Free airport shuttle plus valet parking in a secure, gated area
Free Wi-Fi is available property-wide
Food receives mixed reviews for quality and selection
Some rooms are dated and certain resort areas need upkeep
Beach is quite small for a resort of this size
Along with its sister hotel -- the adjacent Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall -- the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is one-half of a large, two-resort beachfront complex. This hotel features an extensive list of amenities -- including a large, clean pool, eight restaurants, and a full-service spa with a steam room and sauna -- in a family-friendly, all-inclusive package. The 387 rooms are a blend of modern and more traditional units, and include free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs, daily-stocked minibars, and furnished balconies or terraces -- many with ocean views. Unfortunately, the dated rooms in the older wing and mediocre food make the experience here a bit underwhelming. Check rates at the neighboring Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall for a quieter, more exclusive, adult-only alternative.
Large, beachfront all-inclusive with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere
As the second half of Hyatt's Rose Hall development, Hyatt Ziva is its livelier, family-friendly counterpart. As the property is a rework of an old Ritz-Carlton, the decor is a mixed bag. The overall architecture is typical of many big Caribbean resorts, with oversized common areas and large, open-air spaces. There are modern accents in the lobby, like low-slung couches and sharp wooden furniture plus updated patterned fabrics in beachy shades like taupe and navy blue. However, some of the hotel's other common areas still bear the old brand’s dark, dated furnishings and tired aesthetic which reveal the hotel’s age -- particularly fittings around doors and windows. The pool and beach create an expansive, combined social space with the hotel's neighboring sister resort, and the overall atmosphere is more upscale and exclusive than most of the area's all-inclusives. However, the many kid-centric amenities ensure that it’s also more boisterous and family-friendly.
A 15-minute drive from Montego Bay, right on the beach
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall sits along Jamaica’s Route A1, which is one of the island’s busiest roads, connecting Montego Bay to Kingston. There are few attractions within walking distance of the property as the immediate vicinity consists of other upscale hotels and all-inclusives. Montego Bay’s downtown district -- with shops, restaurants, beaches, and many other tourist attractions -- is a 15-minute drive from the property. The Rose Hall Great House, after which this Hyatt complex is named, is 20 minutes away by car.
Sangster International Airport is only a 12-minute drive away, and free shuttle service is provided. Alternatively, rental car service is available from a handful of brand name providers at the airport. Cab service or private group shuttles are another affordable, and readily available, transportation option.
Modern amenities include daily-stocked minibars, free Wi-Fi, and private balconies or terraces
As the property was previously a Ritz-Carlton and upgrades are ongoing, room decor is a mixed bag. Older rooms feature decor that's reminiscent of ‘90s-era Caribbean luxury hotels with a dated, “Old World” colonial feel. Dark wood furnishings, bamboo and rattan seating, and faded floral linens are typical in these rooms. More modern rooms -- like the Junior Suite that we visited -- are crisp and contemporary, with travertine marble floors, sparingly used abstract prints on the walls, and boldly patterned fabrics that complement the neutral, sleek furniture. Still, the look is simple, and there's little in the way of eye-catching design features, making these rooms unmistakably "Hyatt."
Modern amenities include 37- to 42-inch flat-screen TVs; minibars that are stocked with beer, soft drinks, and bottled water every day; and Bluetooth or MP3-player phone docks. Free Wi-Fi is also available in all rooms, and we found the service fast and stable. Beds in non-renovated rooms are poorly reviewed as older and uncomfortable while those in modern rooms are plush and well-reviewed. All rooms are air-conditioned.
Expect more space than average in every room category. At nearly 500 square feet (46 square meters), entry-level Standard Rooms provide a single-room layout with either a king-size bed or two double beds. Upgraded View and Swim Up Rooms feature similar floor space and layouts with the addition of a better view and a semi-private pool, respectively. Suites feature a broad range of configurations and floor plans -- ranging in size from 656 square feet (61 square meters) to the massive, 2,500-square-foot Presidential Suite (232 square meters). All suites offer ocean views, and many provide additional amenities such as ocean-facing beds, private butler service, free Champagne, and personalized beach service. All categories offer a spacious, furnished patio (in ground-floor rooms) or balcony (on the upper floors).
