Let’s start by saying I was a hot mess when I booked this trip. I had initially booked a package with another hotel and had instant buyer’s remorse. The whole you should go with your first instinct hit me and I realized I actually wanted to go to the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun, as it had been on my radar for 2 years (since my last trip to Cancun). So from my original package via Travelocity I stupidly cancelled my hotel, got stuck with non-refundable Spirit tickets, and booked the Hyatt Ziva directly from the Hyatt website. I ended up signing up for the Hyatt rewards, which after just a week stay, got me some good points racked up, so there’s the plus.
What kept my mind on this hotel for the past 2 years since my last trip to Cancun was the location itself. Intriguingly spread atop the pointy end of Cancun’s hotel zone. There’s smooth beach that turns into rocky rougher waters, and then back to smooth beach. An abandoned lighthouse called Faro de Punto Cancun, and two distinct beaches to swim at. The one you will see from the lobby is Playa Caracol, smoothness mixed with coral and rocks brushing your feet beneath the sand and water, and Playa Gaviota Azul, a calm, blue water beach hiding past Los Cubos de Forum, an artificial barrier made of concrete blocks to divide the shoreline from the rougher waves by the lighthouse.
Hyatt Ziva sits at a dead end of a road and is in the center of many restaurants walking distance to you from the hotel. There are plenty of souvenir shops, stores, salons, and such that you can easily reach within a short walk. A great bonus for me was the proximity to the UltraMar Ferry at Playa Caracol (the public side of this beach), about an 8 minute walk from the hotel where you can pay about $22 a person for a return trip to Isla Mujeres for the day.
Amenities include the usuals such as:
- All-Inclusive – Bottomless food and drinks
- Private Piers – good photo ops they turn into $$$ ops to sell you a romantic nighttime dinner on these piers for extra cost
- 3 Infinity Pools
- 8 Restaurants – one is called Chef’s Table that IS extra and NOT included
- 9 Bars and Lounges – including a Club Lounge if you are staying in a Club Room
- Gym if you’re into working out while at an all-inclusive
- Kidz Club and Teen Lounge called Moodz (with gaming gear) for y’all with kiddos
- Microbrewery called Tres Cervezas
- 24-Hour Room Service
- Room amenities such as a TV, Mini Bar and Snacks restocked daily, a safe, a hairdryer, phone, coffee maker, private balcony/swim-up balcony, etc.
- On-site tour/transfer booking via a company called Discova (they can also arrange your airport round-trip transportation, just email the hotel after booking)
I originally booked a Club Ocean Front King. I got an email about a week before the trip stating “Upgrade Your Stay” so I said why not. The two options were for the Turquoise Ocean Front Master King and the Turquoise Sky Ocean Front King. I did both not really expecting to receive an upgrade but naturally, they gave me the more expensive one, the latter I mentioned. Seeing photos of the Club Ocean Front King compared to the room I received you might think, okay, it was a good move to upgrade and maybe so (if the room matters to you so much). Truthfully, we did spend some time in there, resting from the day after much needed showers, water, and some downtime with HBO. From this aspect, you could say it was “worth it” to have this large elegant room.
The Hyatt Ziva Turquoise is its’ own, Adults-Only hotel nestled in the middle of the rest of the property. It boasts the namesake color in the lobby along with dedicated concierge donning these same colored shirts as they welcome you from the main lobby to usher you along to this exclusive building. It is romantic, as you will notice many couples and guests celebrating a birthday or anniversary as you may be. You have your own infinity pool that only Turquoise guests have access to on the rooftop, and the amenity that tickled me the most was the butler. Yes, a butler. A butler who will insist on texting you via WhatsApp for the duration of your stay to be a text away from anything you need everyday. Fancy.
The room itself was lovely. Long, with a very spacious bathroom someone who needs space to get ready (like me) can appreciate. Two sinks, a large rainfall shower, and plenty of closet space.
You can check out a quick tour of the room on my YouTube Channel here.
The room view was beautiful, offering the rougher side of the beach that was broken by these infamous concrete blocks called Los Cubos de Forum. The jacuzzi on the balcony was a nice touch I didn’t get around to using until the last day but was extremely satisfying nonetheless.
Here is a list of the restaurants you can expect to see at the resort. Hyatt Ziva does a great job at every restaurant of asking for your food allergies or dietary restrictions so if you are gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, they make this a haven with your own menu options. At the end of the day though, this is all-inclusive, meaning quantity over quality. Don’t expect to be mind-blown. And yes, even though it’s “all included”, they will offer you “exclusive surf and turf” dinners and so on at every other restaurant.
For the ones I personally visited, I included my own humble review. To see the menus ahead of your stay, you can visit this link.
Mercado Buffet: a buffet is a buffet and it was not memorable. Got the job done. Breakfast was decent but lunch was just not satisfying taste wise at all 2/5
Trade Winds: dinner was pretty bland despite the dim-lit, romantic vibe and the sound of the ocean outside. Breakfast was a 360 degree turn and was pretty damn awesome though. Best Eggs Benedict I have had in a while. Dinner: 2/5 Breakfast 4/5
Moongate: presentation of the Hibachi was on point and enjoyable, but the food was a 3/5 at best. Be sure to make reservations to watch the Hibachi presentation and get a seat in front of the chefs, otherwise on a first come first serve basis you can still order from the Hibachi menu and watch them entertain others from afar.
