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Ritz-Carlton Vs. JW Marriott. Which Is Best?


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Which hotel brand is best, Ritz-Carlton Vs. JW Marriott? Certain cities and resorts house both a Ritz-Carlton and a JW Marriott hotel. These locations include New Orleans, New York, Beijing, Jakarta, and Los Angeles. We have also compared Ritz-Carlton Vs. JW Marriott Orlando, which are two of the best resorts near Disney.

JW Marriott hotels and Ritz-Carlton hotels both tend to be very luxurious. Both hotel brands usually have a club lounge. Both typically have excellent facilities, extensive grounds, spas, and often pools.

We have outlined the best JW Marriott hotels and best Ritz-Carlton hotels in case you want to delve further into each hotel brand.

1. Loyalty

Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are both high-end brands under the Marriott umbrella. They share this elite spot with St. Regis, 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. Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are both 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 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 both brands.

In Paris, New York, and London, you also get free club lounge access when you book an InterContinental hotel via our agents but for JW Marriott you have to be an elite member or pay for access and at Ritz-Carlton hotels you always have to pay for club lounge access.

2. Style

Our experience with Ritz-Carlton hotels is that they often offer a more traditional and generic finish, more in tune with the brand than the local area. There are some magnificent features of certain Ritz-Carlton hotels, such as the roof terrace at the Ritz-Carlton Vienna and the rooms and club lounge at the excellent and newly refurbished Ritz-Carlton Maui, Hawaii.

Particularly great Ritz-Carltons also include the new Ritz-Carlton Nomad in New York, which has exceptional views. We have compared the Ritz-Carlton Nomad Vs. Ritz-Carlton Central Park if you are debating where to stay in New York. We would probably pick the Ritz-Carlton Nomad as our first choice.

By contrast, the JW Marriott Essex House is not a particularly luxurious property in New York, although it has historic aspects that are interesting, such as its lifts. If you are looking for an alternative to the Ritz-Carlton hotels in New York, the St. Regis NY is also worth considering and has a very good breakfast.

JW Marriott Venice is probably our favourite JW Marriott and one of the best Marriotts in Europe. This hotel has its own modern style set on its own private island. While it does not have a club lounge, all the rooms are great. The breakfast is excellent and is served indoors and outdoors, and some of the rooms even have their own garden and plunge pool (pictured above), so this hotel is definitely worth a try.

We have also reviewed the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London, which offers an excellent club lounge with a fantastic food offering, although the rooms and corridors are a little dated. Whether you choose to stay in a Ritz-Carlton or a JW Marriott is very property-specific.

3. Location

As a general rule, Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels are both centrally located in cities. In New York, the original Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott are a three minute walk from each other up the same sidewalk to one side of Central Park.

In Orlando, the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are side by side on the same plot of swampy land. They even share the same pools, the JW Marriott having a lazy river and the Ritz-Carlton offering a more classic rectangular pool.

In Los Angeles, the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott share the same building, which contains around 1000 rooms, although each hotel has a separate pool and facilities. Within the building, around 120 rooms are Ritz Carlton rooms, and over 878 rooms are JW Marriott rooms.

They have different entrances. The JW Marriott lobby is a huge two-story affair, whereas the Ritz-Carlton has a small, intimate lobby. The Wolfgang Puck bar at this Ritz-Carlton is noteworthy because of its views. The JW Marriott has a rooftop pool and bar on the 4th floor, and the Ritz-Carlton also has a small rooftop pool, which is usually fairly quiet.

4. Size

JW Marriott hotels tend to be larger than Ritz-Carlton hotels. JW Marriott hotels are often used for conferences.

5. Rooms

Rooms at JW Marriott hotels tend to be similarly large to those at Ritz-Carlton hotels. Some JW Marriott rooms are particularly good such as those in the JW Marriott Venice. We particularly love the rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Nomad in New York as their baths sit by a huge window with fantastic views.

6. Pool & Gym

Whether there is a pool and gym is very property dependent, but as a general rule, Ritz-Carlton hotels and JW Marriott hotels have similarly good facilities, although those at the JW can be busier due to the larger number of rooms.

In Orlando, the JW Marriott has a lazy river, and the Ritz-Carlton has a more classic rectangular pool, although, in this situation, the hotels share facilities.

In New York, neither of the Ritz-Carlton hotels or the JW Marriott Essex house has a pool, so this aspect is very property-specific.

7. Ski

The best Ritz-Carlton ski hotels can be found in Bachelor Gulch and Lake Tahoe. Both are great hotels with loads of facilities.

The JW Marriott brand has no ski hotels, although we have outlined the best Marriott ski hotels which include St. Regis, W, and Westin ski hotels.

8. Club Lounge

Ritz-Carlton club lounges are some of the best club lounges in any city. We have outlined the best Ritz-Carlton club lounges. These club lounges cannot be accessed with high loyalty status. At Ritz-Carlton hotels, you must book a club room to get access to their club lounges.

Most JW Marriott hotels also have club lounges, and if you have top-tier Marriott Bonvoy status, you get access to JW Marriott club lounges for free, but they are not as good as the Ritz-Carlton club lounges.

Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite Marriott Bonvoy members have access to Concierge/Executive/Club/Signature Club/M Club lounges at Marriott properties, including JW Marriott , Marriott, Renaissance, or Sheraton hotels, and they can also bring one guest to the lounge as long as the guest is staying in the same room. You will get Platinum Elite status after staying 50 nights a year at a Marriott property. To get Titanium Elite, you need to stay 75 nights each year.

This is a great free benefit, although some JW Marriotts, like JW Marriott Venice, don’t have club lounges. Some club lounges, like the JW Marriott Essex House in New York, are not overly appealing. The lounge here has a decent breakfast but is a windowless room on the ground floor, so is not a particularly attractive place to hang out.

We loved the club lounge at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London and would book this hotel based on its brilliant club lounge. We think this is one of the best Marriott club lounges. In New York, we prefer the Ritz-Carlton club lounges even though you have to pay for them.

9. Family Facilities

JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel rooms are similarly family-friendly. The JW Marriott in Venice is a brilliant hotel for families, as is the Ritz-Carlton Maui, but as a general rule, Ritz-Carlton hotels tend to be more family-friendly.

Some JW Marriotts are used as conference hotels that can be noisy and boisterous with complementary alcohol at corporate events. This is particularly to JW Marriott hotels in cities, so do check whether there is a conference planned before choosing to stay at a JW Marriott with your family.

Both the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Club lounges are brilliant with young and older children due to the snacks that are provided throughout the day and the extra space to escape.

If you want the best brand for family-friendly luxury hotels, it is usually best at Four Seasons or some Belmond properties like the Hotel Cipriani.

10. Price

Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels tend to be some of the most expensive hotels in a city, but you tend to get what you pay for with large rooms, and a higher level of luxury.

JW Marriott hotels tend to be cheaper than Ritz-Carlton hotels, so if you are on a budget, these are worth considering.

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.

11. Conclusion

While both Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels are almost always some of the most luxurious hotels in any city or resort, Ritz-Carlton hotels are usually more luxurious, smaller, and more intimate.

JW Marriotts tends to be more convention hotels with hundreds of rooms. Some are amazing, like the JW Marriott Venice, but do your research before you pick a JW Marriott over a Ritz-Carlton, as Ritz-Carlton hotels are almost always better.

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.