One of the most recent JW Marriott hotels to open, the JW Marriott Austin also happens to be the largest in the US (containing 1,012 guest rooms) and second largest in the world.
It makes perfect sense to open the largest in the US right here in Austin: with 250 live music venues, eight entertainment districts within walking distance and over 100 dining options, this hotel is well situated for both business and pleasure.
The hotel opened just before SXSW in February 2015 with a design concept that brings elements of nature inside.
The lobby lounge fireplace incorporates a series of bats that symbolize the largest Mexican free-tailed bat population’s evening flight under the Congress Avenue Bridge.
Large Texas limestone pillars flank the lobby with lots of cozy seating arrangements.
The lobby floor and ceiling incorporate a topographical map of Austin; enlarged cacti photographs under five layers of glass flank the walls behind the check-in desks. It’s all cool, urban and chic, in perfect sync with the guest rooms.
Tastefully decorated and furnished rooms are spacious and contain several outlets, docking stations and a comfortable marble-topped work space with 48″ HD LED smart TVs.
A cozy chair and foot rest grace the corner together with a side table and reading lamp.
Marriott’s own Revive® bed contains luxury linens for a deep, relaxing sleep. The quilted dark leather and steel headboard is in perfect tune with the Wild West.
The bathroom has lots of towel racks, an element that shows the hotel cares about reusing towels to save water and electricity. The marble counter matches that of the workspace. Bathroom lights are made of stone geode “slices” with silver accents.
For a chain hotel, I really admire the unique Austin-centric artwork that JW Marrriot’s chosen for its guest room walls, created by a local artist and reproduced just outside the city limits.
Wifi is offered in two varieties: $14.95/day for high speed and $16.95/day for enhanced speed (video chats, streaming and large file downloads).
I did find the airco system a bit on the loud side (the Westin Austin has the same system). This is an easy fix for the hotel and I have to say, the staff here went above and beyond to insure my stay was as pleasant as possible.
In addition to three full-service restaurants, a lobby bar and rooftop pool bar, there’s a 24-hour fitness center, spa, JW Marketplace for 24-hour snacks and sundries, FedEx office on the fifth floor and printers by the front desk in case you’d rather print out your boarding passes than use Wallet or PassWallet on your smart phone.
Don’t miss that fifth-floor rooftop pool though.
Day or night, the city views are amazing and if you walk past the pool to the right and continue along the lawn, you’ll be treated to a lovely view of the State Capitol, illuminated at night.
Adjacent to the lobby, Corner features Texas-inspired cuisine with fresh, local ingredients including grilled meats and fish. Here you’ll find crafted Tequila cocktails, local craft beer on tap and a range of Texas wines and spirits.
There’s a large bar area for catching up on sports and several seating areas throughout the restaurant.
Osteria Pronto’s menu offers a twist on classic, made-from-scratch Italian dishes with a focus on local ingredients. Look for bistecca fiorentina, burrata campagna and other classics.
Burger Bar’s walk-up, food truck-style window offers freshly-ground, locally-bred beef burgers, fries and shakes for lunch or early evening dining. The food truck concept is an ode to the food trucks that occupied the property before the hotel began construction.
Spa by JW
Opened in mid-September, this soothing space on the fifth floor offers manis and pedis, make-up, massages, facials and a couples massage room. All treatments are designed around four themes: calm, indulge, invigorate and renew. In addition, Spa by JW Express has on-demand services that start at 12 minutes and don’t require an appointment.
Imagine having a relaxing scalp massage, energy boost or jet lag cure massage when you don’t have an entire hour available. Easy in and out!
The JW Marriott is located in the heart of downtown Austin. If you’re coming in from Austin International Airport, it’s about a 15-minute drive depending on traffic. The hotel is only two blocks from the Austin Convention Center too.
Find JW Marriott at 110 East Second Street in Austin, Texas.
In the Hood
If you’re ready to get down to the business of Austin’s famed BBQ scene, Cooper’s is located just a couple of doors down. This is a super spot to load up on meat, meat and more meat.
Your first stop once inside is the meat pit. Choose how much and what meat you’d like and it gets dipped into Cooper’s own BBQ sauce (if desired) then packaged in paper.
A bit further along you can pick side dishes (two kinds of mac and cheese, roasted and regular corn on the cob, salads, etc.).
Once you’ve paid, settle into a seat at one of the long wooden tables and dig in! Free onions, pickles, beans and bread are off to the side near the soda fountains. It’s a real experience — and a decadent one at that!
I was a guest of JW Marriott Austin for the purposes of touring Austin and of experiencing the hotel for this feature. Opinions, as always, are my own.