Last month, we had a unique opportunity to stay at the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel in downtown LA while attending the BlogHer 2016 conference. This hotel is situated right next to the Staples Center and is part of the LA live complex that includes the Ritz-Carlton hotel – another Marriott property.
Located at 900 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, California, the 21 story, 805-roomed premises is a smoke-free, pet-free zone within walking distance to the L.A. Convention Center. It is close to many tourist attractions, stores and museums in the newly revived Downtown area.
The hotel is in a central location within the LA Live complex, with its multiple food venues and movie theaters. The JW Marriott also boasts a well-run executive lounge and a luxurious pool with kids’ toys.
It is within walking distance of some grocery stores and is not far from the city’s larger malls. All of these factors make this hotel a great attraction for many families visiting LA.
As Marriott members, we had already requested a feather-free and quiet room noted in our file. However, I did call the front desk manager to check and reiterate that all would be ready before our arrival.
Even though on the day we checked-in, there were hundreds of guests there for the conference waiting in line, the process went smoothly. Within fifteen minutes I had the key to our room in my hand, and I was on my way to my room on the 20th floor.
The hotel had magnificent decorations with modern-looking hanging crystal lamps and chandeliers spread along their lobby areas.
The hotel atmosphere was hip, vibrant and ‘very LA.’
Apart from the conference goers (the hotel is a favorite for conventions and symposiums attendees), one can expect to rub elbows with families, solo travelers and even a few celebrities – this is LA after all!
The surprise factor was without a doubt the Adele wax statue with which we could take a selfie and pretend we had just attended the Grammy awards.
Our room was decorated in warm hues of oranges and creams, along with green accents in the carpeting.
It was a surprisingly large room with a convenient layout for a family of four. We received complimentary bottled water because of our Marriott Platinum status. Our room featured two double beds that were comfortable and could easily fit a family with young kids.
One of the first things we noticed was all the storage space. The sizable closet was well-lit and contained an iron, ironing board, a safe that could easily fit a 17’’ laptop, and complimentary robes.
Conveniently placed mirrors added to the functionality of the room. As in most hotels, the room had a chest of drawers that served as a stand for the 42 inch TV. These were deep drawers in which we could comfortably place our belongings.
The room also had a mini-bar fridge and a stocked coffee center. There was also a writing desk with a slide out shelf that had a built phone and electrical sockets for plugging in electronic devices.
The fun element in the room was the swiveling chairs that our son with sensory issues enjoyed the most
The large windows, boasting a city view, had both thin and block out light curtains. We appreciated that the A/C vents were situated away from the beds, so the cold air did not blow directly on us as we slept. We also enjoyed the fact that there was a central control panel to adjust the temperature settings.
A stylish sliding door lead to the bathroom. The room, spacious with sleek and decorative tiling, had a shower with a vibrant colored curtain. The mirror added to the spacious feeling of the room. The amenity kit on the granite counter-top consisted of shampoos, body wash, and lotions as well as a hairdryer under the basin.
Apparently, the hotel is quite eco-friendly with the flush button on the commode offering a half or full flush. Keeping with the eco-friendly theme, there is a night light feature which glows a faint green light in the dark to help guests see their way at night.
It would have been better if the bathroom had a lock to allow a nice touch of privacy. We also would have appreciated a grab bar in the bathtub as well as a clothesline for drying towels or bathing suits.
The lounge was large and comfortable with plush seating both indoors and outdoors which for LA was a bonus. The evening spread was adequate for a snack, but more hot dishes would have been an excellent addition.
Wines and beers were complimentary, but be advised that hard liquor beverages were not. We loved the fact that unlike many other properties we’ve frequented, this place welcomed kids of all ages, and was the only one to date, it had high chairs handy.
The hotel offers a few dining options to consider.
For drinks and dining, there’s The Mixing Room, open seven days a week. This restaurant specializes in mixology of customized cocktails.
The WP24 By Wolfgang Puck offers spectacular panoramic views while serving a modern Chinese cuisine while at Ford’s Filling Station, guests can enjoy Californian Cuisine dishes with a Southern influence.For a quick lunch or killer cocktail, stop by the Glance Lobby Bar.Java addicts should try the Illy Espressamente Coffee House.
Conveniently, the hotel also offers a 24/7 Room service, perfect for those who might get hungry at the wee hours of the night and don’t feel like leaving their comfortable room.
The above are just a few of many options for travelers in the hotel itself, but be aware that plenty of eateries are just around the corner in the LA Live complex.
The outdoor pool on the third floor is large, with chaise lounges spread around it and a few private cabanas one can rent. They have an unlimited supply of complimentary fluffy clean towels. Like many other hotels, there were no lifeguards in attendance.
The day we stayed we saw numerous guests relaxing by the water, and yet it didn’t feel crowded in any way. In fact, it was a quiet place to unwind after visiting the City of Angels.
We were pleasantly surprised to see kids’ pool toys available at no extra charge and commented how it was a nice touch by the hotel management to make families feel welcome.
The gym, included in the stay, faces the bustling Olympic Boulevard. Rather modest in size, the facility had plenty of cardiovascular equipment and free weights. The gym offered free chilled bottled water and clean fluffy towels to use after the workout, a much-appreciated feature.
The hotel was connected via a set of corridors to the Ritz-Carlton hotel so guests could use the spa facilities there. Patrons could get excellent, albeit pricey, body scrubs, wraps, massages, facials and manicures/pedicures in the Ritz-Carlton Spa, as well as use their fabulous steam room.
We found the service at the hotel to be excellent. The housekeeping staff not only responded quickly to any request we had, but they also made a point of introducing themselves and asking us every day if we needed anything for them to supply.
As mentioned before, the hotel in downtown LA was not particularly budget-friendly. However, as they say, you get what you pay for, and the JW Marriot is a superb choice for travelers that come to the city.
Room prices start in the low $300s and go up from there according to season and demand.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Ask for a high floor to minimize the noise since this hotel is located in a busy area of downtown LA.
- Bring your bath anti slip mat, since the hotel doesn’t supply one.