The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa looks and feels like a JW anywhere in the world: polished, accommodating, understated. You can count on a copy of USA Today being delivered to your room every morning along with your freshly polished shoes. However, take a look out the windows of any of the 448 rooms (all have water views) and the signature aquamarine blue of the Caribbean reminds you exactly where you are.

Your head instantly fills with dreams of cool swims, warm sun and cold drinks—all easily fulfilled by the resort’s four pools, pool bar and 700 feet of brand new, shockingly white beach, part of a reconstruction project that used thousands of cubic meters of new sand to enlarge and shore up more than five miles of oceanfront at a cost of more than US$32 million. The finished results were inaugurated by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in March.

The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa was awarded AAA 5 Diamonds in 2009, one of only two JWs with such a high ranking (the other is the JW Marriott Camelback Inn  in Scottsdale, Arizona). And they didn’t get all those diamonds by slinging jello shots and hosting wet t-shirt contests. This is Cancun for grown-ups ready for sophisticated relaxation.

The 35,000 square foot three- level spa is almost entirely for guest 17 years or older, including a spacious workout room (with sunrise and sunset views) and a lovely indoor pool. Treatments inspired by Mayan rituals were taught to spa therapists by Mayan practitioners and natural products used in each treatment were handmade by local Mayans. With no preservatives, they’ve got a shelf-life of just three days.

The spa’s facial room has windows that let in natural sunlight for a truer, clearer look at your skin and most of the spa’s 13 different massages ($115 to $250) can be booked in a beachfront palapa at no extra charge.

The resort also offers Club 91 on the 14th floor. Described as a boutique hotel within the resort, Club 91 is named after the number of steps up the main pyramid in Chichen Itza.  Guests on this level enjoy five meal services and happy hour daily in a private fully staffed lounge, a pillow menu and Bulgari shower and bath products, though I liked the Nirvae Botanicals bathroom amenities amply supplied in the bathrooms on the regular floors so much that I hoarded a few.

Resort staff is professional, attentive and efficient and everyone speaks excellent English right down to the maintenance workers thanks to the hotel’s complimentary English classes (one of many innovative staff programs that recently earned the resort a place as one of the best employers of the year). When the valet came for our bags at check-out he asked if we’d remembered our phone chargers—a good idea that more hotels should adopt.

In May rates begin to drop and sea turtles begin to arrive, showing up on the beach in front of the resort where they lay hundreds of eggs in pits they dig in the sand. Specially-trained staff members collect the eggs and re-bury them in areas that protect the precious eggs from predators. Between May and October JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa staff re-bury, hatch and release 3,000 to 5,000 baby turtles and guests are invited to help—or just observe from the infinity edge pool.

Rates start at $279

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
Kukulcan Boulevard, Km 14.5 Zona Hotelera
Cancun, Quintana Roo 77500
Phone: (888) 813 2776


Our review of this hotel was originally published by iTraveliShop

Visit our Travel Features page and our Hotel & Restaurant Reviews page to see all of our freelance travel stories.

Here’s more about travel in Mexico


Share via