Wow, just wow. We were completely blown away by the size of this resort, the many many restaurants, pools, and bars to choose from, and in particular the exceptional service provided by every single staff member there.
We were immediately greeted by the bell hop once we stepped off our hotel transfer, but there was a bit of confusion, on our end, as to what to do next. The bell hop didn't seem to speak very good English, and it was only after some calls into his in-ear mic, were we then actually addressed and walked to the main check-in area.
The check-in process was approximately a 20 minute wait. I'm not sure what the wait was for, but the concierges walking around was very attentive and asked us if we wanted any refreshment/drinks. Because Malin was fussy from all the traveling, Rachel walked about the property with her while I waited for our room in the check-in lounge area.
When our room was finally ready, we were given our keys and told to go out to the bell hop and have them transport our luggage. The bell hop briefly pointed out restaurants and pool areas on our way to the room, but either didn't seem too interested in engaging in conversation or had limited English speaking abilities. Either way, it wasn't a big turn off, but definitely can be an area of improvement -- prompt and excited greetings when guests arrive and trying to set the vacation tone for guests through conversation.
The Hyatt Ziva's property is both expansive and immaculately clean. I know that Hyatt recently took over the property from Dreams, and several staff members stated that it did go through extensive renovations, though not overtly noticeable. When arriving at the front lobby, your sight is immediately taken by the azure and turquoise waters that are in stark contrast with the darker shade and cool of the lobby. The hotel's structures are clean and modern, draped in marble, with well complemented outdoor furniture and plentiful lounge chairs, umbrellas and cabanas both around the pools and seaside, as well as lots of seating areas throughout the resort. The property boasts 3 infinity pools, private piers for candlelight dinners on the beach, and unlimited room service and dining at 11 available on-site a-la-carte and international restaurant/buffets.
Our first room was a King Ocean View room, in the Pyramid tower, facing the dolphin lagoon and the main pool/quad area. The decor was bright, colorful and modern, with a lot of natural light coming in through the balcony. The room also had a ceiling fan, which is a nice touch, especially being in a tropical climate, and considering very few hotel rooms have them these days. There was cabinetry built in, but it couldn't really have been considered "closet space". The room also had other storage for clothing/misc. items, a bench on one side, and a seating area on the other. The fridge was well-stocked considering this is an all-inclusive hotel, but did not have a freezer. Separate snacks and candies were also available. The bathroom was well appointed with a large walk-in shower and a double sink vanity. One complaint about this room, however, was the noise. Not sure if it was due to our first night being Saturday, a weekend night, but there was loud music and "partying" going on late into the night. So if you're a light sleeper or traveling with noise-sensitive children, better get a room not in the Pyramid tower and facing away from the main pool/quad area. Good thing Rachel is super prepared and we had earplugs!
As mentioned in my trip report, we decided to upgrade to a suite, since this would continue to allow Malin to sleep, while affording us room to roam around and actually enjoy ourselves. Now this room, THIS ROOM, was something else. We upgraded to the Club Ocean Front Master Suite, located on the 17th floor of the Club Tower. The Club Tower has it's own lounge with additional available food/snacks/drinks, and a Club Tower specific concierge available for guests staying in this tower. The Club Tower is located on the back southwest end of the property. This room was A-MAZING! Definitely enough space for the 3 of us, or up to 4 adults, as there is a pull-out sofa in the living room area. The suite also has the ability to become a 2-room suite, with a connecting door to a separate (I believe) double-bed room.
We could definitely tell that more care was taken in the upkeep of this room. The runners along the side of the king size bed were of better quality. The robes in the closet (yes, this was an actual closet-sized closet) were very purposefully hung. The amenity kit in this room compared to the King Ocean View Room was of higher quality. And this room came with 5 full bottles of liquor- sparkling wine, scotch, tequila, vodka, and rum, along with various other snacks and candies.
The bathroom boasted a walk-in shower with two rain shower heads as well as removable shower heads, and a big jet tub. The walk-in shower was serendipitous, as Malin took more showers here than she has ever before -- due to both the size of the walk-in shower, as well as the ease in getting her cleaned up with the removable shower heads! She absolutely loved it! There was also a separate half-bath, with sink and toilet. We actually placed Malin's pack-n-play in here, as there was a door to shut, it was dark (no windows), and we had the rest of the suite to lounge and relax in, without bothering her.
