JW Marriott Cancun, Mexico

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HOLA CANCUN! After my 7 day blogger retreat in Tulum, Mexico with Pangea Dreams, I decided to stay in Cancun through the weekend because…why not?! I had visited Cancun a couple times with my family when I was younger and decided that staying in Mexico a few more days was secretly the best chance I had at avoiding NYC’s 40 degree weather. (If you already couldn’t tell, I belong on a beach and will do just about anything to avoid the cold!)

If you’re not sure where to stay in Cancun, I would recommend doing some research using hotels.com, yelp and trip advisor. After looking into a couple all inclusive resorts, I personally felt they were a little too expensive with the cheapest being about $300/person per day compared to a normal resort . If you only plan to drink on the beach and hang by the pool without eating out or exploring other areas of Mexico, an all inclusive with food and beverages being included in the price may be worth it.

Remembering we had stayed at the JW Marriott Cancun once before when I was younger, I saw it was rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on hotels.com and read a few reviews before deciding it was the best choice at $190/night. I travel quite a bit to the Victoria’s Secret corporate office in Columbus, Ohio for work and always stay in Marriott or Starwood hotels; therefore, I’m a loyal hotel rewards member.
One awesome perk of being a Marriott rewards member is that I was eligible to receive a $50 daily resort credit at the JW which applied to any food and beverages, amounting to a total cost savings of $200 for 4 nights! When factoring that in, it brought the cost down to $140/night. What a deal! If you’re not a Starwood or Marriott rewards member, you can join here and start earning points now. They also allow you to merge your points from both hotel chains which is a double bonus!

Photo Nov 18, 4 16 22 PMIn addition to the daily $50 resort credit, the images of the gorgeous infinity edge pools and being in a prime location right in the main “hotel zone” and on the beach was enough to sell me on staying at the JW Marriott Cancun. It looks pretty in photos, but is absolutely breath taking in person!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff who immediately handled all of our bags and urged us not to worry about a thing. After all, we were on vacation! We checked in around 1:30pm and luckily the resort had a clean room for us already which was nice because typically rooms aren’t ready until 3pm or later. I didn’t realize November is slow season for Mexico so the resort was pretty quiet, especially for it being a Wednesday. I wasn’t mad about it!
Photo Nov 16, 6 00 30 PMWe headed up to our room to find a gorgeous ocean view with a private balcony overlooking the ‘adults only’ infinity edge pool which was located on one side of the resort. The other side of the resort has the larger, main infinity pool with two jacuzzis and smaller kids pool. Beautiful lagoons, palm trees and lounge chairs with umbrellas adorn the pool with steps down to the beach.
Photo Nov 16, 10 11 09 AMImmediately throwing on our swimsuits, we hit the beach for several hours while enjoying margaritas and fish tacos. Nothing beats listening to the waves crash on the pristine white sand and feeling the warmth of the sun, knowing it’s cold back home. I was so impressed with how gorgeous the turquoise water is in Mexico! The JW Marriott Cancun had a bunch of lounge chairs with umbrellas on the beach as well as a fabulous wait staff who took our drink and food orders. They also have private cabanas with day beds by the pool and on the beach which you can rent for the day. Talk about feeling like a princess!
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Photo Nov 19, 11 41 31 AM.jpgFor dinner, we wanted MORE tacos (Literally all we ate the entire trip!) The JW staff recommended a restaurant called La Parrilla which was located at La Isla mall, Cancun’s main outdoor mall with tons of shops and restaurants. Upon arrival, we walked by a plethora of souvenir shops filled with hand painted ceramic gifts, sombreros and other cute Mexico inspired trinkets. The mall also has a movie theater and normal shops including Zara, Express, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and more. The backside of the mall has a bunch of restaurants and bars to eat and hang out at on the water which was a perfect way to end the first night of our trip.
The JW Marriott was less than a 2 mile walk back from the mall so we decided to walk back, but you can easily grab a cab for $10 or less. We found the hotel snack bar and mini fridge to be quadruple price so we stopped at OXXO convenience store along the way to pick up bottled water and snacks for the week. I highly recommend doing this if you’re looking to save some extra $ during your trip!
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The next day was another beach bum and pool day. After a week of workshops and exploring Tulum, all I wanted was to sleep in and work on my tan! (Can you blame me??) We headed down to Sedona Grill which is the main restaurant at the JW Marriott Cancun. They have a regular menu to order from with entrees averaging about $12, a breakfast buffet which was $22/person and the most delicious Illy coffee and fresh pressed OJ. The whole week we opted into ordering off the menu to maximize our daily $50 resort credit. I’m also not a buffet person so I tried one of their three omelet options each morning as well as gluten free toast (something I always appreciate because every restaurant should offer gluten free options!)
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After breakfast, we spent our day lounging by the pool and beach. For dinner…MORE TACOS! The hotel staff recommended a more intimate, local spot for dinner called El Fish Fritanga which easily became our favorite restaurant during our visit. If you go to Cancun, this place is a must!
I was in the mood for Mexican seafood dishes so we ordered the bacon wrapped shrimp and shrimp tacos which were absolutely phenomenal. What more could a girl ask for?! Their homemade chips, guacamole and salsas were also delicioso!
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Photo Nov 18, 5 53 06 PMPhoto Nov 16, 9 19 32 PM copyPhoto Nov 16, 9 44 50 PMOur third day in Cancun was our adventure day! We took an early morning ferry over to Isla Mujeres, the most southern most tip of Mexico. The island is only 8 miles away from Cancun which was about a 40 minute ferry ride. The island is only 5 miles long and 400 yards wide with a population of about 13,000 people. It’s so small that the easiest way to get around the island is by golf cart or scooter.
We rented a golf a golf cart for the day and trekked it around the island, stopping at a multitude of beautiful look outs, restaurants and bars. If you’re looking to experience something more remote and authentic in Mexico, I would highly recommend a day trip here! I loved the island vibes and how friendly the people who live there are. Everyone spoke pretty good English and they were happy to have tourists visit daily.
The highlight of our day trip was watching the insane sunset on the beach. Stay tuned on my next blog post about our entire trip here in more detail! Since we spent all day on the island, we got back to the JW around 10pm and headed down to Sedona Grill for dinner. What did we have you ask? More tacos of course!
Photo Nov 17, 10 31 45 AMPhoto Nov 17, 6 18 40 PMOur last day in Cancun was another loungey beach day! I attempted to blow up a giant unicorn float from my Moonlight Gypsy Shop which took up our entire hotel bathroom. Nothing’s better than drinking coconut water out of a real coconut on a unicorn float with an infinity pool beach view! We enjoyed pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris on the beach before heading over to El Fish Fritanga for a late lunch and to watch the sunset one last time.
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After lunch, we spent a couple more hours by the hotel pool and took advantage of the jacuzzi before doing some shopping at La Isla mall and heading to a late dinner at Aqua Santa. With a menu of salads, flat breads, pasta and tacos, there are plenty of options to choose from with a view of the lagoon in a beautiful, remote location. The vibes and music of the restaurant made me feel like I was in Barcelona! Such a unique experience with incredible food. This is another must to add to your Cancun list as well as their ribeye tacos!
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I could’ve easily stayed another two nights the JW and was so sad to leave! It was nice feeling top of mind by all the staff from the moment we arrived until the moment we left for the airport. The JW is currently undergoing a renovation on some of their rooms so I can’t wait to come back and see what it looks like when it’s finished! It’s only been a week, but I’m already missing those stunning sunsets, listening to the waves crash on the beach and of course all of the amazing tacos we ate. Adios Mexico!
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