My boyfriend and I are taking a trip to Cancun for 5 nights in March. We have enough points to stay at the Ritz, JW or Casamagna but we don't know which is the best deal? Also depending on value might decide to pay for it. I am currently a Platinum Elite Member, unfortunately it will go down to Gold by the time our trip comes up. Nonetheless I have been pretty lucky in the past getting room upgrades. I am hoping we get lucky again so my first question is, how well are elite members treated at either of these locations?
Secondly, nothing against children and families but we don't have kids nor want kids running around while we are trying to relax by the pool. Which location is the least and most family friendly?
I've read some complaints about the lack of shade and chairs at JW Marriott location, has anyone experienced this lately? Is this still an issue?
Regarding Elite benefits, do any of these locations offer a concierge lounge and if so how are they? If no lounge do they offer complimentary breakfast for Gold/Platinum members?
JW Marriott offer a lounge called Club 91. Is it worth the extra $150 per night?
Ritz has the club level? Is the extra $200+ per night worth it here?
We want to do a few excursions offsite so there will be days we don't spend on the hotel property. This where we are wondering if the additional fees are even worth it.
Anyone that can help share their recent experienced we appreciate it very much!
A trip to Cancun sounds sooo nice, pearlmnt. I'm sure there are some Insiders here who know a thing or two about visiting there, and i'd be interested to their insights as well!
I'm afraid I can't offer any advice about these individually, but I can tell you that as the Marriott and JW are designated as resorts your lounge access and free breakfasts aren't honoured. As a Gold you might be upgraded, and of course the extra half point per $ spent!
DUe to the lack of elite benefits at resorts, RC redemption, where little by way of benefits are offered, suddenly looks a better alternative, though don't forget, RC only gives points on room rate, not incidental spend.
Finally, international Marriott/JW lounges are generally far better than US ones, meaning that though you may have to pay the upgrade at these resorts, that could represent good value, including as it does breakfast, afternoon food and evening hors and alcohol
We have not been to Cancun since 2010, but have stayed at both the CasaMagna and JW with our last stay at the JW Club 91 with a huge oceanfront suite. The room was fantastic as was the offerings at Club 91 throughout the day. Only drawback is you have to leave the beach/pool to go back up to the top floor of the hotel in order to take advantage of the food/bev. You could eat all three meals when we stayed so if you did not want to go off property to have a meal or use one of the hotel or CasaMagna restaurants then the $150/day is a great deal. The food was excellent and service spot on all the time and the suite was about 1,200 sq ft over looking the beach from the top floor.
Also, the JW is certainly the place for less children especially since they have an adult only pool and I believe swim up bar that is secluded from the other pools on the left side of the hotel if you are standing on the beach or looking at the main resort picture. It was very quiet over there whenever we decided to enjoy some piece and quite.
Pool chairs will go fast in the morning as at most busy resorts, but the adult only pool may help with that issue some. Shade, don't recall any shade issues as we were not actually looking for shade most days. We also on a previous visit to your last has a very nice King room on the ground floor of the same wing of the hotel as Club 91 is located. It was a great room with a patio that opened to the adult pool so if you wanted shade you could go sit on the patio or around the pool bar (almost positive they had one).
I any event, I would most likely not stay at the Ritz due to the extra points required and I cannot imagine it being that much better a property than the JW. Not dissing the CasaMagna as it is nice as well, but much older of a resort and most likely with more family guests.
If I can rummage up any pictures I'll post some for you.
You will encounter children at the Casa Magna. I love the Casa Magna due to the friendly atmosphere at the pool bar but I have to say that the umbrellas, lounge chairs, and believe it or not breakfast is better at the JW. The JW has an adults only pool with pool bar but pretty low key compared to the Casa Magna. Everyone seems to be having more fun at the Casa Magna. I believe that the lunch at La Isla (Casa Magna) is much better than the lunch that they serve at the Beachwalk. Service is great at either. Hope this helps.
My wife and I have stayed at the JW Marriott Cancun every year since 2003 so obviously we like it. The Casa Mega is a very nice resort as well but we favor the more laid back atmosphere that the JW provides. The two resorts are connected and you are free to go from one resort to the other so while I haven’t stayed at the Casa Magna I am fairly familiar with what they have to offer. The main pool at the JW is simply amazing but being your traveling in March there will be kids so the adult only pool would be the way to go. The pool at the Casa Magna will be significantly more chaotic at most times so if you want to relax more look at the JW. When talking to many of the locals over the years many feel that the JW is the more extravagant of the hotels in the hotel zone in Cancun including the Ritz. While the restaurants at the JW/Casa Magna are a tad pricy the food is good and you have your choice from over seven restaurants between the two properties. Any way you look at it you can’t really go wrong staying at any of these Marriott properties but if you want to have the ability to stay at the resort and not leave unless you want to I would pick the JW Marriott in a heartbeat.
