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This is exactly why we chose to come down to the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. We wanted to check-in to luxury and check out of worry, responsibility, and most importantly tracking our expenses. Vacation is supposed to be exactly that: a HOLIDAY! Far too many times, I end up on a vacay, and I’m looking at every single line item worrying about that check out bill. I log in to the account summary on the tv, or keep every single receipt so I know exactly what the damage will be. Not here.
- When – May 2016
- How much – $306+ Tax for 2 people (55% off regular rate)
- Category Room – Club Ocean Front Hot Tub King ( double upgrade from Ocean view club King)
- Other benefits – Diamond Suite upgrade + club tower
The ZIVA pampers, indulges, and keeps your belly full and your thirst quenched…on the house.
Ok, technically, you are pre-paying for all this indulgence so it’s not ‘on the house’, but when all you do is check in and everything just keeps coming and it’s very tasty and the drinks are delicious – you feel like you’re beating the house at their own game.
It’s worth noting that ZIVA is the family friend version of Hyatt’s all-inclusive brand. Zilara is the adults only version. In all honesty, the resort had kids, and it was certainly family friendly, but it didn’t create a disruptive adult experience. I would say that the resort was maybe 3/4 adults, and 1/4 families with kids. Had the resort had a different consistency it may have planted a seed to seek out a Zilara property, but it wasn’t an issue for us at all.
The hotel offers roundtrip transport to the hotel for $125. Actually scheduling this transport was a bit tricky and was one of the only parts of the the trip that was frustrating. The ZIVA operates portal for the Puerto Vallarta location where you can reserve transport, excursions, spa treatments, etc prior to arrival. I had reached out a couple weeks prior to arrival and heard nothing. So I called the Hyatt Diamond line to make sure we had a reservation. No luck. Using the elite phone line tends to be much more productive in getting things done, in my experience. The rep contacted the hotel and set up a group email for the transport. Once that was set up I thought everything would be ok, but never got a confirmation number.
It’s worth noting that the transport is outsourced to a company Bestours. I think the issue was potentially on their end, but everything got sorted and there was a rep waiting for us when we arrived at the airport. We had a very nice driver and arrived in roughly 30 minutes.
After clearing the security gate, which takes your name both entering and exiting, we were swiftly brought to the hotel
Is the greeting everyone gives you upon arrival. It is MAGICAL!!!!!
The weather is so outstanding and everything in the hotel caters to an open-air environment centered around the weather. There are porters waiting to take your bags and assist you so you don’t have to lift a finger.
There was a little hiccup up with my diamond status. I think they were a little overwhelmed with check-outs and didn’t realize I was a diamond, at first. Not really a big thing as we were really chilled out and in no rush. We were initially escorted to the main check-in, which is straight ahead and to the right in the picture, and as soon as we started our check-in the desk rep made a quick motion to the porter and had us immediately moved over to the club tower for our EXCLUSIVE check-in. Honestly, it made no difference, but little things like that need to be tightened up as the price goes back up to their normal prices. Which, for our trip, would have been over $550 for an entry level room.
At this above price level, one expects every. single. thing. to be right and tight.
But our rate was over half off, the staff super nice, and we knew that the resort was still kinda getting its ducks in a row. We didn’t really mind a small minor inconvenience, and once we were whisked over to the club tower – things went great.
The Club Lounge
UPGRADE ON UPGRADE
We were informed that we had been given an additional upgrade to an Club Ocean Front Hot Tub King. FANTASTIC!!!! We were also given a delicious Don Julio Reposado Margarita. And a shot. A nap wasn’t far off.
One of the benefits of being in the club tower is that you have access to a club lounge which provides top shelf booze and different snacks throughout the day. As a Diamond member we would have had access to this tower no matter the room we ultimately had been assigned. I’m not sure, however, that if I were paying for the extra bennies that would have. The normal margaritas and drinks are outstanding and we actually frequented bars serving well drinks far more often than the club lounge. That being said, the Julio margaritas were the best.
The ROOM: 1656
The room was amazing. In fact, we toured a 2 story plunge pool suite as a potential paid upgrade option it actually wasn’t worth it. The way the 2 story suites are partitioned with external support actually erode some of the view. If the 2 story suites had more vertical space ( and maybe they do in the main tower ) it could be worth the extra cash, but the one we toured didn’t really add anything to the experience.
The Ocean View was unbelievable. In fact, we watched several beach weddings while we were there. In face, we actually slept with the door open. The room is so high up that I was concerned maybe you wouldn’t be able to hear the ocean, but that’s just not the case.
The Ocean reverberates in an Echo Chamber that Ben Rhodes would approve 😉
HAHA, joking aside, It really does echo right up to the room. I usually sleep with a fan on, or on a trip a fan app, and didn’t need one because the Ocean provided so much natural white noise. After a few hours at the beach, lots of guacamole, umbrella drinks , and total relaxation, I must confess that many a nap was taken to the peaceful rhythm of the ocean.
There are 5 restaurants and 1 Deli/Cafe. And room service of course – which is 24/7 and included.
- BlaZe – great spot for lunch and dinner with eclectic menu. Grab a table overlooking the water
- VivaZ Buffet – eat here for breakfast and lunch buffet. Absolutely outstanding and rivals some of the best Vegas has to offer. Truly delicious
- PureZA – Asian food and skip it. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not that great.
- MelaZane – A very solid Italian restaurant with great pizza. Go here for lunch or if you’d had one too many and need some carbs. Didn’t have dinner, but can imagine it’s great.
- Casa Grande – traditional mexican food. Best guac on the resort. In fact, a little trick is to go there and just get guac and salsa to go. It’s fantastic. Margaritas aren’t as good as the club lounge, but still pretty solid.
- Deli – Only had coffee and sweets here. Solid coffee, pastries need a little bit of help, but still quite good
I didn’t want to bombard you with photos from all the restaurants but here is the buffet.
The Spa: VitaMar and Gym facilities
Other views of the resort: Also that’s where I found out I was joining BoardingArea. WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!
Plain and simple…we both debated staying longer. It is a FANTASTIC place. The private beach and close proximity to downtown really give the best of both worlds: You are secluded with an incredible beach and close to downtown should you want to experience the culture of Puerto Vallarta – which I would highly recommend. We actually had dinner off site a couple times at Pipi’s and walked the Melancon multiple times. I would come back here in a heartbeat.
*A little side note – I’m not sure it’s worth using a Diamond Suite upgrade here. I have an inkling that we would have been upgraded to the hot tub suite anyways, and the club tower/club amenities are a Hyatt Diamond privilege.
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