JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Review
Located steps from Disney Springs and near the Disney theme parks lies a brand-spanking-new hotel for those with upmarket taste, I introduce you to the new hotel on the proverbial block, the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort. This new Orlando luxury resort made its debut in July 2020 and is conveniently surrounded by Disney theme parks. The sophisticated décor, warm hospitality, and curated experiences make it an ideal lodging option for travelers wanting a refined hotel experience in Orlando. Just don’t expect any Disney-themed décor here as this family-friendly luxury hotel resembles the likes of opulent hotels in Miami and Los Angeles, a pleasant surprise for Orlando.
JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Price
The newly-minted JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is a Category 6 hotel with the Bonvoy program. Standard nightly rates start at $209 and you’ll need 50,000 Bonvoy points for a standard free night award. Off-peak point redemptions start at 40,000 per night and peak at 60,000 per night. As always, the Marriott Bonvoy program allows you to redeem points for four nights and get the fifth night free.
The 16-floor, 516-room JW Marriott is located at the Bonnet Creek Resort. The Bonnet Creek Resort is a 482-acre resort complex that shares its grounds with other lavish hotels such as, the Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek, Hilton Bonnet Creek, and Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek resort.
A quick five-minute jaunt by car from the hotel and you arrive at the open-aired Disney Springs complex and the entrance of the popular Disney theme parks. The hotel is located only 30 minutes from the Orlando International Airport.
If you prefer to redeem your hard-earned points for free nights at luxury hotels over staying at overpriced Disney properties, it doesn’t get better than the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek location.
Lobby and Check-In
Upon arrival and entering the curved driveway ramp up to the front entrance, guests witness a gorgeous cascade of water with the JW Marriott logo embedded unto the structure. I was taken aback by the beauty of the entrance and for a second, I forgot I was arriving at a hotel near Disney.
As you step foot into the lobby, you feel like you’ve taken a wrong turn 240 miles down south to Miami and ended up in some extravagant South Beach hotel. The lobby floor is stunning and is designed to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation. Guests will delight in the details of the sophisticated décor with indigenous woods, wicker, reeds, and stone features from the airy and inviting lobby.
As the hotel recently opened in July, no valet service is offered yet but guests can pull up to the front entrance, drop their luggage off and a helpful bellman will whisk it away to your room. Guests then proceed to the self-parking garage attached to the hotel where they then take a quick elevator ride to the lobby level once parked.
The front desk is on your immediate right upon entering the hotel and a friendly associate greets you with a smile through the plexiglass for added social distancing safety measures. The gentleman checking us in was kind enough to comp us a free in-room movie due to the lack of valet service. The check-in process was smooth, my Marriott Bonvoy Gold status was acknowledged, and once my room keys were ready, we headed up to the 8th floor to check out our digs.
As expected from the JW brand, all 516 guest rooms have luxury touches for ultimate comfort. We had a two-bedroom suite with a wrap-around balcony facing the two pools (the highlight of our room) which was adequate space for the four of us. The suite was divided into a split floor plan, with sleeping areas on the far ends and an adjoined living room in the middle between the two bedrooms.
The beds were new and very comfortable and each room within the suite was equipped with flat-screen TVs with cable channels and streaming services. The master bathroom had a fancy Toto toilet with all the bells and whistles along with a spacious rain shower and separate bathtub.
The living room featured a small refrigerator to keep your beverages cold and complimentary in-room snacks and water for guests which was a nice added touch. It was also equipped with a sofa, work desk, as well as an in-room Illycaffè espresso maker. I would describe the décor as elegant with modern touches and practical room features.
In full transparency, although we did not stay in a standard two doubles or king room, we saw our friends room and it was equipped with many of the same features as our suite. We would have been just as happy in a standard room but were grateful for the extra room so the kids could sprawl out.
One thing to note for my fellow bougie readers, the hotel has a proportionally large number of suites compared to standard rooms, with a total of 81. If you’re a Bonvoy Gold (or higher status) elite member, there’s a decent chance you may be able to snag a room upgrade, availability permitting.
From the front desk to the Kids Conservatory staff, every associate we came in contact with was incredibly kind and genuinely helpful. You can really gauge the level of service a hotel exhibits by how they perform under pressure. Not only was the hotel at full occupancy (50% due to COVID), the staff wore masks everywhere and everyone we encountered had a friendly disposition about them.
