Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – 3.8 Out Of 5 Stars
My wife and I recently returned from an extended weekend getaway at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos all-inclusive resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico. The Miles to Memories team has previously written about our experiences at other Hyatt all-inclusives in Mexico, including the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cancun and the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Cancun. We have not had a chance to do a Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos review yet though. While the resort fell short in some areas, it is a beautiful property and we enjoyed our four-night stay on the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Booking
Fortunately at some point in the past year or two, Hyatt has begun to allow online award bookings at their Mexican all-inclusives. The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos goes for a nightly award booking rate of 20,000 Hyatt points. This is based upon double occupancy. Adding a third or fourth person to a reservation, including children, can be done for an additional 10,000 points per person.
To cover the 80,000 points needed for our four-night stay, we used a combination of points generated from spending on our Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card and Chase Ultimate Reward points converted into Hyatt points.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Airport Transfer & Transport
The hotel offers airport transportation for a fee that was on the steep side. We decided to book our own transfers via the Citibank/Connexions travel portal (under the “Activities” section) using ThankYou points. Since it is impossible on the ThankYou portal to see who the transfer provider is, we decided to simply go for the least expensive shared shuttle option. It may be possible to get the providers info if you call Connexions. The cost was roughly 6,800 ThankYou points total for a round-trip booking for two. Our booking was fulfilled by a company called Terramar and we had a nice private SUV both directions.
Here are a few Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos airport transfer tips based upon our experiences:
- Always book your airport transfers at least a couple days in advance. This appears to be a requirement and not a suggestion.
- As you are departing customs at the airport (this goes for any airport in Mexico), do NOT engage with the myriad of tour operator and timeshare sales people. They will do everything in their power to derail you, and you want to get outside to your transportation ASAP.
- Finally, these transfer companies want to make sure you’re not late to the airport for your return flight and tend to build in a LOT of padding into your pickup time. We were able to talk them into picking us up 30 minutes later than they originally scheduled.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Check-In Experience
Given our Globalist status with World of Hyatt, we were immediately directed to a VIP check-in room. Strangely, I believe our wait time was significantly longer than it would have been at the nearby front desk. There was champagne and macaroons available as we waited for one of the two agents in the VIP room to become available, but they were not openly offered to us. It felt like we waited an extraordinarily long time to check in (as did the couple that came after us).
We were thanked for our loyalty and told that we had been booked into an upgraded room. Some of the basics of the property were explained to us, and our request for 2pm late check-out was pleasantly granted. As we were leaving the room another worker approached us and thanked us for being Globalists. He told us that our status entitled us to making restaurant reservations. Little did we know this was a key detail…
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – The Room
Our upgraded room was a Pool View Master King room on the fifth floor. It had a nice view that overlooked the adults-only pool. The room was conveniently and centrally located in this very large (nearly 600-room) resort. We were welcomed with a “Happy Birthday” banner on our door, and a piece of cake and bottle of champagne in our room. This was likely the result of me mentioning to our Hyatt Globalist concierge rep that this was a belated birthday trip for both of us.
If you are a later-to-rise and/or sunset-loving person, this is an ideal location, as the adult pool tends to get more of the latter day sun. This is especially true and important if you were to get a first floor swim-up suite. Many of the main pool rooms are in the shade by late afternoon.
The room itself was quite nice and spacious, at 584 sq ft. This is compared to 348 sq ft. for the standard rooms. While we did not see a standard room, I think the primary additions in our room were the couch/sitting area and a larger tub/shower area. The tub area also opens up into the main bedroom area. We were surprised to find that our room had two-double-beds. To be fair that may have been all that was available for award availability when we booked. Thankfully, upon arriving to our room, they offered to have housekeeping come and push the beds together into a combined (huge!) bed (we called it our Baja California King!)
Here are a few more observations from our room at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos:
- We found most of the amenities (including towels, robes, sheets, toiletries, etc.) to be of reasonably high-quality and as expected.
- Furnishings were nothing fancy, but fine and in reasonable condition.
- The room included a safe and a refrigerator with complimentary water, sodas and beer. The snacks were lacking never having more than a single bag of cheap potato chips.
