Following years of planning and 15 months of breakneck construction, JW Marriott on Monday handed out room keys to the first guests at its newest luxury hotel, connected to Mall of America.
Adjacent to the mall's new grand entrance over Lindau Lane and accessible from MOA's new central corridor, JW Marriott features 342 rooms, a restaurant and bar, fitness center, indoor pool, and one of the Twin Cities' largest ballrooms, able to accommodate more than 1,700 guests.
This week, standard rooms are going for $219 a night, but that rate jumps to $319 in early December and could skyrocket to $599 during busy periods. The two-bedroom presidential suite has rented for as much as $1,500 per night, a manager says.
The hotel's glass walled lobby features one of the most minimal reception desks you'll encounter—designed to minimize barriers between staff and guests. Near the front desk is JW Marriott's first U.S. "concierge library," a new format that again gets staff out from behind a desk. The lobby sets the tone for JW Marriott's clean, contemporary design with plenty of natural light and muted gray and chocolate brown tones.
The restaurant, Cedar + Stone, Urban Table delivers a full-service menu said to be inspired by the local landscape. I'll be curious how it stack up against Radisson Blu's similarly themed FireLake Grill on the other side of the mall. Stay tuned for Stephanie March's review.
The restaurant opens onto the mall. "Being right next to the main entrance couldn't be better for us," says the hotel's general manager Lars Danneberg. "We're thrilled to be attached to the luxury wing." The first two floors of the new wing have yet to be leased. Art hangs on the walls in the interim. Up on the third floor, Culinary on North is slowing revving up—buoyed by last week's announcement that popular burger chain Shake Shack will open next year.
Within the sleek confines of the hotel, it is possible to forget you're at the mall...unless your room looks out over Sear. JW Marriott has its own parking, beneath the hotel. Similar to the Radisson Blu lot, parking is free for up to three hours—so it is entirely possibly to check out the hotel and eat at the restaurant without ever passing Victoria's Secret.