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“Marriott, you can do MUCH better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix

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JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   5350 E Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054 (Desert Ridge)   |  
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Ranked #8 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Brooklyn, CT
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Marriott, you can do MUCH better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2008

Recently returned from a 7 night stay (4/12-19) using Marriot Rewards points. This is my second stay at this hotel, last was 2 years ago for 3 nights.

First, let me say I am a Gold Member of the Rewards program and am a loyal patron. That being said, I was dissapointed not to be treated like one. One week before check-in I requested a room overlooking the Desert Botanical Garden. I did this knowing that the rooms facing the pool are quite loud at times. I was told I had an "upgraded view room".

Upon check-in I was given a room with "two over-sized Queens" according to the front desk. Queens?? These are full beds and I am with my wife of nearly 15 years on vacation. Possibly we could have a King bed? Oh yes, and the room is on the 2nd floor overlooking...the pool. I called front desk immediately to let them know this was not satisfactory. They took my cell number and told me they would call when they had another room available.

The time marched on until about 3:30. At this point, I was concerned they would have filled their rooms. I went to the front desk and found they only had 2 rooms left in the hotel. Unreal. They were a King on ground floor (I always request high floors, but apparently having that information in your Elite reservation status is just for one's own personal information) and another double/double room overlooking the Botanical Garden.

I took the double/double begrudgingly as it least it had a decent view. By the way, no offer to help move my luggage...nice touch.

Room we finally setlled in was standard for the resort. Nice view of mountains, botanical garden and....720 people from Bacardi on two mornings having breakfast. Now I dont begrudge the hotel for making money on corporate events, but they need a better system to make those on vacation not feel inconvenienced by these events. My inconvenience came at 3:30 AM on my 2nd night there when the staff started setting up the buffets, etc. Having come to AZ for the weather, I had my sliding glass door open. Ahhhh, the relaxing sounds of golf carts backing up (beep, beep, beeep) and rattling dishes, clanking glasses.

Now, every day you get a sheet in your room with activities for the resort. Basically, this doesn't change form day to day. My suggestion? Put the events and location of events on their as a "heads-up" to the vacationing resort guests so they know if they should keep their door shut so as not to be awoken at 3:30 AM. Another thought, work it out with the corporation to give those in rooms overlooking their event a small gift. It would go a long way.

Lastly, let's talk about litter. The grounds are mainly immaculate. This ends in the common areas outside, especially at the pools (SPA pool is worth the money). I know there are a huge number of people that traffic these areas, but the resort doesn't seem to know this. They need many more staff to clean up througout the day. Cups, straws, etc were everywhere. Part of the blame lay on the guests. Some of whom didn't make any effort to clean up after themselves. On the other hand, I shouldn't be swimming in a pool with empty cups at the bottom (at least 1 every day I was there). Also, as I was walking back to my room after a day at the pool and I noticed something striking. There was a sugar packet on the lawn as well as a piece of plastic. I saw 2 Marriott employees, one was dressed as a manager. I thought this will be interesting to see if they stop to pick up this trash. The answer? They walked right by. Marriott, train your employees to have pride in the resort surroundings. This is unacceptable.

One last piece of advice: get some new chaise lounges out at the main pool. A number of them look like you got them from a garage sale. People are paying over $500 a night at this time of year for chairs like this? The lounges at the Spa should be standard for this kind of high-end resort.

  • Liked — It is in AZ, love the weather
  • Disliked — Cleanliness, staff
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1,542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (352)
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English first
Minneapolis, MN
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2008

We stayed at the JW Marriott for three nights in April - it is a fairly new site and you could definately tell. The hotel and grounds seem impressive when you pull up to the place, but we found the rooms to be fairly average with nothing special to really speak of. There are three swimming pools and a "lazy" river you can float around in, which my four year old enjoyed - at first. The problem with this hotel is with the employees - most of the employees we came into contact with were standoffish and rude. An employee working at the top of the waterslide at the pool was verbally abusive to the kids - letting some go down the slide and telling others to "take a break." Although my son met the height requirements, she scolded him for being up there without me (I was waiting at the bottom of the slide in the pool for him.) This upset him and he refused to go on the slide again with "the mean lady" working there. I talked to the manager of the pool area and he said he would address it. The overall feel of the employees there was cold and, well, just plain rude. We were able to get a cheap rate - $125 per night - so we didn't feel to taken - but if you have to pay $300 or $400 for this place, look around somewhere else.

  • Disliked — Rude employees
  • Stayed April 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2008

Stayed at the Desert Inn for 4 nights in January. The rooms are large but not in the very best condition. The first room I was given had mold in the shower. They changed me to another room which was much better. The best thing about this hotel was the Tennis Center. Excellent instruction and reasonably priced. The restaurants are very mediocre and close early. The outside fire pits are really nice. Too cold in January to use the pool.

  • Liked — Tennis Center
  • Disliked — Cleanliness
  • Stayed January 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Las Cruces, NM
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2008

My wife and 3 kids stayed at this resort during spring break and were not impressed. We've stayed at numerous resorts all over the US and Phoenix and this would rate in the middle at best. The rooms were not clean and the room service was always late and suboptimal. The food in the resort was fair atbest and expensive. Roy's restuarant was good but it was the only restuarant that was worth the price of the meal. The swimming pools could have been cleaner and the poolside service was VERY POOR!!! The margarita's were terrible with soggy salt on the edge of the glass and the bartender at the pool was rude!
Also, the concierge was rude and not helpful.... The room rates were very high for this type of service. I would not stay here again...