- The large jetted tub had great water pressure. The shower pressure, on the other hand, was lacking and suffered from frequent/significant water temperature spikes.
- The balcony was small, nice and reasonably private. Unfortunately, it only had a couple of cheap/uncomfortable chairs and small side table.
- Premium wifi was provided with our status and was spotty at times, but decent enough to stream video. We were also able to connect a laptop to the TV via HDMI. T-Mobile also had pretty good LTE coverage in the area.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Food & Drink
The property is big enough to justify a total of 15 restaurants, bars, and lounges. Depending on your definition, there’s five full-service sit-down restaurants. This includes Italian, Steakhouse, Tapas, French, and Asian (including some hibachi tables). There are two buffets (one International and one more local/Mexican), a poolside snack bar and a coffee shop. We were also given club lounge access because of my Globalist status. Room service is also included, but we did not choose to utilize it.
Given that we were only there for 4 days, we only experienced a smattering of the options. Overall, the food quality was hit and miss. As always, expectations are key. If one has very high expectations, you are likely to be disappointed (especially if you run into a miss). If one goes in expecting “average” quality all-inclusive fare, I think there’s a good chance for being pleasantly surprised.
Notable “hits” for us included:
- The CAN’T-MISS, freshly prepared (including guac and pico) beef tacos at the adult pool.
- The experience of sitting beachside for dinner at the steakhouse and Italian restaurants.
- The good selection for breakfast in the international buffet, including fresh fruit, juices, and made-to-order omelets.
- A very solid/fun hibachi experience at the Asian restaurant.
- A freshly-cut fruit pop-up stand/cart each morning.
- The ability to get some top-shelf liquors (if you ask) and other top-shelf liqueurs in the club lounge to-go. These may have been put into water bottles back at our room for future use – read: adding Grand Marnier to a poolside-made/specified “Don Julio margarita”.
Notable “misses” for us included:
- WAY under-staffed restaurants. This led to most guests being very-frustratingly quoted 45-60 minute waits to get into literally more than half-empty restaurants. This is where having reservations as a Globalist came in handy!
- Even once seated, wait times were a bit too long and things like drink service were lacking.
- Some days a complete lack of servers at the pool.
- Some food quality problems, including a steak served barely warm (not undercooked) and an otherwise-tasty calamari appetizer served nearly cold.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Pool and Beach
There are three pools at the resort: an adults-only, the main/large pool area (including a nice infinity pool that goes right up to the beach), and a kids pool (that we didn’t experience). The pool temperature was “just right”, at least for the mid- to-high 70’s temperatures we experienced. Pool chairs were plentiful, although day beds at the adult pool were at a premium.
Not surprisingly, finding seating was easier on the non-weekend portion of our stay. Frustratingly, we found the same “game” was played here as other Hyatt all-inclusives we’ve experienced. Towels and magazines are used to save seats early. Sometimes those seats then seemingly were never used most/all of the day, so probably the best thing to do is to have at least one person wake up early and play the game. At least on busy days or if you have a prime location in-mind.
The beach was reasonably nice and scenic, but seemingly not as popular as the pool. There are big signs warning against going into the water due to surf and tides, which I think is fairly common in the Cabo area. There were some day beds, but not many umbrellas or employees providing service. We observed some local vendors selling their wares, and even some horses. I am unclear if rides were being offered – but I assume that’s why they were there! Occasionally a beach volleyball game broke out as well.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Conclusion
As you might expect, we came away a bit conflicted about our experience. We definitely had a fun time and would likely enjoy a future visit, but I’m just not sure it would be our first choice. The property itself is well-maintained and scenic. We are still dreaming about sitting by the adult pool eating amazing tacos and drinking great margaritas. But some service issues, and particularly restaurant experiences, were frustrating. It would have been even more so if not for our Hyatt status allowing for restaurant reservations.
Again, I think expectations are key. If you go in eyes-wide-open about some of the potential shortcomings, you should be able to enjoy a beautiful beach/pool vacation. But unless we got unlucky and/or some issues are addressed, you would be advised to not expect perfection.
Have you been to the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos? Let us know what you think in the comments.