The Casa Magna is a wonderful hotel! My boyfriend and I stayed there for 4 days and I am sooooo glad we did. We almost ended up at the Solaris or the Riu Caribe because that was the deal the travel agent offered. I called Marriott reservations and got the best deal on the Casa Magna for $129 per night. (We also got a great rate round trip on Frontier, nonstop--2.25 hour flight.) Needless to say, we kicked the travel agent to the curve and booked directly with Marriott. We had to pay in full in advance, but this was nice because we only had to check in once we got there. I'm glad we followed our gut to stay at the Casa Magna!
The Casa Magna is a moderately elegant hotel. Compared to the JW Marriott next door, the lobby is more old style elegance with hugh chandeliers, whereas, the JW seemed more contemporary. The JW had several nice pools. But the one big pool and hot tub at Casa Magna was nice enough! Heck! The Gulf of Mexico is right behind the pool. If you need more water--well.... The beds were firm, not hard. I slept fine every night. The room was on the 6th floor overlooking the crashing waves of the turquoise waters and white sand beach and with a great view of the JW next door. I spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The view is lovely. One morning I got up and walked to the beach and watched the sunrise over the gulf. Wonderful!
The 1st night, Saturday, we ate at Champions. It was loud and apparently everyone was into the soccer game. The food was typical sports bar food. We had hamburger and fries and the stuffed shrimp. I was told the hamburger was very tasty. The shrimp which was over-stuffed with cheese, breaded and deep fried was also very good. If you like cheese and shrimp, try it. The portions are big and filled with cheese. I ate at the breakfast buffet at La Caparilla every day except one and it was wonderful! Only one day did I eat breakfast at La Salsa at the JW and it was basically the same breakfast, but for some reason the food wasn't as tasty. It was a pretty humdrum except that I ate outside on the terrace. My family and I are very picky about breakfast--it's our favorite meal. We ate at the prime rib and lobster buffet at the JW on Sunday night and it was also pretty humdrum. The prime rib was not what I expected and my lobster was chewy and tough. I got indigestion from the Lobster--a condition that I rarely get. The next night after a full day at Chichen Itza, Mayan Ruins, I ate a rib eye steak at La Caparilla and it was excellent. After a showing of the various cuts of steak, it was cooked perfectly and served sizzling on a grill/platter with one of the sweetest onions I have ever tasted. The bread was hot and crusty and served with several great spreads and butter. So La Caparilla was a very nice surpise. If you want to get out, there is a steak house called the Porterhouse which comes very highly recommended by the concierge! But La Caparilla's steaks were of high quality and cooked perfectly.
Note: Leave a valid credit card on file and charge to your room at both the Casa Magna and JW. It is very convenient and they seem to expect it.... Also cab fare is $7 each way. Also pay in pesos whenever you can. We found that the Mexicans conveniently use an exchange rate of 10 pesos to $1 American. But if you paid in pesos you got your full value. The exchange rate at the time we were there was about 11.50 to $1 American.
As for the somewhat negative reviews, I was there 12/12-12/15/04. I met a gentleman from Denver at Champions, he seemed to like it and planned to come back in March. I planned to go back in the Spring also with the kids if we don't do the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.... Too bad for those folks who don't like this hotel. I can only imagine that the individuals who give this hotel a minimal rating must have had some really bad experiences there, but I saw no signs of discontent from anyone. Service was great! There was a female concierge that didn't seem friendly at first, but she finally came around after my friend insisted she research for some information for him. Everything worked perfectly, the rooms were cleaned daily, no thefts--of course, we didn't leave anything out to tempt anyone... We all know the risks about that kind of thing--anywhere....
At the airport we signed up for a timeshare. We paid $40 deposit. Don't do this because at La Isla mall, they also do timeshares for the Avalon Grand and the Avalon Resort on Isla Mujeres. They paid us back our $40, gave us an additional $50, a 5th of tequilia, mexican blanket, sports bag, a tour to Chichen Itza for each of us including lunch, and a boat ride to Isla Mujeres. The timeshare tour which included lunch was an experience... For more information, see my review on the Avalon at Isla Mujeres. We didn't buy the timeshare--although we thought about it--and they got mad at us. We had drank champagne, run the credit card through, got to the last page of signing and common sense kicked in. We only paid $577 for the Casa Magna for 4 nights!!! Why pay $200 per month for years and then roughly pay $500 maintenance fee everytime we want to stay at OUR resort for a week. And we got a cheaper deal--a supposed foreclosure for $13,000 rather than the $40,000 they initially discussed with us. I'm glad my honey was with me. He handled them nicely! And we still got all the free stuff promised--begrudgingly. So if you can handle the pressure. Go for it and get other tours too, such as deep sea fishing. They offered that plus free dinner for two at the Portersteak in addition to what they already promised when we changed our minds.
So if you want a nice quiet, elegant, and moderately priced hotel in Cancun with the reputation of a major hotel chain such as Marriott, the Casa Magna is it! By the way, I took the hotel shuttle back to the airport. It was nice and comfortable. Nicer than the crowded van we took to the hotel from the airport. As for paying the extra money to stay at the JW, I won't. The Casa Magna is a very good value and experience. However, if you've got it like that and you like to spend extra money just to say you stayed at a JW Marriott, that's your perogative. I prefer to take that extra money and go shopping and on tours.
CASA MAGNA--I'LL BE BACK!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover Paradise at Marriott Cancun Resort. Powder soft sand and sparkling turquoise seas beckon travelers to the heart of the Mexican Caribbean and our 5-star resort in Cancun, Mexico. A legendary locale close to Kukulcan Plaza, Luxury Avenue, La Isla Shopping Village and Coco Bongo and perfectly matched with Marriott’s commitment to service satisfies adventurous souls seeking to explore ruins or searching for serenity in the shadows of an ancient empire. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Casamagna Cancun Hotel Cancun
- Marriott Cancun
- Cancun Marriott