We have indeed used the Club 91 service in the past with mixed results. Basically the way it works is that you have the option for a light continental style breakfast in the morning and light snacks/finger foods for lunch complete with non-alcoholic beverages. In the evenings each night of the week one of the 7 primary resort(s) restaurants provide the food for the evening. So one night it could be Champions from the Casa Magna the next night might be the Sedona Grill from the JW and so on throughout the week. The bar is only open for dinner and closes at 10 p.m. nightly and it has a limited selection to choose from. In my opinion the food is good but not great and we found that even though we had the Club 91 access that on some nights we still went out for a more hearty/quality meal. One thing to keep in mind is that when you upgrade to Club 91 in advance of your arrival it gives the opportunity to e-mail and contact the Club 91 Concierge which comes in handy for arranging your transportation to and from the airport. Last year I emailed them ahead of our arrival and arranged to have our own Marriott shuttle pick us up at the airport and take us directly to the JW which was fantastic and highly recommended if you do indeed upgrade. The Club 91 Concierge staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and very accommodating. So in a nutshell if you can get the upgrade for the right price and your light eaters and enjoy being pampered by great staff the upgrade is probably worth it. We are returning to the JW in early March and as of today we have not decided to upgrade to Club 91 for this trip. We may inquire at the front desk when we check in and if the price is right we may upgrade then. Hope this helps and I hope you have a wonderful stay at the JW Marriott!
This question would be easier to answer if you included what you are willing to spend for your daily meals. Between the JW Marriott and the Casa Magna Marriott you have 8 different dining options plus room service. These different restaurants all vary in price which really gives you many different price options. I for one am not a huge breakfast person so instead of spending $30 on the daily buffet I preferred to get a fresh made breakfast sandwich at the JW Marriott’s gift shop for a fraction of the price. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinking options at both resorts but my recommendation is to request a refrigerator for your room which they can and should provide. Once you get the refrigerator you can make a onetime trip across the street from the resort over to the convenience store and stock up on juices, water and sodas for your stay. We do this every year and it really helps to save a little bit of $$.
Hope this helps and have a wonderful stay!
I have stayed at both JW and Casa Magna before. I am taking the family back to Cancun in August and we will stay at Casa Magna again. For the value, I chose to stay there. Also the rooms at Casa Magna were renovated in 2014 vs. 2006 for JW. It's next to each other so you are able to hop from one to the other. The points difference is not significant (105k vs 120k) But if you're not using points the price difference is significant. Either way, I'm sure you're going to have a great time!
Thank all of you for your information. This is my first post so if I am not following correct protocol i apologize. I am planning on taking my family to the JW in July (19-27th). I am a Platinum Elite level but as I am reading it seems that there is no real advantage to that at this property. I am using points for the room but I had a few questions about the family. My children are 16 and 11 will they have any restrictions at the main pool area? Also, are there any other family/children situations that I should be prepared for? I try to keep the kids acting appropriate for the most part but i'd like to avoid anything popping up. Also, I don't understand the Club 91, is this a one time fee for the entire trip or can you do it by the day? We really don't eat three meals a day and like to eat a lot of local meals but convenience is worth a lot. Any suggestions will be really appreciated. Thank you so much for all the great info! Brian
I would not worry about your kids. There is an entirely separate area for the adult pool (much smaller) and that area is nice but nothing to miss when you have your kids. The other area has a huge area and there are lots of kids and its fine. If it was me I would suggest saving some points and staying next door at the Casamagna. We enjoyed the service there better. Even if you end up staying at the JW you can always go over to the casamagna for food and charge it to your room. Now if you want a very nice spa then JW spa is simply amazing.
Either location is amazing for relaxing beach vacation. Roxanne at the Casamagna is the best concierge I have worked with.
I agree with brianooch. I think the lunch is better at the CasaMagna. The breakfast is equally great at both restaurants. I fyou have young children there will be a point in the lagoon pool that you CAN NOT see them if they are off swimming on their own. My grand daughter is 10 and I would feel better about staying at the CasaMagna because I would be able to see here in the pool wherever she is. The lounge chairs at the JW are awesome but besides that I love the CasaMagna