We stayed at this hotel for one night before a cruise from the Port of Miami (having arrived from the UK).
I did a LOT of research before choosing a pre-cruise hotel in Miami. The location of the Bayside Marketplace Intercontinental was VERY appealing, but many of the recent reviews on that hotel have been disappointing. The main Miami Hyatt also didn't have great press. In the end, I narrowed the choice down to the JW Marriott or the Mandarin Oriental. The consistently good reviews and the price led me to choose the JW Marriott - we weren't to be disappointed.
We were flying in from the UK (connecting in Orlando). Our flight into Miami was delayed and we eventually arrived at the hotel, by taxi, quite late (about 10.30pm). We were checked in very quickly and efficiently - the staff were friendly too.
I was very impressed with the room: very tastefully furnished, very clean, lovely bed and linens, very nice large flat screen TV mounted on the wall, well appointed spotless luxurious bathroom. The room was also very quiet: didn't hear any noise from Brickell Avenue or from the corridor. It was a perfect short stay hotel room.
The whole hotel was very modern, sophisticated, tasteful and spotlessly clean.
I was surprised how quiet the hotel seemed to be - maybe because we stayed on a Friday night: I assume that the hotel is probably a lot busier, with business people, during week nights.
It was getting late, but - because our body clocks were so confused - we popped down to the casual bar/restaurant for a quick bite to eat. I had a shrimp caesar salad, husband had a burger - food arrived quickly and both were good. Service was a little "laid back", but there weren't many customers and we didn't have any trouble getting the attention of the servers when we wanted something.
There was what is supposedly a very nice restaurant next to the JW Marriott - the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. Also a Morton's across the road from the hotel. We didn't have time to try either unfortunately.
The bed was excellent and I slept like a princess...
I used the gym the next morning - I THINK that it may be 24 hour, but am not sure. I was there by 6.15am and didn't see any other guests there (just one cleaner) - I left at about 7.30am. Cardio machines are pretty good and there are TVs there that you can plug headphones into. I thought that the resistance machines were few and very disappointing. There were plenty of complimentary bottles of water available in the gym (also some in the room and some in reception) - a nice touch. I am probably spoilt by having such a good gym at home, but I thought that the JW Marriott gym was perfectly acceptable.
We didn't use the swimming pool, but it looked nice: pretty small, but nice for a quick dip.
We had breakfast in the main hotel restaurant - a HUGE selection: what looked like a very good buffet, plus a good a la carte choice too. It was fairly pricey, but for a treat (or if you are on an expense account) it is fine. Good food and good service - very enjoyable.
Check-out was as efficient and friendly as check-in. One of the doormen hailed a taxi for us and it was a short taxi ride (about 15 minutes and about $25) to the Port of Miami.
Was very satisfied with our stay - this hotel is spot on for short pre-cruise stays or business trips. If you are looking for a "resort" hotel or a bustling family-oriented hotel, then look elsewhere. But it suited us perfectly and I would have absolutely no hesitation in staying here again or recommending it to others.