Sometimes when I visit properties, I visit them for work and my agenda is purely to meet certain people, tour the grounds, and see some rooms. I get a sense of the property, the clientele, and the amenities, but there the best way to get a true sense of the property is to stay there. I was very fprtunate to stay at the Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarta Dec 17-23, 2015 for a nice winter getaway prior to the holidays. Vallarta has always been one of my favorite destinations and while I've enjoyed every hotel I've stayed at in Puerto Vallarta. Im happy to report that this one did not dissapoint.
Lets start with a quick overview in the sense that the property has undergone lots of renovations. It's quite possibly one of the oldest hotels in the area. In fact, those of you that have been to the destination many years ago may remember it as the old Camino Real. It later, and prior to the Hyatt, transitioned to the Dreams Puerto Vallarta until it was closed for a few months for renovations and opened under it's new name, the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. The entire lobby was transformed and it looks fantastic. They also took out all the pools and replaced them and they look perfect. As someone that has seen the property prior to the Hyatt, you can defintely see the refreshed look of the hotel.
I had a great Beachfront room on the 19th floor of the original building which I found to be spacious and well appointed. The room decor is on the minimal side. Modern wood furniture, nice large flat screen TV, and a few modern pieces hanging on the walls round out the room. However, nothing that they have on the property would make me say the room is "ultra modern". It keeps a simplistic feel mixed with a mexican charm and I found the rooms to be perfect. Not all the rooms in this building have balconies but all have sliding glass doors to create french balconies. The ones that do have a balcony are actually a few feet smaller in size to accomodate a balcony rather than the french balcony. I thought I would miss not having a balcony but it actually never bothered me. The bathrooms were large with double sinks, stand up shower (tub available by request, not guaranted), and toilet area. While many family resorts have been taking an open concept to the bathroom, this one has plenty of privacy with sliding doors to close off the bathroom from the main area of the room.
The service is what makes this resort, and quite frankly, the destination. The people are so happy to help and accomodate your every need. Everyone from the activities staff to the front desk to the hosts at the restaurants. Everyone provided service from the heart, something the Hyatt All Inclusice brands take very seriously.
Since this is an all inclusive resort, you have all your meals, all drinks, all non motorized watersports, mini bar, and 24hour room service included in the price of your stay. You also have the kids club included as well. Wifi is free and was exceptional throughout the resort and the beach!
Since this was vacation for me, and i had all the time in the world, I decided to try out the spa. The fitness center is free of charge and really good. As someone that likes to work out while on the road, I found the gym to have everything I need. Free weights, machines, cardio, TRX bands, etc. They also had yoga classes, core/crossfit classes, etc. The spa can be accessed for $25 per day should you wish to use the sauna, steam rooms, and pool area. I opted for an 80 min Relaxing Blue Agave Massage which also give you access all day to those facilities. I've stayed in many resorts but the prices here for the spa were the best I've ever seen. Only $115USD for a 50 min massge, $135 for the 80 minute. It was a no brainer...I'll take 80 minutes, please! A couples massage was only $270. I've seen resorts of this caliber charge as high as $200 for the massage and almost $500 for the couples massage. I enjoyed every minute of it and if you have friends or family going to the resort, think about planning and purchasing a spa appointment for them. Worth every penny!
The food was exceptional. I never got room service but the menu had alot of choices. For breakfast we did the buffet each morning as it was quick and easy and the choices were always great. Typical omlete station, crepe station, waffle and pancakes being made right in front of you, lots of breads and pastries, and plenty of local fare as well. I never tired of it so thats a good sign. For lunch you have a few options which is what seperates this resort from others. Many times you only have the option between a beachside grill for burgers, or the buffet. At Hyatt Ziva, you could do buffet, OR you could do a sit down lunch at what is consdiered the steak house for dinner, or the italian restaurant. We dtried all three and the pizza at the itlaian was awesome. (They have gluten free options). The wings at the steak house location were so good! I had wings and a burger there. And then the buffet which was great and had the typical buffet options. The resort also set up a little grill outside of the buffet each day. Some days they served burgers, other days mini quasadillas and tacos. THe food overall was fantastic at lunch and I loved how many option there were. For dinner, you can choose between an asian restaurant, Italian, Steakhouse, or Mexican. Our favorite was the italian becasuse of the decor, the service, and the food. Every restaurant was excellent though.
I loved the beach area. The hotel cannot state that it is a private beach but only people from the hotel can utilize it. It is surrounded by mountains that extend into the ocean on each side so it creates a private like beach. Every beach in Vallarta is a public beach which is why they can't call it private but as you can see from the pictures, only those at the hotel can enjoy it. It's large and plenty of space to spread out. They also have palapas on the beach which I prefer over bali beds because you can easily enjoy the shade, and very easily drag the chair out so you can enjoy the sun.
The beach area is seperated into two areas during certain times of the year. The water runs off of the mountains thru the property and down thru the beach to the ocean. Because of this, there is often a stream that seperates one side of the beach with the other. It's nothing you can't easily walk over or walk thru, and it is a very cool and unique feature for the resort,but I mention it because it makes the one side of the beach feel alot more private than the other.
The pools are nice but the chairs can be on top of each other a little bit. It's defintely more of a beach resort. However, the pools are beautiful and they did a great job at renovating them. There are about 5 pools plus a kiddie pool area. All but 1 are infinity pools overlooking the ocean. I really liked the pools but I preferred to set up my chair on the beach.
Please note that I stayed Christmas week when the hotel was 100% full so this could be the reason why the pool chairs felt a bit crowded.