Hospitality and Comfort abound at the JW Marriott Hotel

by Todd Pickering, contributing writer

In my 20s when we came down to Disneyland from San Francisco, we would stay directly across the street at the least expensive motel and go to the park (no Disney California in those days) for rope drop (when it was an actual rope) and not return to that room until the park closed. Now we're older and wiser… and we just plain tire easily. We know so many people that come down to the parks and spend three or four days to enjoy the Disneyland Resort so the hotel experience has changed. We can't think of a better place to stay than the JW Marriott for comfort, cuisine and park proximity.

What a gorgeous sculpture to greet you upon arriving. Photo by Todd Pickering.

Upon entering the JW Marriott, you must take an escalator up to the second floor to check in. There is an amazing crystal sculpture hanging from the ceiling that catches the light as you ascend into the lobby. The staff is amazingly eager and helpful which makes your stay so pleasant. If you arrive early and need to wait for your room there is an wonderful lobby bar called Citriculture to grab a cocktail or mocktail while you wait. They use the freshest ingredients and actually grow herbs right in their garden.

The lobby of the JW Marriott. Photo by Todd Pickering.

You can walk out to the garden also to enjoy your drink directly behind the check-in desk. You are greeted by a wall of sculpted butterflies that are fantastically lit at night. There is a private gate to walk through down to the Anaheim Garden Walk that has many restaurants (P.F. Chang's, The Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, McCormick and Schmick's and Roy's to name a few) so this is a perfect location for families or couples to dine while staying here.

One of the fantastic cocktails available at the Citriculture Bar in the lobby. Photo by Todd Pickering.

It's about a 15-minute walk to the east gates of the Disneyland Resort. Just walk through the Garden Walk and then making a left on Disney Way. Directly in front of you is the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! and you're almost to the security checkpoint.

P.F. Chang's and J.W. Marriott view from the Anaheim Garden Walk. Photo by Todd Pickering.

Let's head up to the rooms. Most importantly the beds are absolutely dreamy. A good night's sleep is easily had. Bathtub and huge showers are available. If you are visiting during the summer months (or a November heat streak) it is lovely to come back for a nap in the air-conditioned rooms. There are also trundle beds in a lot of the couches in the rooms so with a two queen beds you may sleep six to a room if you have little ones.

The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. Photo by Todd Pickering.

The prices for food at Disneyland Resort are not inexpensive. We ordered a chicken sandwich in room service after our nap that was the same price as Disneyland Resort but so delicious and a bigger portion. Those fresh herbs from their garden are probably responsible for some of the great flavors and the bun was soft yet not soggy. The mark of a good sandwich indeed. French fries were hot and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and seasoned beautifully. The sign of a good chef.

The room service sandwich was so delicious. Photo by Todd Pickering.

When little ones are polled about their favorite attraction at Disneyland Resort it usually isn't "Little Mermaid" or "Dumbo" it is the swimming pool. The pool at JW Marriott is very big. Easy access to the Citriculture Bar with plastic glasses handy for poolside libations. You may also order food. There are three cabanas available to rent.

When we arrived in the late afternoon there were no towels handy. A manager told us they would be down right away and also informed housekeeping there were no towels. Upon returning within five minutes she was not alone and the manager helped her place the towels in the two shelf areas. Another great sign of hospitality and great service where the manager was there to lend a hand.

The swimming pool deck is fantastic and complete with three cabanas to rent. Photo by Todd Pickering.

One of the highlights is a rooftop bar/restaurant called Parkestry. It's one of the tallest in Anaheim and offers a gorgeous view of Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. It is separated in two parts; north and south and watching the fireworks is amazing. The north side has great access and on the south side you have to walk over to the balcony. Reservations are very encouraged. It has a pretty adult feel, so it may not be as appropriate for the little ones.

We sat at the bar to enjoy a libation that was also spot on. Both bartenders were friendly, fun and fantastic mixologists. We simply walked over to the north side and the manager encouraged us to enjoy the fireworks by standing behind all of the tables. The staff was so welcoming here. But after all of those rope drops, long days in the parks and a bit of graying hair we only made it half way through the fireworks and retreated back to the bar to sit, rest and enjoy the rest of our cocktail with our friendly bartender. How the times have changed.

These views are just amazing but make sure you reserve a table because they are very popular. Especially during fireworks. Photo by Todd Pickering.

Contact our fantastic sponsors Get Away Today at 855-GET-AWAY by telephone or at and see what sort of great deals they have to offer for the JW Marriott. A fantastic place to stay.

The author in repose in the adjacent garden. Photo by Get Away Today.