If the grand entry through columns supporting a domed portico doesn't immediately dispel any notion of a cookie-cutter Marriott, a lobby longer than most city blocks and gleaming with marble, polished wood, and crystal chandeliers hanging between massive arches will leave no doubt. This is a stellar family-oriented resort that delivers a taste of luxury without breaking the budget. I find it warmer and more approachable than its more sumptuous adjacent sister property, JW Marriott, with which CasaMagna shares a kids' club and other amenities. The lobby opens onto a sprawling pool that curves out to an oversized whirlpool overlooking the beach. Rooms are smaller than in some of Cancun's newer luxury hotels—CasaMagna was built in 1991—but are more than adequate, and feature traditional wooden furniture and warm red and gold tones. All units have a private balcony. The hotel remodeled Mikado, its Japanese restaurant, in 2013, while adding a new play structure to its kids' club, and new oceanfront palapas and pool beds to the grounds.
- Christine Delsol