Onsite Review: Viva Ziva!

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A premium oceanview guestroom.
A premium oceanview guestroom.

Symbolizing rebirth after Hurricane Odile’s wrath forced the shuttering of Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos in September 2014, a single surviving palm continues to sprout fresh fronds. One year and one day after Category 3 winds battered the Baja Peninsula’s southern tip, the Playa Hotels & Resorts-owned beachfront property emerged as a re-imagined playground more deeply infused with the area’s rich spirit.

“To keep authenticity of product and brand, we have to become one with the destination,” says Kevin Froemming, executive v.p. & chief marketing officer for Playa Resorts Management. “We want each guest to be able to find a personal experience while discovering the essence of the destination.” Froemming notes that the Ziva and Zilara brands have raised the bar to trailblaze “The Evolution of All-Inclusive” while remaining true to culture, mood and architecture.

Hyatt Ziva’s post-hurricane transformation is spot on, evoking architectural inspiration displayed through artwork, ceramics and re-created cave petroglyphs indigenous to
the region.

On a recent stay, Baja bliss hit me head on the moment I stepped into the large open-air lobby. The reconfigured area immediately draws the eye to a large archway unfolding to a beautiful Sea of Cortez panorama punctuated by freeform pools, palm-studded landscaping and meandering pathways.

While all-inclusives typically steer clear of fire pits, that’s simply not the case here. The lobby’s grand staircase descends to a waterfall-fed reflecting pool bedazzled by these social hotspots surrounded by seating accessible from wooden planked pathways.

Flanking the courtyard are two buildings that sport 591 suites—including 21 new premium oceanfront and oceanview 2-bedroom suites, plus 34 swim-up suites. I check into the latter, a 755-sq.-ft. haven with posh bedding, separate sitting area, workstation and patio, where loungers hover a few inches above the water.

There’s such decadency with sliding off your private deck into an adults-only swimming pool garnished with lush foliage and swim-up bar a few strokes away. Since swim-up suites are reserved for guests 18 and above, recommend that your clients with kids opt for suites near the new KidZ Club.

Other touches include a large flat-screen TV, complimentary WiFi, iPod docking station, refreshment center, and spa-style bathroom spruced up by a hydro massage bathtub, separate rainfall shower and double sink vanity.

Far from cookie-cutter, Hyatt Ziva’s food and beverage options have also been infused with original concepts. Even traditional buffets go against the grain thanks to Hyatt’s lofty culinary standards. “One of our key distinctions is that we create dining experiences that are unique to each resort,” says Froemming. Case in point is the Spirit of ‘68 sports bar themed around Mexico City’s 1968 Olympic games. On the fall weekend I visit, futbol and football fans are glued to the social hub’s 16 40-inch HDTVs.

Among a la carte gourmet eateries, Asian-inspired DoZo has added a sushi bar, teppanyaki tables and expanded seating to better accommodate its consistently high demand. Italian-themed Zafiro’s new beachside site turns up the heat via a classic brick oven churning out handmade pizzas. Your clients can also tap into nosh at roving food carts, a new 24-hour deli, and Chiapas coffee shop with grab-n-go goodies and made-to-order beverages.

While they’ll still enjoy staples like pool activities and nightly themed entertainment at the Gran Teatro showroom, clients into cultural immersion will relish engaging perks like El Agave’s sommelier-hosted tequila tastings, cooking demonstrations and martini soirees highlighting local ingredients at
El Mirador.

Adding a stylish touch, Zen Spa offers a hydrotherapy circuit, 16 indoor treatment rooms and three beachfront palapa refuges.

The resort’s Club Level further elevates privileges through private check-in/check-out, VIP in-suite refreshment center, personal concierge services, and lounge access with imported libations, appetizers and continental breakfast.

“The cool thing we’re doing with Hyatt through our Ziva and Zilara brands is bringing in a new customer, who is a sophisticated traveler and may not have previously considered an all-inclusive vacation,” says Froemming. “It comes down to authentic experiences that deliver consistency and quality service—service from the heart. And it’s all about raising the bar on what an all-inclusive vacation can be.”

The resort is offering an all-inclusive rate of $140 pp dbl for the Ziva suite.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: allinclusive.hyatt.com
or hyatttravelagents.com