The JW Marriott Hong Kong Reviewed (Lots Of Pictures!)

JW Marriott Hong Kong

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I booked the JW Marriott Hong Kong for a number of reasons but the two main ones were that I’d heard good things about the property overall and I’d heard good things about the Executive Lounge that, as a Marriott Platinum member, I would have access too. After a good Business Class flight from Tokyo I was looking forward to finding out if the hotel lived up to the reviews.

Joanna and I took the Hong Kong Airport Express from the airport into Hong Kong station from where we caught a rickety shuttle bus (free) to the JW Marriott Hong Kong – from airport to hotel the journey took no more than about 45 minutes.

Hong Kong Hotel Shuttle Services To/From Hong Kong and Kowloon Stations – We Took H1

On my way to the hotel I did a bit of research on my phone to check what rooms the property was still selling for the dates of our stay:

The reason for doing this was simple – I wanted to make sure that the property honored my Platinum upgrade benefit which reads:

Complimentary Room Upgrade: Based on room availability at check-in and limited to a Member’s personal guestroom. Upgrades may include rooms with desirable views, rooms on high floors, corner rooms, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites.  All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis, as determined at the time of check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability and identified by each hotel.

Essentially what that means is that if the hotel has space, as a Platinum Elite, I should be getting a better room than I had booked.

Before we even arrived in Hong Kong I had requested an upgrade via the Marriott mobile app and, as we were traveling on an award booking, I had taken the precaution of asking the Marriott Twitter team if upgrades were available on reward night stays:

I actually already knew the answer to my question but I wanted to have something I could show the front desk if they tried to claim otherwise – it never hurts to be prepared 🙂

According to the Marriott app the property was still selling King Harbour View rooms for all three nights of our stay….so I knew what the benchmark upgrade should be.

JW Marriott Hong Kong Location

The JW Marriott Hong Kong stands set back from Hong Kong Harbour but the location is still pretty good:

It’s approximately 15 minutes walk to “Central” from where you can catch ferries to all parts of the territory (and beyond) including Kowloon. Hong Kong park is also a close walk and it isn’t too far to walk to the tram that will take you to Victoria Peak

If walking isn’t your thing (or if the weather isn’t great) then the hotel sits on top of a mall which leads to Admiralty subway station (one stop from Central) from where you can travel the efficient Hong Kong subway network.

Arrival & Check In

The JW Marriott Hong Kong isn’t a small building and when you walk in there’s an immediate sense of space.

You walk into the hotel on level 4 but large floor-to-ceiling windows lead from where you walk in right down to a half-level (between level 4 and 3) where you’ll find a coffee shop (The Lounge):

If you look down here you’ll see that there are escalators leading even further down into the hotel (Level 3) where the property has a Chinese restaurant and its function rooms.

To get to the hotel elevators you take an immediate right turn as you walk in and you’ll see the elevator lobby straight ahead of you:

Hotel reception is just to the right of the elevator lobby:

At check-in I didn’t say anything about an upgrade as I wanted to see what would happen if I just let nature take its course.

There were two bits of good news straight away both courtesy of my Marriott status:

  • We were to be given a 20% discount on all food and beverages purchased in the hotel with the exception of the minibar
  • We were to be given a 20% discount of all laundry

Those are two very nice and very useful perks.

As the front desk clerk got near to the end of the check-in process, my elite status had been recognised, I’d been asked if I wanted points or an amenity as my welcome gift (it’s always points for me) and I had been given details of the Executive Lounge….but there had been no mention of an upgrade. So I asked about our room.

The friendly clerk confirmed that we were in the Deluxe Guest Room I had booked – no upgrade.

With iPhone at the ready (should I need evidence) I politely asked if there was a chance that there was a better room that we could be upgraded to….perhaps even one with a harbour view.

The clerk went back to her computer, made a call, went back to her computer again and, 5 minutes later we had been moved into a Premier, Harbour View, King room.

Now why couldn’t the property have just done that without me having to ask?!

I thanked the clerk with a smile and we went up to our room.

JW Marriott Hong Kong – Premier Harbour View King Room

The hallways at the JW Marriott don’t look particularly modern….

…but they’re well maintained and there’s no obvious signs of wear and tear – the communal areas appear to be looked after pretty well.

Our room was on the 27th floor of the property (8 floors from the top).

The rooms a the JW Marriott are set out in pretty much the same way most regular hotel rooms are set out.

In our room the door opened into a short hallway with a closet on the left…..

