Which are the best luxury hotels in Riviera Maya, Yucatan with executive club lounges? InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort vs. JW Marriott Resort & Spa Cancun vs. Ritz-Carlton Cancun vs. Westin Resort & Spa Cancun vs. Grand Hyatt vs. Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach?
Riviera Maya, Yucatan is best known for its white beaches. If you can be dragged away from your lounge chair, you can try horseback riding, golfing, shark feeding, dolphin swims, snorkeling, and scuba diving on the second-longest barrier reef in the world. Step into the past with a tour of the Mayan Ruins, like seaside Tulum, or sail off into the sunset aboard a catamaran.
Most luxury hotels do not have executive club lounges or concierge floors, with lounges offering complimentary food and drink. It is worth picking a hotel with an executive club lounge so that you can benefit from all the free food and drink offered up in the lounge, as well as the luxurious rooms, setting, and service offered by these wonderful hotels.
If you are a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum or Titanium elite member, you will not get free club lounge access at the JW Marriott or the Ritz-Carlton but will reportedly get free lounge access at the Cancun Westin Resort & Spa. If you are a World of Hyatt Globalist member, the best Hyatts on Riviera Maya include Andaz, the two Hyatts in Cancun, and the Grand Hyatt in Playa Del Carmen. The latter hotel is the only Hyatt in the area with an executive club lounge which you can access for free if you are a Globalist Hyatt loyalty member. Otherwise, you need to book a club room to get access.
The JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton club lounges are very comparative, and both are Reward Category 6 properties. Hence, both hotels currently cost the same Marriott Bonvoy loyalty points per night, but the Ritz-Carlton charges almost $50 USD per night extra, with a resort fee, while the JW doesn’t have a resort fee. The Club 91 lounge at the JW has been recently upgraded lounge and is as good as the Ritz-Carlton lounge with free alcohol, 5+ food presentations throughout the day, and so forth.
There are two Westins in Cancun. The Westin Lagunamar is reportedly the best of the two hotels. Both offer timeshares. Westin Lagunamar is a large property with great pools but no executive club lounge. The alternative is the Westin Resort & Spa, which is more dated but great value. This one does have a club lounge. The Ritz-Carlton is a brilliant property with a gorgeous club lounge, and the JW Marriott is also fabulous with an excellent and beautiful executive club lounge. Both the JW and the Ritz are better than the Westins, but then they are more expensive. You get what you pay for!
The InterContinental has the reputation of having the best patch of beach in the entire of Cancun, so this hotel is also worth considering as it has an executive club lounge too.
Wherever you decide to stay, in Riviera Maya, Yucatan, or elsewhere, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including the Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental, and more.
Typically, our free benefits at luxury hotels include:
- Room upgrade to next category
- Complimentary breakfast for two per bedroom
- Complimentary Welcome Gift
- $100 USD equivalent Hotel experiential credit per room per stay
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
The best hotels with club lounges in Riviera Maya, Yucatan are listed below:
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
Resting on the tip of the exotic Yucatan peninsula is The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, a AAA Five Diamond resort and offers the best club lounge in Cancun. This Rewards Category 6 luxury resort offers an enticing stretch of white sand beach, indulgent amenities such as the full-service Ritz-Carlton Spa and award-winning restaurants, and the intrigue of the ancient Mayan sites nearby. Recreational facilities include a 1200-foot sand beach, two sculpted outdoor pools, an oceanfront whirlpool, two tennis courts, and a Fitness Center.
The resort has 363 guestrooms, including 50 suites, all with ocean views and private balconies or terraces. Each of the resort’s guestrooms and suites is a sanctuary of comfort featuring sweeping ocean views and a wealth of welcome amenities. For families with infants, specially designed rooms offer all the comforts of a home nursery, including a crib, a changing table, and a menu of baby essentials that can be ordered prior to arrival.
Guestroom amenities include Egyptian cotton linen and duvet covers, television with international cable, CD Player, individual air conditioning controls, fully stocked refreshment cabinet, multi-line telephones with data ports and voice mail, high speed, Wi-Fi Internet access, in-room safe, marble bath with double vanities and separate tub and shower, plush terry bathrobes and more.
Whether sampling Five Diamond cuisine, dining al fresco under the stars, or attending a tequila tasting session featuring the finest and most exclusive varieties, guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, will experience innovative cuisine with unparalleled service.
The Ritz-Carlton Club Level provides guests with the highest level of personal service with five complimentary food presentations daily. Worth noting, Platinum and elite Marriott Bonvoy members don’t get free lounge access. Everyone who uses this lounge has paid for a club room.
Often referred to as a hotel within a hotel, this oasis offers a dedicated concierge who attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment. The Club Level food includes breakfast, lunch, light snacks, cocktails plus hors d’oeuvres, chocolates, and cordials.
Beyond the food, there is also a selection of wines, liqueurs, beers, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages available, complimentary wireless, in-room internet access, and two garments pressed daily.
