We just got back from our vacation at the JW in Cancun and found the hotel a delight! The staff was wonderful and couldn't have been more helpful and always friendly. My only complaint is....when we arrived we asked if an upgrade might be available for a gold member and we were told they only upgrade platinum. That would be fine except reservations told me we could be upgraded based on availablilty. The hotel was empty!! So, we were disappointed given the fact that when we travel we make a point to use Marriott so we can enjoy the perks. You gotta spend 50 nights in a hotel to reach gold and although it's not the top it's still a lot of travel. They give you the perks so you stay at Marriott and when you would like to have them they are not available to you! That's a shame!! Reservations and the hotels need to coordinate the information so we know what to expect.
Ran into the same problem in Kaui. I asked to speak to the GM. He politely advised me that all international hotels, including Hawaii only upgrade Platinum. He then did the right thing and upgraded us to the nicest room on the property.
I'm now Platinum and have a trip scheduled to Cancun. I'll be interested to see what type of upgrade is available there.