CD

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — The service
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Colorado
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2008

After reading some of the most recent reviews I must say the one from New York made me laugh. I have learned from my travels never to judge a book by the cover some of the wealthiest people in Scottsdale dress like gardners and drive " american" cars! Here is my take on the JW Marriott. Great location but will not travel in March it is Spring Break and no matter where you travel whether beach or ski there will be plenty of kids about. I was suprised no one mentioned the vacation club time shares. Do not show interest when traveling past the time share desks because I did and not only had 3 separate voicemail messages on my room phone but also had a flyer put on my door so unless you are truly interested in their 90 min presentation steer clear. This hotel is located across from Desert Ridge Marketplace one of the cleanest outside shopping malls I have visited, it is not high end stores but has most everything moderate and they do provide a shuttle pick up from Desert Ridge. The rooms are some of the cleanest and the housekeeping staff very friendly. The pools were crowded due to the month of travel but there are several and they do clear out at 5:00 pm and since it is still very nice outside that is a great time for adults to attend.
The restaurants are priced average for a hotel in this category. The room service prices are steep for breakfast so we went across to Mimi's or Paradise Bakery.
Be prepared to walk alot, if you like to be near the pool or golf please ask to be near those areas. The nightly turndown service provides a schedule of activities for the next day, this is the first time I have seen a Segway tour offered. Overall a very pretty setting, quiet and very clean rooms. free parking, paid laundry room. As long as you like yellow and gold tones you will not be disappointed. Lots to do but you will pay for almost everything.

  • Liked — Clean well kept room and the comfortable beds
  • Disliked — Too far to walk to anything
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2008

My husband and I were guests at the Marriott Desert Ridge from Mar. 24-29. Since we had an early morning flight, we had requested early check-in in advance. We knew it might or might not be available but we were happy to learn on arrival that our room was ready and it was only a little past 9:00 a.m. We had also requested a high floor in advance and we were given a room on the 5th floor (top floor) that overlooked the lagoon, golf course and mountains in the distance - very quiet and relaxing on the balcony.

The room was spacious and nicely decorated. I have read other reviews complaining about the size of the room. We had a "regular" king room and there was a desk and chair, loveseat, coffee table, armoire and still plenty of room. I peeked in a room with 2 queens (or doubles) and it looked a little more cramped. So if a king bed suits your needs, you will find it more spacious. The bathroom was huge - separate tub and shower and large vanity.

The staff went out of their way to be friendly and accommodating. The concierge made three dinner reservations for us, gave advice on activities we might enjoy, and printed out our boarding passes on the day of our check-out .

Breakfast at the Blue Sage was great - good food and fast service - we ate outdoors each morning. We did not eat any other meals at the hotel so can't comment on that.

Even though the hotel was full, the only place that seemed crowded was at the pool. It was somewhat of a chore to find a chair each day. Lots of chair-saving going on, even though the hotel says this is against their policy. However, the beverage service at the pool was fine. I forgot my pool wrist bracelet twice but this was not a problem - I had my room key and was not asked to go back to get the bracelet. I appreciate the staff's diligence in keeping outsiders out of the pool in order to keep it available for guests - this is common practice at other nice resorts.

The spa was a real treat! It was expensive but in line with what other spas charge.

I think when you travel at spring break, it takes a good attitude to have a great time and enjoy your vacation. Meeting people from different backgrounds is part of what makes travel so interesting if you're open-minded enough to appreciate it.

  • Liked — Friendly staff - front desk, housekeeping, concierge, wait staff - they were all great!
  • Disliked — Paying $12.95 per day for Internet, overall large size of the hotel
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2008

Its a pretty hotel with lovely rooms not 5 star but clean and well kept up. We were disappointed in the crowd, it was not the usual JW crowd, it was sort of a MidWest tatto crowd, not the usual preppy golf crowd. We were out there for a wedding but soend 5 days just relaxing and enjoying the sun, only it was awful sitting at the pool. The pool was more of a "lazy rivier" disneyesque feel. The lounge chairs were horrible, they had no pads on them and there was no one to set up the chairs and lay out towels for us.

People were slobs throwing empty drink cups all over the place. We felt the service was so so, no one is too friendly out there. We ended up sitting on the cushy patio chairs alot more and we also paid the extra $35.00 per day per person to sit at the spa pool which had a very different crowd, more east coast and no tattos and people were dressed better and had Gucci's and LV bags.

Normally we go to the Phoenician but it was over booked, and we planned this last minute. It was just a so so feeling and we spent about $400 per night and we felt it was like a fancy Days Inn.

The pool area was just packed with people and you felt really squeezed in and not as if you were at a top resort. We won;t go back there again, the corwd was really not what we expected and the people were wild at the pool and no one watched their children all that well.

The waitresses were slow and not friendly, the front desk crew were excellent.

Wish I had better things to say.

  • Liked — the rooms were clean
  • Disliked — the horrible crowd that went there and how they behaved and the lousy lounge chairs at the pool
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix

Address: 5350 E Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix > Desert Ridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Phoenix
#3 Spa Hotel in Phoenix
#4 Luxury Hotel in Phoenix
#5 Family Hotel in Phoenix
#7 Business Hotel in Phoenix
#8 Romantic Hotel in Phoenix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix 4.5*
Number of rooms: 950
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa provides luxury, unparalleled service, endless recreation and exquisite dining. This desert mountain luxury hotel near Phoenix has Arizona's largest ballroom, a pampering spa, outstanding restaurants and championship golf. Upon arrival, you're greeted with an expansive grand lobby, splashing fountains, stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, sparkling waterways and majestic palm-lined pathways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Desert Ridge Resort And Spa Phoenix
Jw Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa Phoenix Hotel Phoenix
Jw Marriott Phoenix
Marriott Phoenix
Phoenix Marriott

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