Recently Travel Agent got a chance to speak with Chris Walker, VP brands at Hyatt, regarding Hyatt’s new entries into the Mexico all-inclusive market: Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara. The first two resorts, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and Hyatt Zilara Cancun, launched in November and are set to undergo major renovations in 2014.
Hyatt’s entry into the all-inclusive market was spurred by a desire from Hyatt’s frequent guests for more leisure experiences from the company, Walker said.
“We get a lot of business from our Gold Passport members, who stay with us for business and then try out our resorts for a vacation,” said Walker. “We surveyed our Gold Passport members and found that almost 20 percent of them are already staying at all-inclusive resorts, but there wasn’t an opportunity for them to stay with Hyatt.”
One of the major points Hyatt plans to use to differentiate its all-inclusive brands is its food and beverage experiences, Walker said.
“When we were researching this project, we surveyed guest reviews of all-inclusives, and food and beverage got both the most positive and the most negative reviews,” Walker said. “One of the reasons Playa Hotels and Resorts partnered with us was for our food and beverage expertise.”
Walker said that Hyatt plans to renovate many of the resort restaurants in 2014, but that this season Hyatt has already introduced changes to its food preparation to spice up its offerings.
Another point of differentiation will be a focus on offbeat, spontaneous experiences.
“There’s still this perception of all-inclusive as flopping on a beach chair for five days and going home,” Walker said. Hyatt plans to offer larger experiences, such as exploring Mexican ruins, as well as smaller ones, like an impromptu marshmallow roast on the beach or a taco cart by the pool.
Hyatt Zilara is an adults-only all-inclusive brand. Zilara will have some romance travel elements, but that won’t be its entire focus, Walker said. Zilara will offer the more sophisticated dining experience of the two brands, as well as a chance to explore the local destination, something Walker said was a key point in guest feedback.
Hyatt Ziva is Hyatt’s more family-friendly all-inclusive brand. It is open to all ages.
Ziva also offers opportunities for incentive groups, Walker said, but with a more fun bent than traditional group offerings. Much of Ziva’s brand personality will be based around spontaneous experiences, such as the aforementioned s’mores night on the beach.