Hyatt Mexico All Inclusive Comparison
Recently my wife and I completed the Hyatt Mexico All Inclusive quadfecta after visiting the four Hyatt Ziva/Zilara resorts in Mexico over the past two years. We have yet to cover a Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta stay in a standalone review, however we’ll touch on that some here. While certainly a few days to a week at each resort may be too brief to become expert evaluators, it is enough to highlight some notable pros and cons.
Here are our standalone Hyatt Mexico All Inclusive resort reviews:
- Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review by PDXDealsGuy
- Review: Hyatt Zilara Cancun by PDXDealsGuy
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun Review by Double Duty Daddy
Now let’s get to the fun! I’ll take you through each of the properties including the highlights and lowlights and then I’ll try to provide some useful tips as well. At the end I’ll give you a few tips that should apply to all of the properties.
Hyatt Zilara Cancun Overview
This is the Hyatt Mexico all inclusive resort with the best standard rooms, including a two-person soaking tub in the main sleeping area (nice big rain shower in the bathroom), as well as balconies (some with hammocks) and ocean views in just about every room. The flip side is that suite upgrades aren’t that valuable here, typically only netting a slightly larger corner room.
A downside of it being the smallest of the properties (at 307 rooms) is having fewer dining options. While there is easily enough variety for three or four nights, you might get a bit bored with repetition on longer stays. The pool is a very nice infinity pool with swim-up bar, but the smaller size means daybeds and lounge chairs can be at a premium when the resort is full (although daybeds at the beach are very nice and plentiful).
Hyatt Zilara Cancun Tips
Pelicanos is the best beach/pool-side restaurant at any of the resorts, with consistently solid food for all three daily meals. You truly can’t go wrong with french toast for breakfast, tacos for lunch, and a nice steak for dinner. While there isn’t a bad seat in the house, you can’t beat sitting along the railing overlooking the beach. Don’t hesitate at any restaurant to get specific with your cocktail orders, but especially at Pelicanos with its bartenders right close by.
- Best standard rooms
- Fewer dining options due to smaller hotel size
- A great choice for a long-weekend, or perhaps split up a week long stay between here and the Ziva up the road
Hyatt Ziva Cancun Overview
In contrast to the Zilara down the road, this is THE Hyatt Mexico all inclusive resort where a suite upgrade can pay off big. In particular, we loved our nearly 1100 square foot Club Ocean Front Corner Suite, with a jetted double tub on a large private balcony. The Ziva has a great location at the northern tip of the main Cancun hotel strip, giving it some impressive views to go along with two distinct pool/beach areas on opposite sides of the resort.
It is actually tough to come up with any. If I were to reach, maybe some large-size-related issues (at 547 rooms), including occasional long wait times at some popular restaurants. Also probably the biggest potential for kids-annoyance issues, given the size of the property and the fact that the only adults-only pool is a rooftop one in a private tower (and not the tower with our preferred suite option).
Hyatt Ziva Cancun Tips
Habaneros is a great spot for lunchtime tacos, and they have a nice variety to choose from to go along with your midday margarita(s?). And don’t miss taking a walk out to the lighthouse point on the beach, while you’re out that way. They are also open for dinner, but there are so many other great options. Our favorite was Tradewinds steakhouse, where we never had a bad steak, and particularly enjoyed using the free upgrade certificates given to Globalists for lobster tail and/or tomahawk steaks (among the few non-all-inclusive/included items at these resorts, in addition to “premium” wine by the bottle). Then be sure to end the day (maybe multiple times? with a to-go plate or baggy!) at Pasteles dessert parlor, which has a nice and colorful variety of sweets.
- Large resort with great views and beach, but can get crowded
- Only adult pool is located away from many of the rooms and is hard to get to
- Suite upgrades net you an amazing room if available
- More diverse dining options than the smaller resorts
- Overall favorite of the bunch
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Overview
The scenic beauty of this resort hands down sets it apart from the others. While all four Hyatt Mexico all inclusive properties have beautiful settings, beaches, and well-kept grounds, this Ziva resort sits up against lush green hills, and has a beach that is effectively private by virtue of sitting on a bay with no immediate neighbors.
The fact that it is the smallest of the Ziva resorts (335 rooms) also gives it a bit more of an intimate (or at least less spread out) feel than its peers. Also, as odd as this might sound, the Casa Grande restaurant is the only experience we had at any of the resorts with really good and interesting selection of Mexican food.