The views. THE VIEWS. These were spectacular! Since we were so high up, we definitely got a more complete view of our surroundings. However, most rooms have amazing views of the ocean regardless, but maybe not as grand a view depending on how high up the room is located. It didn't matter if you were looking out from the balcony (which included a hot tub), from the room, or from the bathroom, all provided picturesque views of the resort and the coastline.
There were also 2 60-some-inch televisions -- one in the living area, and one in the room -- but at a beautiful resort like this, we barely utilized them other than for some early morning cartoon distractions for Mae.
Continuing pass the main pool/quad area, there is a small strand of beach right in front of the resort. I suppose this is the resort's "private beach". The waves were gentle and calm, but really there was not much beach real estate to sprawl out on, so to speak. There were lots of available lounge chairs and umbrellas, but all of them were packed close together, and took up a lot of the available beach space.
On the southwest side of the resort however, where the Club Tower is located, is another beach area. It is touted as the Club Tower guest's "private beach" area, but is readily accessible to all guests of the resort. This beach is way more expansive, but there is almost TOO much beach real estate, as it is a bit of a hike out to the water. The unfortunate thing is that all the lounge chairs and umbrellas are situated closer to the property. There were also 2-story cabanas available, but when we inquired about using them, the staff informed us that it costs $150 (from what I recall) to reserve.
Immediately down the steps from the lobby is the main pool/quad area. This pool boasts several levels of pools, with some areas more covered by awnings than others. Unfortunately, it was only on our last day that I noticed a larger covered and shallow area that would have been perfect for Mae to walk around and play in. There is also a poolside bar that provides drinks and refreshments. We did not spend much time in this area, as it seemed a lot more busy -- music was a little bit louder, with lots more going on. During different times of the day, there were performances or cookouts happening in this area.
The other pool area is again on the southwest side of the resort, directly in front of the Club Tower, just before reaching the expanded beach front area. This pool is considerably smaller than the main pool, but it also has tiered levels of pools, with consistent water depth throughout each tiered level. There is also a poolside bar available, attached to the patio area of the Club Tower.
Lastly, there were two pools that we did not access. One being the adults only rooftop pool and bar, which is supposed to have some pretty nice views, but since we had Mae, we did not even check it out. Second, there is also a kids club, that has a kiddie waterpark along with slides and other activities, but this is for children ages 4-12 only. So if you're planning on vacationing at the Hyatt Ziva with your entourage, this could be a possibility for some adult alone time!
The resort boasts 7 actual sit-down dining restaurants serving different themed cuisines. But really, there are a total of 11-12 "food options" available to guests. There is also 24-hour room service, so essentially, your "food options" are unlimited. I will touch briefly on the restaurants that we did not visit, but will go into more depth regarding those that we did.
La Bastille - This is a French restaurant, but you need to dress up in what the resort states as elegant. Obviously, we did not attend since we had our food-slinging baby. Did not really hear good or bad things about it.
El Mercado - We ate here the first night we arrived. It has a decent selection from salads to sushi, to a grill for burgers, but in the end, it reminded me of the too many all-you-can-eat buffets that are in business here in the South. The best thing we ate from here were the shrimp fajitas. We came one other time, and that was the only thing we got as well, other than avocados for the Mae.
The Moongate - They serve "contemporary Asian cuisine" and have Teppanyaki show cooking. Basically Benihana. But honestly, being Chinese myself, to me, most of these hibachi type restaurants are anything but Asian. Met another Chinese dude at the resort with his family, and he said not to go. If we come back someday, maybe we'll give it a try, at least for the show.
*Tradewinds - We only ate breakfast and lunch here. It is a "casual grill by day and a classic steakhouse by night". Everything was done well here, but I'm disappointed we were not able to try out any of the steaks during dinner time. We did have some very good chicken crepes on our last day though!
24 Hours - It's a small lounge area that has a pool table and some televisions, but also small selections of finger foods being kept warm under heat lamps. Not the tastiest food or selection, but if you're on the go or walking by and hungry, it's not a bad place to quickly duck in. Alcohol is provided here as well, and is served by an attendant on site.
Lorenzo's - We only ate here once. They served typical Italian cuisine - pasta, bread, cheese, and pizzas - but pretty bare bones Italian, nothing fancy. Because of Malin's eating schedule, this was one of the few places open and ready to serve lunch around 11:30am, from what I recall. None of the pasta dishes looked exceptionally appetizing, so I ordered a clam linguine with white sauce, and the waiter was kind enough to have the chef add some shrimp. I don't remember the types of pizzas that were available, but I simply wasn't in the mood for pizza at the time.
