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Review: JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District T.J. December 12, 2019

Review: JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District

On August 1, 2019, the third JW Marriott hotel in Canada opened in downtown Edmonton in an area known as the ICE District. The hotel is part of a wave of recent construction centred around Rogers Place, the arena that opened in September 2016.

On a recent solo visit to Edmonton, I decided to enjoy a one night stay at the JW Marriott ICE District Hotel. Since moving from Alberta to Montreal in 2017, the area has gone through some pretty major changes, and I was looking forward to seeing how everything was coming along. And of course, indulging in a bit of luxury is something that I’ll never say no to.

In This Post

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Location & Arrival

I arrived at the hotel around noon for early check-in, which I confirmed using the Marriott Bonvoy app that morning. I was going to an Oilers matinee game with some friends, and I appreciated being able to drop off my suitcase before heading to the arena.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Exterior

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Exterior

The main entrance to the hotel has a passenger drop-off area, valet, and taxi stand, with the JW Marriott griffin standing guard nearby. I particularly enjoyed the look of the main entrance at night, when the pillars are lit up and everything is nicely illuminated.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Entrance

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Entrance

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – JW Marriott Griffin symbol

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – JW Marriott Griffin symbol

Upon entering the hotel, I was greeted by several staff members and by a large lobby area complete with a fireplace and several TVs showing a football game. There is also a lobby bar and two restaurants on the main level of the hotel. I have heard from some local friends that the restaurants are worth dining in, too, so perhaps next time I’ll give one a shot.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Lobby lounge

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Lobby lounge

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Lobby cafe

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Lobby cafe

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Check-in

The check-in area is designed with large wooden desks and felt very approachable. I didn’t notice a carpet designating an alternative check-in location for Elite members. There was only one other person checking in, though, so I didn’t have to wait at all.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Check-in desks

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Check-in desks

After a brief rundown of the services and amenities I could access as a Platinum Elite member, I was given my key and headed to my room. Although I had inquired about a suite upgrade on the app, I was “only” given an upgrade to a Deluxe Room, which I believe is just a slightly larger room than the standard rooms.

The travel agent rate that I booked with isn’t supposed to be eligible for upgrades, so that may have been the reason suites weren’t in the picture this time around.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Room 1514

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Room 1514

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

My room for the night was on the 15th floor facing eastward. The room maintains the woodgrain and royal blue colour scheme that runs through the entire hotel. As someone who has an appreciation for wooden furniture, I particularly enjoyed the bench at the foot of the bed.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

The king bed was quite comfortable and I enjoyed a nice lazy morning after a late night out for a miles and points meetup. As a light sleeper, I also appreciated how quiet the room was throughout my stay.

The bathroom is well appointed with a rain shower and products from Aromatherapy Associates. Part of the wall that separates the bedroom and the shower can slide back and forth, as maybe some people enjoy watching their significant other brushing their teeth. 😉

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Shower and toilet

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Shower and toilet

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Bathroom toiletries

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Bathroom toiletries

There is definitely an Albertan motif in the decorations in the room. Above the headboard, there are portraits of oil derricks pumping in a field and above the desk is a piece depicting the North Saskatchewan River, which runs through Edmonton’s river valley.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Artwork

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Artwork

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Artwork

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Artwork

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Deluxe Room

There is an Illy pod coffee machine and several bottles of JW Marriott branded bottled water to help with your beverage needs. Interestingly, there was also a “signature handcrafted ice menu” with various flavours of ice that can be ordered.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Illy coffee maker

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Illy coffee maker

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Ice menu

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Ice menu

There is a closet with a very comfortable bathrobe, JW Marriott slippers, and information about laundry services. It looks like someone had left some fancy hangers behind in my closet, as the two frilly white hangers seem to stand out from the others.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Closet

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Closet

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge

The hotel connects with Edmonton’s Pedway system, which is a network of indoor walkways that connect various shopping centres, office buildings, and Rogers Place. I had to check with the concierge for how to access the pathway to the arena, as it isn’t marked with signs or directions.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Link to Pedway

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Link to Pedway

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Link to Pedway

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Link to Pedway

After the hockey game, we visited the executive lounge on the 22nd floor of the hotel for a drink and some hors d’oeuvres. During the evening, there is a bartender on staff who serves drinks that can be paid for on site or billed to your room.

