Season’s Greetings

The Christmas spirit can be alive and well amid warm days and plenty of sunshine.

By: By Kenneth Shapiro



Right next door to the JW Marriott is the Casa Magna Marriott Cancun Resort. This 452-room, Four-Diamond resort shares all the benefits of the JW Marriott’s location and has many of its amenities, but at a lower price point.

The main difference between the sister resorts is that the Casa Magna feels a bit more typically Mexican in its design — in particular, its hallways are outdoors and its rooms have tile floors instead of carpeting. I especially liked the layout of the 24 Caribbean Suites, which were large and airy and featured incredible ocean views.

Casa Magna Marriott Cancun Resort

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa sits on a prime stretch of beach // (c) MarriottAs a Los Angeles native, I know full well that the Christmas spirit can be alive and well amid warm days and plenty of sunshine. Yet last December, as I stared out at the bright sunlight and sparkling azure waters of the Caribbean, I couldn’t help thinking that if Santa was indeed stopping in Cancun from the North Pole, chances are he’d stay awhile.

Christmas in Cancun might sound like an incongruous clash of concepts, but at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa it works. From the wreaths hung throughout the property to the huge Christmas tree in the lobby to the gingerbread village by the front desk, the JW Marriott delivers on holiday cheer. And the sun and sand of one of Mexico’s best beaches, just steps away, serves as a Christmas gift your clients can give themselves.

Of course this AAA Five-Diamond resort is outstanding at other times of the year as well. After the devastation of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the property was closed for nearly a year and Marriott took the opportunity to make some improvements.

When the resort reopened in September 2006, it quickly became a star of Cancun’s hotel corridor.

Each of the resort’s 448 guestrooms, including 74 suites, features a private balcony with ocean view, over-sized bathrooms, all the best amenities and top-notch service (including 24-hour room service). The resort features two large swimming pools, its own stretch of beachfront, plus tennis courts and an activity center. There are also nine meeting rooms and a grand ballroom on site making for more than 20,000 total square feet of meeting space.

The resort upgraded its restaurant options after Wilma as well. There are now four restaurants on property, including Cafe Salsa, Gustino Italian Grill, the BeachWalk Market Place and a gourmet deli.

The JW Marriott Cancun also has a spectacular 35,000-square-foot spa housed in the top three floors of the resort. Its decor and treatments are Maya-inspired, and it features a wide variety of massage therapies, body scrubs, facials and more. Despite 17 treatment rooms, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a dedicated aerobics room, a beauty salon, indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, the highlight of the spa is probably the expansive views of the ocean below.

One of the more unique features of the JW Marriott is a 20-foot-deep dive pool used for PADI scuba training. The pool has its own artificial reef for divers to explore and the resort offers dive-school-and-stay packages. The packages include three days of training and an actual ocean dive. With so many options, some clients might not want to leave the resort grounds. However, the JW Marriott is ideally located in the heart of the hotel corridor and close to shopping and restaurants. And if clients happen to be there during Christmas, I can tell you firsthand they’ll enjoy plenty of holiday cheer — as well as a comfy beach chair and a cold margarita. Could there be a better gift?

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