Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions
My wife, daughter and I arrived yesterday for a four night stay at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. We decided to make this last minute trip down to burn my wife’s two free night certs from the Hyatt credit card and also to spend some time with friends who happen to also be here. As a Diamond, I booked two additional nights with the AAA rate for the lowest category room (paid for with Arrival points) and applied a Diamond Suite Upgrade.
The suite upgrade got us into the Ocean Front King with Hot Tub Balcony for the two nights under my name and after sending them an email, the property was nice enough to put us in the same room for my wife’s two nights as well. I had asked if we could get a Plunge Pool Suite, but was told we would have to pay $150 more per night. So with that background out of the way, let me share with you my first impressions after about 19 hours at the resort.
We arrived via a taxi from the airport with no one to greet us. There was no bellman at the bell desk and there was no one at the front desk either. My wife and I stood there for a few minutes before someone came over to help. We were then told that we needed to go to the Club Tower to check-in. The staff was apologetic that no one greeted us, but it was very strange to arrive to an empty lobby. If first impressions are everything then the Hyatt Ziva failed completely, luckily I don’t think that is necessarily true.
The room we are in is technically the second highest category room below the Plunge Pool Suite. Unfortunately it isn’t a suite, but rather just a regular room with a hot tub on the balcony. Very nice yes, but as I understand it Diamond guests get the same room minus the hot tub (and sometimes with the hot tub if they are lucky) so using a Suite Upgrade here is a waste. The one I used would have gone to waste anyway, so it was worth confirming the room and I am happy they gave it to us for the entire four nights. Still, Hyatt shouldn’t call this a suite or let their top tier elites use a precious upgrade into this room without being clear that it is the same room they would normally get otherwise.
As for the room itself, it is dated and not really luxurious. The decor is typical Mexican which is fine. Apparently when this hotel switched over to Hyatt, the Club Tower was not renovated while the Main Tower was. A bit strange. My biggest complaint about the room is the air. It struggles to make the room cold, especially in the heat of the afternoon. I was told that I should close the drapes (and block my view) if it gets too hot. My friend is having the same issue in the other tower. Not acceptable in a luxury hotel.
The property is beautiful. Set between two cliffs with its own private beach and a number of wonderful pools, there is nothing bad I could say about the location. Our room has a wonderful view and no matter where you are on property the scenery is stunning. Equally as stunning is the sunset, which can be seen from everywhere given that the property faces West. Truly a high point here and one that should be emphasized. It is beautiful.
Aside from the lack of a welcome, the service at the few restaurants and bars we have visited has been very very good. The staff has treated our daughter wonderfully and they are genuinely helpful and nice. Our first meal yesterday at the Mexican restaurant was pretty amazing. They welcomed us, brought us trays of tacos and just made us feel welcome. Sometimes at resorts service can feel friendly but forced. That isn’t the case here.
So far we have only had a limited amount of food, but it has been very good and certainly better than I have experienced at other all-inclusives. We had a few tacos when we arrived and last night we had dinner in the Italian restaurant where everyone enjoyed their dinner. The breakfast buffet this morning had a good spread including some delicious typical Mexican food, so I have no complaints thus far in this department.
So far, the location, food and staff at this hotel have been very good for the most part, while the rooms are a little on the disappointing side considering what they advertise the normal rate of this hotel to be. I’ll have a full review after my entire stay here, but as you can see there are more positives than negatives and certainly life could be worse.
Have you stayed here? Share your thoughts in the comments!