My 19 + 23 year old sons, the oldest's girlfriend and I will be spending 5 nights in Cancun using points over the New Years. I will need 2 rooms and don't mind paying for upgrades, I want the trip to be fantastic. I can't deice between the 3 hotels....can anyone make suggestions as to which of the 3 is the bes
Having been to the JW and CasaMagna many times I would pick the JW every time, never stayed at the Ritz. The hotel is splendid even though I haven't been there since 2011, but I liked the rooms much better than the next door CasaMagna and the Club 91 was well worth the upgrade expense as the suite we had on the corner of the hotel was just lovely.
View from out room to the pool which is really nice as well as the adult pool they have on the side of the hotel closest to the CasaMagna. If you an land the rooms near there it is great as well just not quite the same view as higher up where I took the picture above.
I have stayed at all three and enjoyed them each for different reasons. We stayed at the Casa Magna with our children over New Year's (actually the week after) and the place was empty. Due to rewards status, we had what proved to be the best room I've had at all three properties (we stayed in room 3098). Reviewers say the Casa Magna is a bit more of a family resort, and they are right. If you are there over New Year's Day (busier time) you will likely see more families at the Casa Magna (interpret this as the pools will be VERY busy). We loved the old Spanish/Mexico decor and the breakfast buffet at Casa Magna is awesome!
The JW has the best pools (Ritz was our least favorite pool, but it was generally empty) and better restaurants. The rooms were fantastic and the grounds were very beautiful. One factor sometimes overlooked is your "neighbor" hotel. Since they are all so crammed together along the hotel zone, your experience is not just limited to the property you are staying at. At the JW, you have the Casa Magna as a neighbor property and as I recall it was pretty open space or perhaps a private residence on the other side. Honestly, you can't go wrong with this hotel and for the situation you described, it is perhaps the best choice.
We loved our experience at the Ritz. When we went it was late September and it seemed like we were the only couple there at times. We spent one evening letting baby turtles out to sea. The staff were very attentive and we had what I describe as our "typical" Ritz experience. Very peaceful, very private, and very comfortable. A couple drawbacks on the Ritz...They have a pool side restaurant that lets out smoke from whatever they are cooking. Due to the shape of the buildings surrounding the pool, we had smoke filling our room when opening the door to hear the ocean. The staff were very accommodating and moved us to another room to try and alleviate the problem (my allergies didn't cooperate) but it never did seem to go away. Also, one of the neighbor properties seemed to be an all inclusive resort targeting a younger crowd. Not that this is a bad thing, but I remember thinking to myself, I do not want to be here at spring break. Not sure what it would be like over New Year's.
Once you have the Cancun experience you will want to go back, so do what most of us do and pick one, walk the beach to check out the others, eat in all their restaurants and begin planning your next trip (likely at one of the other properties) and try them all out.
I just wish we were going with you :-)