Travel Agent is currently on hand for the grand opening of the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, a great all-inclusive with tasty bites, delicious beer and two swimmable beaches.
Before we get into the specifics, let us first say that this is a great pitch for Millennial couples and young parents. There are an abundance of out-of-the-box offerings that Millennials usually drool over and the usual amenities that long-time all-inclusive fans have come to expect.
Surrounded on three sides by the Caribbean Sea, the 547-suite Hyatt Ziva resort has undergone a roughly $85 million expansion and renovation creating a new luxury all inclusive experience for guests of all ages. The resort is owned by Playa Hotels & Resorts and is managed by Playa Resorts Management, the operational component of Playa Hotels & Resorts.
Clients are welcomed into an elevated lobby that captures ocean views to the northeast, and in the evening, the lights of Isla Mujeres. The lobby is a blend of contemporary design juxtaposed with the original Mayan materials and themes. For example, one side of the lobby’s facade is local coral stone while the opposite side showcases modern glass cubes wrapped in a matrix of latticework simulating windswept driftwood.
The resort’s furnishings are made in Mexico from local woods and fabrics, and the use of bright color accents adds Mayan detail. The Lobby Bar pays homage to Mayan culture with its geometric artwork and panels influenced by indigenous carvings and the language of the area’s original inhabitants. A signature grand staircase is the focal point of the resort and becomes seating for the outdoor amphitheater hosting special events in the evenings.
Each of the resort’s 547 guest suites offer views of the Caribbean and the lavish resort gardens, furnishings reflecting the colors of the Yucatan with surprising accents such as butterfly inspired lighting and spa-style bathrooms with soaking tubs.
A small, yet very important design detail that Travel Agent loved was the shower in our room. Like the rest of the rain showers in the hotel, ours had incredible pressure and, we thought, it was really smart to have the drain located in the far right corner, away from the entrance of the shower. We wish more hotels would do this as this prevents any water build up around the shower entrance, which usually results in a small flood in your bathroom.
All guest suites are designed with technology in mind to provide one touch lighting efficiency, and guests may also enjoy complimentary in-room refreshment bars, in-room dining service, and in upper-category accommodations, they can enjoy swim-up suites and private butler service. Hyatt Ziva Cancun also offers an exclusive Hyatt Club Level with a private lounge and concierge service.
We were told the hotel will also be home to a swimming-with-dolphins experience. Alexander Stadlin, CEO of Playa Resorts Management, told media he was hoping to have the dolphin experience ready for the grand opening, but the resort hasn't quite gotten the right mixture of salt water in the hotel's dolphin tank to create swimmable conditions for the dolphins.
And animal lovers can be rest assured that the five dolphins the resort will be home to will be treated with the upmost care.
"They are treated like VIPs. Trust me," says Stadlin. "No one gets medical checkups every day, no one gets fresh fish flown in for them every day."
There are currently nearly 20 family suites that will be converted to Dolphin Suites when the dolphin experience launches. Stadlin says it could be as early as two weeks from now but it's not easy to predict when the resort will nail down the right mixture of salt water. The experience will be an extra cost, but Stadlin says there could be special packages designed for clients staying in the Dolphin Suites that would include the activity.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun gives clients a choice of nine restaurants and six bars and lounges. With a wide selection of fresh and seasonal cuisine, guests can dine internationally with choices ranging from a French brasserie to an Italian cucina, to an Asian-infused sushi and teriyaki restaurant to a beachside taquería and ceviche bar. For casual dining, guests can enjoy an American diner and a gourmet buffet restaurant with engaging show-cooking stations. Unique refreshments are available around the clock at the coffee house, the sports bar and other lounges with signature cocktails and expert mixologists.
Additionally, Hyatt Ziva Cancun offers an onsite microbrewery and sports bar, "Tres Cervezas," which showcases three high quality, innovative and unique beers made by head brewmaster Juan Jose Garcia. The craft beers will be served throughout the resort.
We were told that the brewery will soon be creating some special reserve beers for VIPs. For example, clients getting married will be able to request their favorite flavors and the hotel will create a beer based on those preferences.
For recreation, Hyatt Ziva Cancun offers lagoon-style pools with swim-up bars, an adult-only pool, a lounge with game tables, and one of the area’s largest ocean view fitness centers complete with 14 treadmills and an expansive machines/free weights zone.
The spa's main selling point is its signature hydrotherapy area facing the sea. There are 13 treatment rooms and an additional five palapas on the beach for massages. Families will enjoy the "KidZ Club" with its own club house and play area with supervised activities and learning experiences for children ages 4-12.
While it looks like Hyatt may be done opening all-inclusive hotels in Mexico for the time being, Bruce D. Wardinski, CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts, told Travel Agent there is a lot of interest in expanding to other parts of the world.
"For now, we are done in Mexico, but Mexico is one of the greatest places for the all-inclusive product, so we can definitely revisit expanding here," he says, "but we are looking at markets all across the world and we think the Asia-Pacific market is a great opportunity for us."