Beachy wonderfulness in the heart of Riviera Maya
The pros of staying at JW Marriott in Cancun? Gustino’s Italian restaurant, the spaaaaa and slippers beside your bed every night. The cons? At some point, you have to go home.
The JW Marriott in Cancun may not be a hidden Mayan treasure but it’s an elegant oasis of luxury that offers an ocean view from each of its 448 rooms. Manicured lawns connected by a maze of pools frame a marbled lobby filled with overflowing flower arrangements and vaulted windows.
GoGirlfriend recently visited and we’re happy to report that JW Marriott is heavy on pampering and light on highfalutin attitude, which we think is perfect for a beachy wonderful vacation. Considering a Cancun vacation? Read on for the best eating, sleeping and playing opportunities at the JW Marriott during your visit.
Sleeping at the JW Marriott
Although the JW matches the CasaMagna (their sister property in Cancun) in number of rooms and upscale luxury, everything here is a shade more chic, a tad more luxurious and designed to cater to discerning adult tastes. Rather than spread out, the hotel is a tower, which makes it appear smaller and more intimate – and did we mention all rooms face the ocean?
Because of recent renovations, guest rooms feel fresher in design too. While they feature the expected flat screen TV, Wi-Fi and other amenities, they’ve been well equipped for the modern leisure (and business) traveler in mind. In the interest of transparency, we should warn you to prepare yourself for a relaxed stay with twice daily housekeeping service.
Start your room tour with a stroll through the bathroom – which is large enough to host your entire yoga class – featuring separate tub, shower and toilette. The balconies are uber-private with furnishings that echo the room’s interior. Bathrooms and slippers laid out at evening turn-down complete the finishing pampering touches.
Yes, this is a hotel focused on providing you with a good night’s sleep and everything you need at your fingertips when you wake up in the morning.
Playing at the JW Marriott
Two my favorite features of the JW Marriott are the three-level, 35,000-square-foot Mayan-inspired spa (with indoor pool) and its 20-foot dive pool with an artificial reef, where you can fine-tune your snorkeling and scuba diving skills. If that’s not enough, an exquisite infinity pool meanders through the property, connecting manicured gardens, outdoor patios and its breathtaking beachfront.
For afternoon beaching, rent a private cabana facing the beach. A half-day rental will cost you $40 and comes with cold water and a fresh fruit basket – perfect for whiling away the afternoon chatting with girlfriends or curled into your lover’s arms.
During my stay, I also enjoyed a tutorial on the fine art of tequila tasting. I had no idea brownies or oranges could draw out the flavors of tequila so beautifully.
Eating at the JW Marriott
When I travel, I treat food with Olympic seriousness. Ensuring each meal is savored to the fullest extent and making notes for the next is my number one priority. Let your taste buds be tempted…
Gustino Italian Grill – A spectacular candlelight display greets you as you enter this sacred space. And make no mistake, your meal will astound and delight you in ways you can’t even imagine. Presentation is creative and authentic flavors captured. We spent four hours dining here on the first night, which involved more bottles of wine than I care to admit. Afterward I felt sorry for other restaurants in Cancun…
Sedona Grill – More casual, this restaurant focuses on southwestern favorites but is varied enough to cater to people with special food requirements. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.
A short cab drive or walk down the road (off-resort), you’ll find La Habichuela Sunset. It’s a charming combination of Mayan and Caribbean décor and faces onto the lagoon in Cancun on the opposite side of the hotel. Eat outside and enjoy the sunset and a spectacular light show by wait staff when your meal wraps-up.
If you’re a street-food lover, grab a cab and head to El Parque de las Palapas, the main square in Cancun where you’ll meet locals attending mass, hanging out with their friends and noshing on foods like churros, marquesitas and esquites (a curious concoction of corn, mayo, queso fresco and lime). Like Mercado 28, you’ll find lots of opportunities to support the local economy and bring home some authentic Mexican treasures.
If you visit La Isla de Mujeres (Island of Women) during your stay, be sure to stop at Playa Lancheros. I recommend ordering their TikinXic, traditionally prepared fish that’s best enjoyed at a table on the beach, toes in sand.
Wanna know more? Visit JW Marriott online or chat with them on Facebook or Twitter. Of 1,400 reviews on TripAdvisor, the JW Marriott earned a 4.5 star review while FamilyVacationCritic's visitors were 84% happy with their stay.
To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, our trip to Cancun was sponsored. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.