Oct012018

Review: JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead for $35.50 per night

Since 2014 I have won some great Marriott hotel discount deals through the Marriott Omaha Business Council annual fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. Their 2018 auction closed September 21 and JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead received a winning bid of $150 for two nights with breakfast.

Last year I won this same two nights with breakfast deal for $71. Two nights at JW Marriott Buckhead was my primary motivation for a trip to Atlanta this week.

View from JW Marriott Buckhead to Atlanta Downtown

Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to JW Marriott Buckhead $3.50 by public transportation

Traveling light with just a backpack meant that I was off the Frontier Airlines plane in ATL and reached MARTA metro inside the airport in about 20 minutes, then waited about 15 minutes for the train into the city.

JW Marriott Buckhead is across the street from Lenox Station on the Gold Line and there was no need to even change trains.

MARTA train

MARTA – Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority station map

MARTA one-way ticket is $2.50 and $1.00 for a reloadable Breeze card.

Reloadable MARTA Breeze card

MARTA Lenox station on Gold Line

I arrived at JW Marriott Buckhead about one hour after landing at ATL. The photo below of JW Marriott Buckhead is taken from the same spot on sidewalk as photo above of Lenox Station.

J.W. Marriott Buckhead Atlanta and adjacent Lenox Square shopping mall restaurants.

My arrival at the hotel was about 8:15pm and it was already dark outside.

Check-in

At check-in I turned over my auction win certificate for the two night stay. The front desk receptionist photocopied my original certificate and gave me the copy.

I was able to book my reservation online as a paid rate using a special rate code GIF with the stipulation the reservation would be changed to a complimentary stay when I presented the original certificate at check-in.

JW Marriott Buckhead auction certificate (used)

The receptionist provided details about breakfast on second floor and the floor of the gym and pool.

Room 1018

My photos are all off-color in the room light of night.

I had planned to photograph the room again in daylight, but never did.

I spent my time on the four hour Frontier Airlines flight from San Jose to Atlanta putting together photographs from the Schindler Factory Museum in Krakow, Poland into a video. Over the past two weeks I read The Holocaust (2017) by Laurence Rees as a follow-up to my tour of Auschwitz on July 30. The book had me thinking about Treblinka, a far less known extermination camp that would have likely been deadlier than Auschwitz, if it were not for the course of the war turning against the Reich in 1943 prompting the death camp dismantling and location cover up. Yesterday, I watched a profoundly moving film online – Treblinka’s Last Witness. The film blew my mind and made me want to shut out the world and spend the day alone cozy in bed. What better place to accomplish that objective than in a JW Marriott hotel room in an unfamiliar city.

I have a feeling when I think of Atlanta years from now, one of the memories embedded deeply in my hippocampus will be lying in the JW Marriott Atlanta bed watching Treblinka’s Last Witness. That film wrinkled my brain. Shout out to Christine Blasey Ford for refreshing my science knowledge about the mechanics of memory.

Pleasantly surprised to find an empty refrigerator in the JW Marriott brand. It was loaded later with my own Stella Artois mini-bar. “I like beer! What do you like to drink?”

Bathroom

As far as the room goes, my favorite aspect was great air conditioner and I liked the room view of the expansive forest greenery.

Most problematic aspect was pillows were not soft enough for my liking. Not that they were hard, but I like a pillow that wraps around my head, preferably a soft, malleable feather pillow. I don’t recall being in a luxury brand hotel before where the pillows were not comfortable for me.

Also, there was an overload of sports channels on the TV. Not that was a big issue. It was just slightly annoying to have to click through so many sports channels to reach other types of broadcast stations.

JW Marriott Buckhead Breakfast Buffet

Perhaps an abundance of sports channels was appropriate considering I found myself in an elevator Sunday morning with team players of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team.

Turned out the receptionist who directed me to go to the second floor for breakfast at the hotel restaurant was unaware that the second floor was restricted for people with Atlanta Falcons credentials on Sunday morning.

JW Marriott Buckhead Nox Restaurant on 2nd Floor

Buffet breakfast was in the lobby bar area both days of my hotel stay. There was an omelet station for cook to order food and a good selection of meats, potatoes, biscuits and gravy and fruit. Not much in the way of veggies, which is something I like about European hotel breakfast buffets.

Biscuits and gravy is food that reminds me of childhood and my maternal grandmother, an Arkansas farm woman who cooked Sunday breakfast for a large extended family who had relocated to California during WWII. Biscuits and gravy is something I only taste once or twice a year when staying in hotels.

JW Marriott Buckhead lobby bar counter subbed as breakfast buffet location during my stay.

JW Marriott Buckhead buffet price is $29.40.

My only checkout charge on the folio was the breakfast buffet tip for the wonderfully attentive women working the room.

JW Marriott Buckhead Lobby Space

JW Marriott Buckhead lobby seating

JW Marriott Buckhead lobby seating

JW Marriott Buckhead lobby bar seating. I sat near windows for breakfast each morning.

Breakfast buffet in JW Marriott Buckhead bar area

JW Marriott Buckhead 2nd Floor conference room area

Choice Hotels WoodSpring Suites conference at JW Marriott Buckhead Atlanta

3rd Floor Fitness Room and Pool

There was no hotel directory to be found in my room. I had to ask again on the second day which floor had the fitness room and pool. There are six guest floor elevators for the 25 floor hotel, but their floor number buttons did not indicate which floor had the pool and fitness room.

JW Marriott Buckhead Pool

Sauna

pool lockers

pool showers

Pool room spa tub

Pool view from near spa tub.

Pool spa tub on far end to left up some steps.

About the only other aspects of the hotel I want to share are the hotel’s location to Lenox Square mall and the Publix grocery store.

There is a mall entrance immediately to the left of the front entrance to the JW Marriott Buckhead Atlanta. Lenox Square mall is upscale with a variety of stores including Macy’s. I only walked through the mall to find a restaurant open after 9pm on Saturday night, specifically I was searching for Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. The restaurant looked nice with a guy playing acoustic guitar on the outside patio, but the humid night and crowded restaurant with people dressed in much finer clothing than I was wearing prompted me to find my way to the Publix market instead.

Publix Market about 15 minutes walk from JW Marriott Buckhead a block east of Lenox Square mall.

All my dinner dining needs were found at Publix market with hot chicken dinner meal including greens and Stella Artois beer.

What can I say? I like beer, but not at $7.50 a pint.

JW Marriott logo symbol

JW Marriott Buckhead and Lenox Square Mall entrance to right of hotel.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. So you never actually saw “Treblinka’s Last Witness”? You just imagined you saw it 36 years ago?

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