01 of 04
Hyatt Ziva Cancun's "Service Comes from the Heart"
It didn’t take long for the new kid on the Cancun waterfront to get noticed. The Hyatt Ziva Cancun (formerly Dreams Cancun), opened in November 2015 and in April 2016 was named an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner. Not bad for a six-month old.
There’s very good reason for this: Like any quality resort, Hyatt Ziva, fresh off an $85 million renovation and expansion, focuses heavily on service, which is first-rate and ever-present. The resort’s “Service From the Heart” is so infused in the company culture that employees touch their chests when greeting guests. Just one small example: on an unusually chilly morning, I was lounging by the pool when a server came by offering coffee. I accepted, and before I was finished with the first cup, another was offered.
The resort is surrounded on three sides by the Caribbean Sea and boasts 547 suites on a sprawling peninsula. The late Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta designed the original resort building, and the makeover pays respectful homage to his... work by maintaining its classic pyramid-style architecture.
The beauty of the resort starts in the elevated lobby, which is open to the ocean and in the evening is brightened by the twinkling lights of nearby Isla Mujeres (where you can swim with whale sharks). Throughout the hotel you’ll feel the local influence: one side of the lobby’s façade is local coral stone, and the furnishings are made in Mexico from local woods and fabrics, accented in bright Mayan colors.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
02 of 04
Rooms, Views and Pools
Each of the resort’s suites offers Caribbean or garden views and have accents such as butterfly-inspired lighting and spa-style bathrooms with soaking tubs. Rooms come with free Wi-Fi, 24-hour in-suite dining, balconies, telephones with bi-lingual voice1mail, and a laptop swallowing safe in the closet. Guests upgrading to the Hyatt Club Level get VIP in-suite, top-shelf liquor, access to a private club lounge, their own pool, and a variety of other upscale amenities.
The 547 suites are spread out over the massive property and fall into 15 different categories. I had one of Ziva’s 92 oceanview rooms, a 483-square-foot beauty with a balcony overlooking the crashing waves and a meandering walking path dotted with comfortable rattan furniture for relaxing. Also within view was the resort’s candy-cane-striped lighthouse, which still warns mariners away from the shallows.
There are two large pools in the center of the resort that eventually will be used for Delphinus Experience, an interactive... dolphin encounter, and nearby are 24 Ziva dolphin-view master rooms. For larger groups, there are four two-story pyramid suites, each 1,316-square-feet huge with private balconies and phenomenal ocean views.
There are also 17 swim-up rooms that include a semi-private pool off their balconies; 88 oceanfront master rooms in the adults-only tower, with hot tubs on the balconies; and a whopping, 4,381-square-foot presidential suite at the Hyatt Club Level, which takes up the entire top floor of the resort.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
03 of 04
A Classic Diner and Mircobrewery Top the Hyatt Ziva's Culinary Treats
Unlimited dining options abound here, with la carte restaurants, buffets, cafes, lounges, traveling food carts, and 24-hour room service all part of the all-inclusive price. With 10 restaurants and 8 bars and lounges, you’ll never go hungry or thirsty. The bonus of a resort this big is you have to walk off some of what you eat on your way to and from your room.
The restaurants include Bastille’s (dinner, adults only), for French cuisine; Mercado, with international buffet food and indoor or outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner; The Moongate, with an array of Asian offerings (dinner only); Tradewinds, a casual grill by day for breakfast and lunch and a classic steakhouse at night; Lorenzo’s, with Italian fare like wood-fired pizza for lunch and a wide ranging menu for dinner; Habaneros, tacos and ceviche served on the beach for lunch and dinner; Pasteles, a sweet shop loaded with desserts (including gluten-free options), cupcakes, cookies and a wonderfully decadent chocolate... fountain.
Chevy’s is a classic American diner; in the middle is 1957 Chevy that you can sit in and pretend you’re at the drive-in. Casa Café has enough caffeinated coffee drinks to keep any java junkie hyped up; a variety of food carts prowl the grounds to fill in those in-between hunger attacks.
The variety of bars is outstanding, including Saasil by the lobby, with indoor and outdoor seating and great ocean views; Juana Margarita, where you can taste Mexico’s favorite libation – tequila - in a number of local varieties; and my fave, Tres Cervezas, a microbrewery serving superbly spicy wings and beer brewed on site by brewmaster Juan Jose Garcias, a delightful craftsman who is more than happy to talk beer at length, and who creates custom brews for the resort’s many weddings and other events.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
04 of 04
Water Sports, Classes, and a Kids Club are All-Inclusive
There are plenty of lounging to enjoy at Hyatt Ziva with three pools, food, drink, and a wide, pleasant beach protected by a towering rip-rap seawall, so activities might not seem a priority. However, as part of the all-inclusive stay you can try your hand (and feet) at stand-up paddleboarding and paddle yoga, outdoor basketball and tennis, water basketball, aerobics, beach volleyball, bicycle tours, snorkeling and other non-motorized water sports, culinary classes and tastings, and lounging by fire pits in the evening.
For families, the Hyatt’s Kidz Club is adult supervised and boasting a tree house, pool and water play area, as well as teen-centric activities. An outdoor amphitheater hosts live music, shows, and other performances, and seemingly impromptu music pops up, as well. One day on the steps of the lobby, a local acoustic band, Vina Hill, appeared, playing rousing, pounding renditions of everything from Brahms to AC/DC.
For complete relaxation, check out The Spa at Hyatt Ziva... Cancun, an eco-holistic, Mayan-inspired sanctuary with 13 treatment rooms and six palapas on the beach. Here you can lounge in the massage waterfall pools and do the hydrotherapy circuit (including a chilling ice shower and steamy sauna) before availing yourself of a wide range of massage treatments.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Punta Cancun s/n
Quintana Roo, Mexico