Bogotá Eats: Dining at the JW Marriott
I had less than 24 hours in Bogotá, and two out of the three meals I had were in the comfort of the JW Marriott. I was actually quite impressed with Marriott, because most hotel companies do not give elite benefits when the booking isn't made directly with the hotel. On this stay, we redeemed Chase points, so the booking was made through Chase's travel portal. Yet they still honored Marriott Rewards Gold status (thanks to United MileagePlus Gold status), and gave us free breakfast.
Our status also gave us access to the executive lounge, staffed with friendly attendants. So, being unfamiliar with the city, and not wanting to venture outside late at night just after arriving from Cusco, it was the perfect place to have a light supper.
I was impressed that even at 10pm, they had a pretty nice buffet of both hot and cold dishes. Now, some of the sushi and ceviche looked a bit dried out like they had been sitting out for a while, but I still appreciated the effort. They had a build-your-own ajiaco area, to make up a bowl of Bogotá's special chicken soup (in the bowl at the top left), the aforementioned sushi and ceviche, fish fingers, egg rolls, and a bowl of yuca chips. I wish yuca chips were more prevalent elsewhere in the world - it's paleo friendly!
My haul of desserts outdid my plate of savory bites. Here, I sampled all of the desserts, from a chocolate mousse, a passionfruit mousse, chocolate cake pop, a coconut cake (my favorite of the bunch), and a white chocolate covered cake (a bit dried out). Overindulging in dessert: one of the benefits of a buffet!
The next morning, we had breakfast at "The Market" restaurant on the ground floor. The check-in agent told us we could also take breakfast in the lounge, but said The Market offered more variety!
Indeed, this was one of the most extensive buffet breakfasts I've come across. Here you can see the station of just condiments, like jams and pickles.
They also had a hot buffet, along with made-to-order eggs.
Befitting the biodiversity of Colombia, their fresh fruit selection was super extensive, too.
So of course I wanted to try a bit of everything! I had (clockwise from top left): mango, papaya, grilled squash and asparagus, bacon and vegetable quiche, potato with parmesan, pulled beef, chorizo, rice with beans and chicken, a plantain fritter, meat empanada, "buñuelo" which is like a cheese bread sphere, and yucca bread (the crescent).
And then there were the interesting fruits! The orange thing was like a tomato, then the one on the right turned out to be underripe and inedible. The lower right fruit was like a cactus pear, and the one on the lower left was like a guava.
We had been considering doing a Bogotá food tour this morning, but I think the JW Marriott gave us a pretty decent tour - gratis! - through its buffet.