My husband and I stayed for three nights in February 2012. The service was top-notch. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The pillows were way too soft, and after a tough night, the hotel staff was happy to drop off two firmer ones. The food – excellent. The beach was perfect- fine, white sand; the water was an aquamarine and warm like bath water; the waves were just right for riding, and not too strong to wipe you out. We had no problem finding seats/table with umbrella at the beach, and we did not have to get up early to do so during this busy school winter break. We enjoyed the beach service and the restaurant (BeachWalk) that had a salad with eggplant and asparagus that was to die for.
The thing that was lacking was the nightlife. My husband only had silver status at the time of our stay, and the top-floor club was not mentioned to us as an option. The main dining lounge had a singer performing "Flashdance" and Mariah Carey's "Hero" to give you a clue. The place was empty. We were weary about exporing Mexico and wanted to stay at the Marriott's for safety's sake, and were disappointed with the lack of anything to do. We were surprised that they don't have entertainment or even a bar open outdoors by the beach. The outdoors is minimally lit, and it doesn't feel safe in the evening.
Also, we were surprised that you can walk right through the side doors of the side by side Marriott's in the evening, with no security guard.
The other, more scary, experience was the Marriott transportation from the hotel back to the airport. We just missed a major collission. The driver was in such a rush, he started taking off with the back door still opened. Thank God our luggage didn't fall out. We yelled to him to close it; then he continued to drive wildly to the airport, changing lanes abruptly, JUST missing a truck in front of him.
The best part of the JW Marriott was the hotel service, the cleanliness, the beach/water, the food...I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I wouldn't go here with my kids - they'd be bored to tears other than riding the waves.