I was planning to write this review last week after my return from a three day stay at the JWNOLA. It's only because of a real hassle with billing problems and not getting points posted until another phone call today (more on that, since part was funny) that I waited till today.
Aside from billing, this is a great hotel, and I am so glad I didn't stay at the regular Marriott NOLA across the street, which was the conference hotel. The latter was jam packed with people, whereas the JW was friendly, comfortable and all around lovely. The staff were beyond fantastic. Only in Europe have I been so consistently recognized for my status and thanked for it, and the guest relations manager, Mary Griffin, got me a corner room on the CL floor, which I had asked for (a tripadvisor review suggested that). So I had a lovely view of the river, the French quarter, and the area around Canal Street from two large windows). As I said, I was greeted effusively. The first night, Thursday, I could not go to the CL at night and it was closed the rest of the nights I was there, so I can't comment, but the Friday morning breakfast was superb and the staff very friendly. When I had to print my boarding pass at a lobby kiosk Saturday it didn't work, so the staff brought me behind their desk to do it on their computer. I cannot say enough about all of the people and the great quality rooms. The bed was great, one of the key things that keeps me loyal to Marriott.
The first night after endless meetings I went back and had dinner at Shula's, the steak restaurant in the hotel. They do a whole show for you, starting with the football (I had to admit to them I was a NE Pats fan, though the waitress kind of ruined that line when she said she didn't really care about football) with a menu on it. Then they bring out samples of all the steaks possible. I had the filet mignon oscar, which was mouth-wateringly delicious, along with an appetizer of seared scallops, I think on a bed of mango chutney.
The weekend part was less delightful, because I had to pay for breakfast Saturday and (as some of you already know) my two glasses of wine at the lounge bar Saturday night. The breakfast was also in Shula's and it was delicious (I had eggs benedict), but over $30. My Saturday night glasses of wine when I got back to the hotel almost made me flip out. I found out the bar was almost closing so I ordered two glasses of red wine. When I saw the bill it was $34! The wine was good, but not THAT good. I hadn't even looked at a menu, but just said a dry red. So be careful if you order what you think is a simple glass of wine.
I also had room service one afternoon (just a Marriott burger), but again the service and staff were great.
NOW, the big gripe besides the wine cost. I had to leave very early Sunday morning for the airport, and the bill under my door said $214 and only counted the meals and room service. No room charges, which I required for reimbursement. Me and the (again very nice) man behind the desk tried to figure this out for about 15 minutes before I had to leave so I asked them to send me the ledger. But the first thing he said was that the room appeared to have been paid for by a convention or someone else (this gets funnier with my call to the Platinum line today). I said no, that I was there alone, and showed him the reservation (always keep those reservations since confirmation numbers don't show up on bills). I got home and still nothing. I contacted Mary Griffin again, who I presume has nothing to do with billing, but she sent my email over to someone in that section of the hotel and I got a final email bill, which was correct. It also correctly listed that it was billed to my Marriott Premier VISA card and had the last four numbers of my Marriott acct number on it.
When three days went buy last week and no points showed up I called (this happens to me all the time, as most of you know). Then they called the hotel and were told it was 'in process'. Still nothing this morning almost ten days out, so I called again and got a truly super person on the rewards line (Tom, I think). Here's where it gets funny. The first thing he asked was whether I was there with my husband, and gave me two men's first names as possibilities which matched my last name. I said no, I have no husband. Then he asked if I was staying with anyone else. No again. So he called the hotel and was on with them for some time and got everything rectified (I think since he told me what sounded like the correct number of points). But some guys with my real last name out there might want to check their New Orleans' bills if they stayed at the JW!
Anyone I want to reiterate that aside from billing/points and the cost of lobby lounge wine, it is a great hotel!
Cheers, ProfChiara (with anywhere from no to two husbands)