*Habeneros - In terms of the number of times dined at, it was a toss up between here and Tradewinds. This restaurant is located on the beach in front and to the right of the main pool/quad area. You can actually eat your food, at a table, situated on the sand, on the beach! They have meh fish tacos (I'm a food snob, and I've had fish tacos from San Diego, so sue me), but decent ceviche. I completely missed out on the tuna tartare though! Next time! We had piña coladas with each of our meals, and since Mae has milk sensitivities, they even made one dairy/cream free for her!
Chevy's - Classic diner with hamburger, hotdogs, and shakes. You're in Mexico. If you're traveling from the U.S. you can eat this any and everyday. Based on those two facts alone, we had no interest.
Pasteles - We dropped in here 2-3x. They serve ice cream, make milk shakes, have lots of candies, and have marshmallow and other sweets you can cover with chocolate from their chocolate fountains. Too bad Malin wasn't a little older or she probably would have had a field-day here.
*Casa Del Café - We absolutely loved this little cafe! It opened the earliest at 6am, so this place was perfect since Malin was waking up at 5:30am or so. We would come here, grab a coffee and some pastries to tide us over until the restaurants opened. They have wonderful cinnamon rolls and pan au chocolates, as well as fresh brewed coffee and made-to-order lattes/espressos if you so choose. We even stopped in mid-day for a couple of fruit smoothies!
*Tres Cervezas - Now this joint is listed as a sports bar, but they also have an extensive menu with appetizers, sandwiches, and desserts. However, I went there primarily for the WINGS! They were so good. I highly suggest the original buffalo, boubon bbq, and my favorite were the fresh mango & spicy habanero flavored ones! I watched both of the Warriors wins over the Thunder, down 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals, here! The beer wasn't too shabby either.
Club Tower Lounge - Since this was at the bottom of the Club Tower, where our room was located, we did snack quite a bit from here. Like 24 Hours, it was mostly finger foods, and we mainly only ate the shrimp, potato wedges, and fruit. They also had a good selection of beers, sodas, and plenty of water. Because the water is non-potable in Mexico, we definitely grabbed many water bottles from here, apart from having the concierge send bottles up!
*Room Service - Room service was truly the best service to us, in our opinion. Because Malin was getting up so early, and most restaurants did not open until 7am, this became our go-to breakfast option. We would place our room service order the night before and simply wait for them to show up at 7am. This worked perfectly because if we had had to get Mae ready, get her in her ergo, walk down to the restaurants, get seated, and then still have to wait for food -- she would have been a hot mess by that time! They have a pretty extensive menu for all meals, but do have a more limited late-night menu.
The resort does have a fitness center, spa, beauty salon, some on-site boutique shops available for shopping, scheduled activities such as yoga/crafts/Spanish lessons/cooking classes, etc., and water sports which may come at an additional cost. Due to our short stay and having Malin in tow, we did not participate in any of these.
The service at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun definitely went above and beyond a normal hotel/resort stay. From the hostess and waiters/waitresses at Habenero and Tradewinds, who were especially accommodating to Malin's needs, to the super friendly room service attendants each morning while delivering our room service. However, a couple of specific hospitality members in particular stand out to me.
Eduardo, one of the bell boys, was the one who took me around to see the available rooms when we were looking to upgrade into a suite. He was very friendly and engaging in conversation throughout, and was even proactively thinking up ways in which our little family could be better situated since we were having the issue of not having enough space, and even conveyed how much he loved working at this facility. Each subsequent time that he saw me on the property, he would always ask how our new accommodations were treating us, and always with a smile.
Mireya, was also very professional and informative in helping us upgrade into our suite. She was extremely patient with all of my questions about the ability to upgrade with points or not, and also ended up giving us a very generous discount to get into our suite.
Mely, the barrista at Casa Del Café who absolutely adored Malin and would intentionally engage her and make her smile each time we stopped in.
Truly truly, we had such an amazing and enjoyable time! You can FULLY relax here, as almost all of the small details are taken care of. All you have to do is show up... and enjoy! Just as each of the staff members would place a hand over their heart when thanking or greeting us, we do the same through this review, and can't wait to visit and enjoy the wonderful Hyatt Ziva Cancun again someday!