The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos doesn’t always get the best reviews. I wouldn’t say they’re wrong, but I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as what they say it is. The all-inclusive resort is located in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. While there could be improvements, I think that it is more than possible to have a really good and relaxing stay. As with anything else, manage your expectations. That’s exactly what I did, and it not only met my expectations but in some ways it exceeded them. This is my Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos review from when I stayed there in August.
How I Booked the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
Earlier this year, Hyatt changed the award chart for their all-inclusive properties. Instead of them being a Category 1-8, they use A-D. The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is a Category B, which means that it’s a standard rate of 20,000 World of Hyatt points. Off-peak and Peak rates are 17,000 and 23,000 points, respectively. The dates of my stay were all off-peak, except one which was the standard rate. For my five nights in August, it came out to a total of 94,000 World of Hyatt points. Cash rates were over $300 plus taxes so this made it a decent redemption.
Getting Upgraded at Hyatts
A perk of having Globalist elite status are upgrades to the best room available, including suites. This can happen at check in, if they’re available, or by using a Suite Upgrade Award. The only requirement is that the “standard” suite must be available every night of your stay. I used one of my SUAs and was confirmed into a Ziva Suite weeks before my stay. Then the day before arrival, I was upgraded to a one bedroom oceanfront suite! This reason, among others, is why I love Hyatt and work towards having top tier status.
One Bedroom Oceanfront Suite at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
While I’m not sure of their definition of “oceanfront”, the room was clean, spacious, and most importantly air conditioned. In my opinion, it’s an ocean view, not oceanfront, but it really didn’t matter to us.
A nice amenity of fruit and sparkling wine was waiting on the dining table. The fruit was sweet and ripe, which made a good snack before dinner. It wasn’t necessary, and definitely not expected.
There were, however, a couple of minor issues that we encountered. There wasn’t any shampoo or conditioner in the bathroom. After asking different people for it several times, they finally dropped off over a half dozen bottles of each one! It really shouldn’t have taken so many requests but it was a very minor inconvenience. The other issue is that the minibar was not restocked often. It didn’t have very good drinks (mostly Tecate beer), but we were told it would be restocked every day. Neither of these issues had a negative impact on our stay. Sometimes I enjoy a Sprite in the afternoon, so I ended up going to the club lounge for those. Also, you won’t find any Coke products here – it’s all Pepsi, which is a disappointment. Few sodas are better than Mexican Coke.
Restaurants at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
The restaurants were fairly good. In fact, they mostly met my expectations. Before this vacation, I was hearing some troubling things about the service and long wait times. The buffet definitely seemed to have a long line at breakfast. While I’m sure that the wait times weren’t great at the other restaurants, I didn’t have to experience any. A wonderful perk that the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos offers Globalists is the ability to make reservations at any restaurant except for the steakhouse. When we wanted to eat at the steakhouse, we had to wait an hour. However, instead of taking my name and requiring us to sit/stand nearby, they gave us an exact time to come back. Our table was waiting for us when we returned at the specified time. At the time, there wasn’t a sign or restaurant name for the steakhouse. It is located just to the left of the theater.
We also didn’t have 5-star expectations of the food. There were some places that exceeded our expectations. The steakhouse was really good, even though my steak was overcooked.
Another place that had very good food was the taco “stand”, which served beef tacos and nachos. I’m not sure what to call it, because there’s a person behind the bar at the adult pool that makes the food. The food here is some of the best food I had. I may have had at least two tacos everyday. If you don’t eat meat, you can get them without meat. Unfortunately, there isn’t any other kind of protein.
The only problem we had was breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast person, but it’s good to have a little protein and juice before laying by the pool all day. We aren’t buffet people, but we noticed there was still a long line 15-20 minutes before breakfast ended. The only other option was hit or miss. It’s at a sit down restaurant called Hacienda on the Beach. Breakfast ended at 11:00 AM and twice we were turned away even though we showed up 20-30 minutes before that – likely due to staffing issues. The food was very tasty, but the view was better.
Bon Vivant – a French Restaurant
We ate at the French restaurant, Bon Vivant, on our first night there. We figured that if we liked it, then we would go back. It is adults only and has a fairly fancy decor. Unfortunately, the food didn’t match the decor. I was hoping it would be “good enough” to go back and try different dishes. From what we heard from talking to other guests, Bon Vivant is very inconsistent. So your experience might be different from mine. The best part was when our waiter flambeed Grand Marnier, for a Crepes Suzette, table side. It was very impressive!
DoZo – Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar
The hibatchi/teppanyaki restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat dinner. Reservations aren’t mandatory, but I highly recommend them. This is where the benefit of making dinner reservations was a huge benefit. I was able to make the reservation with the concierge. Others had to wait in a long line that was only open for a couple of hours a day. I’m not sure how long it took other people, but I estimate it to be at least 30 minutes.
The food was decent. Tasty and edible, but not really worth the wow factor. It was on the same level as Benihana (which isn’t nearly as good as it was during its heyday). The chef put on a fun show. I think the best part of this was watching the family with little ones. The kiddos were amazed, and the parents were more than happy to receive the pictures I was able to take.
The restaurant that really blew our minds was the sushi bar. We hadn’t heard great things about it but decided to give it a try anyway. They gave us the option of ordering off the menu or having the sushi chef make whatever they feel like. We sat at the sushi bar and noticed most of the rolls were pre-made. It was an easy decision to go with what the chef felt like making us, which you can’t do the omakase if you sit at the tables. Every roll and piece of fish the chef served us was very good. This might be a hidden gem and we already knew we would return the following night.
There are a number of daily activities that are organized by the resort staff. Some of them are daily, like yoga or water aerobics. Others are less often. The schedule is posted on a screen near the Concierge desk, on the TVs in the guest rooms and printed out. The paper schedules are hard to read because the type is so small. Most of the activities are either in the main pool, or nearby beside the activities gazebo. I only did one activity which was the cocktail class. It was fun and I got to make two cocktails. Other activities seemed interesting, but I was also having a very relaxing time so I didn’t make it to any of the others.
Bars and Nightlife at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
The bars and nightlife was perhaps the most puzzling part about staying at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. The bar at the adult pool was wonderful. The drinks were strong while cold bottles of water were plentiful. The bartenders were very astute at ascertaining the kinds of people ordering drinks and tempered drinks accordingly. It wasn’t noticeable and made the ambiance much more pleasant than it could have been if people had been drunk.
We were most looking forward to the tequila bar. I’m not a big fan of tequila so it would have been nice to try some. Not only was it not open every night, it was only open to do paid tastings. A sample was $25! It was too hard to justify the cost. I felt like Hyatt was really missing something here. They should offer low-mid range tequilas for free, but it wasn’t the case. The bar itself is nice which makes it a shame that it isn’t being used to its full potential.
The martini bar, El Mirador, almost made up for the tequila bar. They have a variety of martinis and every one of them was very good. They offered espresso, chocolate, cucumber, and several fruit flavors. My favorite was the cucumber. It was very light and refreshing. It is located right outside of the sushi/teppanyaki restaurant which caused it to be very crowded during prime dinner hours.
Other than that, there weren’t any other options after 9:30 or so. It is a family resort, so we knew there wouldn’t be a loud nightclub or anything like that. But people seemed to be milling around trying to find something to do. The best contender would have been the lobby bar. They said there is live music at 10 PM, but it wasn’t very good and did not attract any crowd. It is fully enclosed so it definitely had potential. I’m pretty sure all it would take is a good piano player and singer – kind of like what you’d find at a dueling piano bar (only with one piano). I’m thinking that it was likely a staffing issue, so maybe this will get better.