The O. Zone

JW Marriott Black Friday deal a great excuse to get away to Denver

Two outstanding exhibits feature Van Gogh, destruction of Pompeii

By David O. Williams
Real AspenNovember 11, 2012
If you’re like me and wait until Christmas Eve to do your Christmas shopping, then you can stop reading right now. But if you like to get a bit of a jump and take full advantage of Black Friday prices, have I got a deal for you.

One of our family’s favorite hotels for Denver getaways, the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, is offering a Black Friday Shopping Package for $394 a night that includes a $100 gift card to the (very) nearby Cherry Creek Shopping Center, pedicures for two at the Antoine du Chez Spa at Cherry Creek (right next to the JW), a $25 credit to the adjacent Second Home Kitchen + Bar for cocktails and snacks, and valet parking.

If you’ve never been to the JW, you have to check it out. Its location between First and Second avenues on Clayton Street puts it in the heart of action in Cherry Creek North, where there are more than 300 retailers and a lot of great restaurants and bars.
The JW Marriott in Denver's Cherry Creek shopping district.

Cherry Creek is a little quieter than downtown or LoDo, but you’re still a matter of minutes from all of those attractions. Plus you can get to the museums and zoo at City Park a lot faster.

We did a recent culture-immersion weekend in Denver with the kids and took in two outstanding exhibits that run through January. The first was Becoming Van Gogh at the Denver Art Museum, which runs through Jan. 20 (advance tickets recommended).

The woman told me I was the first person to inquire about free tickets for a five year old when I called. We like to start ours young. The boys loved the exhibit, which traces Vincent Van Gogh from the sketches and black and white of his formative years to the explosively rich colors of his troubled later years.

Thankfully, the Eagle County school system had already introduced our middle son Max to the Dutch artist, and he was highly engaged by the well-done exhibit at DAM. If you go during the Thanksgiving break, remember that the downtown museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and on Mondays.

The other hot exhibit is A Day in Pompeii, which runs through Jan. 13 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Our 5-year-old, Rennick, was less impressed with Van Gogh but very moved by Pompeii – particularly one film that time stamps the “action” while showing the effects of the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius on one particular home.

Rennick wrote his own book on Pompeii in kindergarten the next week. The film seemed to affect him more than the haunting body casts of people (and a dog) in their final moments of agony. The exhibit is also rich with artifacts from the annihilated ancient Roman town.

I recommend catching both exhibits before they leave town. But even if you’re just in the mood to shop, the JW deal can’t be beat. The Black Friday deal is only good Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, but you could stay on through the weekend and check out the rest of Cherry Creek.

If you take the kids, be sure to stop by Sugarlicious candy store at 3000 East Third – the super-sweet brainchild of Vail’s own Jill Alfond. Get the kids cranked up on sweets and then head to the Wizard’s Chest, one of Denver’s best toy stores, on 230 Filmore.

Seriously though, I can’t recommend the JW strongly enough. It’s modern-luxe with classic touches like 4-piece marble bathrooms. It’s got all the high-tech amenities, plus two outdoor Jacuzzis and a killer fitness center.

Conde Nast Traveler just named it one of the Top Hotels in the West in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.

For reservations, call (303) 316-2700 or go to www.jwmarriottdenver.com. Use the booking code Z89.

And if you’re not into the whole Black Friday shopping concept, check out the JW some other time over the holidays by taking advantage of Sage Hospitality’s Hotels Up to Half-off Sale.

There are 16 Denver hotels taking part in the promotion, which beings at midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and runs through midnight on Sunday, Nov. 18. The JW is part of the promotion, but so are a lot of great downtown hotels like the historic Oxford.

Room rates between 20 and 50 percent off are available for stays between Nov. 21 and Jan 6, which happens to coincide perfectly with those can’t-miss museum exhibits I mentioned. Go to www.hotelhalfoff.com for more information.


comments: 42 Comments on "JW Marriott Black Friday deal a great excuse to get away to Denver"

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