Unfortunately our entire family got a stomach bug the last day we were there, but we’ll assume that could happen anywhere. Like the Zilara Cancun, the smaller size means fewer restaurant options, and thus likely making this a better option for a shorter stay. While certainly not a big deal, it is the only one of the resorts where the Asian restaurant doesn’t have a fun hibachi table option.
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Tips
We highly recommend having both made-to-order breakfasts and steak dinners at BlaZe (yes, that’s a capital Z) restaurant. The resort website says: “(observe) whales frolicking in the sea or enjoy dinner on the deck with an incredible view.” We didn’t see whales (perhaps wrong time of the year), but we did enjoy the view, including beautiful sunsets followed by some low-sky waxing crescent moon views.
Most of all, enjoy the beach and surf in this unique setting. I honestly can’t remember how frequent the drink service was on the beach, but I remember bringing drinks down to the beach, as well as copious amounts of chips, guac and pico from the buffet around lunchtime.
- Stunning location with nearly private beach and gorgeous views
- Smaller size and less crowded, but less dining options than bigger resorts
- Better for shorter stays
- Good Mexican Food :O
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Overview
The adult pool is great, aside from minimal drink service (and the pool bar is convenient enough). While it would be nice if there were more day beds, lounge chairs are reasonably plentiful. Importantly, the sun is also plentiful on this side of the resort. But MOST importantly are the glorious beef tacos, complete with freshly made guac and pico, served during lunchtime at the adult pool bar. I’m not kidding. If you come with a family, send the adults over to get these and bring them over to the kids.
Unfortunately we had by far and away the worst service and food quality experience here, which perhaps could be tied to it being the largest of the Hyatt Mexico all inclusive resorts (at 591 rooms). Strangely it seemed to be largely a staffing issue, as seen by many empty tables in restaurants combined with long wait times and slow service (and some restaurants being closed altogether at dinnertime). Those of us with World of Hyatt Globalist status can make restaurant reservations, but that removes flexibility from your vacation and isn’t widely a necessity at the other resorts.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Tips
Don’t plan on going in the ocean, due to signs warning against dangerous surf. I considered this as a lowlight, but that wouldn’t be fair, considering that it is fairly common throughout the Cabo area. And the pools are very nice. Obviously, given the lowlights, be prepared to plan for an early or late dinner, and/or else a very long wait. Three things we did really enjoy that you might want to try: a) the evening martini bar on an open deck; b) nice desserts at the French restaurant; and c) a “food cart” stand on the lawn (just outside of the Mexican buffet) that served rotating options including fresh-cut-fruit in the morning and crepes at night, depending on the day.
- Poolside beef tacos are a must
- Great adult pool area
- Large resort that can get crowded with long waits at restaurants
- Poor service overall
- Least favorite overall
Hyatt Mexico All Inclusive Tips for All Resorts
There are some recurring items that run throughout many of our reviews of these properties, as well as some of the pros and cons listed above. But for the sake of completeness, it’s worth noting a few tips that apply to most or all of the four properties:
Tip 1: If you want to have the fun of a hibachi table experience at the Asian restaurants (you should!), this is the one place where I believe every property allows and recommends you make reservations. Not only is it a fun experience (bring your camera!), but it’s one place where it is really difficult for the food preparation or quality to be sub-par.
Tip 2. Especially if the resort you’re at is near capacity, be prepared to play the pool day-bed/lounge-chair “game.” While I think some of the resorts have signs posted indicating that you can’t save seats, everyone does. So, if you care, you’ll have to go down to the pool early, and put out towels and some other sort of item (bring magazines you don’t care about!) to save your spot.
Tip 3. I recommend generally avoiding the buffet restaurants. They can be fine for breakfast, but I still prefer made-to-order breakfasts at places like Pelicanos and BlaZe. If you want a buffet, go to Vegas! That said, the buffets can be nice to grab a quick snack (like chips and guac to take to the beach in Puerto Vallarta!) or dessert (self-scooped ice cream to take back to the room late at Zilara Cancun!).
To some degree, I fear that some of our observations might fall prey to small sample size problems. Said another way, perhaps our experiences over a few days might not match yours. But I’ve spoken to other people and read enough other user reviews to know that many of our observations are consistent with others.
All-in-all, we are big fans of the Hyatt Mexico all inclusive resorts and will likely go back multiple times. One final tip would be to keep your expectations down a bit, especially when it comes to food. While food quality is a common all-inclusive complaint, we found that our moderate expectations have generally been met (and sometimes exceeded!) at most of the Hyatt Mexico all inclusive resorts.
Have you been to any or all of these resorts? Have you had similar or different experiences? Let us know in the comments.