Due to COVID, guests did not have access to the ice machines. We were informed to call the front desk and they would have someone send up ice. Within a few minutes of my call requesting ice, an associate came with three bags of ice and extra waters for our room.
We spent an entire day at the pool and even in the brutal Florida heat and with a busy pool scene, the short-handed pool staff came by often to check if we needed anything. The attention to detail in delivering exceptional service was never lacking during this busy weekend.
JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Pool and Amenities
Our trip wasn’t designed for a theme park visit so we spent the entire day enjoying the hotel grounds. To assure social distancing amongst all guests, particularly on a very busy holiday weekend, the hotel provides a website where guests are asked to register in advance for activities, make hotel dining reservations, choose an allotted time range for visiting the pools, and reserve a daybed or cabana.
As is customary for the JW brand, they merge luxury and family fun as few other brands can. Thanks to its customary ‘The Family’ by JW program, there were plenty of activities for all, including families. The hotel has a neat 6th Floor Kids Conservatory, which offers creative fun with games and crafts.
In addition, there is also the Activity Garden, featuring a rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole mini-golf course, and an open lawn to play giant chess, and other games. Permits awaiting, they look to build an outdoor bar on the 6th floor Activity Garden for guests wanting to watch their kids while enjoying a cold beverage.
Opening soon, guests can rejuvenate at the resort’s 10,000-square-foot luxury Spa by JW, which offers 10 treatment rooms and express pods. The sparkling new spa is expected to open in mid-October for all guests. You can book a quick 12-minute mini-spa treatment or spend the entire day indulging in relaxation and spa bliss.
The hotel has two pools, one for adults and one for families. The smaller of the two is the quieter adult pool with day beds available for lounging. Oddly-positioned, a small splash pad for kids is located beyond the adult pool. I took the girls for a bit and although it’s a nice added touch for families with young children, I’d say the placement of the splash pad probably should have been thought through a bit more.
The family-friendly pool houses all the cabanas for those seeking sanctuary in the main pool area. At the time of our visit, the food and beverage delivered to cabanas came directly from Unreserved, the all-day dining restaurant on-site. If you don’t want to splurge on a cabana, you can order hot dogs and burgers from Palm Cove, the poolside drinks and food spot.
JW Marriott Bonnet Creek’s culinary program offers menus by award-winning chefs that use organic and locally-sourced ingredients for farm-to-table-style dining experiences. The main lobby dawns a gorgeous bar. Right beside the bar, off the main lobby is Sear+Sea Woodfire Grill, the signature culinary steakhouse of the hotel which only operates dinner service.
Unreserved Food Bazaar, is the main restaurant on-site, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The outdoor space of Unreserved dubs as a Beer Garden, which offers wines, local beers, and freshly baked pizzas and pretzels. We saw some pizzas coming out of the coal-fired oven and they looked incredible. Sadly, those pizzas weren’t on the poolside menu and only available at dinner which we didn’t get to enjoy at the hotel.
We did however have breakfast at Unreserved on the first morning. With unremarkable Gold elite status, the out-of-pocket cost for breakfast was exorbitant. Yet everyone enjoyed their dishes and beverages. The wait of more than an hour to get our food was a sour point as the restaurant was half empty and the kids (and adults) grew grumpy. We chalked it up to a new hotel going through its usual bumps and bruises post-grand opening and a heavily short-manned staff for the unusually busy weekend. The next morning, we opted for a quick breakfast at the JW Market, a grab-and-go coffee bar. The offerings were plentiful, the wait was minimal and the cost was reasonable.
The outdoor space of Unreserved dubs as a Beer Garden, which offers wines, local beers, and freshly baked pizzas and pretzels. We saw some pizzas coming out of the coal-fired oven and they looked incredible. Sadly, those pizzas weren’t on the poolside menu and only available at dinner.
Located on the ninth floor is illume, a rooftop restaurant with a Japanese-inspired menu featuring sushi, eclectic seafood dishes, and Asian tapas that is not open yet but I was able to check out the space. The decor felt very Nobu-like and the expansive outdoor terrace seating offered spectacular views of Orlando.
JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Review In a Nutshell
The JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is a refreshingly different hotel in the heart of Disney. With beautiful rooms, upscale decor, and plenty of amenities for the whole family, you may want to bypass the parks for a day and relax at this stunning property.