At the JW Marriott Cherry Creek
By Monica Parpal Stockbridge
You may already know a thing or two about the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek. It’s an urban conference center, a modern social hub, and a comfortable haven in the heart of one of Denver’s most walkable neighborhoods.
Indeed, its excellence is no secret. The hotel was voted one of the “Best Hotels in the West” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 Reader’s Choice poll, and at a glance it’s easy to see why. The hotel offers 8,400 square feet of meeting space, including the 3,150-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the recently renovated Fireside event space — complete with a 2,400-square-foot terrace, outdoor fire pits, and lounge seating — perfect for weddings, mitzvahs, and other private events year-round.
The JW Marriott has all the luxury amenities you’d expect. We needn’t tell you about the 24-hour room service, the modern fitness center, or the adjacent full-service spa and salon at Antoine du Chez. Or that the $5 million renovation in 2011 elevated all 196 guest rooms to a luxurious new standard. Or even that the recent Griffin View Executive Lounge serves gourmet breakfast, snacks, and happy hour appetizers to guests staying in rooms on the top two Concierge Floors.
What we will tell you is that there’s so much more to the JW Marriott than meets the eye. And that it’s these unexpected attributes that we love most — the parts that truly speak to its Denver roots and continuous evolution.
COMFORT FOOD ABOUNDS AT SECOND HOME KITCHEN + BAR
This time of year, we start craving summery cocktails on the patio. And heck, we’re always jonesing for some southern fried comfort food. Or maybe you’re looking for a spot to bring the whole family for brunch. Regardless of your motivation, Second Home Kitchen + Bar from Sage Restaurant Group has you covered.
Enter the dining room through the bar to a world of wood, stone, and gleaming golden chandeliers. The open kitchen adds a vibrancy to the dining room and red market umbrellas shade the chic outdoor patio adjacent to the Fireside event space.
Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner are served every day, with upscale but approachable menu items categorized into shareables, salads, seasonal dishes, and stick-to-your-ribs home favorites. Second Home is probably best known for its stellar Chicken + Waffles served with Stranahan’s whiskey maple syrup. It’s also well-loved for its Second Home Burger with 7x Colorado Wagyu beef, Haystack Mountain green chile, jack cheese, and chipotle mayo.
Certain menu items will change seasonally, and the menu currently features the locally inspired Colorado Lamb Barbacoa with crisp-fried plantains and Mexican rice, and the Alamosa Striped Bass with spring vegetables, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a delicate saffron and fennel broth.
Second Home Kitchen also serves different “Daily Dish” specials, including smoked barbecue beef brisket on Wednesdays and a Friday fish fry with freshly shucked oysters, juicy shrimp and meaty mahi mahi. Second Home is particularly proud of the fresh catch program, focused on sustainable seafood delivered to their kitchen within 36 hours of the catch.
Of course, the bar menu leaves little to be desired with a mix of classic and modern cocktails, local craft brews, and a wide selection of wines (as evidenced by the modish wine wall in the far end of the dining room). General Manger Brandon Wilson recommends the Sidekick Margarita (Herradura Silver, Cointreau, agave nectar, lime, passionfruit purée, and a dash of chipotle pepper) and the Maserati (Woodford Reserve Rye, Sombra Mescal, yuzu, maple, and ginger beer).
Second Home’s motto is “like a big hug at the end of a long day,” so go ahead and let yourself fall into their embrace. And order another cocktail while you’re at it.
A FAMILY FRIENDLY RETREAT IN THE CITY
Although set in an upscale, urban environment, the JW Marriott is surprisingly family friendly. That goes for fur babies, too; well-behaved dogs are welcome inside the hotel and guest rooms. The hotel rolled out new many new kid-centric amenities last summer, like kid-sized terry robes, child-friendly in-room dining options, and even JW Marriott Denver Coloring & Activity books with scavenger hunts, coloring pages, and crayons.
Keep reading, parents. Second Home Kitchen + Bar also offers Pajama Brunch every Sunday when kids under eight eat free — if they wear their PJs. The best part? You can leave them to enjoy supervised movies and activities while you dine in an adjacent room, lingering over leisurely breakfast luxuries like Eggs Benedict, Berry Pancakes, Challah French Toast, or Mediterranean Frittata — and even a mimosa or two.
What’s more, families can now enjoy Sunday Game Night from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. every Sunday at Second Home Kitchen + Bar, complete with family-style appetizers and entrées alongside board games and good old-fashioned family fun.
AN ENVIABLE LOCATION IN CHERRY CREEK
All these elements make the hotel a welcome retreat to enjoy any day, but the location in the heart of Cherry Creek makes it an attractive home base for exploring the area. After all, Cherry Creek is a shopper’s paradise with more than 320 shops and boutiques all within a few blocks.
Not a shopaholic? Don’t worry — other
area attractions are just a few minutes’ drive, like the Denver Art Museum, Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Zoo, and downtown, each within a three-mile radius. Plus, the 46th Annual Cherry Creek North Sidewalk Sale (on July 14th) and 8th Annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine event (on August 13th) are prime opportunities for all-day enjoyment.
Even if you’ve stayed at a Marriott before, the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek is in a league of its own. This summer, take some time to explore all the possibilities — whether you’re staying the night or not.
Monica Parpal Stockbridge
Monica Stockbridge is a Denver-based writer and editor who has covered the food and dining scene for publications like DiningOut magazine and Moon travel guidebooks. As a contributing writer for Colorado Hotel Magazine, Monica writes chef profiles and hotel stories that reveal inspiring mile-high experiences for visitors and locals alike.