The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun is an all-inclusive resort that is amazing in nearly every aspect. The resort has a ton of amenities and activities for all ages. While it is not a perfect resort, it can still feel like paradise. I stayed there last month (January 2023), and this is my (long) review of the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where is Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun?
- 2 Booking the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
- 3 Arrival & Check In Process
- 4 Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Oceanfront Master Suite
- 5 Rooftop Suites at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
- 6 Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Amenities
- 7 Restaurants at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
- 8 Bars at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
- 9 Service
- 10 My Overall Thoughts
Where is Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun?
The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun is located south of the Cancun airport. For reference, the city of Cancun itself is north, and the touristy “Hotel Zone” is west-northwest of the airport. Due to a major road work/construction project, traffic near the airport is horrible. The project should be completed in roughly a year. It took nearly 30 minutes longer from and to the airport. Normally, it should only take about 20-25 minutes to get to the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun.
Booking the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
I would have typically used points to book an all-inclusive resort, but the cash rates were quite reasonable. The property is a Category C, which means it is 21,000-29,000 World of Hyatt points per night. The relatively low cash rate made the redemption value quite low. It would have been a measly 1.3 cents per point. I value World of Hyatt points at over 2 cents each.
I already knew I would use a suite upgrade award, as I had one expiring at the end of February. All I had to book was the cheapest room, then call Hyatt to use the award. When I called, I was given the choice of an Ocean View Rooftop Suite or an Oceanfront Master Suite. I opted to have the oceanfront suite.
Arrival & Check In Process
Our arrival was welcomed, and we were escorted to the front desk to check-in. The process went quickly even though I was with a large group and had three other rooms. I got one of the special spa packages only available at check-in. The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos offered something similar, and we regretted not getting it. Since we were going to be in Cancun for a week, we knew ahead of time that we would likely get it. More on the spa later.
A bellman showed us the way to our and pointed out places of interest, such as bars and restaurants. We could have found it ourselves but weren’t given a resort map.
One thing that I found interesting is that the elevators are quite small. They can barely fit four adults. I noticed this at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, but I don’t think it’s a “Ziva thing.” My suite was on the second floor, so taking the stairs was much more convenient.
Hyatt Zivas, Zilaras, and other all-inclusive brands keep a hold on your credit card several weeks before arrival. When you get there, you can give them whatever card you want to use to pay for the stay – much like any other hotel. This is NOT the case for the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, and I didn’t know.
A couple of weeks before my stay, my credit card was actually charged for the stay. Only it wasn’t the card that I would have preferred to put it on! It was totally my mistake. The card saved in my Hyatt profile was my old Chase Sapphire Reserve that I downgraded to a Freedom. This was typically no big deal until now. I should have put my World of Hyatt card in my profile and been using that. And because it was technically prepaid, the resort did not have access to the original payment, so they could not switch it for me. Instead of 4 points per dollar, I earned 1. A fairly big difference and a mistake that I won’t make again! On the plus side, the charge was not in a foreign currency, so I didn’t pay a foreign transaction fee (which the World of Hyatt card does not have) – this would have been around $600 alone!
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Oceanfront Master Suite
The Oceanfront Master Suite is a typical suite. It is quite large, at over 1,350 square feet. The entry and main area has a table for four, couches, a TV, a minibar, a closet, and a bathroom with a shower.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. The room was comfortable and spacious. The patio, off the living room, was also quite big and comfortable. There was a couch, table and chairs, and a bathtub with jets (which I did not try out).
One of the biggest annoyances of the room was that there was no closet in the bedroom or bathroom. The bathroom is quite open, so privacy is limited. Not having a closet nearby considerably lowered the amount of privacy.
Oceanfront Master Suite Version 2?
I also upgraded my girlfriend’s parents to the same room type since I had an extra suite upgrade award. Logically, their room would be the same as mine. Their room actually had some fairly major differences.
Instead of walking into the bedroom from the common area, the bathroom is straight ahead, and the bedroom is off to the side. Overall, the layout of the bathroom offered much more privacy. Additionally, there’s also a closet in the bathroom!
