Originally opened in 2001, the JW Marriott is co-managed and linked with the Marriott Cancun next door and so benefits from a huge range of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities while at the same time not appearing, at least on the face of it, to be a giant resort. The hotel has also had a renovation of most of its public areas, restaurants and rooms.
What’s it like?
The lobby is very JW Marriott – there’s a large marble reception area on the left and a concierge desk on the right, with the space then leading on to the lobby bar, where giant double-height windows overlook the swimming pool and Caribbean Sea. Marriott Rewards guests have their own desk at one end of reception. A porter offered to take my bag to my room but I was in a rush and so spent the next couple of minutes wandering around trying to find the lifts until a helpful member of staff directed me. Less haste, more speed is something I have yet to learn.
Where is it?
In the middle of the hotel zone, about 15 minutes from the airport and 5km south of Cancun’s convention centre.
The hotel has 447 spacious rooms, including 74 suites, all of which have balconies and sea views. The entry-level Standard category is 43 sqm. The new design is bright with blue oceanic patterns, particularly in the bathrooms, which have twin sinks and separate tubs and showers. The rooms have good-sized workdesks and large minibars with room to put your own items. The wifi is quick and you can stream entertainment from your device through the 32-inch TV.
For an upgraded price, guests can visit Club 91 on the 14th floor, which is billed as a boutique hotel within a hotel rather than as a club lounge. It offers food presentations daily, an open bar from 6pm to 10pm, Premium Ocean View rooms, access to the second floor of the spa, and late checkout when available.
Food and drink
There are restaurants across both properties. In the JW are Gustino Italian Grill, Sedona Grill, the Beach Walk poolside bar and a shop that sells snacks and pizza. The Marriott has Kasai Izakaya and Ramen Noodle Bar, Sasi Thai, Mikado, La Isla coffee shop, the Sacbe Beach Shack and the Champion’s Sports Bar. The main bar in the JW is the lobby one, although the cocktails in the Gustino were also excellent.
The two hotels have more than 8,175 sqm of meeting space combined, including the JW’s Tulum ballroom, part of which had been converted into an antigen test centre when I was there. Together, the hotels total nearly 900 guestrooms. There’s also a business centre.
There are three outdoor pools overlooking 200 metres of beachfront. One feels more private (it is adults only) and has a swim-up bar. The hotel has a 3,250 sqm, three-level gym and spa with 17 treatment rooms. The fitness facilities are available without charge (well, there is a compulsory resort fee for all guests whether you use these facilities or not). There is also a PADI diving pool and a kids’ club.
A superb hotel with everything you could want for a one-week stay or even longer. The advantage of having the two resorts connected is the wide choice of dining and facilities.
- Best for Exceptional service from the well-trained staff
- Don’t miss Testing out the vast margarita menu in the lobby bar, then swimming in the spa pool the next day to recover
- Price Internet prices for a flexible stay in September started from US$378 per night for a Deluxe Guest room, including resort fee (10 per cent of room rate)
- Contact Boulevard Kukulcan; tel +52 998 848 9600; jw-marriott.marriott.com