by Scott Laird
Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Wed February 8, 2017
The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is palatial. A sense of space pervades, from the gigantic lobby to the grounds that seem to stretch on forever out to the ocean, to the generous guest rooms, there's plenty of breathing room to be had here by virtually any guest. It's like a cruise ship with a much, much bigger playground.
It's billed as "the evolution of all-inclusive", and everything certainly does feel like a cut above-the most noticeable aspect is that while the hotel appeared to have healthy bookings for the weekend, there was an overall feeling that the property was purpose-built for extra space.
The only time during my stay did any venue feel crowded was during breakfast one morning, as the only cooked-to-order breakfast option is room service (which is included in the all-inclusive price for most room categories). Of course, the quiet respite provided by the club lounge was an easy antidote, access to which was included in my room category (you also get a wristband that gets you better booze).
In addition to space, the most notable aspect of the property is that it's definitely tailored to be a higher energy vacation experience. The Basic Party Playlist can be heard from the main pool during the day which melds into other evening events on the grounds, although dining spaces during the evenings are tranquil and relaxing, whether beachfront or in the main building.
Guest rooms are magnificent with large bathrooms. Separate "raindance" showers and tubs with shuttered windows to the bedroom delight, while Club Level accommodations have a host of added amenities that are appreciated on sunny days like after sun lotion, mosquito spray, and lip balm. Club Level rooms also include a bottle of sparkling wine and snacks as an additional welcome amenity. Club Level rooms also include a complimentary minibar setup. Rooms are also pleasantly fragranced and furnished top-to-bottom with thoughtful extras like bedside reading lights, although one notable omission is the sitting room sofa without a coffee or end table, rendering sitting and reading with a beverage difficult.
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It's notable that each food and beverage setup on property demonstrates dedication to making sure every guest whim is fulfilled. There's virtually nothing left out on any buffet offering, and each offer a dedicated section of gluten free items. Staff also carefully question each guest about dietary restrictions and preferences, which are effortlessly accommodated.
The main resort pool is not heated-welcome refreshment as even during winter the Cabo sun can be warm on an otherwise mild day; in-pool lounge chairs and island to swim out to are certainly appreciated. The heated pool saw robust hosted activities and the two hot tubs and swim up bar surrounding it were consistently packed with guests eager to take advantage of libations poured by friendly bartenders.
A separate adults-only pool is also available on the other side of one of the towers, and gets fantastic afternoon sunshine, and has its own snack bar, and shaded shallow pools filled with plastic living room type furniture for lounging. Hosted activities are absent from this pool in an effort to keep the area more tranquil, and a lazy river leads directly to guest rooms with direct pool access from their ground-floor lanais.
Some pleasant discoveries included the open air El Mirador Martini Bar, which offered a fine selection of inventive martinis, the El Piano Lobby Bar, which is the latest-closing bar on property and offers nightly live entertainment (although I noticed this had a tendency to attract families with children earlier during the evenings). Both the adult pool snack bar and Coco Loco snack bar at the main pool have a refreshing selection of seafood-forward local specialties in addition to the familiar standby grill items.
Many hotels and resorts in the Los Cabos area tend to dot the coast outside of the main centers of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, but the Hyatt Ziva is conveniently located near the heart of the former, so there's plenty to entertain outside the resort, in addition to the host of amenities available within.
At the end of the stay, perhaps the most enduring memories one can expect to leave with are days filled with stunning vistas of striking landscapes, gracious and thoughtful service from well-trained and responsive employees, and a sense of spacious, worry-less calm.
Good To Know: Spa treatments and laundry services are not included (Club level guests get express service at standard rates). As is the case with many resorts in Los Cabos, the beach is generally not swimmable. For those wanting to donate to the local community, donation boxes for clothes, shoes, and other items are available.
Instagrammable Moment: Most views across the infinity pool from the in-water loungers, many covered by a thatched palapa, are jealousy-inducing on social media.
Rates From: I found public low-season rates from 40% off (around $330-$400 per night); AAA discounts were also substantial. Be sure to check the price difference between Club Level accommodations and standard; for some dates the difference was nominal.
Accommodations were provided by Playa Resorts, the operator of Hyatt's All-Inclusive properties, in preparation for this story.
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