The lounge is quite spacious and has a variety of areas to sit, relax, eat, and work.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge seating area

There is a record player and a selection of records, which I found to be a nice touch. We put on an Otis Redding album and relaxed for a while after the hockey game.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge record player

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge record player

There are pretzels, chips, popcorn, nuts, and cookies available throughout the day, as well as a coffee machine, drip coffee, a nice selection of tea, non-alcoholic drinks, and still/sparkling water on tap.

The hors d’oeuvres available during my visit were salmon skewers, steamed dumplings, white bean/red pepper dips, mushroom/pear and quinoa salads, charcuterie, and a selection of cakes. The lounge staff kept everything topped up and consistently monitored the lounge during the evening service.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge evening hors d’oeuvres

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge evening hors d’oeuvres

The Platinum Elite complimentary breakfast is also served in the executive lounge. The set-up is similar to the evening hors d’oeuvres service, but with a few more hot items available. In comparison to the breakfast at other Marriott properties, there weren’t nearly as many options available, which was slightly disappointing.

For hot items, there were breakfast potatoes, sausages (labelled as bacon), scrambled eggs, an eggwhite frittata, and steel cut oatmeal (with toppings).

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Executive Lounge breakfast spread

There was also a selection of pastries, smoothies, fresh fruits, cured meats, smoked salmon, cheese, and breakfast cereal available, too.

While I enjoyed everything that I tried, I was hoping to see a few more hot items available during the evening hors d’oeuvres service and a larger breakfast offering. In comparison to my stays in other JW Marriott hotels (especially in Asia), I found the selection here to be slightly lacking. The breakfast benefit is one of my favourite perks for being a Platinum Elite member, and the selection here didn’t feel up to the standard I’ve experienced at other Marriott properties.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Other Facilities

Finally, at check-in, the associate mentioned that the gym, Archetype, was definitely worth checking out. She wasn’t joking.

This was by far the biggest and most elaborate gym I’ve come across at a hotel. It spans across an entire floor and has several studios, a boxing room, a spinning room, and a host of cardiovascular and weight training equipment.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Archetype fitness centre

Alas, although I felt inspired after taking a walk through the gym, I resigned to soaking in the hot tub and sitting in the steam room instead. The pool and hot tub area overlook Rogers Place, and the room has a lot of natural light coming in.

I spent a fair amount of time enjoying these facilities before my late checkout.

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Indoor pool

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Indoor pool

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Whirlpool

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Whirlpool

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Steam room

JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District – Steam room

Conclusion

My brief stay at the JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District was very pleasant, and I look forward to another stay the next time I find myself in town; with the close proximity to downtown Edmonton, I’d like to spend some more time exploring how the city is changing. Overall, if you’re attending an Oilers game or a concert at Rogers Place, the JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District is a very solid choice.

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5 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Paul

    Echoing Mike, did you book using Luminous? Seems you could have used the $100 credit for the drinks and had breakfast in the restaurant since the lounge disappointed.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      To add to TJ’s comments, I’ve been looking at checking out this hotel too on an Edmonton trip sometime, and on most nights the cash rates don’t really seem high enough to justify spending points for a Cat 5. I’ll probably be looking for low cash rates or booking through Luminous as you suggested.

    2. TJ
      TJ

      Hi Paul! Thanks for your reply. Please see my comment on Mike’s reply. I will definitely look into Luminous for future bookings. The food that was available was nice, but I would have been even more pleased with a bit of a bigger selection.

  2. Avatar
    Mike

    Did you book cash or points?

    Just curious about value. Looks like a great property!

    1. TJ
      TJ

      Hi Mike! Thanks for your reply. I booked using the travel agent rate, which is only available to certified travel agents. I paid $150 for the night, and the regular rate for that night was around $200 or 30000 points. The property and staff were lovely. I would definitely stay here again.

T.J.

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