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“Nice - but needs some improvement!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa

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JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Blvd Kukulkan, Km 14.5 | Lote 40-A, Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #20 of 172 hotels in Cancun
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“Nice - but needs some improvement!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2004

I would agree with the most recent four star reviews that have been written about this resort. My husband, toddler and I stayed in a suite at the JW for the week of December 6th. While the grounds are nice and the pool is beautiful - there were areas that needed improvement. Conceirge restaurant recommendations were poor (there must be a kickback system in place). The food in all the JW restaurants was average at best (Gustino's was a huge disappointment - don't waste your time eating there!). Additionally, one afternoon, we actually had to argue with both the hostess and a waiter at Cafe Salsa to be seated outside (it had rained earlier and despite the fact that there were two other couples sitting outside, they didn't seem to want people out there as it would require more work) Also, beware - about 2/3 of the beach is gone from hurricane damage. The beach is much narrower and I was shocked during a morning walk to find all sorts of trash in the water and washed up on the sand (thankfully this one only one morning). This resort will gouge you for anything and everything ($6 is the going rate for a litre of water and a phone call to my credit card company cost $25! They even add service charges on to toll free calls! I understand making money off ammenities, but I felt like I was being taken advantage of.) Despite tipping the maids every day, our rooms were not well attended to. On the plus side, the bellmen were wonderful and the room service waiters were as well (we had a problem with one dinner and despite several calls to try to fix the problem, we were unsuccessful until a waiter that came to pick up the table left in our room by room service got involved). All in all, while this is a nice resort, it is still a Mariott and far away from being first class. (One additional warning, having Platinum status with Marriott gets you nowhere with this hotel - they could care less!) If you're going, try not to expect as much as the 5 star ratings indicate, make sure to go a supermarket or Walmart to purchase water and don't make any phone calls. The ocean is beautiful and the views from the hotel room balconies are great. Another tip - if you're looking for truly authentic Mexican food and venture down to Mercado 28 (downtown Cancun), try El Cejas. We had the best meal of our trip there for a mere $18!

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (337)
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ny, ny
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2004

Recently returned from a Thanksgiving extended weekend with my family. The JW Marriott was a fabulous hotel. It had all that a family could possibly need - great beach, pools were unbelieveable, kiddie pool - the best for the little ones. The hotel grounds were very, very well kept - exceptionally clean. The rooms were great - very well done and housekeeping did a great job. The food (ate at Cafe Salsa at the JW each night) was surprisingly excellent. They had a different theme buffet almost every night and we never needed to leave the hotel for any meals. Breakfast buffet was the best I've ever had.
The staff at the hotel was fantastic - polite, pleasant and could not do enough for us.
We purchased the Entertainment-Plus card before our trip and we used this card for our dinners at the JW Marriott, saving quite a bit on the cost of dinners. (Although, for a hotel of this high caliber, the price of dinners was quite reasonable to begin with)
Also used Cancun Valet for transportation to and from airport and they were exceptional. Had our own van just for us, no other stops for any other hotel pick ups, they were on time and extremely courteous.
All in all, our trip was the best. Would recommend the JW Marriott with very high marks!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2004

First, The people of Cancun:

The people of Cancun are very friendly and work very hard so that tourists like us can enjoy our vacation. I spoke with a driver who earned 100 pesos per day ($10 USD) for a 12 hour day shuttling folks to and from hotels to airport. PLEASE remeber to RESPECT how hard the Mexican people work so that you can enjoy yourself.

Now the JW Mariott:

Service, service, service. The staff at the JW made our 2nd honeymoon a wonderful experience. We stayed for 6 days, December 1-6. We were so sorry we had to go! Email me if you want to see pictures.

1. Cost: The JW isn't a budget hotel, but it is worth every penny. When I go on vacation I don't want to worry about a thing. You'll be glad you spent the cash.

2. Service: The service at this hotel is excellent. Everyone is bilingual and very friendly.

3. Food: The restaurants on premises are very good. At the JW they have Cafe Salsa - informal dining and Gustinos - formal italian dining. The chef at Gustinos was definitely on point. That was one of the better itialian meals I've had and living in NYC I've eaten a lot of great italian.

4. Beach: Beach is beautiful. Cannot tell you how much we enjoyed it. We swam in the ocean day and night. Email me for pictures.

5. Tours: We went to Chichen Itza through Carribbean Tours - it was fantastic!! If you do a tour do Chichen.

6. Salsa Dancing: We went to a local club called Mambo Cafe in Plaza Las Americas. It was great! Although I dance on the '2' I was able to adapt to the '1'. We tried to go to Azucar, but they are closed on Sunday nights.

6. Shopping: The shopping on the hotel strip is overpriced and very Dineyland. It's great if you like that stuff. We bought very little. They had some nice ceramics at the airport.

I am a Wedding Corrdinator and would highly reccommend JW for weddings. Email me for more information on Weddings and the JW.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2004

Just got back from a 5-night stay at the JW. Hotel grounds were beautiful as others have noted, especially the pool area. Rooms were nice and bathroom layout was well thought-out. Views from our room overlooking the pool/ocean were terrific. Staff was very friendly and generally attentive to our needs. Spa was great.

All that said, there were a few negatives that prevent us from giving the hotel a perfect "5".

First, the concierge never made one of our restaurant reservations. It didn't turn out to be an issue since Cancun was not crowded last week but they said they would make the reservation and they never did. They also pushed a tour of Chichen Itza with the "house" tour that cost over 2x as much as the Grey Line tour we ended up using. We enjoyed the Grey Line tour despite their promotion of additional goods and can't see how the hotel's tour would be worth 2x as much. The Grey Line tour allowed for plenty of time (3+ hours) to tour the Chichen Itza grounds- more than enough and delivered what it promised.

