As a business traveler, going to Orlando, Florida, can seem like a chore. It's always busy, and so much is aimed at kids, it often feels like a nightmare. But, the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa is working hard to remove the nightmare and make the dreaded annual meeting a wonderful experience.
A New Property The JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Resort was set to open early in Spring 2020. I spoke with Kate, the director of Human Resources, and she shared with me the excitement of meeting the cast of 350+ teammates in late February, only to be forced to send them home two weeks into their training.
The hotel finally opened its doors in July of 2020. The property sits on the Bonnet Creek resort, which borders the Disney World parks. The building stands 16 floors tall with 516 rooms and 50,699 square feet of meeting space. There are two pools (one is designated for Adults only) and a single hot tub. The resort features seven food and beverage venues, and a spa.
My Experience I arrived for a one-night stay at the hotel after completing my mobile check in and receiving my mobile key on the Bonvoy app. Currently, the hotel is only offering valet parking. The entrance to the hotel is beautiful:
The Main lobby includes several sitting areas and Sear + Sea, the lobby bar (which also has a full restaurant): I ate dinner here and had a wonderful flat-iron steak-frites: My Room I slept in room 1216, which was a pool-facing suite. The room was very comfortable. It stayed dark at night and had dual climate control. The closet was large enough to sleep in. Here are some pictures:
The Event Space The event space at the hotel was beautiful. Although I didn't spend any time in the meeting rooms, the hallways had a lot to enjoy:
Of course, I can't leave out the pool:
Final Thoughts The views at the hotel were stunning, but the people made this place magical. Kate just walked up to me while I was looking around and we visited for 15 or 20 minutes as we talked about the struggles of travel and running a business during COVID. My waiter at Sear + Sea, Thomas, was thankful for the work that he was getting to do, and made sure to enjoy every minute. I can't wait until we can all travel again and return to the joy of adventure - both for the sake of the travel industry employees, and ours.
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa will be in my travel future. I would even love to host an event there at some point. If you find yourself on the south side of Orlando needing a bed and a place to relax, I would encourage you to stay there as well.