JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Around the corner from the White House
  • Extremely comfortable bedding
  • Well-wired: Internet access on the TV with a wireless keyboard; connectivity panel in each room with cables to hook up your computer, iPods, DVD players, digital cameras to TV
  • Large indoor pool and Jacuzzi; 24-hour fitness room.
  • Outdoor pool-level courtyard terrace (closed in winter)
  • A patio on the top floor with panaromic views of Pennsylvania Avenue

Cons

  • Huge and somewhat impersonal
  • Daily fee for Internet access
  • Expensive full-service business center; computer use and laptop connection available
  • No spa
  • Pricey parking fee

Bottom Line

A no-nonsense luxury hotel for the masses just steps away from the White House, the JW Marriott has a shopping mall-like multistory lobby and 772 cozy guestrooms. It's modestly plush, but in a populist way -- especially when compared with the place across the street, the Intercontinental Willard, which is richer and more exclusive.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

An impersonal but modestly luxurious hotel with a few unique details and amenities

The JW Marriott Hotel On Pennsylvania Avenue
The JW Marriott Hotel On Pennsylvania Avenue

The JW Marriott is one of a handful of privileged hotels that rubs shoulders with the White House -- among the others are the Hay-Adams, W, Intercontinental Willard, and Sofitel Hotel Lafayette Square. The 772-room Marriott is big and practical but, unlike the others in the immediate vicinity, neither historic (it was built in 1985) nor particularly elegant. It looks like an office building on the outside; inside the lobby it could pass for an upscale shopping mall, with a three-story atrium lobby, lots of escalators, a gift shop, and a Starbucks.

That said, the guest rooms were renovated in 2006 and still feel fresh and modestly luxurious. Standard rooms are an adequate 300 square feet, which is about average for Washington, but the bedding is high end, the carpeting is remarkably plush, and the up-to-date electronics include 37-inch flat-screen TVs. The amenities, meanwhile, are better than adequate: a 30-foot-long swimming pool and a full-service, 24-hour business center with an attendant.

 Service

Professional and thorough

The lobby shoeshine
The lobby shoeshine

The hotel staff is thorough and professional. Teams of uniformed porters and parking attendants work the front entrance, greeting everyone at their car even during the busiest rush. The concierge desk is often manned by two unusually helpful attendants. The manager conscientiously works the lobby at rush hour, welcoming new guests and thanking those departing. It's a command performance, and she's got a fantastic memory.

  • Concierge available daily
  • 24-hour room service with limited overnight menu
  • The Concierge Lounge on the 14th floor serves guests on the top two executive floors with free breakfast snacks, newspapers, magazines.
  • Turndown service on request
  • Pricey valet parking

 Location

On Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House and a few blocks from monuments on the Mall

Tourists may not need a car in D.C., and that's especially true if they're staying at the JW Marriott, which is close to all the major monuments and museums and just a few blocks away from the Metro Center, a major hub in the city's excellent subway system. Located in the compact section of the city called Penn Quarter, on the border of downtown, the JW Marriott is a safe, convenient option for both business and leisure travelers -- full of restaurants and shops (well-known franchises, mostly), but still close to the major sights (the White House is just a short walk away). The once-seedy section of town has, in recent decades, been revamped by urban renewal projects -- the most recognizable of which is the Verizon Center sports arena, about six blocks away. Other nearby attractions include the International Spy Museum, FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Ford's Theatre, the National Archives, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Theatre. Skirting the neighborhood are Chinatown and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center; just south lies the National Mall and all its attractions.

  • 10-minute drive cab ride to the Capitol and Union Station
  • 20-minute walk, or about 10 minutes by car, to the monuments on the National Mall
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to Reagan National Airport
  • 27-mile, 60-minute dirve to Dulles International Airport

 Rooms

Comfortable and modestly luxurious rooms with good bedding, flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms

A Standard Room
A Standard Room
  • Standard rooms are 300 square feet, which is average for Washington.
  • Luxurious bedding: 300-thread-count sheets, down padding by Pacific Coast Feather Company, down comforter, extra fluffy pillows, and an extra thick mattress.
  • 37-inch flat-screen HDTV
  • Quality bathrooms accented in dark granite and marble tile

 Features

Large swimming pool, Jacuzzi and gym, spa, business center and massive roof deck for VIP guests

The pool
The pool
  • Fitness center, which underwent major renovations in the summer of 2010, ellipical machines, Stairmasters, free weights, and treadmills.
  • Indoor swimming pool is about 30 feet long and is excellent for laps.
  • Large outdoor courtyard for relaxing and sunning adjacet to the pool (closed fall and winter)
  • Business center offers five terminals plus printers and faxes; attendant is on duty weekdays
  • Concierge Lounge on 14th floor for VIP guests on the 14th and 15th concierge level floors has sweeping, panaromic views of the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue; serves gratis continental breakfast, snacks, and cash bar.

 Family

A location close to the White House, museums, and monuments, plus a large swimming pool and relatively relaxed atmosphere, make this a solid family option.

  • Complimentary ribs and rollaways available, and pullout beds in some rooms
  • Kids' and family movies on demand
  • Room service offers kids' menu.
  • Large swimming pool and Jacuzzi

 Cleanliness

Clean and well maintained

The hotel is clean and very well maintained.

 Food

Two decent restaurants and a Starbucks on premises, and the Old Ebbitt Grill around the corner

  • The Avenue Grill offers steak, chicken, and fish dishes that are a slight notch above typical hotel restaurant fare.
  • The 1331 Bar and Lounge offers bar food that's a bit more exotic than most hotel bars -- from buttermilk calamari to shrimp and grits -- at reasonable prices. I recommend the crab cake slider; fat with Maryland lump crab meat, it's a real deal
  • 24 hour room service; limited late-night menu
  • Starbucks on premises
  • Try the Old Ebbitt Grill around the corner for a meal with a touch of history; it's the city's oldest saloon, dating to 1856. Expect a long wait for weekend brunch.

 Bottom Line

A no-nonsense luxury hotel for the masses just steps away from the White House, the JW Marriott has a shopping mall-like multistory lobby and 772 cozy guestrooms. It's modestly plush, but in a populist way -- especially when compared with the place across the street, the Intercontinental Willard, which is richer and more exclusive.

Things You Should Know About JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC

Address

  • 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20004

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Jw Marriott Washington Dc
  • Marriott Washington Dc
  • Washington Dc Marriott

Room Types

  • Concierge Level Guest Room
  • Concierge Level Guest Room Pennsylvania Ave View
  • Guest Room
  • Guest Room Pennsylvania Ave View
  • Larger Guest Room
  • Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 738
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C.
Address: 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20004
(See Map)
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