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We have covered all inclusive resorts widely and they are usually the first choice among American travelers to Cancun. While the idea of unlimited food and liquor may be appealing, the skyrocketing price of the luxury all-inclusive experience is causing many travelers to reconsider their options. I wanted to discover the other side of Cancun in a no All inclusive property and I was shocked at what I found.
When choosing hotels, I’ve noticed that clients can have a lot more room in their budget to stay at a fancy property when do not look in the all-inclusive options. I ended up staying the luxurious JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa in the pristine hotel zone of Cancun.
It is one of High no all inclusive hotels in Cancun and located in the best neighborhood to stay. When you think of the perfect aqua blue waters and the white sand beaches you see in the photos are where they were taken.
This is where things get interesting. The JW Marriott Cancun Resort is a five-star hotel that has received the coveted AAA 5 Diamond award, meaning it offers world-class luxury, amenities and indulgence for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For comparison, there is only one all inclusive resort in Cancún which received the same distinctions, the Le Blanc Spa Resort. Both resorts are beachfront in the most popular area of the Hotel Zone. They share the same beach and ocean views. The rates below have been drawn for a one week stay in spring 2022.
JW Marriott Cancun Resort:
Double occupancy from $315 per night for a sea view room and balcony (not all inclusive)
Le Blanc Spa Resort:
Double occupancy from $1144 per night for a sea view room and balcony (all inclusive)
Le Blanc Spa Resort is considered one of the most luxurious all inclusive resorts in Cancun while the JW Marriott Cancun Resort is considered one of the most luxurious not all inclusive seaside resorts in the region.
The difference per night between the two resorts for a similar room is a staggering $829 per night. For the additional price, Le Blanc understand butler service, fine dining and all beverages. In the end, spending so much money on food and drink in one day for two people is next to impossible.
Many travelers have shared with us that they don’t like the idea of how much the bill will cost for lunch, dinner and drinks at the pool while on vacation. It’s one of the luxuries of an all-inclusive but you pay dearly for this peace of mind.
For example, a couple at the JW Marriott will spend around $50 for breakfast, $75 for lunch, and even over $150 for dinner. Add $100 for drinks (14 drinks at an average of $7.00) and your food and drink bill comes to $375 per day. This is an example of a couple not holding back of course.
Total daily bill at JW Marriott Cancun Resort: $690
Total daily bill at Le Blanc Spa Resort: $1144
Total daily savings by staying at no JW Marriott Cancun Resort All Inclusive: $454
It’s a huge difference and for those who don’t drink a lot of alcohol or need butler service, it’s a no-brainer.
The JW Marriott Cancun Resort Experience
Now that we’ve looked at the price difference, let’s look at the experience offered by the JW Marriott Cancun Resort.
I had a great check-in experience that was easy and relaxing. The door of my airport transfer was opened and the luggage was taken care of by the porters before I even got out of the vehicle. Check-in was quick, efficient and I was in my room within 10 minutes with my bags delivered. After the recent Ilong waits at Cancun airport, a quick check-in is at the top of most travelers’ priorities and I say the JW nailed it. One thing I noticed was that there was no cold towel or cold drink offered upon arrival.
While the resort was nearly full, I never noticed a queue at the reception counters. There is also a second reception area for large group arrivals so guests are not impacted. It seems that the check-in process is aimed at getting guests to check in as soon as possible to start enjoying their vacation.
Luxurious, modern, spacious and comfortable are the best words I have to describe the rooms at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort. The resort has found a way to make the rooms beautiful but also super comfortable. Attention to detail is what I appreciate the most. From a nice drink to an espresso coffee maker, the room had it all. The usual bathrobes and slippers were comfortable but it was the little things I noticed that made my stay great. Little touches such as a bottle and bottle opener, ice bucket liner, plenty of outlets and a light that comes on to help you find your way in the middle of the night to use the toilet.
The only thing missing from the balcony was a towel rack outside to hang my wet bathing suit to dry. I had to hang my swim shorts on my chair which was no big deal but lacked that “luxurious touch”.
All I can say is wow! Let’s start with the high speed internet which was consistent and reliable throughout my stay. It worked everywhere in the resort, including when I was lounging by the pool. While not as fast as a business hotel, the sustained download of 9 Mbps was above average for a large resort. The smart TV was the simplest I’ve used in all my travels. Connect to Netflix from your phone with just one button and disconnect instantly when you pay. The new room service app is a dream and worked perfectly. The station is ahead of the curve in technology.
Restaurant and room service
Guests at the JW Marriott Cancun Resorts and Spa have a plethora of dining and bar options to choose from. There are 10 restaurants and bars to choose from, including Italian, Thai, Asian, Polynesian, Japanese and of course good old American. From casual to fine dining, the resort is known for having some of the best restaurants in town. Hana Polynesian Grill officially just opened in early 2022 and is Cancun’s first Polynesian restaurant.
There’s also a great deli and gift shop with reasonable prices where you can get a selection of sandwiches and fresh salads or anything you might fancy, like a sugar-free Redbull. Need basic pharmacy items or forget something at home? They have that too.
Resort tip: The mini-bar is a bit pricey but you can stock up on drinks and snacks in the gift shop!
As I mentioned earlier, ordering room service was the easiest hotel experience I have ever had. Just use the handy app they created to order your food/drinks. Tap what you want, review your order, and room service was at my door in less than 30 minutes (even though I was quoted 45 minutes on the app). The food was hot and of high quality. I noticed that the food in the restaurants and for room service was of higher quality than at an all-inclusive. I believe it’s that added responsibility knowing that the guest pays for each item and knows full well what the order value is.
The swimming pool and the beach
The pool and beach at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort are gorgeous and luxurious. There’s an adult-only pool and a larger infinity pool that meanders throughout the resort. The poolside lounge chairs have big plush cushions that make it easy to lay back and relax all day. Again, service is quick and prompt as expectations are higher when you pay for every drink and every meal.
The white sand beach and aqua blue waters are some of the most beautiful in the world and the main reason guests love this area of Cancun. During the winter months, it is important to mention that the waves here can be choppy and it would be more difficult for children to swim. Be careful and avoid swimming in areas with red flags on the beach in front.
The property has a massive Mayan-themed spa and a state-of-the-art gym that includes a spin room offering classes. I was treated to a relaxing massage and appreciated their high quality massage tables, linens and the therapist was well trained. The aromatherapy during the massage was excellent and the spa facilities were immaculate.
Check out was effortless and friendly. Once I confirmed my bill and my van arrived, the porters quickly loaded my luggage into the vehicle for me. Overall, I would rate this hotel 9.5 out of 10 and it is definitely one of my favorite places to stay in Cancun!
Vs all inclusive. Not all inclusive
It really depends on what type of traveler you are and where you can get the most out of it. Before you book this all-inclusive vacation, take a look at the menu prices at a no all inclusive. You could end up saving hundreds of dollars a day or the budget to upgrade to a more luxurious resort.
Check prices at: JW Marriott Cancun Resort
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