With Chad being in nursing school, 2020 was not a year full of plans for us. Except for July 4th. We had scored tickets for DC Jam to see the Foo Fighters. Then ‘Rona came and cancelled it. We had been talking and decided we want to do something for July 4th….so we decided on a staycation. I promptly booked the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek. Now, I booked in May with the hopes that the hotel would be open by July. This is a brand new property that put off their grand opening because of COVID.
Sometime in June, the hotel began to post things on Instagram about opening so I messaged and asked about amenities. I was told that the pools would be open with social distancing enforced and one food and beverage outlet would be open during each meal period. We exchanged a few more messages and I said I was excited to visit the property as I work in healthcare and a staycation was much needed! I was then asked if we would want to be one of the first guests property! I was then informed that we would be able to check in a day early and have our first night comped. The answer was YES! (Only our first night was complimentary, we did pay for the rest of our stay.)
One of the cool things is that we have watched this hotel being built since its on our drive home Disney. We were really excited to see the finished property. We checked in around 11:30 on July 2. One of the first things that catches my eye is the sleek and modern look of the hotel. When we pulled up to the main entrance, we were greeted by Tyler, Director of Front Office, and Derek, Senior Sales Executive. It was such a warm welcome. We took some pictures (social distanced, of course) and were given keys to our room.
I had originally booked us into a a normal room with a king bed. When we got to our room…we had been upgraded to a one bedroom suite!! It was such a wonderful surprise. And we were the first ones to even stay in room EVER. That’s something we had never done before. Our room overlooked the pool and was in the direction of Disney which was really cool.
After we settled into our room, we went to explore the property! The pool are was open. There is a family friendly, zero entry pool with cabanas and an adult, infinity edge pool. There is a pool bar in the middle of the two (it was not open). The chairs were already set 6 feet apart and the attendants were spacing out guests as they arrived.
Unreserved is one of the outlets that was open and they had servers for the pool area. We enjoyed a few cocktails during our stay as well as lunch one day.
We had drinks and to go dinner from Sand & Sear one night but I don’t have any pictures! Sand & Sear is the steakhouse type restaurant and runs with the lobby bar. They offer a champagne happy hour from 4-5 pm each day. You can purchase a glass of Tattinger Brut or Tattinger Rose for $11!
We had an incredible stay. The JW (and all Marriott’s) are requiring their employees to social distance while working and wear masks. Guests were required to wear masks in the public spaces. They were not required on the pool deck. The staff was absolutely wonderful…super friendly and very attentive. And flexible. It’s challenging to open a new hotel but even more so during a pandemic!
I can’t wait to visit again when all the amenities are open. Especially their rooftop bar, Illume, with views of Disney fireworks!!
Have any of you stayed in hotels during the pandemic? If so, what was your experience like?