Hyatt Mexico All-Inclusive Comparison: Which Resort Reigns Supreme?

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Hyatt Mexico all inclusive

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:

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

Hyatt Mexico all inclusive
Hyatt Zilara Cancun.

Resort Higlights

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.

Resort Lowlights

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 Mexico all inclusive
Hyatt Zilara Cancun view

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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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

Hyatt Mexico all inclusive
Hyatt Ziva Cancun

Resort Highlights

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.

Resort Lowlights

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 Mexico all inclusive
Hyatt Ziva Cancun tacos.

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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Resort Highlights

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.

Resort Lowlights

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 Mexico all inclusive
Who can complain with a hot tub and this view?

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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

Resort Highlights 

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.

Resort Lowlights

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 Mexico all inclusive
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

Hyatt Mexico all inclusive

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!).

Conclusion

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.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Extended family trip to Hyatt all inclusive Jamaica. Totally turned off by those pathetic “butler packages” and the people who purchased them.

  2. Our entire family and extended family visited Ziva Rose Hall December 2017. Seven of us total. Alcohol was deplorable and no mint or any produce garnish available for cocktails the entire stay. They offered these sad packages for additional money. Frozen lobster tails, foam parties, $100 dollar steak, something ultra tacky called a “lit zone.” We rented pool cabanas for the entire stay and they didn’t prepare them and ran out of towels daily. Don’t even get me started on the food poisoning. My 80-year old father had to go to the hospital.

  3. I’ve never been to a Ziva or Zillara. My family of three did, however enjoy a Hyatt all-inclusive at Grand Hyatt Singapore. Because our child is under 13 years of age, he was forbidden to be in the lounge after 5pm during cocktail time. To compensate for this, we were allowed to visit three different INCREDIBLE restaurants and order whatever we wanted (including top-shelf wine & liquor). Breakfast was provided for the three of us in the lounge along with substantial snacks throughout the day. After 5pm we went crazy eating and trying the different restaurants on offer. One of them was the pool restaurant so our child could swim during dinner.

  4. Ive only been to Zilara Rose Hall Jamaica. We booked the reservation with points seven-months in advance. When we arrived we were told the resort was “overbooked” and we would be transferred to a “sister property” called Jule. What a disaster and never again will I even consider another Hyatt all-inclusive.

    • That’s horrible. I hope you contacted Hyatt and were compensated in some way.

      Probably too small of a sample size to draw too many conclusions, but seems like most of the negative comments I’ve read (and am hearing here) are directed towards Jamaica (not reviewed here) and Los Cabos. I’ve had enough experience (first-hand or trusted second-hand) to feel pretty confident saying that most people will have fun at either of the Cancun properties or PV. As long as you don’t go in with lofty expectations for food quality.

  5. Thanks, Matthewsf. Appreciate your insights. Sounds like we have many of the same observations about the PV & Cabo Hyatt’s.

  6. Good overview. I have been to both PV and Los Cabos many times each (Cancun Ziva is definitely on the to-do list). PV’s highlight is no doubt the location and smaller size (if you like that) and newly upgraded club tower. The other ‘non club’ tower is a bit worn…don’t know if there are plans to renovate that one. My last visit there was when they were in the middle of construction so I got to see the before and after rooms. Negative can be the smaller location with limited dining options and a smaller sized buffet.

    Los Cabos as you mentioned is very big and can be crowded but has a lot of space, the separate kids and adult pool and plenty of dining options. Found that the large buffet was one of the better ones of any AI hotel/brand we’re stayed at along with tacos and tostadas at the pool-side snack bars (both main and adult). Negative can be the large size and that they cater to many corporate groups and private parties. During one visit, there were 4 different events going on a the same time around the pool grounds.

    As a side, after 4 visits to Los Cabos over the last 2 years, I have definitely noticed this property going downhill and changing NOT for the better. Many things that were previously offered were not or were reduced, mainly in the food & beverage area and room amenities. I have documented these changes on my last review on TripAdvisor. I viewed these as cost cutting measures which really diminished the overall experience. I once considered this my favorite and ‘go to’ resort and I don’t even have status with Hyatt. But after my last visit, the changes were such that I have moved on to try out other brands (e.g. AMresorts, Media, etc.) and don’t have a desire to return.

  7. I was at Hyatt Ziva Cancun in March and was told Globalists no longer got the lobster vouchers. I did get them in 2018 when I was there.

    • Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for. My personal favorite overall is probably Ziva Cancun. But for an adults-only, standard room experience, then Zilara Cancun. If you’re looking for scenic beauty and a semi-private beach, then PVR Ziva is great.

  8. I agree with your ranking. Never been to the Puerto Vallarta property. Jamaica should’t even be ranked it’s become so terrible.

  9. Been to all of them as well. Here’s my list from best to worse:

    1. Ziva Los Cabos (although the food was not spectacular, there so much to do in Los Cabos.)
    2. Ziva Puerto Vallarta (So much to do. I think 2 and 3 is a tie)
    3. Zilara Cancun
    4. Ziva Cancun
    5. Zilara Jamaica (I would stay away. First stay was great in 2016. Went again in 2018 and it sucked. On top of that, I got food poisoning. Property is going downhill for sure)

    • I didn’t consider off-resort activities, since I think most folks go to AI’s primarily for the on-resort amenities (and I haven’t been to Jamaica). While my “rankings” would vary based upon what one is looking for in their vacation, if I was pushed to give my overall ranks (rather than pros/cons to help someone decide upon their own tastes), I think I’d end up in reverse order of your 1-4. But, as I said in the article, I fear that most people (including myself) are subject to making decisions based upon small sample size. So I tried to stick as much as possible to observations/features that likely persist: such as Zilara Cancun clearly having the best standard/non-upgraded rooms, especially for couples, and Ziva Cancun having the widest selection of good food options (and tried not to hold a similar food/bug issue we had at PVR Ziva).

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