This lounge is super smart with double-height ceilings, intricately carved wall features, and the whole lounge is designed in browns and olives with lots of woods and thick chunky marble. The meals are excellent and filling, you will not be disappointed, and you will leave full (both with food and alcohol if you want).
2. JW Marriott Resort & Spa Cancun
JW Marriott Resort & Spa Cancun is a Rewards Category 6 Marriott Bonvoy hotel with upscale amenities including spacious, sand-toned accommodations and on-site dining. Explore the historic Mayan ruins and experience the area’s lively clubs and bars. Relax in the family-friendly freeform pools or adult-only infinity pools or work out at the fitness center, featuring cardio equipment and free weights. The beach here is white sand with a glorious blue sea. Wonderful! For rainy days, there’s an indoor pool and some arcade-style games machines for the kids.
Be aware of the extra charges at this hotel. Private cabanas cost $250 USD a day, and you can reserve lounge chairs with prime ocean views for $180 USD a day. Ouch! Reports suggest that you are meant to tip the staff for the free drinks in the club lounge too.
The JW Marriott, like The Ritz-Carlton and other big hotels in Cancun, is in the Hotel Zone, around half an hour by car from Cancun Airport (CUN). The JW Marriott is around a kilometer south of The Ritz-Carlton. The foyer is beautiful, with lots of marble and pillars along with huge flower arrangements.
The Club and Club level rooms have been renovated. Club rooms are modern with tiled floors, pine headboards with Mayan patterning on, and blue and tan hues bringing the beach inside. Bathrooms are large and stylish with a really nice rough stone tiling on the walls and Aromatherapy amenities.
The look of the lounge is equally appealing, with the same tan and blue hues and wonderful windows looking out towards the ocean. This is a really nice and stylish place to hang out.
Inspired by the great pyramid of Kukulcán, the executive club lounge labelled Club 91 is an exclusive haven of luxury. Located on the 14th and 12th floors of the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, Club 91 guests experience exclusive privileges and a lavish array of world-class amenities.
Is this JW Marriott “Club 91” Lounge worth paying the extra for (usually around $20 USD per person per room)? This is a common question as Platinum and elite Marriott Bonvoy members don’t get free lounge access. Like the process at Ritz-Carlton hotels, even elites need to pay for access. They say: “A rate with Club 91 access must be booked in order to take advantage of Club 91 benefits. It is not included in Reward Member benefits.”
There are mixed thoughts on whether this lounge is worth paying for. If you have club lounge access, you get free breakfast and free evening snacks, and alcoholic drinks. Throughout the day, you have snacks and soft drinks. If you like a few evening alcoholic drinks, then yes, the lounge is probably worth paying for as you get free breakfast, free evening nibbles, and those valuable free drinks. If you only drink soft drinks, this lounge may not be as valuable to you as the hotel is in an area that feels safe with plenty of local restaurants in the area that offer good value for money, so you may prefer to do this.
If you do decide to book into the lounge, expect five decent food events daily with rotating hot dishes as well as cold cuts, cheeses, smoked salmon, and veggies. An open bar is available from early in the evening.
3. InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort
InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort is set on a picture-perfect beach. The whole family can laze the day away beside the pool, get active with water sports, or discover Mayan culture.
While the pools here are fairly small, the beach is spectacular, with loads of beach loungers set out on a very soft white sand beach. Palms dot the sand, and the beach is clean of unsightly seaweed.
When the sun goes down, Cancun comes alive with sophisticated nightspots under swaying palm trees. You can dine at the hotel at the beachfront El Caribeño restaurant or sip our signature cocktails with the sea breeze in your hair at the Deck Bar.
How does the hotel compare to the Ritz-Carlton? It’s not quite as good, but close enough.
The InterContinental Cancun club lounge is available exclusively for Club InterContinental guests, a haven to work, relax or recharge. This is an extra cost lounge. However loyal you are, you won’t get access to this lounge without paying for a Club Room. The lounge includes private check-in, with a complimentary welcome drink, buffet breakfast, including eggs cooked your way, afternoon tea, freshly made sweet and savory delights, and evening drinks & canapés.
You can see what we have experienced in terms of food and drink at the club lounge at InterContinental O2 in London and the club lounge at InterContinental Park Lane which will give you an idea of what to expect. This InterContinental club lounge will undoubtedly be one of the best, with a substantial hot and cold buffet, a la carte breakfast, evening canapes, and alcoholic drinks.
4. Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
Getaway to Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort and the Caribbean Coast of Quintana Roo. Retreat to beachfront rooms with balconies and suites with private plunge pools that overlook beautiful gardens or the ocean. Walk the vibrant Quinta Avenida, one block away from the resort, for eclectic shopping, dining, and nightlife destinations.
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort is not an All-Inclusive hotel, but if you have club lounge access here, you have a level of All-Inclusive, as this Grand Hyatt club lounge includes free snacks and drinks all day, breakfast and happy hour, which includes free alcoholic drinks.
It is worth noting that the central location of this hotel in Playa Del Carmen means that it’s also walkable to local restaurants, making the meals cheaper than in-resort meals that you might be forced to eat at more remote non-All-Inclusive resorts.
There are, however, reports of cold pools, and the beach is nowhere near as good as some of the other Hyatts in the area, particularly the two All-Inclusive Hyatts in Cancun outlined above. Hyatt Ziva is another good Hyatt option over in Cancun and features in our best All Inclusive hotels in Cancun. The pools and beach are better at Ziva.
If you are a Hyatt fan, you might want to consider the more luxurious but more isolated Andaz, which has heated pools and free in-room snacks in the mini-bar. Or perhaps one of the All-Inclusive Hyatt hotels in Cancun (again outlined above).
The Andaz is a fairly new hotel and is set in a wildlife preserve area. Its rooms are gorgeous, and the suites all have a jacuzzi. It really is an amazing resort.
That said, the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort is a great choice and has the huge benefit of the Grand Hyatt club lounge, which is very good. You get free access if you are a top-level (Globalist) World of Hyatt member, or you can pay slightly more and book a club room with free club lounge access.
Within the lounge, expect an All-Inclusive setup with a decent feed in the mornings and the evening. The club lounge breakfast offers a really nice selection of cut fruit and berries as well as yogurt, cereals, a hot egg dish, hot potatoes, cheese, cold cuts, pastries, and bread. The coffee and tea are good, and it is from a Nespresso machine.
The club lounge evening happy hour is served with salads, cold cuts, olives, a couple of hot dishes, veggies, hot soup, bread, desserts. Again this is a really nice spread and more than enough to fill you up. You also get free alcoholic drinks at happy hour and soft drinks throughout the day, making the lounge well worth paying the extra for.
Book any room (not just the club room) on an exclusive “Hyatt Prive” rate via our luxury travel concierge, and you get a full breakfast and room upgrade (subject to availability), resort credit and more.
5. Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is a fun, beachfront resort in the center of the Hotel Zone. This hotel has a superb selling point; it boasts an ocean view from every room.
602 all oceanview suites have a private terrace facing the magical turquoise waters of the Caribbean. A highlight is the heated cascading pool with three swim-up bars and sun loungers, while the private beach provides shaded palapas. Due to the resort’s north-facing position in the Hotel Zone, the beach is well protected and one of the calmest in Cancun. Especially compared to most of the other east-facing hotels that can be found in the rest of the hotel zone.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun resort’s highest two floors are dedicated to the Grand Club, which provides lavish services, a dedicated lounge, and personal concierge, as well as above-and-beyond amenities available in both the VIP Penthouse lounge and beachside sundeck.
A perfect blend of serenity and activity, this Cancun resort is steps away from the destination’s vibrant nightlife and luxury shopping, as well as the high-speed ferry to colorful and picturesque Isla Mujeres.
6. The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun
The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun is perched between the Caribbean Sea and a tranquil lagoon. This beachfront vacation ownership resort has a fabulous beach with plenty of lounge chairs, palapas and umbrellas along with some excellent pools.
This Westin hotel is fairly poor compared to the Westin Laguna Mar, which is the better of these two Westins in Cancun. Of course, this may be taken into account with the price, but if they are the same price, go for the Laguna Mar, which is a better property but does not have an executive club lounge.
At the Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun, you can rent a beach villa with a fully equipped kitchen or select one of the spacious guest rooms or suites. Accommodations include incredible views of the water, signature Westin Heavenly® Beds, and free Wi-Fi, with zero resort or per-person fees.
Unwind in sparkling pools or on white-sand beaches. Schedule a personalized beauty or healing treatment at The Spa or experience one of many adventures without leaving the resort. These activities include the FlowRider® surfing simulator, snorkeling on the coral reef, tennis, and other daily activities. In fact, you can snorkel right off the beach. At the end of the day, savor delicious cuisine and libations at the restaurants or sports bar.
Reports suggest that the hotel tries to upgrade all Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Platinum guests to their Royal Beach Club rooms, so if you can bear a lagoon view room or a deluxe sea view room, it is worth booking one of these and trying for an upgrade. Platinum members should get access to the Royal Beach Club even if there isn’t the capacity to upgrade the room itself.
The Royal Beach Club is the executive club lounge at this property and offers breakfast, day-long soft drinks and snacks, and a happy hour. You are given wristbands for club access. The lounge also has a pool with slightly nicer palapas and free happy hour in the early evening. The breakfast is decent with cereal and plenty of cold cuts, cheeses, and bread. Happy hour includes two hot appetizers, usually a fried chicken on a stick or a skewer-type affair or chicken wings, as well as some desserts. You also get free alcoholic drinks in the lounge. Both food presentations are decent quality and are filling, enough to fill you up for breakfast, and there are nice canapes in the evening, although perhaps not quite enough for a full meal.
Other tips at this hotel include avoiding the high-pressure timeshare presentation. It is also worth noting that this hotel is close to the airport, so you should be the first stop if you book a shared minibus airport service.
Marriott also has a Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort, Cancun Marriott Resort & Spa, and a Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina, but none of these properties offer an executive club lounge.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.