Another difference between our rooms was the patio. Mine was only off the living room. The patio of my girlfriend’s parents’ room extended the entire width of the room. It was twice the size of mine! It was also accessible via a sliding door from the bedroom.
The differences were humorous and peculiar. It was an ongoing joke throughout the week. The two rooms are the same as far as what they are named. There wasn’t any explanation for this. I believe most, if not all, of the Oceanfront suites, are in one building (building 7). If you are staying in an Oceanfront Master Suite at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, try to get one of the lower-numbered rooms (7209, for example). 7211 looked like it was the same as mine. Of course, you can always ask when you check in to be sure.
Rooftop Suites at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
During my stay, I found the elusive Ocean View Rooftop Suites. I’m glad I didn’t pick one of them! They are in the main building overlooking one of the bars and main entertainment areas. It would have been way too loud for me. The view is also not nearly as nice. I would probably consider it a partial ocean view. Would it have been acceptable if it were my only choice? I think so. Probably. Maybe? Perhaps the noise level dies down quicker than I think it did, and I would have made the best of it.
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Amenities
As is the case at nearly all all-inclusive resorts, Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun offers many amenities. I was impressed by the variety and quality of what the resort has.
Many activities are offered, starting early morning through mid-afternoon. They are usually some fitness activities mixed in with some fun activities. The day we got there, they had a bungee trampoline that was being taken down too soon for us to try. As we were leaving, they were assembling a rock climbing wall. Clearly, they are making an effort to give the opportunity to have fun if guests don’t only want to sit by the pool. And the activities were of good quality.
Pool & Water Activities
There are at least half a dozen pools, including one adult pool, at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun. The main pool is in the middle of the property and is close to every building. It has a swim-up bar which is always enjoyable. Unfortunately, none of them are heated. They aren’t more than 3-4 deep, so they don’t get that cold. It was very nice to be able to take a dip and cool off on the warmer days.
One of the pools has several water slides. That pool may be a little deeper because of the slides, but I’m not sure. I didn’t go on any of them personally, but other people I was with said they were a lot of fun. Adjacent to that pool is a splash pad for the little fellows. It looked like fun, and people were enjoying it.
The entertainment team led some competitions and water fitness in the main pool throughout the day. They did an excellent job of letting people know what was happening and getting participants.
Cabanas can be found at almost any of the pools. Packages start at roughly $80 per day. Two adults can comfortably lie on one of them, but 4-5 people can if people sit in it. You get a dedicated server to get you food and drinks throughout the day. The servers we had were happy to take our large cups for our drinks – which is something I highly recommend.
Honestly, I always have very low expectations when it comes to free entertainment at resorts. It always seems cheap and/or hokey. If the entertainment is actually good, it’s just an added bonus, in my opinion.
That being said, the entertainment at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun was exceptional! It was actually one of the highlights of my stay. There was only one show that wasn’t enjoyable. By far, the best show was the fire show, which is typically on Saturday nights.
The shows are outside in the theater, near the bars. It isn’t large, so I could see that finding a place to sit may be problematic when the resort is more crowded.
Spa at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
As I already mentioned, I paid for a spa package when I checked in. They do offer free 3-5 minute chair massages at the pool. Apparently, they will offer a special price after having one of those. The package I got was a 50-minute hydrotherapy circuit for two and an 80-minute couples massage.
I don’t really do the whole “spa” thing, so I didn’t know what to expect. After changing into a robe with my swimsuit underneath, I was escorted to the hydrotherapy circuit. That consists of 3-5 minutes in a steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, hot tub, then a larger pool outside. That outdoor pool has several features that relax and massage different parts of your body. It was nice to prepare myself for a real massage.
The steam room was too much for me. I can’t really describe it, but it caused a lot of anxiety for me, so I walked out before the 3-5 minutes were over. The sauna definitely helped me calm down.
It isn’t mandatory, but it is recommended that you are naked for your massage. They took me back to the locker room to leave my swimsuit in my locker. Carpe diem, I suppose! Walking around with only a robe on isn’t something I do, even at home, so it was one of the odder parts of the entire experience.
