ArtPrize is the Perfect Grand Rapids Weekend Getaway – Here’s Where to Stay

JW Marriott Grand Rapids, Michigan

ArtPrize…More than 1,500 works of art at 160+ venues across three square miles of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize will take place September 23rd – October 11th, 2015. There are three weekends that lie between those dates which gives you three extraordinary opportunities to visit one of America’s hidden-gems-of-a-city.

Not sure what ArtPrize is? You can read all about it here, but the short and sweet is that it is a free and open-to-the-public art competition that takes place over the course of nineteen days.

ArtPrize installations are scattered throughout downtown Grand Rapids during the festival and this part of the city can only be described as one of the cleanest and prettiest downtown areas I have ever seen.

The JW Marriott Downtown Grand Rapids

Last month I spent three nights exploring Grand Rapids on an official beercation.

JW Marriott was the home base for my stay. You can read about my top brewery choices here. I would like to add that each one of these breweries was within walking distance except for Brewery Vivant which was a $4 Uber ride. Make your ArtPrize weekend getaway a mini beercation if you’d like. It’s totally doable.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Accommodations

My husband and I shared a King Room on the 22nd floor of the resort which was also the Concierge Level. More on that in a moment.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

The room was well appointed with nightly turn down service, premium toiletries, a soaking tub, shower with dual heads, a safe and two complementary bottles of water. We had a perfect view of the Grand River and even watched kayakers enjoying the Summer weather one afternoon.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Concierge Lounge

If you want to splurge for a concierge level room you will get to enjoy breakfast Monday – Friday until 9:00 am and Saturday – Sunday until 10:00 am.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan - Concierge Breakfast

As your evening comes to a close you can find hors d’oeuvres and cocktails being served from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and dessert and wine from 7:45 – 10:00 pm. We had the pleasure of sampling the JW Marriott Grand Rapid’s Bin 616 which is bottled especially for the resort (616 is the city’s area code) while noshing on cheese and crackers before dinner on our first night there.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan - Concierge Wine

…and speaking of dinner…


We enjoyed sushi, a salad and a few cocktails in the JW’s gorgeous Six One Six Restaurant which is adjacent to the lobby and offers striking views of the river from its floor to ceiling windows.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan - SIx One Six Restaurant

beets | pickled farm egg | frisee | sherry black pepper vinaigrette

Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka | Domaine de Canton | Lime | Cinnamon Pear Reduction | Ginger Beer

ahi tuna | cucumber | avocado | chive | fireball sauce

The Spa

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan - The Spa

All of that walking around downtown might leave you with aching feet and tired legs. Good thing the JW Marriott has a spa. My husband and I had the opportunity to get a couples massage right before we headed to the airport for our return trip home to Florida and earlier in the week we were treated to a “Beer Pedicure” which included a craft beer foot soak, a Founder’s Centennial IPA to drink during the treatment and a complementary bottle of OPI polish to take home.

The Grand River Concourse City Skywalk

Another amazing feature that downtown Grand Rapids offers guests is access to “The Skywalk” (Luke…I am your father). Sorry, I couldn’t help my nerd self.

This elevated walkway connects several downtown hot spots, restaurants and resorts and will keep you cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter.

JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan - The Skywalk

These, my friends, are just a few of the reasons why the JW Marriott Grand Rapids is the perfect hotel choice for ArtPrize accommodations or a Grand Rapids Beercation. Standard rates at the JW Marriott start around $279 per night.

JW Marriott Grand Rapids
235 Louis Campau St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The post was written in partnership with Experience Grand Rapids. My room and spa experience were provided in order to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.