6,500 square feet of meeting and event space, with capacity for up to 700 people
KidZ Club with a daily schedule of activities for kids ages 4 through 12
Special amenities like a tequila sommelier and a romance concierge
10-minute drive from downtown Puerto Vallarta and the Malecon
Free Wi-Fi in rooms and public spaces
Some travelers, particularly couples, may find the resort overcrowded with kids
Though it’s been revitalized, the property is older and shows its age in some areas
Food receives mixed reviews, though we found it impressive for an all-inclusive
Swim-up suites are for guests 18 years of age and older (a pro for some)
The luxurious Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta sets the bar high for its competitors. Expect sleek minimalist rooms, five gorgeous pools, varied dining options, a stunning indoor/outdoor spa, and an enviable location in picturesque Conchas Chinas. While adults can take advantage of the adult-only pool and special amenities like the romance concierge or tequila sommelier, families are the real focus at the Hyatt Ziva. Hotel staff members provide round-the-clock entertainment in the form of pool aerobics, cooking classes, beach volleyball tournaments, and nightly shows. There are also a kids' club and a special kids' corner at every buffet. There’s a lot of bang-for-your-buck value at the Hyatt Ziva, but travelers still wary of all-inclusive properties may prefer Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa, a luxury property with a stunning secluded location in Mismaloya.
A family-friendly all-inclusive with stunning design
The expansive, open-air lobby at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta makes a bold first impression. Soaring architectural details immediately draw the eye upwards to a two-story centerpiece with a seafaring theme. Pebbled tile and contrasting dark and light woods create a multi-textural aesthetic, and massive open-air windows cast compelling shadows across the light-filled room. The front desk is highlighted by a unique chandelier with red and white tones — a color scheme that’s carried out in the room’s scattered seating areas. The peaceful, almost spa-like atmosphere in the lobby is a far cry from what we’ve encountered at countless other all-inclusives, where velvet ropes cordon off guests waiting on endless check-in lines and porters negotiate heaps of luggage at an auctioneer’s pace.
Upon arrival, it’s clear that the Hyatt Ziva is a family-friendly property. From the lobby, guests can gaze down at the pool scene, where a soundtrack of shrieking children is often playing on repeat. Gaggles of kids run free across the property, while parents push babies around in strollers. The Hyatt Ziva is an excellent option for those traveling with kids (of all ages), but romantics may find the hotel a bit too family oriented.
On the beach in Conchas Chinas, about 10 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta
The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta is located in a quiet, picturesque area called Conchas Chinas. The property is wedged between two rocky outcroppings, which create a cove-like beach with calm water. The mountains-meet-ocean views around the property are nothing short of spectacular, and the area feels a bit quieter and more secluded than Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta. Luckily, Hyatt Ziva guests get the best of both worlds — the stunning private location is within a 10-minute drive of downtown Puerto Vallarta, which is home to great shopping, dining, nightlife, and the famous Malecon. The hotel is about a 35-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport.
Minimalist rooms with contemporary decor, though standard rooms lack balconies
Rooms at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta feature contemporary, somewhat minimalist, decor with lots of dark wood accents and different textural elements. In standard rooms, beds are dressed in white, which we’ll admit, looks a bit plain against the white walls and beige travertine floors. But leather-like headboards and a bold wood artwork help to create visual interest. Instead of bedside lamps, rattan lanterns hang above sculpted night tables. A wall of windows lets in lots of natural light, and a big full-length mirror makes the space feel a bit larger than it is.
Wall-mounted flat-screen TVs and minibars stocked with free soft drinks are nice in-room perks, but don’t expect top-of-the-line amenities like docking stations, USB portals, or speciality coffeemakers. Bathrooms feature dark gray marble counters and glass enclosed walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads and marble benches. Standard rooms lack bathtubs, which may be an issue for families traveling with small children. Unfortunately, standard rooms don’t have outdoor balconies, only sliding glass doors that open up to a protective glass railing. These rooms come with either king-size or two double beds (the latter sleep four), and are further categorized according to view, featuring either garden, partial ocean, ocean, or oceanfront views. Guests can upgrade to the Hyatt Ziva’s Club Tower, which offers guests exclusive concierge service, access to a private lounge that serves snacks and drinks throughout the day, and a 10 percent discount on spa and beauty services. Club Tower rooms do have balconies, some even with private hot tubs.
Suites are substantially larger than the rooms. The suite we visited had vaulted ceilings and a small sitting area in front of the beds. Swim-up Suites are located on the ground floor, and have outdoor patios that open up to a shared infinity pool. These can only be occupied by guests 18 years and older. The One-Bedroom Plunge Pool Suites are two-story units, with, as the name advertises, private plunge pools.