Eventually, my girlfriend and I were led to the private room to have our massages. They told us they would give us a minute to disrobe and lay under the blanket on the massage table. I don’t care how thin the blanket was… Mentally, it was a thick quilt!
The massage itself was absolutely amazing. It was 80 minutes long, which allowed me to fully relax and let them get to all of the necessary parts of my body. I may have nearly fallen asleep during parts of the massage which is very abnormal for me. I typically can’t fall asleep with someone touching me.
Restaurants at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
Food at all-inclusive resorts can make or break the entire experience. It is so important to get it right. Guests are, in a way, stuck there, or at least they feel like they are. They paid for the all-inclusive experience, so they’re obligated to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the resort. Bad food ruins the experience. You couldn’t pay me to return to a resort with bad food!
The food at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun was pretty good. It wasn’t out of the world, and there are some improvements they should make. The restaurants outside are open for lunch. It was nice to eat with a nearly unobstructed ocean view. All of the lunch restaurants were very good!
Unfortunately, they all close in the late afternoon, and some restaurants inside open for dinner. This caused some issues for me – none of which are intentional. On some nights, there were only a few restaurants open for dinner, which caused longer than expected wait times. This also meant the selection was limited, and we had to eat at the same restaurant more than twice during the week. Supposedly, this is based on occupancy, so if it were busier, then more restaurants would be open. I’m skeptical that it would alleviate the wait times unless at least one of the restaurants outside remained open.
The food at the dinner restaurants was the biggest disappointment of my entire stay. The French restaurant, Rue de Rivoli, was by far the best. The Italian restaurant, Vivace, was also quite good but inconsistent. Ki, the Mexican restaurant, was most disappointing.
I was at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun with about ten other people, and it was hard for the restaurant hosts/hostesses to get us a table. There was plenty of room, and they had tables large enough, but we needed to push for it more than we should have. This was especially true at the Mexican restaurant, where they nearly refused to put another table so we could all sit together.
Occasionally, a grill was open next to one of the main bars. I can’t tell you when it was open. Some days it would be open during lunch; other days, it was open for dinner if at all. They served freshly grilled meat, sometimes fish, with accouterments (salsas, chips, rice, etc., but tortillas are rare). This was another ongoing joke that I called this grill the “meat dealer,” mostly because of the inconsistency of how often they were opened.
Bars at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
There are a total of four bars throughout the property – not including minibars in every room, of course. I already mentioned the swim-up bar. It was seemingly the only bar able to make a proper mudslide. The other bars will make one but lack the essential chocolate syrup.
The bartenders at the main bars, Breeze and Infusions (pictured above), were the best. I got some of the best cocktails I have ever had there. Tell them what you like, and they’ll whip up something super tasty. I asked for a “rum drink that’s not too sweet” and received an amazing cocktail!
It isn’t often that I feel like I should highlight the service I get when I stay at a hotel. This is one of those times. Everybody I encountered at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun was remarkably kind and helpful. Other than the service at the restaurants that I already mentioned, the service was absolutely amazing. There weren’t even any comedic mishaps due to a language barrier!
One of the benefits of having a suite is having access to a butler. They are there to make your stay better. My butler, Elizabeth, knocked on the door within 10 minutes of my arrival. She was incredibly sweet and helpful in getting teppanyaki reservations and reserving the same cabana for the entire week.
My Overall Thoughts
The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun has the potential to be an absolutely incredible resort. They could make a couple of improvements to help them become one. I already mentioned the restaurant situation, but addressing that would make a massive difference. The lack of Globalist benefits is a minor drawback. I am sure they could offer dinner reservations and/or cabana discounts for Globalists – neither would really cause the resort any money. I asked what the Globalist benefits were and was given a printout of what was basically the Hyatt website.
All that being said, everything else was remarkable. I can totally see myself staying there again. Normally this is where I said that you need to manage your expectations, but it isn’t really necessary. You should stay here with high expectations – keep in mind the dinner options, and I’m sure you will have a fantastic stay!