Review: JW Marriott New Orleans

In November 2023 I was fortunate enough to attend a medical informatics conference in New Orleans, also known as ‘the big easy’, ‘the crescent city’, or NOLA. For accommodation, I booked two separate Marriott Bonvoy-affiliated hotels (purely due to availability restrictions) for a combined five nights. Both hotels were close to each other and to the conference location. 

Read on for my evaluation of the first hotel: the JW Marriott New Orleans. 

Booking & Check-in

I booked the JW Marriott New Orleans for 3 nights (Friday – Monday) in November 2023 under an industry rate. The standard rate is typically well in excess of $200-300 USD (I was seeing closer to $300 USD for my dates), and even higher during peak times like Mardi Gras. 

I was originally booked into a Deluxe Guest room, 1 King, but after emailing the manager I was granted a modest upgrade to a Premium, Larger Guest corner room. 

I arrived to check in quite late around 11:00 PM and so the lobby was quiet. Check-in went smoothly, I was offered the standard welcome amenity of either $10 USD food and beverage credit or 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. In my haste, I forgot to ask about the Marriott Bonvoy Elite breakfast and the desk agent didn’t bring it up either, but I later found out that breakfast was served in the Executive Lounge (located right next to the check-in desk on the main floor).

I was eager to use my food and beverage credit on room service when I got to my room but unfortunately learned that room service was only offered until 11:00 PM. Instead, I went across the street for some cajun chicken tenders from Voodoo Chicken & Daiquiris.

They did not disappoint and in fact, were some of the best tenders I’d had. I made a point to go back and try the daiquiris as well later in my stay.

Location

The JW Marriott New Orleans is located in the heart of the vibrant and historic French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, making it a great choice if you’re looking to experience the city’s rich culture, music, cuisine, and historic charm. French Quarter is one of the oldest neighborhoods in downtown New Orleans and is known for its lively atmosphere, historic architecture, jazz music scene, and renowned restaurants. 

The hotel is within walking distance of the riverfront, and nearby well-known streets include Canal Street (a streetcar line), Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and Royal Street. There are a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and bars serving delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine, and a live music performance at a jazz club is never far either. The nearby French Market is also a popular destination for shopping for local crafts, art, and unique gifts.

Things to Do

As mentioned, there are a plethora of things to do in the area. Just to name a few, here is what I checked out during my time here: 

  • Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral
  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
  • Shops of the Colonnade

There are also plenty of unique bars on and around Bourbon Street. A few notable ones that were recommended to me: 

  • 21st Amendment Bar at La Louisiane
  • The Jazz Playhouse 
  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar

Lastly, although it isn’t close to the JW, I discovered a more underrated but equally delicious dessert of New Orleans called a ‘buttermilk drop’. You can get some of these from the aptly named Buttermilk Drop Bakery. 

Parking

Parking is available at the JW Marriott hotel in New Orleans, as a limited valet service only, with in/out privileges. Pricing is $27 for 0-8 hours, $53 for overnight, and $57 for oversized vehicles (all in USD). 

Fortunately for my wallet, I didn’t require valet parking during my stay.

Room – Premium, Larger Guest Room, 1 King, Corner Room

My room was on the 26th floor. The hallways and doors were themed in a bright white color which gave an uplifting and modern feel.  

Upon opening the door to room 2616, I was met with a triangularly shaped room with the bed in the center view and the bathroom on the right-hand side. 

As it was late evening, one thing I immediately noticed was the lack of a central light source. Instead, I had to turn on four lamps to get a decent amount of illumination in the room.

My complaints end there however as the rest of the room lives up to the JW standards with comfortable bedding, luxurious amenities, modern outlets, and so on.   

Immediately on the right side was a bench and a large two-sided closet. I appreciate open closets because they give me less worry that I might forget my clothes when I check out. 

The king bed was well-placed in the center of the room and it felt easy to maneuver around. The bed and pillows were both very comfortable.

The bedside lamps had two brightness settings, and the outlets accepted both regular plugins and two USB slots. Inside the bedside table was a Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, two sets of earplugs, and a JW Marriott pen and writing pad. To my disappointment, the pen was not great quality, it looked premium but had a cheap plastic feel to it.

The view from the corner windows was nice, with Canal Street lit up below. You can see Marriott’s presence in this area, with a view of hotels including the Marriott, Sheraton, Le Meridien, and Westin.

On the left side of the room was a mini-fridge, an office desk with a chair, and a credenza all side-by-side. The television was mounted to the wall and could be pulled out and titled towards the bed for convenience.

Inside the credenza was a key-coded safe and pull-out drawer with a coffee machine (Nespresso). Good coffee in the room is always something I appreciate and take advantage of at hotels.

The bathroom was premium and space-efficient with a sliding door and two separate rooms for the sink and vanity and the toilet and shower. 

