Melanie Reffes Special Correspondent
In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo edged by the cobalt Caribbean Sea and long stretches of coral beaches, JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is a timeless treasure striking the perfect balance between a luxury stay and a salute to Mexico’s Mayan culture. One-stop-shopping for vacation perfection, the beauty on the beach welcomes families, couples, gaggles of pals and those traveling solo. All of our links below lead to our friends at the Marriott. Check out our Top 20 reasons to book a stay at the JW Marriott Cancun.
Get happy at the JW Lobby Bar where the 150 margarita menu is unique to Cancun. Created by a team of tequila connoisseurs, the heady cocktails are crafted with Mexican tequila; some infused with black tea, beetroot, and serrano chili peppers. Choose a flight to sample several or sip just one (or two!) like the Cabo Wabo flavored with a basket of berries and the Tama Rita shaken and stirred with tropical tamarind.
Following a pricey facelift, 447 rooms including 74 luxe suites and 2 Presidential suites impress with sunny ocean view balconies, warm sand tones and blue bursts that complement the Caribbean Sea. Extras that make a world of difference include Illy espresso makers, rainfall showers, robes, slippers, high-speed gratis Wi-Fi that works on the beach and room service.
Show your innards some love at Gustino Italian Grill where Pizza Nera al Carbone is both nirvana for carb-cravers and healthy for the rest of us courtesy of the black charcoal baked into the dough.
The Chef’s suggestion is blanketed in mozzarella arugula, roasted tomatoes, pancetta and asparagus. Hot peppers optional yet recommended. “We’re the only restaurant in Cancun baking black dough pizza, “said Michael as he serves the yummy pie on a striking black plate that matches the dough , “our former Chef was from Italy and raved about the health benefits of natural charcoal. “
Bring your appetite to the Sedona Grill for the festive Friday Mexican buffet where musicians serenade the hungry and standouts are too good to miss. Signatures worth a taste-test include chocolate mole chicken, chunky guacamole, haute and spicy salsas and desserts that’ll convince you to ditch-the-diet, if just for tonight.
With a bevy of sunny perches; a siesta in the sun is glorious. Take you pick from the privacy of a Bali bed and a towel on the beach to a chaise lounge fronting one of the infinity pools. Ideal perches to top off your tan or finish that novel you brought from home, roaming servers are delighted to deliver sips and snacks poolside and to the beach that is prettier than the postcards .
Flip-flop friendly, BeachWalk is one of 3 restaurants at the JW and a sunny roost to dig into a big burger and a frosty beer. For seafood fans, ceviche gussied up with lobster, scallops and octopus, calamari frutti and a glass of vino blanco fits the bill. Linger over a yummy dessert and a raspberry mojito and you’ll remember why you booked a vacation in the first place.
Go the distance in a Club 91 Presidential Suite and the One-Bedroom Presidential Suite regal with showcase windows, full kitchens and roomy dining rooms. Oak detailing and ceramic tiles were curated by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola whose Fjord armchair is part of a collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and whose artistic eye has graced the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona and the W Hotel in Puerto Rico. On the top floor, Club 91 is a private lounge with a full bar, omelet station for breakfast and to-die-for snacks like sushi and tacos tasty with piquant salsas. At communal tables or a table just-for-two, sea views and the soothing vibe are included.
For twosomes who like to play the green, ‘ Ultimate Golf Getaway ‘includes deluxe accommodations at the JW Marriott Cancun, daily $50.00 resort credit, green fees at the nearby Puerto Cancun Golf Club and roundtrip transportation. One of 14 golf courses in Cancun, Puerto Cancun impresses with a pair of seaview holes and a Clubhouse for sips and snacks to celebrate a hole-in-one.
Keep your camera ready to snap photos of the Mayan-inspired sculptures that artfully dot the resort and the colorful Cancun sign in front of The BeachWalk restaurant. For Selfies guaranteed to please, check out the funky sculpted twosome that sits in front of the souvenir store near the lobby and the fragrant blooms in tall vases in the lobby.
Open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, the Spa invites with Mayan-inspired massages, Olympic-style pool, tennis courts, fitness center, steam room and hypnotic vistas of the sea. Honoring the mysteries of the Mayan culture, holistic and traditional treatments soothe the body and the soul. A sweet for your sweetie, couples massages kick up the mojo.
