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An ideal rooftop for Disneyland's fireworks, but housekeeping was lackluster: the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort

May 21 2021
12 min read
JW Marriott Anaheim resort lobby
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The JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort is one of two new luxury hotels near Disneyland. As a Category 7 hotel, it's on the higher end of Marriott's award chart, requiring 50,000 to 70,000 points per night.

The hotel opened in August 2020 after delays due to the pandemic. Disneyland Anaheim closed down in March 2020 and didn't reopen until April 30, 2021, so occupancy hasn't been high. As a result, the hotel missed the mark on a few key aspects of the guest experience.

Here's a look at the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort and what you can expect on a visit.

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Booking

I booked the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort online and since there weren't any package deals, I went with the lowest standard rate. This is a Category 7 Marriott hotel, requiring 50,000 to 70,000 points per night. That's quite a lot, considering there are limited-service Hyatt hotels nearby for 12,000 to 15,000 points per night that include free breakfast and rooms with pullout sofas that are better suited for families.

If you're going to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Marriott account to book this award, it's worth considering those options. You may also get a better deal by either booking your stay through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or with Capital One miles.

If cash rates go up and the award rate stays at 50,000, this might be a good place to redeem your annual free night award from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.

Location

JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort exterior. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

The JW Marriott Anaheim is just off Disney Way, about a 15-minute walk to Disneyland's gates. The hotel is adjacent to the Anaheim Garden Walk, a shopping complex featuring a movie theater and restaurants, including P.F. Chang's and Cheesecake Factory. This complex can be accessed through a gate from the hotel gardens. It's quite convenient if you're traveling with kids and looking for easy dining and entertainment options outside the hotel.

Related: Where to stay at Disneyland: On vs. off-property hotel comparisons

Check-in

Check-in at the JW Marriott Anaheim starts at 4 p.m., and my niece and I arrived about 30 minutes later. The hotel currently offers valet parking only, which costs $40 per day. Although a nearby lot charges $35 for self-parking, I don't think it's worth the hassle.

We handed the keys over and the valet asked if we needed help taking our bags up to the front desk. With just two carry-ons, we declined and headed up the escalators to the lobby.

The hotel entry. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

The entryway and lobby are pretty stunning. There's a large chandelier hanging right in the middle of the entry and several glass sculptures brilliantly illuminating the space.

There were signs outside, by the hotel entrance, and the elevators advising guests to keep their masks on, wash their hands and keep six feet apart from others.

The signs in the entryway and by the elevators were also accompanied by hand-sanitizer dispensers. Their placement was convenient since they coincided with common touchpoints.

Three agents were working the front desk and only one was occupied. We were waved over by Michael, who was very friendly and welcoming. He asked how the flight was and thanked me for being a Bonvoy Platinum member.

The hotel lobby. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

He offered me a choice between 1,000 Marriott points and $10 food-and-beverage credit. Now, TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, so the $10 voucher would have been the way to go. But in that moment, I was tired and not thinking straight, so I went with the points. He still handed me a $10 voucher, which was very much appreciated. We later used it toward breakfast at the cafe downstairs.

Michael also informed us that the hotel would be celebrating the Disneyland reopening the next day with a little performance in the lobby. When we returned from the park that night, there was a woman playing guitar and singing Moana's "How Far I'll Go," with guests clustered on the couches, singing along.

Lobby performance on Disney's reopening day. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Related: I spent 6.5 hours on hold to buy Disneyland tickets — was it worth it?

Room

We were assigned room 1023, which had a view of the hotel pool. It was fairly large and featured two comfortable queen beds, a couch by the window and a small bar area with two free water bottles and a mini-fridge to store them in.

The standard room at the JW Marriott Anaheim. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

There was plenty of storage, with a closet across from the bathroom and drawer space by the desk and nightstand.

(Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

There was also a convenient charging port above the nightstand, offering two power outlets, along with USB ports in the alarm clock.

(Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

While the room was nice overall, I was disappointed by the cleanliness level. Sure, the remote control was wrapped in plastic to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols and sanitizing wipes were laid out. But there were crumbs on the table and a brown stain on the duvet.

As I later discovered, the cleaning standards at this property were not exactly up to par when it came to public spaces either.

The bathroom

The bathroom was spacious, too, featuring a separate shower and bathtub.