Habanero’s: I ate here barefoot and damp. The ceviche and tacos were fabulous and not to mention it is literally on the beach. 5/5
Bastille’s: French Cuisine. It was romantic but only a 3/5 at best
Lorenzo’s: It is really hard to mess up pasta. 4/5
Chevys: This place was like if I was the chef for the day and it served my season-less attempts at cooking. I didn’t even bother with food photos. The burger and chili fries were…just not good. Only go here to take a picture, get a drink, and then leave. 1/5
Coffee: Casa del Cafe. Coffee was okay. It’s like pizza. When it’s bad it’s still pretty good. 3/5
Desserts: Pasteles. Nothing extraordinary but it was very pretty to look at. 3/5
Bars: Saasil Bar (doubles as a hotspot at night/Hookah Bar), Juana Margarita, Tres Cerveza’s Microbrewery (has pool tables and live music), Punta Vista (at the rooftop pool for Turquoise guests), Dips and Sips (swim up bar at the main pool), Bar del Mar, and the Club Lounge (if you are staying in a club room).
Room Service: Basically 24/7
Free non motorized water sports such as Kayaking and Paddle boarding at no charge
In the age of Covid if you’d like to Snorkel might I recommend buying your equipment before you go to save you the price gauging at the novelty swim shop?
At the same booth where you can claim your free water sports you can make reservations for boat excursions, jet-ski, and parasailing adventures
Nightly entertainment is set up at 8pm for about an hour in the main lobby area
Daily Activities. You can see the calendar of examples from my stay:
One final note: they have a Delphinus World on the property. It was wildly fascinating to walk downstairs everyday and watch the dolphins. I don’t agree with dolphins in captivity, but Delphinus has been one of the first organizations in the world to be accredited with the “humane conservation” accolade by the American Humane Association (AHA).
Here is the pricing below for reference:
Service at any all-inclusive you go to is awesome I am sure. However at Hyatt Ziva, especially those working the Turquoise Hotel, went absolutely above and beyond with their hospitality, politeness, and desire to do anything we needed to make our stay enjoyable. Any questions I had were met with detailed answers. Any requests were happily fulfilled. Any restaurant we dined at was met with the warmest of greetings and eager waiters excited to take our orders. The energy of all the service workers was always so positive and warm and it really is so noticed. I want to say a special thank you to Roman and Adrian, our butlers during our stay. Thank you for the extra snacks, showing me how to get to the ferry, and starting the jacuzzi before we got back from a long day of doing nothing in the sun. Thank you for checking in on us each day and helping us navigate the different restaurants and activities. It was so helpful to have you both! 5/5
If you want to go all out and be bougie, book a room in the Turquoise Hotel at Hyatt Ziva. It is a 5-star hotel and you get 5-star service. I don’t think it is necessary and we could have probably gone without but it was a great experience to have at least once. The normal hotel is considered 4 stars but everything minus the room and butler is essentially the same. There is a lot to do on the property and in the close surrounding area. This hotel always holds a higher price point because of its’ reputation and that it is held as one of the best resorts for a beach wedding. With that being said, yes I would stay here again but if you are trying to save money, you have a lot of other options in the hotel zone such as the Riu properties (that was my last trip). You will get the exact same activity options and amenities minus the dolphins on property 😉
Tips and Tricks
If you are new to the all-inclusive vacation life, I have a couple of random tips and tricks that might be useful:
1. Bring a bunch of $1 bills with you to tip with during your stay – the servers will truly appreciate it! In addition if you plan to do any excursions outside the resort or do some shopping, bring some extra cash for that. A lot of places do accept card, but if you find yourself in a market or on the beach trying to buy something while away from the resort, you might get in a pinch.
2. Bring your own floaties – I bought some from Target ahead of my trip for about $5 each and they can inflate them at the hotel for you. At the pool boutique they were charging $25 per. Yikes.
3. You can get away with a carry-on bag if you are trying to pack light. The hotel has a souvenir shop near the Turquoise Tower that does sell sunscreen and some personal items.
4. You will see a lot of matching shirts, matching koozies and tumblers, etc. so if this trip is a special occasion…knock yourself out with something for your squad.
5. Towel clips like these can help keep your towel in place while you swim:
4 Pieces Beach Flamingo Towel Clips Flamingo Chair Holders Portable Parrot Towel Holders for Holiday Pool
6. The sand can get spiky with the coral. I like water shoes to walk around pain-free if I step on something. These are the ones I use:
Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga
7. Selfie Sticks can be pretty useful if you are traveling solo or as a couple and want to take your own photos. Just saying:
Selfie Stick, Extendable Selfie Stick Tripod with Detachable Wireless Remote and Tripod Stand Selfie Stick Compatible with All Cell Phone, Compact Size & Lightweight
8. If you are like me and don’t like to leave anything to chance, these great waterproof phone pouches are great to keep your phone on you at all times, and snap some cool pics in the water:
MoKo Floating Waterproof Phone Pouch Holder [2 Pack], Floatable Phone Case Dry Bag with Lanyard Compatible with iPhone 12 Mini/12 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro/X/Xr/Xs Max/8, Samsung S21/S10/S9/S8, S10e, Note 10
9. I even have a matching pouch for valuables. Yes, I know. Dorky. But it works:
HEETA 2-Pack Waterproof Pouch, Screen Touch Sensitive Waterproof Bag with Adjustable Waist Strap – Keep Your Phone and Valuables Dry – Perfect for Swimming Diving Boating Fishing Beach, Pink & Purple
10. Brush up on some Spanish keywords! No better time to practice your skills than on vacation. Enjoy 🙂
I hope this honest review along with these tips was helpful! If you are interested in any of the above products I do receive a small commission from Amazon so please help my blog by shopping via those links. Thank you for your support!