Edited by: Michael Y. Park
& Keri Stooksbury
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The author was traveling as an invited guest of JW Marriott Charlotte. All opinions are the author’s own, and the hotel had no input in any part of this review.
Charlotte, known as the Queen City, is among one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. The addition of new skyscrapers and luxury hotels — like the JW Marriott Charlotte — speaks to the city’s ever-growing skyline.
As a North Carolina native, I’ve seen the entire state transform before my eyes. Therefore, I was not only eager to see what it was like to stay at the JW Marriott Charlotte, but at large, what else was new with the downtown area (which is called “Uptown”).
Whether you’re visiting for work or play, here’s what you can expect if you’re staying at the JW Marriott in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.
Charlotte’s central banking district is downtown, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s officially known as Uptown. Sports fans will love being within walking distance of several noteworthy stadiums, and there are a growing number of restaurants, bars, and museums worth checking out.
The JW Marriott Charlotte occupies a fine piece of real estate on South College Street, which puts you within 10 minutes by foot from all Uptown Charlotte has to offer.
While you’ll need a car to explore most of Charlotte, the good news is that Uptown is one of the only walkable areas in the entire city.
The JW Marriott Charlotte is less than a 15-minute Uber ride from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT), which should set you back no more than $20.
The JW Marriott Charlotte opened its doors in 2021, marking the hotel chain’s newest property in the Charlotte area. As an upscale property with nearly 400 guest rooms, the JW Marriott Charlotte is a notch down from the neighboring The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, which opened a decade ago.
I was visiting as part of a media stay, but paid rates for the JW Marriott Charlotte are highly dependent on the events in the area. When the Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets are playing, don’t be surprised if rates are going upwards of $700 per night — that is, if rooms are still available. Cash rates fall closer to $300 per night during slower months. Consider using one of our recommendations for the best credit cards for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists if you’re paying with cash.
Booking with Marriott Bonvoy points? The points rates fluctuate wildly, too, but you can expect to pay around 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. This could be an excellent opportunity to redeem those 85,000-point free night awards (if you’ve got the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card) and top off the remainder with your points stash.Hot Tip:
We value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents apiece, so 100,000 Bonvoy points are worth about $700 in our book. As always, you’ll want to compare the value of the points redeemed to the cash rates to determine whether you’re getting a good redemption.
If you’re driving to the JW Marriott Charlotte, as I did, you should know the hotel is immediately off of the John Belk Freeway. Although the property is quite large, it can be easy to miss, as it’s tucked away on the corner of South College Street and East Brooklyn Village Avenue.
I arrived at the JW Marriott Charlotte on a late Friday afternoon, pulling up to the valet. Since there’s valet-only parking, out-of-towners may want to consider looking for other (cheaper) public self-parking lots or decks.
Once I handed over my keys to the valet, I walked into the lobby to get checked in, which was bustling with activity from travelers who had just arrived.
The lobby area was beautiful, adorned with warm lighting fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows, but it was on the smaller end for a hotel of this size. However, a good number of visitors were arriving at Dean’s Steakhouse or visiting the rooftop bar and pool.
Even so, it didn’t take long for me to get my room keys. The friendly agent personally showed me the way to the smart elevators.
Once I tapped my key card on the panel, it directed me to the elevator that took me to my floor in the shortest amount of time.
With 6 elevators going up all the way to the top, this meant there was never a long wait for a ride up.
During my 2-night stay at the JW Marriott Charlotte, there was plenty for me to explore within the hotel grounds.
On the fifth floor, the Aura Rooftop is easily the main attraction at the JW Marriott Charlotte.
It’s one of the few public rooftop pools (with a bar!) in Uptown, so there was no doubt that many tourists and locals alike enjoyed the space on a late August afternoon.
However, it was the kind of place to reward those who arrived early, as pool chairs were limited — especially on a hot summer day like when I visited. You could also reserve a cabana in advance through ResortPass, starting at $200 for a half-day rental.
The pool was open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with dedicated family time from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The bar had varying hours for food and drink service, detailed in the Food and Beverage section below.
If you wanted to get a sweat on, the JW Marriott Charlotte offered a sizable gym right next to the pool and rooftop bar.
The fitness center offered plenty of cardio and strength training equipment, which remained empty the few times I stopped by. Best of all, guests could access the gym 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with their room keys.
The full-service luxury spa, Spa by JW, was on the second floor and offered a variety of facials, treatments, and nail services.
I didn’t have time to book a treatment during my short trip to Charlotte, but appointments were available every day except Mondays. Amenities like a spa are what make a luxury hotel feel extra special.
Also on the second floor was the JW Marriott Charlotte’s executive lounge, offering breakfast and light snacks throughout the day. You could access this lounge if you’d booked an executive-level room (or higher). Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy’s most elite members, including Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite, could enjoy complimentary access to the lounge and bring 1 guest.
I currently have The Platinum Card® from American Express, which gives me complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (enrollment required). This status level wasn’t enough to give me an inside look into the executive lounge, but this amenity could’ve been a great addition if I’d been looking to grab a quick bite or look for a quiet place to work outside my guest room.Hot Tip:
If you’re a Marriott loyalist, read our guide on how you can qualify for Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
The JW Marriott Charlotte’s executive lounge’s listed hours were Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (breakfast) and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (breakfast), and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. (breakfast).
The JW Marriott Charlotte did not allow pets, with the exception of service animals.
The Wi-Fi was complimentary for guests, and the speeds were notably excellent throughout my stay. I had no problem connecting my devices upon entering my room number and last name on the portal.
