The Mexican Caribbean’s 447-room JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa is rewriting stuffy business stays with a new offering: the “Micro Break,” specific to the hotel.
This anomaly of a next-tier Marriott is showing travelers what an all-encompassing luxury event package seamlessly tied together by mental wellness awareness looks like through thoughtful planning and execution. It’s another example of the wellness-tourism trend continues its reign with no signs of slowing down.
No detail is overlooked at this resort on the elongated spout of land attached to the Yucatán Peninsula—only a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Atlanta. Seemingly little things that stand tall are personal valet, luggage handling, nightly surprise room treats and personalized itineraries, and more.
A “Micro Break” itinerary includes different optional activities in addition to activities that vary from beach yoga to off-site visits such as swimming with whale sharks or ziplining through the Mexican jungle. During a FAM trip in June, the spa was the biggest treat. Attendees were able to “find their Zen” during a 30-minute massage and several other services provided.
“We are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth,” says Tina Edmundson, global brand officer and luxury portfolio leader at Marriott International.
The timing of the trip (that perfectly coincided with Global Wellness Day, June 8) was to mark the hotel’s recent updates and relaunch. The resort renovation flaunts modern luxury with an authentic Mexican twist. Interiors seek to bring the outdoors in, immersing guests as if they are diving into a cenote (Mexican swimming hole) with blue-and-white wash walls, linens and décor; large windows letting in the natural light; and, obviously, sprawling patio- and balcony-ocean views.
One would think the resort would be crawling with leisure travelers taking over the public areas in June while the business travelers would be shoved into a back ballroom. This was not the case.
The busiest time of year for the resort is from December through May, with the beginning of summer starting to slow things down.
“We receive travelers along the entire MICE spectrum, including both incentive groups as well as corporate groups,” says Rocio Juarez, director of sales and marketing. Approximately 30% of the hotel’s bookings are from group/business travel and 70% from leisure travel.
Being a tropical destination, the hotel works to strike a balance between planned down time and business meetings/events so attendees are able to take advantage of the exquisite hotel offerings. The required activities feel as though you are not working at all—Between the JW Cancun and its sister property Marriott Cancun Resort, the dual complex utilizes all of its 88,000 square feet of elegant event space to ensure each event is catered to in a refreshing and eye-opening way, including the burgeoning outdoors options.
Several of the ventures our group was treated to—including a healthy cooking and margarita making class—took place in an umbrella-covered seaside garden greenspace overlooking the pool and beach areas. It’s safe to say JW Marriott Cancun will never allow you to worry of going hungry—attendees continued exploring the grounds not for lack of being full-bellied: each activity provided more than enough scrumptious food and (drink!).
Among the highlights were Mayan-inspired costumed actors that greeted attendees during the opening reception prior to a guided-hotel tour. Starting from the top down, surprises lurked at every turn. Butlers offered Champagne in the piece de resistance, the presidential suite and Club 91 on the 14th floor, where the top-floor, world-class sea views washed away any stress or jet lag consuming travelers.
The royal treatment continued as we made our way down a couple floors to, arguably, the most important spot at any resort, especially one centered around wellness: the spa. Synchronized swimmers decorated the pool area for a performance while the classic spa cucumber-and-lavender scent filled the air. Enticing us to take some time to relax and unwind, we headed up the winding staircase to the massage rooms, steam room, relaxation area, hot and cold tubs, and sauna.
Next was a tour of the suites reflective of the surrounding area’s environment and history with glittering blue-stone crystal accents, 16-inch rain shower heads, Mayan printed tiles, floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors opening to expansive balconies. The importance of half baths in suites is not overlooked and encourages gathering for groups to congregate in these common areas outside of scheduled activity or meal time.
Making our way back to the lobby area, we visited both on-property primo restaurants Gustino (Italian) and Sedona Grill (Mexican). A grand, curved staircase led us into the Italian restaurant’s wine cellar and main dining area, where we enjoyed a wine tasting and observed fresh Caprese salad being prepared before us. Groups can make their own pasta as a teambuilding activity.
We were stuffed, but somehow saved room for our next endeavor at the Mexican grill. There, we were surprised by a mariachi band serenading us while tasting several types of Mezcal and indulged in (you guessed it) more food. An authentic, sweet Mexican street corn bar allowed us to add toppings ourselves—including a Mexican cuisine tradition: crickets.
For the final event of the evening, we enjoyed four dance performances and a banquet-style four-course meal a side of “Bienvenidos” in a traditional ballroom that looked anything but. The production quality was flawless; the ballroom was transformed to resemble the inside of a cenote, a Mexican swimming hole, (continuing to stay on-brand) featuring imitation rocks and vegetation with projected videography of sea life. It is easy to be inspired by Mother Nature.
What’s in a Micro Break?
Specific to the JW Marriott Cancun, the property takes the leg work out of planning with a three-day, pre-set itinerary including:
- 30-minute meditation
- Dine at one of the dual complex’s 10 international restaurants
- Optional activities: morning fitness classes; cabana rentals; jungle boat excursion through the mangroves; pasta making class
- Luxe accommodations
- Mini massage
- Healthy continental breakfasts
- $75 daily food and beverage credit
- Airport transfers
Packages from $429/night.