…..a minibar and a safe (together with a $9 bottle of water) just past the closet….

…and the bathroom opposite the minibar on the right side of the small hallway:

The bathroom was perfectly fine…but it felt a little dated.

There are three main things that can give a hotel room some wow factor:

  • the size
  • the view
  • the bathroom

The last one is the easiest for a hotel to achieve as a bathroom doesn’t have to be huge to look great….but this one just looked ok.

Also, comparing it to the bathroom I had at the Marriott Courtyard Seoul earlier in the year, I’d have to say that this one was definitely inferior….and this is a JW Marriott not a Courtyard.

Past the mini-bar and the bathroom the room opened out into a small-to-medium sized sleeping area (it was approximate in size to what I had at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong on my last visit).

There was an armchair/ottoman combo in the area by the window…..

…..a good sized desk…..

…a large-screen TV on the right-hand wall (the TV pulls out and can swivel)…..

…and, a King-size bed:

Just past the armchair and the desk was the view.

Not bad but not stunning either…and there was a small issue.

What I didn’t realise at the time I requested the upgrade was that there were a LOT of roadworks and building works going on right outside the hotel…and our room overlooked them.

I considered heading back down to reception to ask to be downgraded back to a room away from the noise but we decided to stay put and see how things went (it was actually just about ok in the end).

On one side of the bed was a somewhat old Bose CD player (I think you may be able to attach your own device tom it but I’m not sure – I forgot to check):

While on the other side was a phone and a control panel for all the room controls:

The room had a definite lack of power outlets. There one usable one on the same side of the bed as the Bose contraption but none on the other.

There were outlets and inputs built in next to the desk….

…and the property even provides two adapters to make sure guests can charge their devices…..

….but a hotel of this stature should really have more outlets than this.

Overall the room was a reasonable size (certainly for Hong Kong), the bed was very comfortable and it was nice to be able to see a bit of the harbor from our room…especially at night when everything in Hong Kong is lit up (photos didn’t work well from the room but this is what Hong Kong can look like at night):

The JW Marriott Hong Kong Executive Lounge

The Executive Lounge is on the 33rd and 34th floors of the hotel and is open from 6:00am through to midnight daily.

Here’s the letter that we were given at check-in explaining what the lounge offers and when it’s offered (click to enlarge):

if you enter on the 33rd floor (there’s an entrance on the 34th too) the welcome desk is straight ahead and the stairs up to the next level are to the right.

The lounge offers large windows which let in a lot of light and give good views out over Hong Kong.

Seating is a combination of sofa-benches (by the windows) together the with regular tables and chairs.

The seating in the upper area of the lounge is very similar to what is available on the lower level:

While the lounge offers a variety of different food and drink options depending on the time of day, two constant are the hot and non-alcoholic drinks section….

….and the cookies, nuts and candy section:

Executive Lounge Business Area

The Executive lounge also has a room off to one side that’s called a business area but, apart from having a printer and a few computers (PC and Mac), it isn’t really that great a place to get any work done – the sofas and armchair appear to encourage those who don’t necessarily have any work to do to come in.

Breakfast In The Executive Lounge

Breakfast in the Executive lounge at the JW Marriott Hong Kong is substantial….and there’s no way I can describe it all.

Put simply…. there was a buffet of western and eastern food with an ample choice of hot and cold dishes…..

…..as well as a very good choice of breads, pastries, cheeses, cold cuts and fruit:

…and there was an egg station where the chef would cook eggs/omelettes to taste:

This was a great perk of Marriott Platinum status as it meant that we could have a good, full breakfast before we went out for the day and it was entirely complimentary.

Hors d’Oeuvres In The Executive Lounge

What the JW calls Hors d’Oeuvres most US hotels would consider a full-on meal!

There was a selection of hot and cold foods (both western and eastern) just like at breakfast….

And there was even a good selection of min-desserts:

On the drinks front it was all self-service (the way I prefer it) and the selection was pretty good:

All the food and drinks were replenished on a very regular basis and the staff never seemed to stop moving around making sure all was just as it should be.

When I consider that this was all complimentary it makes me appreciate my Platinum status a little bit more (at least for when I visit Marriott properties in Asia where the offerings are far better than back home).

Service In The Executive Lounge

Service in the Executive Lounge was nothing short of excellent on every occasion we visited.

The staff were amongst the most helpful and friendly I’ve met in a hotel lounge and I really can’t praise them highly enough.

Nothing was too much effort (a staff member insisted she check if the chef had any more Dim Sum left when the lounge ran out with 5 minutes of evening food service left – she came back with a plate just for me)…..

