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I am not a devout Marriott-ist, but I have to admit this Marriott property is pretty impressive. I usually save my Marriott points for convenience stays near airports or in obscure locations. My first instinct was to book the SPG Category 2 Sheraton near the Lima convention center to save points but I changed my mind when I found the JW Marriott Lima made the 2011 Conde Naste Gold List. My father is a top tier Marriott elite so we decided to book this Category 6 Marriott for 2 nights at 30,000 points per night under his account.
- Trip Motivation and Planning
- LAN Flight Experience
- Tambo Del Inka Resort
- Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
- JW Marriott Lima
- Exploring Lima
- Exploring Easter Island and the Moai
- W Santiago
- Exploring Santiago De Chile
- Final Thoughts
The JW Marriott Lima is a beautiful hotel. The exterior has a modern design and towers over the ocean sea cliffs in the trendy and affluent Miraflores district. When the light hits the building just right it appears as though there is a large hole in the middle. Upon entering from the street level you will notice a small casino and a few high end retailers. The lobby is a short elevator ride up to the third floor. The lobby is all class with chandeliers, fountains, and large windows overlooking the LarcoMar open air shopping mall and the Pacific ocean.
For better or worse, Marriott is consistent
My father is a top tier Marriott elite rewards member so we received the room type we expected. Call it what you will, a top tier elite can expect a standard room on a high floor. It is never more evident when traveling with my parents the stark contrast between the Marriott and SPG/Hyatt programs. As is the case on every trip we’ve taken as a family, the SPG/Hyatt rooms that I redeem my points for are upgraded to suites while the Marriott rooms my father redeems his points for are standard rooms on a high floor. It should be noted my father must reach a higher 75 nights threshold to maintain his Marriott top tier status while SPG/Hyatt require 50 nights.
The room was your standard Marriott room. The quality in a JW tends to be a little higher than what I’ve found in the standard Marriott branded properties but the differences are slight. As is the case with every room in this property, the highlight is the ocean view. Every room has an ocean view, but obviously higher is better. The top tier Marriott status my father maintains earned us a floor near the very top. Because Marriott is so consistent with its offerings, there isn’t much to report on this room.
The bathroom was clean and well lit with a separate shower and tub. The bath products were ACCA KAPPA and they included soap for a bubble bath. Again, this is a Marriott so you know what you are going to get.
As a top tier elite we were allowed to select a check in amenity. We selected a half bottle of wine which was delivered with a box of chocolates. Of interesting note, I spent 15 minutes trying to open this bottle of wine with the opener provided, then my father went at it for another 15. Finally we gave in and had someone sent up. He brought a heavy duty wine bottle opener and after 10 minutes of work was finally able to finish the deed. The wine tasted fine once we got it open, but the whole experience was a little bizarre.
At turndown, we were also left with some excellent chocolates on the pillow. This property did a great job with the fine chocolate distribution.
The Club Lounge
The club lounge was the most memorable highlight of this property. As a top tier elite, we had access to the club lounge. This large and modern lounge is located on the top floor and offers incredible views up the coastline. It was a beautiful place to catch the sunset through the fog/smog.
My first experience with the lounge was walking in during happy hour. The lounge earned high marks with me right from the start with a nice offering of cheeses and crackers and ample self serve wine. I also came across a make your own Chilcano station which I found to be a great concept. I enjoyed the process of mixing a drink myself as well as learning about a drink popular in the local area. Just fair warning, a Chilcano contains the Peruvian favorite Pisco liquor which goes down smooth but has a high alcohol content and can really sneak up on you!
So when happy hour ended they promptly removed the self serve alcohol. At this point we had done some damage, filled up on cheese and crackers and were about to leave. Then I noticed the 3 full time servers in the lounge start bringing out more plates. This next set was meat samplings, pasta samplings, fish samplings, you name it. They just kept coming each very small but very high quality and with great presentation. We decided to stay and keep sampling. I have no shame in eating my dinner in the club lounge. After about 30 plates were stacked at our table, we finally decided to head out for the evenings. In retrospect, I sure wish I hadn’t filled up on bread!
After a little more research, it turns out this club lounge basically serves food all day long. From breakfast all the way to late night snack, they are consistently rolling out new food options. This was a very memorable component of the stay and a fun way to spend our early evenings.
The bottom line
This is one of the nicer Marriott properties I have experienced. The room was standard Marriott so nothing too memorable. I hope for more when checking in to a top tier property as a top tier elite when occupancy is low. My frustrations are clearly more with the Marriott program than the property itself.
In the end, the positives outweighed the negatives. What really stood out for me were two aspects of this property. The first was the club lounge which offers continuous service all day, including the mix your own local drink concept which I absolutely loved. The second was the incredible Pacific Ocean and Lima coastline views from every room. If you choose this property, you can be assured you won’t be staring at a parking lot. I enjoyed this property and would be hard pressed to find a better option in Lima.