Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
November 17-21, 2015
I was honored to have been invited to participate in the Grand Gala Event celebrating the Re-opening of the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. The Hotel is located in San Jose del Cabo- very close to the highway intersection that leads to the airport- an easy 25 minute ride between the airport and resort. This property used to be the Barcelo pre-Hurricane Odile of 2014. Hyatt took over this resort and basically remodeled it from the core - after the Hurricane there was a solid structure left, but all soft goods and windows, etc. needed to be revamped. The Hurricane also gave them the ability to upgrade the property to really have that feel of luxury. The property was closed for just about a full year to undergo these renovations and repairs. I recall driving by it last year in December and seeing the rebuilding efforts in progress.
Hyatt Hotels has a variety of properties and is very much a household name worldwide. Just recently Hyatt decided to embark upon the "all-inclusive" market with the arrival of the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties. Hyatt Ziva properties are open to all clientele, Hyatt Zilara properties are adults only. Hyatt also took things one step farther- they know the hotel industry and they know the resort industry, but they were not experienced in the "all-inclusive resort" industry, so they decided to hire Playa Resorts to help manage the Ziva & Zilara brands.
Upon arrival to the hotel, you are greeted with very friendly bell staff, helping you with your luggage and offering you a cold wash cloth along with a warm smile. You walk up the stairs to the open air lobby area and you are immediately greeted with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean through these enormous arches. The lobby is warm and inviting with several sitting areas. There is the individual check-in area to the left and group & VIP check-in to the right along with a concierge desk. There is also a tour desk where you can book local excursions and receive advice on what to see and do during your stay in Los Cabos. Also, off of the lobby area you have the Coffee House where you can get a specialty coffee, ice cream in the afternoon, snacks throughout the day. Across the lobby from the Coffee Shop is the Piano Bar which is a very large venue, lots of comfy chairs and table areas- the place smells of beautiful new leather.
As you walk closer to the ocean at the end of the entrance lobby you can take the hallway to your left or right, down these hallways you have the Spirit of 68 sports bar very nicely decorated, playing lively music, pool tables, big screen TV's with the various sports being aired. There is also the 24 hour cafe where you can go in and grab a light snack, you can sit and use the computer work stations that are set up in a comfortable environment or just grab and go. There are two restaurants also on this level, the French Restaurant Bon Vivant and the Dozo the Asian inspired restaurant offering both sushi and teppanyaki type of dining. This venue was so popular that they doubled the size of it during the renovation period.
The lobby is technically on the 3rd floor, there is nothing on the 2nd floor, it's not a level that you can access, but if you go down to the 1st floor you have access to the entire resort along with a few more dining venues. There is the Spanish inspired restaurant El Cortijo, two Buffet restaurants that switch out serving breakfast, lunch and dinner- I would assume during full occupancy times both restaurants would service all three meals. Both indoor and outdoor dining is available for the buffet. There is also a Tequila Bar (Agave) that we never actually got to experience, it seemed to be closed during our stay and/or just open for private events- we missed our group's meet & greet social which was held in this venue. Also on the first floor there is the Theatre where they offer nightly shows. We went to what was supposed to be their best show and it was OK- a bit on the Vegas cheesy side, we stopped by to see part of the show the next night and if felt like much of the same....so we did not see any other shows! Finishing out the ground level of the main building would be the Zen Spa- a two story spa with the different showers, hydro-therapy pools, hot tubs, outdoor cabanas for massage services, hair salon, special bridal suite, locker rooms with showers, relaxation room and several treatment rooms on the 2nd level.
Once you venture away from the main building, the resort is U-shaped facing open to the ocean. Expansive & beautiful grounds, outdoor fire pit seating areas are right outside the main building and also along the beachside. There are two large main pools in the center of the resort and then an adult pool that is set behind one of the buildings. The pool closest to the beach is infinity edged and also has a swim up bar and inset hot tub. Lots of lounge chairs around all of the pools and the chairs are very comfortable, they did not cut costs with these- they feel luxurious. There are two more restaurants along the beach area- the Italian Restaurant and the Steakhouse, both of these are open air venues. By the pool, there is a snack bar where you can get burgers, tacos, etc. and during the late morning hours there is a fruit cart that serves around the pool and in the afternoon a taquito cart.
Plenty of shops, though I can't say that I personally visited them and of course you have your beach shopping mall (the locals selling their goods)- but they have a specific area where they are to stay and if you want to shop for local goods, you walk out to them. Security is very good about making sure that they stay in their designated spot and not bother guests. For the most part though, they respect the words, "no, thank you". But I think if you're "easy" like me, they can read it (just like dogs can read fear) and still try to sell you! I did walk away with a $10 Fedora (which I love), a $6.00 bracelet that I probably paid too much and a silver bracelet that was $20 (I think)....I'm not good at the barter game, but I know that it is expected and supposed to be fun. I am thankful that most times I go to Mexico I am with my Spanish speaking friends who help me out.
