My extended-family and I just returned from a 3-night stay at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun resort. I visited this resort for the first time in January 2016 and had a great experience, so it was nice to return to such a fun Hyatt property with my family again.
If you aren’t familiar, there are two all-inclusive Hyatt properties in Cancun – the Ziva (family-friendly) and the Zilara (adults-only). It’s also worth noting that the Hyatt Ziva now has an adults-only tower too, called Turquoize, which opened last summer.
I’ve had a wonderful experience at both resorts (you can read my review about the Hyatt Zilara Cancun here), and if you’re torn between which property to stay at, check out this post of mine to help you decide between the two.
Booking on Points
Room-rates at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun are pricy, so I decided redeem 25,000 Hyatt points per night. The 25,000 points per night cover up to two adults per room (and children under 3) for an all-inclusive stay, which is an incredible value, especially if you are a family with young children. You can add additional guests to the room for 12,500 points per night.
In the chart below, you can see how many points per night it is to book a free night at any of Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara properties:
It’s also important to know that award availability for the Ziva and Zilara properties do not show up online. Instead, to book a free night at Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva, you’ll need to call 1-800-228-3360.
There are several options to get from CUN international airport to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. Of course, the first option (and most expensive) was booking through the hotel itself. The Hyatt Ziva Cancun offers airport transfers for $110 round trip for 1-5 passengers. On my first visit, I booked a round-trip airport transfer with a tour company called Discovery Mundo for ~$65 round trip.
This time I decided on using a new service called MJ Transfers, and the private-round trip service in a brand-new van for the 6 of us was only $58 round trip. There are also carseats and booster seats available for the little ones, if needed. Both transfer companies were great, and I would highly-recommend both.
Beginning in July 2016, the Ziva opened up a new adults-only tower called Turquoize, which is geared towards the Sandals honeymoon crowd, in my opinion (side note: I find the Zilara and Ziva brands to be a step above Sandals).
According to the press release, here is what you can expect from Turquoize:
- Private airport transfers and VIP check-in and reception area
- Adults-only beachfront suites reserved exclusively for Turquoize guests with nearly 700 sq ft
of inspired-design living area, special upgraded amenities and oversized balconies complete
with private hot tubs
- Personalized and professional butler and concierge services
- Floating swim-up suites in Turquoize Sky Swim-Up Oceanfront Master Suites that include
a pool off your balcony
- Lavish bath accommodations affording stunning ocean views with unique floor-to-ceiling
corner rainfall showers
- Exclusive access to the rooftop infinity pool with spectacular ocean views and private
Punta Vista rooftop bar
- Fine dining and preferred seating at Tradewinds, one of many elegant oceanfront restaurants
- Private elevator with exclusive, direct access to Zen Spa and complimentary hydrotherapy circuit
- Full privileges at nearby adults-only Hyatt Zilara™ Cancun
The Turquoize experience was not offered during my initial January 2016 visit, and based-upon what I learned about it and saw in person, it looks like a very nice romantic retreat!
Inconsistency With Status Recognition
The Zilara and Ziva brands are relatively new to the Hyatt portfolio, but not new enough where status-recognition kinks should exist (nothing major). Though having top-tier status really didn’t matter at an all-inclusive resort, it would have been nice for them to recognize my Hyatt status at check-in. I did receive an email from concierge prior to my stay asking me if I had any preferences or requests. I responded that I was traveling with my in-laws and two young children, and that it would be nice to have adjacent rooms, if possible. I also asked if any upgrades were available.
At check in, I mentioned my Diamond status, but there was no mention of a welcome amenity. I took the initiative to ask about the amenity, and when I requested the 1,000 points as my Diamond amenity in place of any other amenity, the agent was perplexed and didn’t seem to know that was a benefit (the points never posted by the way). Of course the absence of 1,000 points didn’t make or break the experience, but I was a little shocked that they seemed a clueless about status benefits. But in the end, we did get a bottle of champagne in our room later on anyway.
Speaking of the room – it was great! They ended up pre-booking us into a great swim-up king room, but were concerned about giving it to us because they saw we were traveling with 2 young kids (the swim-up rooms are generally meant for adults or families with children who are 13 years or older for safety reason). We decided to accept the room, and also another walk-out room without a swim-up pool nearby in the same tower for my in-laws that we could register our kids to. In the end, it worked out ok for us, as we were able to do quiet supervised swims with our kids during the day right from our back door.
The swim-up king room in the Pyramid tower was awesome!It was a decent-sized king room with a nice bathroom, a walk-out pool, and stunning ocean views in a quiet-area of the resort. My favorite part of the experience was being able to enjoy a night-time dip in the heated pool and a bottle of wine when the kids were a sleep. I’d definitely recommend this room type if you enjoy tranquility and the uniqueness of having a personal pool in your “backyard”.
It’s Gotten More Kid-Friendly
After my first visit, I shared my disappointment about how there were components of the resort that weren’t as “kid-friendly” as I thought, and I specifically mentioned the Kids Club (and the splash park).
The Kids Club is designated for children ages 4-12. Last year, it was strictly forbidden for us to take our kids play at all (with our supervision, of course). I was bummed to tell my 2-year old that he couldn’t play in the kiddie water park.
The good news is that there have been some significant improvements! The Kids Club now has “family time” where kids who are too young for The Kids Club can access the facilities. We were thrilled by this change, and the open-play times were perfect because it gave us a nice daily routine (water park after breakfast from 9-10 am and indoor “cool down play” between 4-5 pm).
The Food & Service
Hands down, the staff service-staff at the property were phenomenal, attentive, and hard-working. We had excellent service all around, and tipping is appreciated, so we made sure to leave a few dollars after every meal.
There are a total of 17 bars and restaurants at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, with tastes to suit everyone. The food was consistently good this time around, and I feel it has improved greatly since my last visit. We dined at the Mercado buffet for breakfast every morning, and had a few meals at the speciality restaurants including Chevy’s, Lorenzo’s, and the Moongate. I was not impressed with the food at Brew House (think greasy bar food). My all-time favorites were the ceviches and grilled octopus dishes at Habernos, which is right on the beach (aka let kids peacefully play in the sand while you finish the last of your mojito).Bottom Line
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – they do all-inclusive right. I am truly impressed with Hyatt’s move into the all-inclusive market. We’ve traveled to a lot of all-inclusive properties all around the Caribbean and Mexico, and the Ziva and Zilara properties take the cake.
The only thing I am bummed about not doing was checking out the spa or fitness center, but I did do a water-cycling class in the main pool one afternoon, which was nice.
Have you had a chance to visit the Hyatt Zilara Cancun or any of the other Ziva or Zilara properties yet? If so, what did you think?
P.S. If you want to see more pictures and see a more comprehensive review, be sure to visited this resort for the first time in January 2016.