A pool at the JW Marriott Hotel Cancun

Indulge in a revitalizing retreat at JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa.(Photo: Marriott International)

Tips + Trends

IYKYK: 5 Caribbean and Mexican Resorts That Rank as Marriott Associates’ Favorite Stays

With the entire Marriott Bonvoy hotel portfolio at their fingertips, where do Marriott International associates flock to when they need a little vitamin “sea”? We asked these seasoned experts to rank their favorite properties across Mexico and the Caribbean, and these five represent their top picks to unwind, soak up the sun and spend time hanging out in nature.

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

The waterfront rooms and suites at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa offer a stunning view to toast the sunset with one of the property’s 150 (yes, you read that number right) signature margaritas. Don’t miss the Tamarind Rita, which features Espolon Bourbon Reposado mixed with the namesake fruit.

Bookend your days exploring nearby historical Mayan ruins or sleuthing out cenotes (pools at the bottom of sinkholes) with a pampering treatment at the award-winning spa, where wellness experts offer Mayan-inspired experiences like the Hunab Ku Ritual, which uses traditional massage techniques. Globally inspired restaurants, an infinity pool that appears to flow right into the Caribbean waters, and concierges with the inside track on local tours are just a few features that inspired associates’ love.

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

A beach front hotel in Aruba
(Photo: Marriott International)

Before you even unpack, you’ll want to head straight to the dazzling white beach and grab a private palapa to soak in the jade-green waters at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. But you could also take in the stunning views of Palm Beach from a spacious waterfront guest room balcony — the resort is said to have the largest hotel balconies on the island.

Gaming enthusiasts can try their luck at the 24-hour Stellaris Casino. Time stands still at the Mandara Spa, which features Balinese treatments for singles and couples. Intimate beachfront dining at Atardi and handcrafted cocktails at the H2Oasis adults-only pool add to the exclusive experience.

But the real secret is Tradewinds Club, an adults-only hotel within the hotel. Guests enjoy a private check-in experience; a dedicated concierge to arrange spelunking, snorkeling or a picturesque game of golf; a reserved beach area; and more.

W Costa Rica

(Photo: Marriott International)

Two thousand Bursera simaruba (gumbo-limbo) trees greet guests at the entrance to the W Costa Rica — they create a living fence that nods to the structure local farmers utilize. The indoor-outdoor lobby features architectural panels resembling Costa Rica’s iconic instrument, the marimba, and an illuminated installation encrusted with recycled bottles inspired by local hummingbirds. All of this is nestled among the Reserva Conchal, a 2,300-acre nature reserve.

The local pura vida lifestyle of stress-free living merges is brought to life here. At the Away Spa, which is modeled after butterfly cocoons, guest can sip Champagne from the spa’s Champagne bar. The white sands of Playa Conchal provide a dazzling backdrop to witness majestic humpback whale migration, and the Tree House suites will make you feel as though you are sleeping among the mangroves — but with your own plunge pool.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

a sitting area in a Grand Cayman hotel
(Photo: Marriott International)

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman blends the color palette of the island’s deep-blue waters and vibrant green foliage with its midcentury British Caribbean style, making the property on Seven Mile Beach an extension of its environment.

Roaming the property, guests will find the longest-standing art gallery in the Cayman Islands, featuring local artists, as well as six distinct bars and restaurants, including the award-winning Blue by Eric Ripert. You can also book an eco-adventure to check out blue iguanas and mangroves with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, or while some time away at La Prairie Spa getting a facial with luxurious products made of caviar and gold.

Indulge in a game of pickleball on designated courts for a little recreation. Then bring your heart rate down and relax in the Silver Palm lounge. There, enjoy a tasting of regional rum and cacao confections served on trays made of Caymanite, an iconic earth-toned stone found in the jagged strata of Grand Cayman’s east side.

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection

A personal pool
(Photo: Marriott International)

Think three simple words: couples spa retreat. Okay, there’s more than that to love at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection, but a couples Ayurvedic treatment at Ixora Spa, an oceanfront suite with turndown service and more make for a pretty fabulous refuge from the everyday grind.

Elsewhere on the property, guests lounge on private beaches, book scuba diving classes and enjoy panoramic views of Camanoe Pass, an expanse of deep turquoise water, while dining on the freshest ingredients at Cardamom & Co, the resort’s signature restaurant. The property’s eateries incorporate the bounty from the resort’s garden, including all-organic herbs, fruits and vegetables.

If you are arriving via boat, you can chart a path to the Marina at Scrub Island in the heart of the resort. There are 55 deep-water slips, including five for mega-yachts. Bonus: The marina is close to the North Drop, famed for record-breaking blue marlin.

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