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Great for business or pleasure: The new JW Marriott Charlotte

February 5 2022
11 min read
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My day-to-day job at The Points Guy doesn't usually involve reviewing hotels. But when I saw that a new JW Marriott was opening this fall in my home city of Charlotte, I put my name forward for the chance to check it out.

The hotel is about 20 minutes from my house, so while it wasn't exactly an exotic getaway, it was the perfect chance to enjoy a brief staycation and spend some time in a part of Charlotte (Uptown) where I don't normally hang out. It also would make for a nice break from the monotony of working from home for nearly two years, and I could use the visit to decide whether I'd suggest the hotel to visiting family and friends in the future.

Here's what my wife and I experienced during our first-ever stay at a JW Marriott.

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Booking

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Since I'm not loyal to any one hotel brand, I was either going to use cash or redeem transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards to pay for the stay.

For the two nights I was targeting, room rates started at $327 per night (plus an additional $50 in taxes and fees) or 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. I decided cash was a better option, as it would also help us earn points for our upcoming trip to Argentina.

Without a Marriott credit card in my wallet, my best option was to book via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal using my Chase Sapphire Reserve, since I would earn 10 Chase points per dollar.

Location

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

The JW Marriott Charlotte is located right in the city center, a few blocks away from both Bank of America Stadium (home of the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Football Club, the city’s professional football and soccer teams) and Spectrum Center (where the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets play) in Uptown Charlotte.

In addition to offering easy access to these venues, the property sits across the street from the Charlotte Convention Center and is close to a number of corporate offices, making it ideal for a business trip.

If you're not driving, the hotel is really accessible using Lynx, Charlotte’s light rail system. The closest stop, Stonewall Station, is a block southeast of the property. Or, you can take advantage of the hotel’s valet parking for $40 per day.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Check-in

From the moment the hotel's 22-story edifice comes into view, you’ll know you’re in for an elevated, albeit business-oriented experience.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

The sleek structure features sections with wall-to-wall glass. Its lobby is decorated in cool, dark tones, comfortable yet modern furnishings and marble and brass accents. Beyond an intimate seating area stand five small podiums for checking guests in.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

There was no line, so we were immediately greeted by a staff member who proceeded to check us in. The process was a breeze, and the man helping us made sure to add my Bonvoy number to the reservation.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

With my Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which I enrolled in thanks to carrying The Platinum Card® from American Express, I earned 500 bonus points as a welcome amenity and was given a late checkout time of 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The room

We were assigned a room on the north side of the 17th floor. Having chosen to pay about $20 more per night for a city-view room on a higher floor (versus a standard king room), we were a bit underwhelmed by what we saw from our window.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Rather than enjoying sweeping skyline panoramas like what we noticed from spaces on the south side of the building, we had an up-close view of a construction site just across the street, albeit with some skyscraper views beyond.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

However, the room itself was spacious at 378 square feet. It featured a mostly white and gray color palette with a dark accent wall behind the bed and pale pink throw pillows and furniture stitching. The room offered ample space for storing luggage and plenty of room to stretch out during a two-night stay.

The king-size bed was flanked by bedside tables with standard three-prong outlets, plus USB and USB-C outlets. Fixed, pendant-style lights above the nightstands brightened up the space when needed, and an adjustable, mounted reading light was available on each side of the bed.

On the far side by the window were a side chair and side table, but we rarely used them other than to briefly set down the contents of our pockets or a cup of coffee.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

I spent part of our stay working remotely, so I appreciated the large desk, which had its own set of outlets. The single-serve coffee maker, however, wasn't sufficient for my typical caffeine fix during a workday. It seemed better suited for a roadside motel than a luxury hotel.

One of the best features of the room was the large marble bathroom, which came with automatic motion-sensing lights, a large, dual-nozzle shower, frosted glass doors for privacy and single-use Aromatherapy Associates bath products.

Adjacent to the bathroom were the closets, though they oddly contained only one robe and a single pair of slippers, which my wife and I left untouched.