Next, the food was not great at either Cafe Salsa or their outdoor cafe. Waited 15 minutes for a menu from an overworked waiter at dinner. Passed on Gustino's as the restaurant at the Le Meridien (Aioli) was priced similarly and turned out to be a terrific meal by a very attentive staff (despite the concierge at the JW trying to convince us not to reserve there).

Finally, having to conduct some business while away I resented having to pay $25/hour approx. to use the Internet on their old computers in the Business Center. I don't mind a nominal charge to access the machine but to rack up approx. $100 in Internet charges on a trip and feeling rushed while using the computer with the $ charge per minute time clicking seemed like overkill.

Overall, a great trip and a hotel we would recommend but not at the 5-star level.

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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2004

Please take this with a grain of salt (and a shaker of margaritas) but as a loyal Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Peninsula hotel guest, I'm telling you right now-this is not "as good as it gets". All of the superlatives in the world from past guests still will not put this hotel on par with the true luxury chains. People: This is a Marriott and although it is very nice by Marriott standards, it doesn't even begin to compare to the Ritz down the beach. I stayed at the JW Nov 25 - Dec 2 for a conference and found the facilities to be clean & comfortable, the service was average and the food to be somewhat bland. The pools are very nice and the beach is relaxing. We did have repeatedly bad experiences with room service for breakfasts...toast that wasn't toasted and when we called to ask for new toast they actually tried to present us with a new bill, a "used" jar of jam (gross!), a fly in the cream.
One big beware on the Japanese restaurant at the Marriott next-door, Mikado. Absolutely the worst hotel restaurant we've ever been to. One can only hope that Marriott is soon to replace this dump because it has the feel and smell of a restaurant that is about to be closed!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2004

My wife and I just returned from the JW for 5 nights and loved the trip. The breakfast buffet that is included in the standard room was excellent. The staff was great. The only problem that we encountered was that when we checked in the desk clerk mistakenly took our $100 spa voucher that was included in the in our package. When we went for our spa appointment and explained to the manager what happened, she gave us a difficult time. I had another document that proved that we had a voucher and she reluctantly gave us the credit w/out the voucher.
All other service was first rate at the hotel and in Cancun in general. The spa and gym is top notch - we had massages and took a spinning class. The best dinner and shopping values are off premisis - taking the local bus is a must - 7 pesos per person each way. Don't be afraid to venture out.
We want to return to this hotel next year with our kids!

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Lakeville, MN
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2004

The JW Resort in Cancun is a pleasure. We (wife and 2 daughters - 7 & 2) stayed 10 nights during mid-November and were extremely happy with almost every aspect of the Resort. We stayed at the Ritz on our previous visit to Cancun and I will admit to being a little concerned that the JW would come up short. No way! The staff is outstanding...they genuinely seem to want you to have a wonderful stay. The room was great...we upgraded to a Grand Oceanview Suite and it was the best view we've ever had on an beach vacation. Let me run through a quick laundry list of thoughts on the property that might help you out:

1) I have an aversion to bad beds thanks to a few back problems. I'd read the beds were terribly hard...not the case for me. I slept just great with no ill-effects.

2) Pool area is wonderful. It sprawls all over the place and is ideal for both families and honeymooners. Yes, it was off-season but we NEVER had an issue finding chairs. This resort most certainly attracts families and it should. It offers a great children's pool on one end of the property that's maybe 18 inches deep. It also has another VERY shollow pool area on the opposite end that's maybe 8 inches deep. Kids can safely play while parents watch from the sides. The rest of the enormous pool area is limited to roughly 3.5 feet in depth. Water was cold this time of year...it would have been nice of the JW to pump a little hot water in and bump the temperature by 5 degrees.

3) The restaurants were weak compared to the Ritz. To be clear...they were NOT bad at all, just weaker. Cafe Salsa essentially serves a menu identical to the room service menu. I think they could broaden this menu and be the better for it. Gustinos was okay. My wife and I were both a bit disappointed here...perhaps it was a bad night.

4) Room service staff is efficient and very pleasant. They will bring you anything you want from any restaurant on property or at the Casa Magna next door. We enjoyed this a great deal as our girls were often in bed by 7:30 after a long day in the sun. We were able to order very nice/varied meals and enjoy them on the balcony with a gorgeous view.

5) The beach is great but is also rough. Red flags every day but two. This didn't curb our enjoyment but you should be aware that this is the case.

6) Service at the pool and the beach is great. Waiters flying around with smiles on their faces at all times.

7) Yes, this place is expensive. If you stay on the property all day you can expect to spend an EASY $175/day on food and drink...more if your kids are big eaters. However, you HAVE to know this coming in. If expensive places bother you then don't come here. It's not a budget place.

The bottom line is that we would certainly stay at the JW on a future stay and that we would look forward to it! Great resort!

Please feel free to email if you have any specific questions.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa

Address: Blvd Kukulkan, Km 14.5 | Lote 40-A, Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#19 Luxury Hotel in Cancun
#20 Family Hotel in Cancun
#20 Business Hotel in Cancun
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
#26 Romantic Hotel in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, an oceanfront haven of unparalleled sophistication, impeccable service and warm Mexican hospitality designed for today’s most discerning travelers. Sumptuous comfort, chic residential styling and glorious waterfront views distinguish every room. Abundant taste marks every dining experience, from casual to elegant, and indulgent charm distinguishes each and every day. Relax on a spectacular beach kissed by the sun and caressed by the sparkling waters of the Caribbean. Stroll through traditional markets ablaze with color or listen to the lullaby of the ocean surf from your private balcony overlooking the sea. With its powdery sand beaches and ancient Mayan mysteries, Cancun will dazzle your senses ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Cancun Hotel Cancun
Jw Marriott Cancun Resort
Cancun Marriott

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