With a nod to the environment, plastic straws have been replaced by veggie versions crafted from avocado pits. “We are proud to be among the first large U.S. companies to announce that we’re eliminating plastic straws in our properties worldwide,” said Arne Sorenson, president CEO, Marriott International, “removing plastic straws is one of the simplest ways our guests can contribute to plastic reduction which is something they are increasingly concerned about and are already doing in their own homes. “
At sunset on Saturday the most popular, weddings are tailored for different budgets and personal preferences from casual on the beach to elegant in the seaview gazebo. For couples thinking out-of-the-box, weddings can be arranged anywhere the heart desires. “We’ve had requests for ceremonies inside our popular Gustino Italian Grill, in the Presidential Suites and on the gorgeous Tulum terrace, “said Lorena Flores, weddings sales executive. Call 1-800-223- 6388
Take the bus in front of the JW ( USD$1.00 per ride ) to La Isla Shopping Village where you’ll find a humongous souvenir store, restaurants, movie theater and for families; Interactive Aquarium, Senor Frog and the Ferris wheel are fan favorites. For upscale shopping, the nearby Luxury Avenue Shopping Mall impresses with brand boutiques from Hermes and Fendi to Burberry, Bvlgari and BCBG Maxazria.
Perusing an open-air market is a vacation rite-of-passage in Cancun. Hop the bus or hail a cab to Mercado 28 and Plaza Bonita where artisans sell a ginormous array of crafts, leather and colorful fabrics and bartenders keep the mood lively with gratis shots of tequila. Try your hand at haggling although for many of the vendors, this is their main source of income.
For a family good time, Jolly Roger Pirate Show includes dinner, open bar and a clash of the swords as the pirates swing from onboard ropes, fire the cannons and put on quite a show with acrobatic duels and pyrotechnic explosions. Boarding starts 30 minutes before the show at Embarcadero of Playa Linda in the Hotel Zone.
There are thousands of sacred underground rivers called cenotes in Mexico. With easy pick-up from the JW Marriott Cancun, Aqua World tours sold at the resort takes adventure-seekers to the cenotes of Puerto Morelos where the brazen swing from zip lines, underwater explorers snorkel in the clear water, swimmers take a dip in the refreshing cenotes, cyclists bike through the jungle and the rest of us take five in a hammock. The tour includes a yummy Mexican lunch and round trip transportation from the JW Marriott Cancun.
A 20-minute ferry ride from the Gran Puerto Cancun ferry dock in Puerto Juarez, a few minutes from downtown Cancun, Isla Mujeres is delightful for a day away from the resort. Reef-fringed, the small island is popular for the scenic beaches, snorkeling down under, seaside dining, craft shops and bars at the water’s edge. Take your time exploring on a golf cart as the last ferry back to Cancun departs at midnight.
With tickets also sold at the Aqua World kiosk at the JW, a natural high on the Skyrider that glides above the sea is a peaceful ride with vistas of the hotels that line the beach and the Nichupté Lagoon. Comfy and secure, the 2-seater is family-friendly and awesome fun for kids over 5 years old.
Catnip for adrenaline junkies, Aqua Twister is the only speed boat in Cancun that doesn’t require you to drive the boat yourself. The 20-seater zips across the calm water of the Nichupté Lagoon at speeds up to 90 mph impressing adventurers with 270 degree spins and power brake quick stops. Tickets can be purchased at the Aqua World kiosk at the JW Marriott Cancun.
The biggest club in Cancun, Coco Bongo is a potpourri for night owls of live bands, flying acrobats and movie clips projected on high-tech video screens. Stick around for the foam parties and tequila-fueled conga lines on the bar. One block from the Caribbean Sea in the Hotel Zone, the high-octane club is a guaranteed good time for the young-at-heart.
There are so many fun things to do while staying at the JW Marriott Cancun. These tourist attractions and tours will help fill your vacation void. Enjoy some remarkable photos below.
Melanie Reffes is an island girl at heart.Born in Manhattan, she now lives on the sunny island of Montreal and covers the Caribbean for a variety of publications including USA TODAY TRAVEL, CaribbeanTravel.com, MarryCaribbean.com and Montreal’s The Suburban newspaper. A journalist with a boatload of writer awards under her belt, Melanie’s affection for the Caribbean started young when her family vacationed in Puerto Rico. An avid fan of spicy food, Melanie enjoys the diversity of Montreal – especially during the warmer months -when she’s not en route to the Caribbean. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto.
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