JW Marriott Anaheim Resort bathroom. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

The amenities were from Aromatherapy Associates. There was the standard soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, plus mouthwash and a shower cap.

JW Marriott Anaheim bathroom amenities. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)
JW Anaheim bath amenities. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Amenities

The hotel has a large heated outdoor pool, with plenty of loungers, an outdoor shower and a locker room. There were no instructions on how to use the lockers and I couldn't figure out how to set a password, so I ended up just taking our stuff with us to the pool.

The locker room leading to the pool area. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Since no one else was using it, I felt OK letting my niece go for a swim.

JW Marriott Anaheim pool. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

While my niece went for a swim, I worked on my laptop and found the Wi-Fi to be relatively fast. I later had issues with streaming speeds on my phone, but it was perfectly functional for work.

(Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

The private cabanas feature a TV, overhead fan and include unlimited water and "some takeaway items" for $250 per day. The cabanas were in pretty rough shape on both days we visited the pool. There were crumbs, stains and streaks of dirt on the floor and upholstery.

We saw a couple of dead flies and bees on the regular lounge seats. I initially chalked it up to limited housekeeping, but when we returned the next day and it still hadn't been cleaned up; it was disappointing, to say the least.

JW Marriott Anaheim pool cabanas. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

The outdoor shower was conveniently located near the locker room entrance, with plenty of towels nearby to dry off. With no designated place to leave used towels, we left them in the locker room bathroom. When we returned the next day, they still hadn't been picked up.

JW Marriott Anaheim outdoor shower. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Related: 29 of the most beautiful hotel pools around the world

Hotel gym

The hotel gym was closed during our visit. There was a sign indicating it was a COVID -19 safety protocol. I'm not exactly a gym rat, so it didn't bother me, but it's worth noting that the gym at the nearby Radisson Blu (where we spent two nights after this stay) was open.

The gym was closed to all guests, except for contracted groups. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Hotel garden

One of my favorite amenities of this hotel, if you can call it that, was the garden area. It was just behind the check-in desk and featured a beautiful selection of flowers and vegetables for the on-site restaurants.

The hotel gardens (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Food and Beverage

As part of their COVID-19 safety protocols, the hotel pared down its dining options.

Cafe

Room service was unavailable and breakfast was served in the cafe downstairs, which offered breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and plenty of fruit and yogurt options.

The Market Place Cafe at JW Anaheim. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Parkestry rooftop bar

The hotel also has a rooftop bar called Parkestry. They have a separate seating area for families and those looking for peace and quiet, away from the bar and noise, which is a nice touch. The rooftop offers stunning sunset views, and once Disneyland resumes nightly fireworks, this will be a great spot to watch them.

My niece and I went up to the roof on our first day and took in the incredible views just before sunset. Dining is limited to 90 minutes, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The menu was accessible via QR code and was fairly limited in terms of kid-friendly options. The only kid-friendly item was the chicken fingers and fries, which my niece was not in the mood for, so we ended up leaving.

On our way to the elevator, the manager stopped us to ask if everything was OK. I told him my picky eater didn't like the food options, so we were going off-site. He apologized and said, "I hope we'll get to welcome you back later."

Convenience store

Right off the hotel front desk, there is a hotel's convenience store. It was one of the nicest I've ever seen. It was stocked with all the essentials you might have forgotten at home. There were toddler onesies, toiletries, skincare products and snacks. Everything was beautifully laid out.

(Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Related: 8 easy strategies to save money on food delivery and takeout

The service

What the hotel lacked in amenities and cleanliness it made up for in service. The staff here were really top-notch. Whenever we ran into a staff member, they stopped and asked how our stay was and engaged in friendly chitchat.

When I needed a bottle opener for our DoorDash order, the front desk staff member delivered it within five minutes and it was wrapped in plastic. When I asked for late checkout on the last day, Michael responded, "Of course! When would you like to check out?" I ended up asking for 2 p.m., but he let me know that he'd be happy to extend it if I needed more time.

Overall impression

The JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort is a fairly new hotel and still has some kinks to work out. While the location is great and the hotel is beautiful overall, amenities are currently pared down and that includes housekeeping services. I was disappointed at the lack of cleanliness in both the room and pool area. The point rates at this hotel are also high compared to nearby options, though you might find it worthwhile for a luxury hotel.

The negatives aside, the service was great and I think this property has potential once it begins operating at full capacity.

Featured photo by The hotel entry (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees