Hyatt Ziva Cancun Review
It was the middle of a long brutal South Florida winter (insert sarcasm emoji here) but the truth was, I was on the hunt for the next trip with my wife and twin toddler daughters and had plans to review the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. The other truth was that I had spent 3 nights at the Hyatt Ziva Montego Bay last year and was eager to compare the two properties. Most points and miles enthusiasts claim the Cancun property is a notch better but naturally I wanted to judge for myself.
You may recall that too-good-to-be-true #GoForthWithJetBlue promotion where JetBlue matched your balance of Virgin America Elevate points to JetBlue TrueBlue, allowing you to earn as much as 75,000 TrueBlue points after you took one roundtrip flight. Well, I maxed out the promo and was able to earn the full 75,000 TrueBlue points which easily covered the flights for the 4 of us, flying direct from Ft. Lauderdale Airport straight into Cancun in little more than an hour.
Thanks to one of my favorite hotel cards out there, the Chase Hyatt, we used our 2 free nights from the sign-up bonus to cover 2 of the 3 nights. For the third and final night, I transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points to Hyatt and booked an award. Given that rates were pricing out at a WHOPPING $1,020/night during this peak-period, this redemption was a no-brainer and a great use of our 2 free night awards.
Note: Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive properties cannot be booked online for award stays so you can either tweet them @HyattConcierge or call Hyatt at 1-800-228-3360 to use points or free night certs.
After booking our 3 nights, I took the liberty of emailing the GM of the Hyatt Ziva in hopes of scoring a more spacious room for my family and I. He was gracious enough to tell me that because it was during high-season, he could not promise anything more than a standard room but to try back later.
A few weeks prior to our stay, I emailed him again and was delighted to hear that he had upgraded us to a Club Ocean Front Corner Suite that came with a dedicated Club concierge. Even as a lowly Hyatt Platinum member (Discoverist now), sometimes asking is just as good as having top-tier status.
As a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’, I’m usually a glass half-empty kinda guy when it comes to expectations of all-inclusive resort food. The Hyatt Ziva Cancun was the exception to this. There are nine restaurants and seven bars on the property that offer an array of food choices for your picky toddler or indecisive spouse.
The pool areas always had several grill stations with burgers and grilled chicken while the restaurants ranged from very casual to some fancy choices. All were very child-friendly. There are also two buffets, one titled ‘El Mercado’, which is where we did most of our eating since it had the largest selection of items ranging from lobster, steak, chicken, ethnic dishes, Mexican dishes and more.
A few highlights of our dining were:
- For breakfast at ‘El Mercado’ buffet, ask for a table outside with ocean views or sit in the ‘family’ area where it’s less congested and surprisingly, calm.
- Dine at Chevy’s where you can get that classic car dining booth experience (think Pulp Fiction) with mostly all kid-friendly favorites such as chicken tenders with honey mustard dip, mini burgers and fried chicken.
- After dinner or anytime really, stop by Casa Café for an espresso macchiato from your favorite Hyatt Ziva barista.
- For dessert, visit ‘Pasteles’ for the ultimate sugar rush. A sweets bar full of pastries and a free flowing chocolate fountain with marshmallows and strawberries. My twins wanted to eat here for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Burgers on a lounge chair inside the pool. Sit in the shallow entrance of the pool where lounge chairs reside and eat. Servers come by every couple of minutes to check if you need anything. Order a mojito. Tip your pool server.
- Lorenzo’s Italian restaurant is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because I don’t go to Mexico to eat Asian, Italian or French food and again, my expectations are usually low of an Italian restaurant at an AI property but the pizza and pasta dishes were very good.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun Kidz Club is free for kids ages 4-12. My girls are not yet 4 but luckily they allow under 4 to be accompanied by parents during certain hours and still enjoy the club. We had a blast with them in the mini waterpark with 3 mini slides and shallow water that even a smaller child could stand in (with supervision). The staff, mostly college-aged women, were extremely friendly and they spent the majority of the time interacting with the children and doing arts and crafts projects. They even offer babysitting services for an additional fee which is great for a romantic night out with your partner.
Pool and Beaches
This category is where I think Hyatt Ziva Cancun outshines its sister counterpart from Montego Bay. Cancun beaches are gorgeous with turquoise waters, warm temperature and sunsets to die for. Each of the three pools had plenty of lounge beds and chairs and never did I feel a need to arrive early in the morning to secure a spot. It was nice to be able to show up at anytime during the day to find enough chairs for a family of four.
A neat feature of the beach at Hyatt Ziva Cancun is the man-made rock formation that blocks the waves. This allows families to enjoy the beach without the worry of strong waves or current. We truly enjoyed the pool more but the beaches were breathtakingly gorgeous.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun has a designated in-house physician. On one of the days, my daughter Olivia came down with a fever and wasn’t feeling well. We called the in-house clinic and the doctor was in our room within 30 minutes. She checked Olivia and prescribed us an antibiotic from the local pharmacy which the concierge facilitated with ease. I was also not charged for the doctor visit despite there being a fee so we were grateful for the care and the fact that the resort truly lives up to the billing of being family-friendly.
We loved the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, much more than its sister property, Hyatt Ziva Montego Bay. The resort staff was more polished, the food was very good, the Kidz Club was special and the aesthetic beauty was breathtaking. If you’re truly looking for a relaxing family vacation without a worry in the world, Hyatt Ziva Cancun is your place.
In conclusion, it was muy bueno!
Have you been to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun? If so, how does your experience compare?