Fodor’s Choice Lodging Cancún & Isla Mujeres

JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa
Cancún
This is the best hotel to experience luxury Cancún style and service. Plush is the name of the game at the towering beach resort, where manicured lawns are dotted with fountains and pools, and large vaulted windows let sunlight stream into a lobby decorated with marble, rich carpets and beautiful flower arrangements. All rooms have ocean views and are elegantly decorated with blond wood and cream-color leather. The palatial marble bathrooms have spalike, spray-jet showers. For more pampering, you can visit the spa for massages and facials. Afterward you can also relax by the 20-foot dive pool with its artificial reef. In the evening you can dine at the delicious Gustino Italian Beachside Grill.

Hilton Cancún Golf and Spa Resort
Cancún
This older hotel’s magnificent championship 18-hole, par-72 course makes it popular with the golfing crowd. Some guest rooms are rather small, but all have private views of either the ocean or the lagoon. The best ones are the oceanfront villas of the Beach Club, which are a bit more expensive than regular rooms but have more privacy. The landscaping incorporates a series of lavish, interconnected swimming pools that wind through palm-dotted lawns, ending at the beach. Amazing Japanese fare is available on-site at the romantic seaside restaurant, Mitachi.

Hotel El Rey del Caribe
Cancún
Thanks to the use of solar energy, a water-recycling system, and composting toilets, this unique hotel has very little impact on the environment — and its luxuriant garden blocks the heat and noise of downtown. Hammocks hang poolside, and wrought-iron tables and chairs dot the grounds. Rooms are small but pleasant, and there’s even a spa where you can book honey massages or Reiki treatments. El Centro’s shops and restaurants are within walking distance.

Na Balam
Isla Mujeres
Tranquil, and quietly elegant without being pretentious, this hotel is a true sanctuary. Each guest room in the main building has a thatched palapa roof, Mexican folk art, a large bathroom, an eating area, and a spacious balcony or patio facing the ocean. The beach here is private, with its own bar serving snacks and drinks. Across the street are eight more spacious rooms surrounding a pool, a garden, and a meditation room where yoga classes are held.