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JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Vs. Grande Lakes. Which Is Best?


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JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Vs. Grande Lakes. Which is best? We’ve already reviewed whether Ritz-Carlton vs. JW Marriott Grand Lakes is best overall. Generally, Ritz-Carltons are better hotels, but there are exceptions to this rule. These hotels feature at the top of our 10 best Marriott hotels in Orlando, near Disney and Universal.

Book your stay at any of these hotels via our luxury travel concierge to get resort credit, free breakfast, free room upgrades (subject to availability), free welcome gift, and your usual Marriott Bonvoy points. It costs nothing to ask us for a quote, and we can usually help you squeeze some extra value from your stay.

We have outlined the best JW Marriott hotels, in case you want to delve further into the hotel brand.

1. Loyalty

JW Marriott is a high-end brand under the Marriott umbrella. It shares this elite spot with Ritz-Carlton BVLGARI, EDITION, and The Luxury Collection. These brands occupy a 5-star luxury category, with room quality and size, service, restaurants, and the hotel as a whole offering an ultra-luxurious setting. JW Marriott is part of the Marriott Bonvoy brand loyalty program.

It’s worth mentioning that these loyalty benefits are nowhere near as good as the benefits you get by booking via luxury travel concierge agents. If you book with our concierge agents, you will also get all your usual Marriott Bonvoy points during your stay.

Our travel agency Stars partnership with Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and JW Marriott hotels means you will also get brilliant free benefits, usually including breakfast for two, prioritized room upgrades (subject to availability), hotel credit, and more if you book with one of our agents. Our deals are almost always better than booking directly on the hotel website for all these brands.

2. Location

Grande Lakes occupies a green area backing onto a nature reserve, so it feels like a gorgeous setting. The JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Orlando are both on the same plot of land and are a 15-minute drive and 11 miles from the parks. Both hotels provide free transportation to the ticket and transportation hubs at Disney World and SeaWorld. These transfers are included as part of your resort fee.

Both the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton are about a 20-minute drive from Orlando Airport (MCO), making them super convenient. Parking fees are around $50 USD per night if you have driven to the hotel, but if your plan is to enjoy the fabulous pools and visit the parks, you don’t need a car.

JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa is just 4 miles from Disney in Orlando, so it is much closer than the JW Marriott Grand Lakes. It is a clean and peaceful choice away from the madness of Disney. Because this is not a Disney hotel, like the Grand Lake JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton above, there is no early park access here, but it is so close to the parks that it offers a great base for visiting the parks.

JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is next to the Waldorf Astoria and is connected by a pathway where you can find the Bull and Bear Restaurant. The Hilton is connected to the Waldorf. The JW is further up the road.

While JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes are significantly further from the parks than JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, their facilities are more comprehensive. For location alone, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek wins.

3. Size

The 582-room Ritz-Carlton Orlando and the 998-room JW Marriott Grande Lakes are both huge luxury resorts that share the campus with a convention center, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, and a golf course.

The JW Marriott Bonnet Creek has 516 guest rooms, so it is smaller than either the JW Marriott or the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

4. Style

The JW Marriott Grand Lakes is large, imposing, and offers a generic Marriott style. JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is newer, sleek, modern, and has a stylish concrete finish, as it only opened in 2020. There is little to choose between the style of these hotels, but the JW Marriott Grand Lakes feels more family-friendly, and the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek feels more adult.

5. Pools

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando has three wonderful pools, and the next-door JW Marriott property has a fun lazy river and some long convoluted water slides. You can access both pools regardless of which of these two hotels you are staying at.

The Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott both offer an awesome pool experience, although bear in mind that the Ritz-Carlton pool tends to offer a more serene atmosphere, whereas the JW Marriott at almost double the size of the Ritz, means their pool area with its attractive lazy river and slides, can be noisier with guests from conventions that can congregate here. Both pools are great, and both are available to guests of either hotel.

