Between Christmas and New Year's I stayed two nights (Thur-Fri) at the JW Marriott in downtown Chicago. I got a good deal on the room with the AAA parking package. I did mobile check in, so when I arrived my key and room were ready. I asked about any upgrade and the desk clerk indicated that my room was upgraded to a better view, but not a suite. I had an outside view room on the 9th floor facing Adams Street (as opposed to the interior atrium). There seems to be a limited number of suites on each floor, and with the NHL utilizing the hotel for the weekend, I can see why I didn't get a suite upgrade for the two nights.
The concierge was quite helpful in suggesting a number of things going on for the weekend. The hotel publishes a weekly flier with local events. It's a nice handy summary of things, especially if there was something the concierge suggested that a guest might want to follow up on later.
I unpacked in my room and planned to enjoy two days of relaxation.
Entrance to the room with closet door and minibar/coffee maker on left and entrance to bathroom on right
Bed and easy chair in room
Desk area and TV
Bathroom with deep soak tub
I loved the deep soak tub in the bathroom in addition to the separate shower. I asked at the front desk if bath salts were available, and housekeeping delivered two packets of lavender salts (the same scent as the rest of the bath amenities).
The next day I texted a request for additional shampoo and conditioner and was pleased to received double size tubes. That was a nice surprise!
I asked about Make a Green Choice, and I was told at the front desk that since the hotel is a "Luxury" brand, they don't give points for skipping housekeeping. The desk clerk told me that I could just hang my Do Not Disturb sign on the door if I wanted to skip housekeeping, but there would be not additional points. I found that a bit odd since the list price of the bath amenities alone would pay for the points (and then some). Is Marriott missing an opportunity to save a few $$ here, or is it just too complicated to institute MAGC in an old style hotel like a JW?
The lounge offerings were superb in the evening. Lots of various hot and cold delights on Thursday night, including COMPLIMENTARY wine and beer. During the afternoon on Thursday there were snacks available -- large jars of cashews, mini pretzels, gummies, etc. The lounge had two cappuccino machines. A full hot breakfast was served on Friday and Saturday mornings, but then the lounge was closed the rest of the day. As an SPGer, I'm still having a hard time getting used to Marriott lounges that aren't open 24/7. I went up to the lounge on Friday late afternoon to get a cup of tea, and my key wouldn't open the door. I had to read the schedule to find out that the lounge was closed.
I enjoyed a champagne special at the lobby bar for Friday lunch along with an excellent bowl of French onion soup which warmed me up after a lot of walking around downtown in the morning.
I requested the Chicago Tribune newspaper to be delivered to my room on both days. On Friday, it came promptly around 6:15 am. On Saturday when I got up around 7, the paper had not arrived. When I called down, they said that the papers had not come but that they would send someone out for one. My paper arrived about 10 minutes later. I was impressed with that level of service.
While I didn't get an upgrade I was hoping for during what I thought might be a down time for the hotel, I was pleased with the room I had and the extra services I received.