Fun, Sun, and Two Great Hotels in Cancun

You’ll  find a little piece of paradise and activities galore for every psychographic in your multigenerational group at the adjoining CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort and the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa. Located on a stunning stretch of beach, the hotels collectively have 898 guest rooms, nine international restaurants, gorgeous oceanside pools, and fitness and spa options that include a 35,000 square foot luxury spa at the JW—all a quick 20-minute ride from the airport.


1a-marriott-casa-magna-view-from-guestroom-copyThe view from my guest room at the CasaMagna Marriott says it all! After checking in, I didn’t spend much time here before hurrying outside to the white sand beach for a reviving walk by the ocean. Interior architecture at the CasaMagna Marriott reflects a global design hand, from a traditional Mexican look in the lobby to the thatched roofs and glowing lanterns of Sasi Thai, one of five international-themed restaurants on property.


cancun-groupThere is much to experience both on and off property. Here’s my group of multigenerational travel buddies on a public ferry en route to the nearby island of Isla Mujeres, about 40 minutes from the mainland.



Although known for fun and sun, Cancun and its nearby surroundings also reflect the vivid colors and crafts of Mexico, animating your visit with a sense of place. This is one of many booths at the outdoor craft market on Isla Mujeres. Even crowded with tourists, the island feels laid back and local. I highly recommend the yummy fish tacos with mango salsa at Mango Café.


infinity-pool-jwIf serene elegance is your style, you’ll love the JW.  A network of meandering infinity pools offers spectacular oceanfront vistas and plenty of lounges for R&R.  More outdoor pools, including one for adults only, are tucked away from the beaten path. The pampering continues at the resort’s expansive spa, which also has an indoor lap pool and a spacious fitness center. There’s a “girls just wanna have sun in Cancun” package available until Jan 17, 2017 that sounds perfect for a grown-up mother-daughter getaway: One round of welcome margaritas, one day beachfront Bali daybed rental, $150 spa credit, 25 percent off at nine international restaurants, and daily WIFI access, with rates starting at $309 per night.


8-tulum-mayan-city-on-the-sea-copyIt’s totally worth the roughly two-hour drive from Cancun to visit Tulum, the 13th-century Mayan city by the sea—the sole Mayan settlement on the beaches of the Caribbean. There’s much to explore and learn about at this spectacular cliffside archaeological site—and wonder at the vanished Mayan civilization that lived here centuries ago. Other attractions in the area include many beautiful cenotes—natural caves filled with clear, fresh water in jungle settings.



About Regina Baraban

Regina Baraban is a veteran magazine editor and the author of Successful Restaurant Design (John Wiley & Sons, Third Edition, 2010). She was the founding editor of Hospitality Design magazine; “Best Dressed Restaurants” columnist for Metropolis magazine; and editor of Financial & Insurance Meetings magazine. She writes frequently about travel, design, and the arts and is content editor at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She lives in Newmarket, New Hampshire with a basic black wardrobe of no-iron travel clothes and too many shoes.