Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions: Very Mixed

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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions

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.

Arrival

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.

Room

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Ocean Front Hot Tub Balcony

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.

Grounds

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions
Who can complain with a hot tub and this view?

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.

Service

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.

Food

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta First Impressions
A few of our welcome tacos. They brought us one of each kind to try!

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.

Conclusion

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!


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25 COMMENTS

  1. We enjoyed the swim up pool bar, and would bring food from the buffet over to the sports bar with the pool table (as their bar offerings for food were meager.). Personally I liked the Hyatt all-inclusive in Cabo better as it had larger grounds and more restaurant options. My wife and I have yet to try the Hyatt all-inclusive in Cancun yet.

  2. I appreciate that everyone has different standards, but expecting “luxury” at a Hyatt all-inclusive is a bit delusional. Hyatt is neatly in the mass market all-inclusive category with their new brands but not in the stratosphere of luxury all-inclusives in Mexico (of which Grand Velas is the league leader).

    • Well Mr Snobby certainly you would concede that there are different levels of luxury. When it comes to all inclusive resorts in Mexico the Hyatt Resorts are indeed considered on the luxury side but I would agree they aren’t considered to be the finest resorts nor does the price reflect that. With that said, a resort that goes for $500 a night or even $300 at a time when the peso is 18 to the dollar is charging luxury prices. Mass market luxury yes but that is a category that does exist.

      • @JD, I would love to travel more, thank you! I’ve been to Mexico 47 times in the last 5 years, and you? My company has 3 plants so i visit there often also conducting supplier audits. I often tack on long weekends for some fun. I’ve stayed at a variety of properties as well.

        Safe travels to you

  3. We were there in Feb ’16 and received an upgrade to the Club Tower. I don’t remember having any trouble with the AC on our visit. We enjoyed all the restaurants on the property except the Mexican one coincidentally. The restaurant was hot and stuffy, long wait times on food and didn’t find it to taste that great. Things were kind of chaotic that night as the restaurant was packed fully and the servers looked over whelmed. We didn’t get a chance to try it again as their were too many dining options on this property.

    @Rhys
    We recently came back from an awesome trip from Cancun in Jul ’16 with a group of 13! We stayed at Zilara, the all adult property. Everything was great there from the food, drinks and service. The only complaint we had about the property was that the whole main pool was heated…in the middle of a hot muggy summer. It was not refreshing at all during the day but was awesome at night when we decided to jump. The other complaint was the drink servers weren’t as attentive as the sun went down.

  4. Shawn – How do the Hyatt Free Night Certs work when you are traveling with a child? Is there an additional charge? Do they get the adults free all-inclusive benefits too?

      • They told us kids were free with the certs. 10k/night/kid 3 and up if you are paying with points. So the free night certs are definitely more valuable for families than 20k points.

        We strung together 7 nights in 3 rooms back in May to take my entire extended family of 11 to Hyatt Ziva PVR.

        • Interesting. I’ll have to investigate with Hyatt because I have been told something different. If that is indeed their official policy then it is pretty amazing indeed and either way you got a fantastic deal!

    • Here is our experience when booking with free night certificates at this resort. Not sure if this is the case for all Hyatt AI resorts though.

      We had a group of 13 people. All but 5 people signed up for the Hyatt card for the 2 free nights. When booking everything over the phone, we were told that 4 people were allowed to stay on a free night certificate. If booked with points, only 2 people were allowed and additional points were needed to add more people.

      We were all given AI benefits. This resort didn’t use bracelets though so seems like anyone could’ve joined our group and would’ve got AI benefits.

  5. I stayed at the zilara in Jamaica in July. It was amazing. Service was top notch, the food was very good, and the room was very nice (the property was recently converted from a Ritz Carlton and has been completed renovated). Looks like the beach and location in Puerto Vallarta are better, but otherwise you might consider Jamaica next time.

  6. Dear Shawn, thank you for sharing your first impressions on your Hyatt Ziva experience. Delighted to hear that overall you are enjoying your stay, the food and the attentive service from our staff. Customer service is our number one concern with our resort; we appreciate that you brought to our attention the inconveniences you experienced upon arrival in order to reinforce areas that require further refinement. We are also ensuring that the air conditioning system in your room works to its full capacity.
    As for the condition of your room, we are working on the project to complete the renovation of the Club tower, which will give a full new look to our accommodations in this area.
    Regarding benefits to Hyatt Gold Passport members, may I confirm, Diamond Suite awards apply when booking a standard room and the upgrade is to a Club Ocean Front room with hot tub on the terrace, as you mentioned. This upgrade is six categories up from the standard Ziva room. Unfortunately, the awards do not apply to Plunge Pool and Presidential Suites.
    Shawn, we highly value your opinion and wish that you and your family enjoy the remaining of your stay. Feel free to stop by to say hello and let us know if there is any thing else we can do to make your stay even more special.
    Antonio Machain, General Manager

  7. We are staying at this property in November. Any recommendations on transportation from and to the airport or excursions from the hotel?

    • We did the Los Veranos zipline on a previous visit to PVR and it isn’t too far from the hotel. Didn’t do any excursions on this trip. For up to 4 people you can simply get a taxi at the airport. It is a government set fixed rate of 300 MXP. Cheaper than a prebooked shuttle and you can use a credit card to pay. Just go out to the taxi counters before the final exit. The prices are clearly posted. It cost us 200 MXP to get back to the airport with a taxi that the hotel called for us.

  8. Shawn,

    Can you talk about getting to the hotel from the airport? I’ve sent emails to Hyatt that haven’t been responded to and my google searching hasn’t turned up much. Would you mind sharing how you did it and the pricing? Thank you.

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