Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review – Beautiful Property But Some Service Deficiencies

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Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review

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

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

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

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

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.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review

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

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

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.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Review

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

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.


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16 COMMENTS

  1. This review is pretty spot on target. I went with my wife and 3 kids last year for Thanksgiving and we had a good and fun time. I agree with you on the pros and cons. Our kids really loved it and loved being able to go get ice cream and shakes whenever they wanted. The downside of the location is the ocean was really rough in that area so they just stayed in the pool. But all in all we had a fun trip there ad I’d go back.

    • Thanks, Mike. Glad you enjoyed it too, despite some weaknesses. In fairness to the beach situation, my understanding is that much of the Cabo area has the same issue.

  2. My wife and I stayed at the Zilara Montego Bay and had a superb time without the service deficiencies you mention. It’s a bit pricier at 25,000 points per night, but the food was outstanding and the service was top notch. Lovely beach and pools as well.

    • We haven’t been to Rose Hall yet, but look forward to going sometime. Glad to hear you’ve had a good experience there. Our experience at the other Mexico Hyatt AI properties have been more positive from a service and food perspective, as I will mention in an upcoming article.

      • Definitely check out Rose Hall. I went last year with low expectations and left wishing I had booked longer. Based on that experience, I booked Los Cabos this past January. I came to learn not all Hyatt AI are created equal and wishing I went back to Jamaica. The dining situation in Cabo was indeed ridiculous. From the wait to get into the restaurants to the slow service during, dinner was an all night affair. This was a non issue at Rose Hall. I also found the Jamaica property grounds nicer and staff more attentive and overall friendlier.

        Hoping the unopened Dominican property becomes available to book at 25K soon.

        • Glad you enjoyed Rose Hall. I have heard good things. I definitely enjoyed all of the other Hyatt AI’s we’ve been to more than Cabo. Too bad, because it has potential. I’m also looking forward to the Dominican property.

  3. I’d recommend the Hyatt Place just down the street. Significantly cheaper both dollars & points wise. Breakfast included. There’s a large grocery store within walking distance and a half dozen very reasonably priced & decent quality restaurants in the area. The beach is public. We checked out the Ziva while we were there & we’re happy we’d booked the Place instead.

  4. Yes, definitely cheaper at 5k vs 20k! It looks like a fairly standard but nice Hyatt Place. Definitely appears to be a good option if you don’t want/need the resort/pool/AI experience.

  5. We we will be staying 4 nights this upcoming weekend. Was the resort pretty full with it being Spring break for many? Wonder if that contributed to service miscues. Also globalist so will take advantage of reservations, but given limited time, are there any restaurants worth skipping or can’t miss?

    • Our trip was actually a few weeks back, before any Spring Break crowds. It felt reasonably full over the heart of the weekend, but actually felt pretty pretty sparse at the pool (and judging from lights on in rooms at night) on the other days. Sadly that was not the reason for the poor service. They had big lines and wait times at restaurants (and no pool service at all some days), even though they had lots of empty tables. I think the hibachi table at the Asian restaurant is the safest bet for a fun time and knowing what you’re going to get. We had one good experience and one bad one at the beach-front steakhouse. The Italian place (also near the beach) was disappointing, but could have just been a one-off experience. We only went for dessert at the French place. DO NOT MISS the lunchtime tacos (every day!) at the adult pool bar. If you’re taking kids, just get the tacos for them and take them back to the main pool. Definitely use your Globalist status to make hotel reservations EVERY night.

  6. My husband and I stayed there last Oct and found the food quality to be disappointing. Breakfast buffet was below average in terms of quality and presentation. We were there a number of days and ate at the Steakhouse, Italian, French and Spanish restaurants, none of them stood out enough for us to go back and we ended up eating our last dinner meal across the street at a taco place near the supermarket. We are by no means foodies, but we like to eat and we were so looking forward to the all you can eat. The tacos by the adult pool were decent but would not say they were outstanding. The snack stations, coffee shop and snack/reading room were nice places to pop in to grab a quick bite or sweet, there’s something to be said about grabbing a coffee anytime you want. Also no snacks in the room (weh, weh).

    • Sorry to hear you had a similar experience. Seems we’re building some consensus here. I think there’s a lot of potential, but they are clearly missing the mark. That said, I will stand by the fact that you can still go and have a nice time. As CHRIS wrote (above), I think expectations are important. I wouldn’t want to go to any AI with super-high expectations for food, but especially at this Cabo Ziva. I’ll disagree slightly about the tacos at the adult pool, in that my wife and I both thought they were pretty fantastic (best ever? probably not – but very good). And, yes, the lack of snacks in the room (we had a measly bag of Lays chips!) was lame.

      • We did still enjoy the property despite the food quality. With that said we won’t go back. Our only other AI experience was at the Royal Hideaway Playacar at Playa Del Carmen and the food and property were AMAZING. We read great reviews about the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun and wish we went there instead.

  7. As a frequent visitor to this property-3 times over 6 months-and the one in Puerto Vallarta, I can say two things in additon to validating your overall assessment: 1) indeed, not all Zivas are created equal. While Cancun and Rose Hall are definitely on the ‘to do’ list, we noticed siginficant differences between P.V. and Cabo. 2) this resort had gone DOWNHILL/gotten worse sometime between the late fall and the new year due to a number of noticeable cuts to the ammenities/services and overall food & beverage program. It was so noticeable and disappointing that this really caused me to rethink my future stays there, and as a result, I have taken my business elsewhere and made bookings (for subsequent stays) at 4 other A.I brands. I won’t list all the issues here (you can read my reviews on TripAdvisor by matthewsf) but they were many. It’s too bad because Playa Resorts, the owner and operator, did a great job with this place. Hopefully, the cuts they enacted weren’t rolled out elsewhere.

  8. Thanks, Matthewsf. Apparently we’re on the same page about service and food issues. It really is too bad, because it seems like all of the issues could be solved with some attention and staffing. Hopefully Hyatt/Playa are paying attention and make improvements. As you can read in our previous reviews (and an upcoming comparison article), we have had better experience at other Hyatt/Playa AI’s (as you noted PV – but also both Cancun properties).

  9. I was there two years ago with my three children and husband who is a globalist. We put our boys in the Kids camp for a few hours and my youngest son went missing. He was gone for about 15 min when an American woman saw him wandering near the pools alone (he was supposed to be at the beach with thr class) and she notified the staff. The manager couldn’t have been more disinterested. We got no contact from anyone and had to pursue a discussion at thr highest levels of management. I will never take my children there again and the mention of This hotel stresses me out.

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