The toilet was a Kohler and offered a predictable and consistent flush. Toilet paper was as well-placed as it could be for the small area. The extra roll holder for the toilet paper was a nice touch. I gave it a final rating of 1.75/2.

The shower functioned well and featured a nice waterfall head. The shampoo, conditioner, and cleanser were provided by Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy Associates London shampoo, cleanser, and conditioner in the JW Marriott New Orleans hotel.

Restaurants & Bars

The JW Marriott New Orleans had a few options available to guests for food and beverage, including the Executive Lounge, Lobby Lounge, and a full-service Brazilian steakhouse called Fogo de Chão.

Executive Lounge – Marriott Bonvoy Elite Complimentary Breakfast 

The Executive Lounge is located right beside the check-in desk in the lobby of the JW Marriott New Orleans. The lounge is open throughout the day offering coffee, tea, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks.

Snacks are offered during the day including cookies, cream pies, chocolate pretzels, potato chips, and granola bars.

Sundays through Thursdays, there is supposed to be an evening hors d’oeuvres offering, however, this was not available the Sunday of my stay, nor was the honor bar. 

What was available was the deluxe continental breakfast buffet. This opened at 7:00 AM on weekends and 6:00 AM on weekdays.  

The breakfast had an assortment of basic dry and hot foods including muffins, pastries, meats and cheeses, scrambled eggs, sausages, hashbrowns, and pancakes. Not pictured, there were fresh fruit parfaits and granola as well as yogurt cups. Everything was fresh and tasty, and the apple juice was especially good for a continental hotel breakfast. 

The available seating in the Executive Lounge was also more than you would expect from a Marriott lounge and included an entire second level complete with a foosball table and billiard table. 

I made use of the lounge multiple times during my stay for coffee, snacks, and a quiet place to work. It was appreciated. That being said, I’d trade it in in a heartbeat for a more dedicated Platinum Elite breakfast offering. 

Lobby Lounge

The hotel’s lobby bar is called the Lobby Lounge and is rather spacious. It includes a restaurant and cocktail bar, and opens from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM, daily.

I ate here for dinner on the second evening of my stay and was not disappointed. The bartender made some excellent recommendations, including the Crab and Crawfish pasta and Second Line Blood Orange Saison. I topped it all off with the JW beignets.

I also ate here again another evening of my stay and ordered the Seafood Gumbo and Smoked Duck and Goat Cheese sandwich. Both were equally delicious.

There were lots of other enticing options on the menu as well.

I recommend checking out this spot during your stay here. The exceptional service rivals the quality of the food. 

Fogo de Chão

The JW Marriott has a Brazillian steakhouse called Fogo de Chão which can be accessed from the entrance on Canal Street, or by walking through the Lobby Lounge.

Front entrance to the Fogo De Chao Brazilian steakhouse at the JW Marriott New Orleans.

I didn’t eat here during my stay, but the reviews look solid and the prices, while expensive, are not outrageous. 

Stop by if you’re in the mood for some fire-roasted churrasco steaks. Reservations may be required.

Facilities

The JW Marriott New Orleans hotel has modest property amenities including a fitness center and outdoor rooftop saltwater pool.

Fitness Center

The hotel fitness center is located on the 8th floor and is decently equipped with free weights, machines, and cardio equipment, with a view of the pool. 

I got in several workouts here and enjoyed the space which I had mostly to myself. There was also a basket of fruit available which I always appreciate at fitness centers. 

The fitness center is open 24/7.

Outdoor Saltwater Pool

Also located on the 8th floor is the heated outdoor saltwater pool, a decent little spot to relax and soak. 

The pool is open Sunday to Monday from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM and can be entered via the fitness center or the dedicated change rooms. 

The pool is a bit on the smaller side but I imagine this is appropriate for the amount of use it gets throughout the year. 

Conclusion

The New Orleans JW Marriott lived up to the typical JW standards of modern luxury, which I’ve found to be quite consistent throughout the world. At the same time, it had just the right amount of local touches, such as these alligator bookends.

Alligator bookends at the JW Marriott New Orleans hotel.
The temptation to steal these bookends was strong…

Next time you find yourself in New Orleans, give some consideration to the JW Marriott for your accommodation!

Reed Sutton

Reed Sutton

Founder at Frugal Flyer
Reed is addicted to the art of earning and redeeming travel points, and frequently pairs his trips with his other hobby: photography. Through Frugal Flyer, Reed aims to distill some of the complex and esoteric points strategies into digestible information. Furthermore, he hopes to use his technical expertise to develop invaluable applications and tools for the travel community.

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2 comments on “Review: JW Marriott New Orleans

  1. Honestly I didn’t even read your article beyond “also known as ‘the windy city’ or NOLA for short”. I can’t trust the opinions of someone who can’t get the facts straight. New Orleans is the Crescent City. Chicago is the Windy City.

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