The closet space was tight, but since we only had clothes for two nights, it was big enough for our needs.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Food and drink

While the simple coffeemaker in the room didn't suit a caffeine fiend like me, the coffee bar adjacent to the lobby, The Counter at Dean’s, was excellent. Should you find yourself craving coffee from a more mainstream brand, there's a newly opened Starbucks Pickup store — one of the first to appear in the South — around the corner from the property.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

For a bite to eat, the hotel offers three dining options: two restaurants and a rooftop bar with lighter fare.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

On the first night, we dined at Dean’s Italian Steakhouse. While certainly an upscale option, the restaurant was warmly decorated and unpretentious, with rustic details like rough stone walls, wooden tabletops and a barn door-inspired bar. There was a mixed crowd of couples and business travelers, and the attire ranged from polos and jeans to sport coats and cocktail dresses.

The food was outstanding, but it came at a price. Steaks started at $38 for a flat iron cut of Australian Wagyu and cost as much as $95 for a bone-in Wagyu filet.

And while the selection of domestic Cabernet Sauvignons — 45 options, to be exact — was impressive, the average price of a bottle was an eye-popping $176, with only five options costing less than $120. Even if you order your own entrée and share an appetizer and a dessert (like we did), the per person price is likely to exceed $100.

If seafood is what you’re after, make time for a meal at Caroline’s Oyster Bar. Although we didn’t originally plan on dining here on our second night — more on that later — we were pleasantly surprised by the entrees.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Named for the owner’s daughter, Caroline’s was decorated to create an ambiance that harkens back to the traditional seafood shacks on North Carolina's coast but with a lot of fancy city elements thrown in, including a massive circular marble bar with a metal liquor shelving system that doubles as the dining room’s primary source of light.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Just inside the main entrance, another bar displays fresh oysters from locations up and down the East Coast. Beyond the indoor space lies a patio for alfresco dining that’s accessible via retractable doors.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

During our meal, we slurped down a dozen oysters from my home waters of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as a few from North Carolina locales. My halibut fish and chips ($26) and my wife’s Wagyu burger ($19) were the perfect casual plates to enjoy after the formidable steaks from the night before.

As alluded to above, we hadn't planned on eating dinner at Caroline’s on our second night; we had our eyes set on the bar at Aura Rooftop. Much to our surprise, though, reservations are required to dine there, so we were only able to take a look around.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

While there’s a certain coolness to any rooftop bar, this one was a bit of a disappointment, as it’s only five stories up on top of the shorter wing of the hotel. Perhaps I’m just particular about rooftop bars, but its lack of distance from the street took away from its overall atmosphere.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Room service is also available, though we didn’t place an order during our stay.

Amenities and service

The hotel’s Uptown Charlotte location makes it a good option for weddings, business meetings and other large events. I counted 14 event rooms, the largest with a capacity of nearly 700 people.

To give housekeeping an unencumbered opportunity to reset our room, I decided to check out another business amenity: the Executive Lounge. Once the front desk clerk programmed my room key for access to the lounge, I headed there to work for a few hours.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

Though the lounge has only a handful of private meeting rooms, there was plenty of space for me and a few others already there to spread out and take our respective calls. I loved that the lounge had a self-service coffee bar, a minifridge stocked with a variety of beverages and a mix of sweet and salty snacks. The cozy, double-sided fireplace was a nice touch, too.

Considering my top must-have when staying at a hotel is a gym, I opted to check out the property’s fitness center during my staycation. I had pretty low expectations, as I’ve been disappointed by hotel gyms a few too many times. The one at the JW Marriott Charlotte, however, was quite impressive, offering everything from a Peloton bike to battle ropes and more traditional equipment like treadmills and ellipticals.

There was plenty of room to spread out, so I never felt like I was bumping elbows with others.

While neither my wife nor I used the on-site spa, I was impressed with the extensive list of services it offers. (Think: couple’s massages, manicures and Ayurvedic treatments.)

What really stood out during our stay, though, were the friendly members of staff. From the warm receptionist to the attentive servers and incredibly accommodating barista at Dean’s, we felt the service here was top-notch.

Overall impression

As a Charlotte local, I’m thrilled that Marriott chose my city for the continued expansion of the JW brand. It's an excellent home base for Charlotte visitors looking to earn and burn Bonvoy points.

(Photo by Taylor Jenkins/The Points Guy)

I don’t expect to stay at the JW Marriott Charlotte again in the near future since, well, I live in town. But the next time I have a hankering for hometown oysters, I know exactly where to go.

Featured photo by (Photo by Taylor Jenkins/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.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
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

2 - 6X points
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 points75,000 points
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.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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.

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
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
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