Behind one of the buildings there is a pretty nice kid's water park area with small water slides and other water features, the area also equipped with many comfy lounge chairs so mom & dad can sit and enjoy their relaxing time, while their kids are nearby enjoying the waterworks. Next to the water park is a little playground with slide and things to climb on along with an indoor "kids club" area. They also have a decent sized teen area that is located between the main pool area and the kids water park area, in the teen area there are video games, pool tables, ping pong, foosball table and areas for them to lounge around and be teens.
Service at the Hyatt Ziva was wonderful. They pride themselves to provide "service from the heart" and as such every time an employee walks by you or you have some verbal exchange they greet you or bid you farewell with their right hand touching their heart. It is really a beautiful gesture and quite honestly in a time of such worldwide unrest, it was a nice escape to be nestled in this piece of paradise with everyone being so nice and showing the utmost in hospitality & respect. Really gracious hosts!
We spent our days lounging by the pool, two of the days at the main infinity edge pool alongside the beach and one day at the adult pool. We enjoyed ourselves at both pools, though the adult pool area was not as lively and it's not ocean view. Usually, an adult pool=quiet pool, but not sure that is ever the case here because the resort just over the fence plays loud music all day, which can easily be heard at the adult pool. We were OK with that because we like that sort of liveliness by a pool, but others might not be too happy with that. All the pools have lounge chairs in the pools, which is kind of cool too.
We had breakfast daily in the buffet- lots of variety of options and a make your own Mimosa or Bloody Mary bar, the kids buffet is lower to the ground which is awesome for the kids to be able to pick out their own meals. The staff is always ready to help you bring your plate to your table and will bring whatever beverages you might want. Lunch most days ended up being the Taquito cart and one day we split a burger from the snack shack. For our dinners, we tried the French, Asian and Spanish restaurants and then our last night we taxied into Cabo San Lucas to show our new travel industry friends from Minnesota the area. We had dinner at the Crazy Lobster and then visited Cabo Wabo and El Squid Roe for a bit of people watching & good music. The cab ride was $40 each way, so not something you would do every night of your vacation and since the Hyatt Ziva is all-inclusive, you do have all of your meals included and really don't have a need to venture off the resort for food.
I visited the spa twice. Once to have my hair washed and blow-dried and the other time for a 50 minute massage. Both services were done very well, I actually had the same employee for both services, which was surprising, but seems they are all cross trained to perform all spa services. Prices are typical "resort pricing", though as part of the Gala event I had a 50% discount- so my $60 hair appointment was really $30 (which is a normal price) and my 50 minute massage was $60 (normally $120). The spa is very clean and both services were conducted very professionally.
The rooms- we had a very large room, two double beds, a pull out sofa bed/sitting area with a table and two chairs. The bathroom had a large jetted tub, huge shower with both rain head and handheld shower head, double sink vanity with plenty of shelving to store your toiletries and then a separate toilet room. Double closets with a counter top/mini fridge/coffee maker in between the two closets. Large safe, though not quite large enough for my laptop- it was large enough for the laptop but not enough clearance to get the laptop into the safe. Ironing board, Iron, two robes, slippers all available. Flat screen TV and quite honestly I didn't check to see how many channels or what TV options we had, we didn't spend any time watching TV. Nice balcony that overlooked the property grounds and of course a beautiful ocean view. On our property tour, we did get to see the one bedroom suite, which was very much like our room PLUS an additional room that had the dining area/living room/guest bathroom and the actual bathroom en suite was HUGE!! We did talk to some guests though that had very small rooms, I would have liked to see those, but suffice to say, you probably don't want the least expensive priced room here IF you want space. We were told by these guests that the room was very narrow and long and that they did not have a step out balcony- it was more like a French balcony and we could see those rooms from the outside. Two of the three buildings have swim out pool rooms on the lower level. Some of these swim outs face the ocean/main pool area and the others face the adult pool area. All in all, many choices for room types. My only complaint on the rooms is that they need to be better sound proofed. I never heard noise from the adjacent rooms, but there were a few nights where I could hear loud music either coming from the Royal Decameron resort next door OR the nightclub across the street from the resort..and our second to last day there was a group staying at the hotel and they had some team building exercises that started at 730am so we were awakened to the chants and cheers of these "teams" rooting each other on. I am not a morning person, so if I am awakened early like this, I am not a happy camper. I can't say that the late night music woke me up- I stay up late, but it did hinder the falling asleep process a little bit.
All in all, we enjoyed this resort. It is very lovely, great service and beautiful property. I would certainly come back again and do not hesitate recommending this property to the right client.
I took lots of pictures, so feel free to see them all on my Flickr page HERE