Bathrooms in all rooms are modern and upscale, with attractive fixtures and accents throughout. Dual sinks, marble countertops, and polished chrome fixtures are found in every category. Most feature glass and marble shower stalls with a separate tub. KenetMD luxury bath amenities and full-size hairdryers are also standard.
Eight restaurants, a large, clean pool and beach, and a modern, full-service spa
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is among Montego Bay’s most comprehensive family-friendly all-inclusives, with almost every imaginable resort amenity. A large, clean pool, a wide beach, a full-service spa, and eight total restaurants are among the most notable. In addition to these major features, the hotel has conference facilities and a small business center, as well as a selection of entertainment and activities. Family friendly amenities include water sports on the beach and a playground -- though the latter could use a fresh coat of paint and some upkeep. Airport transportation is included with room rates, as is resort-wide Wi-Fi.
Eight on-site restaurants and 24-hour room service provide all-day drinking and dining options
Eight total restaurants, five bars, and 24-hour room service are all available to guests at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. As a truly all-inclusive property, all alcohol (both well and premium) and meals (buffet and a la carte) are included in its standard packages. The food at all restaurants receives mixed reviews for both selection and quality. While the main buffet is open consistently, hours at the a la carte restaurants can be unpredictable. Each of these restaurants can close without warning depending on the hotel’s occupancy and time of year.
The main restaurant, Choicez, provides casual, all-day, buffet dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Typical of most area all-inclusives, every meal offers a mix of Western favorites and Jamaican-inspired fare. Several a la carte restaurants provide dinner-only service, each with a particular theme. Brazil provides a menu of Brazilian-style steak and choice meats; Fuzion features Asian cuisine (primarily hibachi and Japanese yakitori), and Di Roza serves mainly Italian favorites, including pizza, pasta, and antipasto. The resort touts a resort casual dress code, though this was not strictly enforced during our visit.
A number of additional spots offer quick, casual dining options. A few steps from the beach, Barefoot Jerkz is a no-frills, Jamaican-style food shack with BBQ chicken and meats. Bitez is a mixed deli/cafe with a variety of light lunch fare, including sandwiches and specialty coffees. The hotel’s main bar, Union Jack’z, is a contemporary take on a British pub. A dinner-only menu of typical bar and fried foods is offered alongside a full liquor menu of beer, wine, and cocktails. A number of foosball, pool, and checkerboard tables ensure a lively atmosphere. At night, the space transitions to a nightclub with live music and a more adult-centric vibe.
The hotel’s single pool is large, clean, and lined with bold, blue tile creating a crisp, lagoon-like feel. Even at or near capacity, the surrounding deck offers plenty of umbrellas and lounge chairs. It’s capable of comfortably accommodating the property’s nearly 400 rooms without overcrowding. A full beer, wine, and liquor menu is available at Lagoonz swim-up bar while poolside staff also provide drink service. Like the rest of the property, the pool area is family-friendly, with a boisterous and lively vibe.
Relative to the large size of the hotel, the beach is smaller than average. There are a few sets of lounge chairs and palapas on the sand, which is soft and well-maintained. Like most of Jamaica’s beaches, the water condition is heavily dependent on the season and weather. However, a curved breakwater helps protect against the area’s notorious rip currents and strong waves. A water-sports booth at one end of the beach provides kayaks and small catamaran sailboats.
Beautiful, modern spa and salon offers a full range of treatments
The on-site Zen Spa is bright, modern, and beautifully designed. The soft brown-on-beige color palette and minimalist, Zen-inspired furniture all create an upscale atmosphere. A full range of services is available, including body wraps, healing therapies, and massage treatments (aromatherapy, sports, and couples massages). A steam room, sauna, and private plunge pool are also available exclusively for spa guests. The adjacent salon provides pedicures, manicures, and other beauty services.
Most hotel gyms in the area feel like an afterthought, with a dated, minimal selection of equipment. While the gym at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall won't win any awards for style -- there's a lone tube TV overhead and frilly window treatments -- it is stocked with a nice selection of cardio and weight machines, as well as a decent amount of free weight equipment. Cardio options are reasonably modern, and some have built-in TVs, while some treadmills look out into the hotel's gardens.
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