Just returned from the annual birthday night at the JW Desert Ridge for my wife’s birthday. The day before I received an e-mail inviting me to check in with the remote check in (AND maybe win 1,000,000 MR points!) I decided to go ahead and check in with my mobile app and it defaulted to the 3 PM check in time, but I could see earlier times available so I scrolled up to noon and clicked check in. The app accepted the noon check in. I was planning on arriving at noon so I could take full advantage of the Griffin Club from noon – noon with an overnight stay.
We arrived at 11:30AM and my room was ready and I confirmed that the Griffin Club was available at $65/person/day and requested it. Since the Griffin Club can provide all your meals and beverages in a day, with exceptional service, I think it is a deal at $65/day/person. If you throw in that nobody under 21 is allowed it is even more of a deal, to me. While the new JW Cabo San Lucas has Griffin Club rooms, they do not have a Griffin Club Lounge. I am not sure why they let them use the Griffin Club name in Cabo. In summary, here is what the Griffin Club at JW Desert Ridge provides:
- 6:30am – 10:30am Chef-prepared Breakfast Buffet
- 12:00pm – 1:30pm Midday Lunch
- 4:00pm – 10:00pm Hosted premium bar with beer, wines and spirits
- 5:00pm – 7:00pm Hors d'oeurves
- 5:30pm – 6:30pm Interactive culinary experience (Mini cheese steak sandwiches the night we were there.)
- 8:00pm – 10:00pm Dessert Sampling
- Coffee, tea, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day
They have comfortable sofas and chairs with multiple TVs spread around the facility. Much more comfortable for reading that sitting in your room, and you are welcome from open to closing. They also have large balconies with tables and chairs. As a local, it was a little cool for me, but some people from the mid-west seemed very happy.
Our room was on the 5th floor overlooking a garden area that is used for weddings. It was a standard room, but I was not planning on spending much time in it and it had the same bed as a suite, so I was OK. I requested a 1P checkout which we were given. We were given a coupon for a free glass of wine out on the patio and I accepted the $10 food credit vs. 500 MR points. They had also reduced the normal $29 resort fee to $19. Later I realized there was not much need for the food credit if we were using the Griffin Club. I went back to the front desk and asked for it to be exchanged for MR points. The desk clerk said I could have both, added the points and returned the food credit chit.
By the time we settled into our room it was noon and we went to the GC for lunch. As we came into the GC Jeff greeted us with enthusiasm and explained the operation of the GC (They also check your name against a guest list). One of the things I like about JWs is they have the Wall Street Journal, which I sat and read during and after lunch. Later we walked around the property and stopped at the patio, at a fire pit, and ordered a glass of red wine and the Mexican Chocolate Brownie. Yummm!!! We finished up on the patio about 4:30P and went back up to the GC with our Kindles to do some reading, drinking and eating. The JWDR has a “Country Club” that they operate and the members get 10 person nights/month as part of their member ship. Last night there were about 22 CC members down at the far end of the GC and there was still plenty of room for more people. Vanessa was on duty and she did a superb job of meeting our needs the entire evening. We went back to our room about 9:30P.
This morning when I checked the bill under my door, I discovered that they had comped the Griffin Club!! Not sure why, but I was not going to argue. We went down to breakfast at 7A, grabbed a WSJ and a local paper and spent 3 hours reading and eating breakfast. This morning Ashlee was on duty and she could not have been more attentive to us, or the other guests. It is apparent that the JWDR carefully selects the people that staff the GC as they are very engaging and friendly. As we were leaving, Ashlee invited us back for lunch and I asked her to confirm my 1P checkout, which she did and changed it to 2 P and issued us new keys for the 2P checkout.
Before we went to lunch, we took our luggage down to our car. We finished lunch at 12:30P and Ashlee was able to handle our checkout and print our final bill for us. While the 40,000 points needed for the JWDR is a lot, I was reminded why I always enjoy coming back there.
(I have a beautiful sunrise picture from this morning, but my computer will not upload.)