
Bottled water, soda, and Gatorade were available in the mini-fridge at all times throughout the day. The beer fridge and wine dispenser were locked during the day and only open during the evening lounge service.
JW Executive Lounge – Evening Hors d’Oeuvres
The Executive Lounge comes out strong with an impressive evening service. Cold items included veggies and dip, salads, and a meat and cheese charcuterie board.
Hot items changed each night and included such items as chicken and waffle bites, Korean beef tacos, bacon-wrapped scallops, and Thai spring rolls.
Complimentary beer and wine were available during the evening hors d’oeuvres service. The beer fridge was stocked with what looked like a very nice variety of local craft brews along with the standard American beers.
After 8:00 pm, the meal service was cleared and some desserts were put out until 10:00 pm. This usually consisted of some brownies, cookies, and candy.
The executive lounges at Marriott properties in North America usually fall well short of expectations compared to their lounges abroad, but the JW Executive Lounge in Dallas exceeded them impressively. Breakfast in the lounge was a great way to start our day and more than a couple of times we dipped into the lounge in the afternoon to grab a few snacks.
As well, we couldn’t resist dropping in for a late-night treat after we’d returned to the hotel following a dinner out. Combined with the friendly and attentive lounge staff we encountered, this lounge earns a big thumbs up from me.
The hotel’s fitness center continued the trend of impressive amenities, housing a plethora of cardio machines, free weights, and weight machines, all of which looked like they had never been used.
The fitness center was yet again another one of the public areas awash in natural light, which no doubt helped energize my brother and I through our morning workout.
I had hoped to take a swim during our stay, but unfortunately, it was a bit too chilly for a dip in the pool. The outdoor swimming pool is located on the 11th-floor terrace and provides some amazing views of the downtown Dallas skyline.
A row of chaise loungers ran along one side of the pool, while on the opposite side, several private cabanas stretched along the entire pool deck.
There is no spa at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District. This is a notable omission, as JW Marriott properties are typically highly regarded for their spa facilities. I asked a staff member about the lack of spa services and was told that poolside spa services are planned for the future; however, they aren’t available as part of the hotel’s initial opening.
I’m often very critical of North American Marriott properties, and I feel deservedly so. The properties frequently feel outdated and the service standards just aren’t up to par compared to their properties on other continents. On top of this, hotel prices in North America have exploded in recent years, falling far short of what I deem a worthwhile value proposition, further diminishing my overall impressions.
I’m delighted to say that the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District is a breath of fresh air that feels long overdue. If this new property is a sign of what to anticipate from Marriott’s upscale North American hotels in the future, I’m feeling optimistic.
The JW Marriott Dallas Arts District is the latest triumph for the JW Marriott brand and a crowning achievement of design and architectural excellence. I feel it’s the most consistent and reliable Marriott brand worldwide, and this property further reinforced that thought.
The convenient location, spacious rooms, and modern amenities all contributed to an enjoyable stay. If I ever find myself in Dallas again, there’s no doubt the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District will be my hotel of choice.
Latest posts by Jeff Jamieson (see all)
- Review: Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard - Feb 8, 2024
- Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge San Francisco (SFO) - Jan 18, 2024
- Review: Emirates Business Class (A380) - Jan 11, 2024
- Review: JW Marriott Dallas Arts District - Nov 29, 2023
- Review: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai - Nov 16, 2023