Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
An impersonal but modestly luxurious hotel with a few unique details and amenities
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.
Professional and thorough
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.
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.
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.
Clean and well maintained
The hotel is clean and very well maintained.
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.