Facilities at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek include a Spa by JW® and a resort pool with a splash pad. The pools are not a patch on the pools at the Grand Lakes JW Marriott and are quite small and unimpressive by comparison.

The JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, in particular, is very much a convention hotel, even more so than the JW Marriott Grand Lakes. During the spring convention season in Orlando, the pools tend to empty out during the day at both hotels. A quiet pool is a really nice advantage if you are traveling with a family, and the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek pool is reportedly extremely quiet during convention season.

6. Rooms

JW Marriott rooms are generously large at both properties, and at Grand Lakes, the rooms have muted tones, wood on the walls, and grey-blue carpets. Most rooms don’t have balconies, although some have Romeo and Juliett balconies. Go for the lake view rooms, which have pool, forest, and firework views.

At JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, you definitely want to pick the pool and firework view rooms as the rooms at the back of the property, the Disney Springs view, overlooking a car park and a noisy road. The rooms looking over the pool also enjoy the greenery of the forest beyond that spreads up to the Epcot ball and Hollywood studios.

7. Club Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton at Grand Lakes is the best property in this area, with a club lounge. We have outlined the best Ritz-Carlton club lounges. These club lounges cannot be accessed with high loyalty status.

Neither JW Marriott Grand Lakes or Bonnet Creek has a club lounge. If you want a club lounge, you should book a Club Room at the Ritz-Carlton. You can still take advantage of the magnificent lazy river and slides at the JW Marriott during your stay whilst retaining access to the RC club lounge.

The free breakfast for Platinums or for clients who book via our luxury travel concierge is excellent at both JW Marriott hotels and the Ritz-Carlton with fresh cut fruit, yogurt, plus toppings. There is a lovely selection of croissants, pastries, Danishes, and breads, along with cold cuts. The omelet station complements the hot food, which includes potatoes, bacon, sausage, waffles, and pancakes.

8. Resort Fee

The resort fee is $53 USD at both the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott Grand Lakes at the time of writing. This fee is the same for both hotels.

The resort fee at the JW Marriott includes enhanced high-speed guest room internet, mountain bike rental (two bikes, one hour/day/room), driving range privileges, two pool floats at the JW Marriott, lazy river pool, two welcome beverages per room, tennis court access (one hour/day/room), fitness center classes (one/day/room), $50 USD print credit towards any photography, concierge package and shuttle transportation to Seaworld, Walt Disney World, and Universal Orlando Resort.

The resort fee at JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is currently $45 USD daily, excluding tax, so it is very similar to the Grand Lakes properties and includes a Disney bus, which you have to book, but you might prefer to Uber the trip to avoid waiting around and parking fees.

9. Car Parking Fee

At the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, on-site parking is $36 USD + tax or valet parking is $52 USD per day. At the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, on-site parking is available for $32 daily, or valet is available for $45 daily. Electric car charging stations are also available.

10. Fireworks

You can view the fireworks from the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes club lounge or the rooms on the high floors on the poolside at the JW Marriott Grand Lakes.

JW Marriott Bonnet Creek has a terrific rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of theme park fireworks displays. The fireworks displays are better because this hotel is closer to the parks.

11. Price

The Ritz-Carlton is almost always more expensive than the JW Marriott Orlando, Grand Lakes, which is usually around $50 USD to $100 USD more than the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek per night.

For a more reasonable Ritz-Carlton or JW Marriott stay, check out our review of some of the cheapest Ritz-Carlton hotels, and the cheapest Marriott hotels.

12. Conclusion

The JW Marriott Grand Lakes has far better pools and grounds than the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, but the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is closer to the Disney Theme Parks, so it can be more convenient.

Uber is cheap to get back to JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, saving you waiting for a resort shuttle. This easy access, combined with its cheaper price, means that you may feel that the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek offers better value.

That said, if you like to laze by a luxurious pool or if your kids love waterslides, JW Marriott Grand Lakes is undoubtedly your top choice.

Image © Kevin / Adobe Stock.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.