Excellent features, including five pools, five restaurants, a top-notch spa, and free Wi-Fi
Pools are arguably the most important part of an all-inclusive resort, and the Hyatt Ziva’s five aquatic spaces are impressive. The activities pool located in the center of the property has a stunning infinity edge and striking dark blue mosaic tile detailing. A long shallow ledge allows for lounge chairs to be placed directly in the water, so guests can relax in the pool easily. The activities pool is constantly buzzing, and is an ideal spot for guests who want to be entertained with the likes of water aerobics, dance lessons, and foam parties. Adjacent to the activities pool is the family pool, which also has an infinity edge and a lounge chair ledge. The family pool still has an upbeat atmosphere, but doesn’t have a continuous stream of scheduled activities. In the center of the family pool, an elevated bridge leads to an oceanfront hot tub. Away from the beachfront, there’s an additional kidney-shaped pool that’s designated as the quiet pool. It feels a little lonesome, and perhaps a bit forgotten in the shade of its surrounding palm trees (maybe that’s the point?). But on the plus side, it’s hardly ever crowded. Anywhere around the pools, guests can expect some sneaky lounge-chair saving tactics, which can become annoying.
There are two adult pools at the Hyatt Ziva, one with a swim-up bar and a happening atmosphere and one that’s a bit quieter. The one with the swim-up bar is within earshot of the family pool so it’s not really designed for quiet relaxation; instead, it’s meant for adults looking to have a good time in a kid-free area. Guests looking for quiet should head to the other adult pool on the opposite side of the property.
The beach in front of the Hyatt Ziva is a long stretch of sand wedged between two rocky outcroppings. It is lined with lounge chairs and palapa-style umbrellas as well as cushioned daybeds that can be rented for an additional fee. The beach is long enough take decent walks, and many guests like to run from end to end for exercise. It’s also large enough that guests seeking solitude won’t be disturbed by those taking part in beach volleyball games. The water is fairly calm, though there’s usually a shallow wave break along the shoreline. The hotel has free kayaks and boogie boards for guests to use. All beaches in Puerto Vallarta are public spaces, so technically anyone can access them. But the beach in front of the Hyatt Ziva is secluded, so you won’t find pushy beach vendors here.
Excellent all-inclusive fare at five diverse restaurants
The Hyatt Ziva has five restaurants, including four a la carte options and an international buffet. The hotel’s a la carte restaurants include Italian, Asian, and Mexican eateries, as well as an upscale steak and seafood place. The buffet restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and always has a wide variety of options. Additionally, the Hyatt has unique food carts that pop up around the pool and beach areas, where guests can grab snacks throughout the day. They are meant to resemble traditional Mexican street cart vendors, and offer locally inspired street fare like elote, al pastor tacos, popsicles, and fresh fruit and juices. For those who need a little pick-me-up, there's a coffee shop adjacent to the lobby where guests can order specialty coffees and pastries.
There are five bars scattered across the property serving a variety of signature cocktails, craft beers, and wines, but some guests complain that the drinks are watered down. We recommend heading to the tequila bar, where the hotel’s tequila sommelier guides guests through tastings and offers a bit of history on Mexico’s most famous liquor.
We were quite impressed by the Hyatt Ziva’s dining options. We found the food to be fresh and flavorful, and the options varied enough to keep things interesting. While all-inclusive dining will never be the culinary experience of a lifetime, we thought the food at the Hyatt Ziva was markedly better than that of its competitors.
The Vita Mar spa is a standout amenity and truly feels like an escape from the sometimes busy resort. Treatment rooms have indoor and outdoor components, which allow guests to enjoy spa services without sacrificing time in the sun. Massage rooms are open, airy spaces that lead to semi-private relaxation balconies. The outdoor hydrotherapy pool has panoramic ocean views, but still feels private thanks to the large pergola that sits above it. The spa offers several spa packages, otherwise, treatments can be purchased a la carte.
The spa also houses the hotel’s modern fitness center. The gym is large and spacious, and its floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of natural light and offer sweeping ocean views. It is equipped with LifeFitness cardio equipment and well as several weight machines. Guests can also take part in weekly yoga classes, which are often held outdoors.
A family-friendly property that focuses on fun activities and events for kids
Hyatt Ziva is Hyatt’s family-friendly brand of all-inclusive resorts (Hyatt Zilara is for adults only). So, unsurprisingly, the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta caters to kids and families. Throughout the day, family-friendly activities take place across the property, like kid-friendly cooking classes, nighttime fireworks shows, and seasonal whale watching. The on-site KidZ Club welcomes guests ages 4 to 12. The KidZ Club has a daily schedule of fun activities for kids to take part in, like sand castle building, bracelet making, and pajama parties. There’s even a special kids corner at the buffet with a special lowered service area and kid-friendly foods.
Possibly too family-oriented for weddings and honeymoons, but a romance concierge can arrange romantic events
While we wouldn’t recommend the Hyatt Ziva for a wedding or honeymoon, the hotel might appeal to wedding parties that include lots of children, or honeymooners who intend to bring the family along. The hotel has 6,500 square feet of meeting and event space, and can accommodate events of up to 700 attendees. The hotel’s gorgeous beach is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies and small receptions. The on-site romance concierge can assist guests with wedding and honeymoon plans, and can also arrange things like romantic sunset dinners or Champagne room service.
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