3 Delightful Days at Marriott Cancun Collection

Marriott Cancun Collection JW Marriott Mexico hotel|Marriott Cancun Collection CasaMagna resort Mexico hotel
From private shuttle service to a welcome room drop of a cheese plate and chilled wine, my first impression of JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa in Mexico was a great one. The JW is one half of the newly formed Marriott Cancun Collection; the other is the family-oriented CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort. With a combined 898 guest rooms, the side-by-side properties joined forces to better suit large groups. A bonus to meeting planners is the combined 88,000 square feet of meeting space and location in Cancun’s lively Hotel Zone, an easy 20-minute drive from Cancun International Airport. While my room on the 14th-floor Club Level of the JW Marriott was certainly comfortable—complete with a huge, ocean-facing balcony, a feature in all of its rooms that meeting attendees surely will appreciate too—the JW is set to undergo complete guest room renovations beginning in June. A tour of the CasaMagna resort highlighted newly refreshed rooms with modern touches like space-saving sliding bathroom doors and a clean, contemporary palette of soft blue and gray. The Marriott Cancun Collection resorts are separate, but guests have the option to dine at both properties. My first night, I went all in and enjoyed the Mexican buffet at the JW’s Sedona Grill, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This particular dinner buffet was one of the highlights of my trip. (Though it’s typically only available to guests Tuesdays and Fridays, the resort can arrange the experience for groups.) True-to-Mexico tacos were created before my eyes by a skilled chef who filled soft corn tortillas with the most flavorful carnitas and beef I have ever tasted. Don’t even get me started on the guacamole and salsa selection—or the desserts for that matter. After being serenaded by a mariachi band while sipping a masterfully crafted margarita and getting crowned with a bedazzled sombrero, it was back to my room, where I was lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves of the Caribbean Sea. The next day, I discovered poolside perfection and beachfront bliss; both are easily accessible from a dedicated elevator. Speaking of pools, the one in the on-site spa has huge windows providing captivating views of the ocean. I was a little too early to see it for myself, but rumor has it the spa pool is the best sunset-watching spot at the resort. Let attendees in on the secret so they can check it out during downtime. After soaking in the massive spa hot tub, it was off to Sasi Thai next door at CasaMagna, a short walk away. The palapa-covered restaurant serves traditional Thai dishes like satays and curries, complemented by martinis in tropical flavors like passion fruit, lychee and tamarind. And because Sasi shares a kitchen with Mikado Japanese Teppanyaki, guests can order off its menu of sushi, Teppanyaki-style dishes and noodles too. A buyout of this one-of-a-kind space is a palate-pleasing option for groups with different tastes. The main takeaway from my visit? Three days was far too short, and a return trip is definitely in order. Groups will love the on-site dining, pristine beach and sparkling pools at Marriott Cancun Collection.