The JW Marriott Charlotte offered valet-only parking for $45 daily, plus tax. My valet parking ticket also provided a QR code that allowed me to request my car in advance, and the link also provided an estimated time when my car would be ready.
It’s also worth noting that there were plenty of other parking decks and lots for a fraction of the cost in the area, so you may want to price out your options. However, valet parking was convenient and included unlimited in-and-out privileges.
The JW Marriott Charlotte boasted 381 guest rooms, which included 34 suites. No dark hallways here: The whole property continued to feel bright and airy with plenty of windows and sconce lighting.
My 1-King Bed guest room was on the 18th floor, so I was eager to check out the views from my window.
When I first walked into the room, I was most impressed by the amount of natural light that shone through, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. In addition, the light marble finishes and full-length mirror helped to liven up the space.
There was an enclosed wardrobe immediately on my left. It was small but functional, still offering plenty of hangers, a room safe, and a fresh robe and pair of slippers.
There was no need for me to get ready from the bathroom or desk, thanks to the built-in vanity. The magnified mirror and a few beauty must-haves, like cotton swabs and cotton pads, were all a welcome sight.
Additionally, there was an in-room coffee and tea maker with complimentary water bottles. By scanning the QR code, I could also order room service.
The minifridge was hidden below, where I also found an ice bucket.
The storage areas continued throughout the room, which helped compensate for the small wardrobe. I’m the type of traveler who likes to unpack and organize my stuff immediately upon arrival, so these dressers made it much easier for me to settle into my space.
The historic artwork and subtle pink accents throughout the room were a clear homage to a city named after Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of England’s George III. Each nightstand also featured USB-C and USB-A ports.
Lighting was clearly the name of the game in this room, with hanging lights and adjustable reading lights on both nightstands.
Though the bed was comfortable, and the blackout curtains did a great job blocking any city lights, the pillows weren’t as supportive as they looked. But it was just as easy to request more pillows from the front desk and double up for a better night’s sleep the second night.
Beyond the chaise lounge by the window was the large flat-screen TV and a spacious work desk. When I first arrived, I received a welcome amenity of sweet treats and sparkling wine, usually given to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite members (or higher).
Downtown Charlotte is still under a lot of construction, but the city views out my window were great, considering that many of these high-rise buildings have been built in the last decade. Overall, I loved my room at the JW Marriott Charlotte, which was designed with style, function, and a lot of natural light in mind.
The bathroom was just as clean and well-appointed as the room, with sliding doors opening up to the elegant space.
I immediately noticed the sleek marble finishes and bright, makeup-friendly lighting.
Plenty of complimentary products were available — most notably the Aromatherapy Associates products that were handcrafted for the JW Marriott brand.
A frosted glass divider separated the toilet and shower areas, with doors for more privacy.
Housekeeping came by daily to replace all the linens, from the bath mats to towels to bathrobes. They cleaned the guest room and bathroom expertly,
In sum, the accommodations at the JW Marriott Charlotte struck a nice balance for both business and leisure travelers. Every part of the guest room and bathroom felt luxurious while still being a good use of space.
Aura Rooftop & Bar was as lively as the pool, so it could be a good idea to reserve a seat on OpenTable when you go. A happy hour was offered from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, and you could save $3 off the food menu. In addition to handcrafted cocktails, the Aura Rooftop offered shareable bites like ahi tuna tacos and avocado hummus (all so delicious that I forgot to snap a picture before devouring them!).
Aura Rooftop & Bar Hours:
Tucked away in a hallway on the second floor was the award-winning Caroline’s Oyster Bar, only open for dinner. On the menu were freshly shucked oysters and Southern-style sides, and it had plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Caroline’s Oyster Bar Hours:
Dean’s Italian Steakhouse was on the ground floor and served lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Think classic steaks, as well as staples like salads and pasta dishes. It’s a popular restaurant, so you’ll want to make your reservations in advance.
Dean’s Italian Steakhouse Hours:
At the front of the bar was The Counter at Dean’s, which offered fresh pastries and barista-made drinks for those up early or in need of an evening caffeine fix. I thoroughly enjoyed my chocolate croissant and an iced latte with oat milk.
The Counter at Dean’s Hours:
Although I was an invited guest of the JW Marriott Charlotte, I tried to be incognito to get a natural feel of the service. Whether I needed to call in for extra pillows or replace my lost room keys (more than once), the front desk agents were friendly and accommodating. Even for a hotel of this size, I never waited long to be helped out.
You’ll find true Southern hospitality at this hotel, and whenever I stopped by The Counter at Dean’s for my morning coffee, the barista was always kind and striking up conversations with guests. I also loved that I could request my car from valet in advance and even tip the employees via my phone.
JW Marriott properties have quickly become my favorite hotel brand within the Marriott family. The many hotels I’ve visited that bear the name have offered upscale guest rooms, amenities, and thoughtful service — and the JW Marriott Charlotte was no exception.
This property is a fantastic addition to the growing Charlotte metropolitan area. Whether guests were dining at the award-winning restaurants on-site or enjoying a few drinks and bites during happy hour, it’s clear that the JW Marriott Charlotte has already positioned itself as a staple in Uptown.
There are 23 floors at the JW Marriott Charlotte, and the guest rooms start on the fifth floor.
While base-level rooms start around $300 per night, the presidential suite can cost over $8,000 per night as the hotel’s most luxurious offering.
The JW Marriott Charlotte opened in August 2021.
The JW Marriott Charlotte is in Uptown Charlotte on South College Street and is within walking distance to the Bank of America Stadium and Spectrum Center.
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