On my trip to Medan (read Snapshot Medan), the JW Marriott was my calm oasis in the busy city in Northern Sumatra, courtesy of Marriott Rewards! It is the highest ranked hotel in Medan on Tripadvisor and is also the most expensive one (even though still below $100 or only 10,000 Marriott points/night) was a great stay from the room to the service and I’d be happy to come back anytime!
Location: The JW Marriott is a short taxi ride or 10 minute walk from the center of Medan. I walked from here to go sightseeing, shopping or have dinner and also from the train station. If you are not as big a fan of walking as I am, a taxi to the train station is less than $2.
Service: The staff at the JW Marriott was what you’d expect at a 5-star property in South East Asia – excellent and beyond reproach. As a Gold member, I was assigned an Executive room on the top floor, with access to the lounge. The reception staff took me to my room and completed the check-in formalities in the comfort of my room, a very luxurious touch indeed. The lounge and restaurant staff was equally professional and friendly, going out of their way to ensure I had everything I need.
Room: The room is large and held in a traditional luxury theme of light woods and brown tones, with some modern art thrown in for a contemporary look. While it won’t wow you, it won’t offend anybody either. The bed was king-size with very comfy sheets. There is a large work desk with proper desk chair and a sitting area. There is a standard Marriott connectivity panel to hook up your gadgets to the TV, as well as plenty of outlets and (yay!) a master switch to turn of all the lights right from your bed, rather than hunting around to find switches… The bathroom is also large, with separate shower and tub and a window (with blinds) separating it from the bedroom, my favorite design. The amenities were nice, although not standard-issue JW Marriott. There are a laptop-size safe, large TV, tea/coffee facilities and phone, all working just fine.
Amenities/Restaurant: The JW Marriott has a large gym that also has local members. With enough cardio and weight equipment as well as room to stretch, you can get a regular workout easily – and I did every day! There is also a large wellness area, reminding me of luxury hotels in Europe, with a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi (out of service during my stay). There is even a room to rest in between, so you can follow proper sauna etiquette! On the same level, you will find a pool, large enough to refresh from the heat or swim laps, with loungers and chairs around it. Unfortunately, who ever designed it didn’t seem to know the location well – it was covered by the building and in the shade during the day, so no sun bathing for you! It was still popular, crowded with families and kids on a holiday!
The lounge was rather basic considering the status of the JW Marriott. The selection of food and drink during the evening happy hour was limited. In the morning, they offered what must have been the most limited breakfast I’ve ever seen at any lounge, with a plate of sad looking pastries the only choice! Fortunately, the executive room can choose the full breakfast at the restaurant – which was amazing. Think Sunday brunch at a 5-star hotel in the US and you get the idea. WIth numerous choices for fruit, cereal, joghurt, pastries and bread, a make-to-order egg station and countless hot dishes, it was everything you could ask for and I was very happy!
Overall, the JW Marriott Medan met all the expectations I have from a 5-star property and then some. Throw in the fact that you can have all this for very few Marriott points or under $100, and you have a great deal for your stay in Medan. While there are other choices in Medan, this is a great place to treat yourself to the best in town without breaking the bank!