……and they were more than happy to open a new bottle of wine even when the drinks service was coming to a close (one of the red wines was excellent).

This was definitely one of the big positives at the JW.

The JW Cafe

The JW Marriott Hong Kong has a number of dining options (none of which I visited to eat) but the main one readers will probably be interested in is where breakfast is served for those without access to the Executive Lounge – the JW Cafe.

The JW Cafe is located on level 5 of the hotel (one level above reception) and its entrance is at one end of the lift lobby:

I visited outside of operating hours so there’s no food on show….but there are also no guests to get in the way of the pictures 🙂

JW Marriott Hong Kong – Other Eateries & Amenities

  • Lower Ground – On the lower ground floor (near the mall entrance) is a gym/health club. It’s reasonably well equipped (I couldn’t take pictures as it was simply too busy) but, being underground, it was a little bit dark for my liking.
  • Level 3 – Man Ho Chinese Restaurant, JW Marriott Ballroom and Function Rooms
  • Lobby Level – Q88 Wine Bar, The Lounge & Riedel Room
  • Level 5 – JW Flint Grill & Bar
  • Level 7 – Fish Bar & Swimming Pool…which we never got around to seeing as it rained for a lot of our visit.

You can follow this link to the hotel’s website if you want to see full details of the amenities and eateries on offer.

Thoughts

Negatives:

  • The bathroom in the room was a bit ordinary for a 5* hotel
  • Not enough power outlets in the room
  • A lot of building work generating noise around the hotel – certainly not the hotel’s fault but worth highlighting as, judging by the scale of the work, it won’t be finished anytime soon.
  • We should have been upgraded without me having to ask

Positives:

  • Excellent Executive Lounge staff
  • Great Executive Lounge (food, drink, view etc…)
  • Good location for transport and for exploring Hong Kong
  • Very comfortable bed
  • Good to get 20% of all F&B as well as laundry – that was a nice benfit.

Bottom Line

Although I appear to have listed almost as many negatives as I have positives you shouldn’t read much into that – we had a very positive experience at the JW Marriott Hong Kong.

The Executive lounge is every bit as good as I had heard it was and the staff were really great. We both liked how easy it was to walk to Central (to catch the ferry to Kowloon) and having the subway within a short underground walk meant that we didn’t get wet when the rain lashed down on day 1.

Would we go back to the JW Marriott Hong Kong? Definitely…but I just hope they spruce up the room a little before I get a chance to go back.

5 COMMENTS

    • I’ve never demanded an upgrade or “grovelled” for one (“grovel” being a word used in the thread I believe you’re referring to) but this is how I see it:

      We, as guests, make the following deal with Marriott: We spend a lot of nights at Marriott’s properties and, in return, when there’s available space Marriott upgrades us to a better room than we’ve paid for. It’s quite simple.

      So, when I’ve kept to my side of the deal (I have Platinum status so I believe that qualifies as “spending a lot of nights”) I expect Marriott to keep to their side too. I’m not asking for anything I’m not entitled to…in fact I’m playing by rules that Marriott has written, not me. If Marriott doesn’t like the rules it is more than capable of changing them.

      If people are happy to put the effort in to get status and then not receive the benefits of that status then that’s their choice….but I sometimes find those are the very same people who do all the complaining on sites like Flyertalk, never challenge the properties or Marriott about it and then wonder why nothing ever changes.

      There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for an upgrade and asking the wrong way can indeed be gauche….but not asking for something you’ve been told you’re entitled to is, in my opinion, somewhat foolish.

  1. Ziggy, nice touch, can not agree more….So do you go to flyertalk and participate there? Biggest sites no doubt, but also lots of garbage and self center people like those kind.
    I am also a Plat. Used to be a Gold. Yes, this is clearly the benefit we entitled to , especially in Asia pacific where room inventory usually is not as type as EU/US. And everyone knows what is the right way to ask for a reasonable upgrade and what is an inappropriate way.
    just tired of people like this that are so self-center and thinking that he or she is better than everyone else or we are taking advantage of the marriott..
    Ironically , those person who said asking an UG is gauche said that JW in Bangkok is over price and he only wants to stay at the least expensive price marriott at the same location and the same times expecting the hotel can giving him the max benefit .

    BTW, the double bed room is larger and a real corner one than one king room at JW HK.

    • I have an account on FT but I don’t really comment or post very much – when I have something of use to add I’ll add it but otherwise I’ll just watch with interest 🙂

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