I’ve been to the Yucatan in Mexico several times, usually as a way to quickly recharge and to enjoy the beautiful beaches. It’s hard to pass up on an opportunity to visit paradise, which is why when the JW Marriott invited me down to stay with them and explore some nearby Mayan ruins, I couldn’t say no. In the past I have been averse to staying in touristy Cancun, instead retreating to the confines of a quiet resort, but on this trip I learned that Cancun is a great home base from which to explore the region.
The AAA Five Diamond JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa is known for its relaxed elegance and is a favorite for those seeking the quintessential beach vacation wrapped in effortless luxury. The resort also features a 35,000 sq. ft. full-service spa, three restaurants and three pools. Staying at the resort is like being in your own personal oasis, free from crowds and noise and I loved every second of it.
I don’t often spend a lot of time eating at hotel restaurants, but on this trip I had the chance to explore several of them and was shocked at how great they were. The Italian restaurant Gustino’s was more than just a typical Italian eatery, it was well done, high end and of course delicious. What I enjoyed most about the hotel’s food options were the variety of choices. In addition to Gustino’s, there’s also the Sedona Grill, a Southwest fusion restaurant and at the Marriott’s sister property the CasaMagna Marriott there are traditional Japanese and Thai restaurants. The Thai option in particular was a favorite, featuring expertly prepared food from chefs trained in the nuances of Thai cooking.
I said that the resort is great for its proximity to nearby attractions, and it is. While visiting I had the opportunity to visit two Mayan ruins, Ek Balam and Chichen Itza. Visiting both in one day, along with a cenote and a stop in the town of Valladolid, was a full day, but not a hard day. The drive was easy and convenient and the sites were worth every mile of road traveled. It’s amazing that in the morning one can enjoy a full breakfast overlooking the ocean at the JW Marriott and by lunch you can climb the steps to the temples at Ek Balam. History, ancient history, is everywhere in Mexico, but I especially love exploring the Yucatan and the many ruins found in the region.
After a long, dusty day traipsing over ruins, the best way to recover was a visit to the massive spa at the hotel. Private pools, sauna and steam rooms complement the wide range of spa services, including Mayan influenced treatments. I felt utter contentment relaxing after a quiet swim and plunge in the Jacuzzi followed by a perfect, calming massage. It’s a good way to combine cultural exploration with luxurious surroundings.
I’ve always liked and trusted Marriott, which is why I was happy to stay with them in Cancun. In particular the JW Marriott is a world-class brand and the hotel in Cancun lived up to its reputation. Looking back at the stay, I was pleased with the hotel in every way, from start to finish and if you’re a regular reader you know I have no problem voicing my complaints, regardless of who pays. But the fact is that the hotel and its staff work hard to ensure a perfect stay whether you decide to do everything or nothing at all. Next time I might try the nothing at all option.