Hyatt Zilara Cancun –
The Cancun trip report includes the following posts:
Cancun Trip Report – Hyatt Zilara Cancun
My wife and I selected the Hyatt Zilara Cancun for our anniversary trip. This hotel is Hyatt’s first All Inclusive Resort. We heard many great things about the hotel from others and were excited for the opportunity to experience it.
We booked the hotel using the Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free Benefit and made the reservation using CWT, which is Citi’s travel agent. The reservation process was okay and it required several calls and emails before being established but the little effort was worth it in that we would get one of the nights free.
At the time of the reservation, Hyatt was offering a 50% off discount with rooms starting at $399 per-night for two people all inclusive. We selected a Premium Ocean Front Junior Suite King Bed room that offered a butler and access to the Chef’s Plate restaurant. Our room rate was $465 per-night. The reason we selected the higher category room which was a Ocean view Junior Suite was due to it offering the Butler. We previously stayed at a Sandals and did not have a butler room and we regretted that the entire time as the butlers arranged beach chairs, dinner reservations, decorating rooms, etc. At Hyatt Zilara it turns out, the butlers are only used to pack and unpack luggage and for shoe shines. We were unable to secure reservations at the Chef’s Plate despite the fact that I asked every day and even though we requested a butler, we never met one at the hotel. So if I did it again, I would simply book the base room.
All the rooms at the hotel are ocean view due to the unique shape of the hotel so you cannot go wrong with any room. All the rooms feature in room minibars that are stocked daily as well as a large bath tub with windows looking out to the ocean.
We arrived via a private transfer and the doorman welcomed us and they took our luggage. The doorman said that we would check in at a private area due to my Hyatt Platinum Status. The agent led us to a small office that said Romance Concierge.
The Romance Concierge welcomed us and they used our name and they invited us to take a seat at a small table. The Romance Concierge confirmed the details of our reservation and asked for our passports. After we provided it, the agent thanked us, made copies of them and then returned the passports. The agent asked us to sign the registration card and he provided our wristbands and key cards.
The agent provided a welcome book that listed all the restaurants and bars and he informed us which required reservations. He did not offer to make the reservations; however, when I asked about it, he accepted and said you only needed to reserve at Asiana and Chef’s Plate. I attempted to reserve at both; however, we were only able to secure one at Asiana. I asked about a waitlist for Chef’s Plate which was the gourmet restaurant and he said he would call us and let us know if anything opened up. That never happened during our five-nights at the hotel. In addition, I stopped by the desk each day to inquire about a reservation without success.
After the agent assisted with the reservations, he confirmed the method of payment. Like a lot of properties in Mexico, the rate is priced in US Dollars; however, the charge is done in local currency. So what the hotel did was it used it’s daily exchange rate between Dollars and Pesos, which was not the actual one that we would receive from our credit card. The rate used was $15.5 pesos per dollar when the official exchange rate was closer to $17 pesos per dollar, so we ended up paying more than $465 per-night based on the exchange rate; however, there really was not any way around that due to the fact of how they convert it into pesos. Perhaps if you pay in USD cash you could avoid it but then no points and no fourth night free discount….
The agent processed the payment and asked us to sign the credit card voucher. After we signed it, the agent thanked us and they offered to have our luggage delivered to the room. The agent thanked us and they wished us a pleasant stay.
The check in process was a little lengthy. It would have been nice if a welcome beverage was offered. I saw this happening for guests registering at the front desk so I was surprised they did not do it for our registration.
We were assigned room 831, which was located on the top floor of the hotel. The room was a Ocean View Premium Junior Suite which is the exact category that we reserved. I was wondering if we would have received an upgrade due to my Platinum status; however, none was offered.
The room featured a mini-bar with self service bottles of Rum, Scotch, Tequila, and Vodka. A small refrigerator was offered and it was stocked with sodas, juices and two types of Mexican bottled beer. In addition, a bag of chips, nuts and two granola bars were provided. The minibar was restocked daily. One bottle of red wine was provided per-room. A menu was available for bottles for purchase. 24-hour room service was available that was included in the all inclusive rate. There were a few items that had an add-on charge, but otherwise the menu offered a variety of options.
The room was clean and comfortable. The air conditioning controls adjusted the temperature easily. The room offered a ceiling fan that was somewhat noisy but otherwise functioned. A flat screen television was offered with a variety of channels. The channels were not in HD and not every channel listed in the guide was available. In addition, the signal on some of the channels was not very good. We found both Spanish and English channels including ABC, CBS and NBC from Miami. A couple HBO channels were also available for movies.
The room received twice-daily housekeeping services including a daily cleaning as well as an evening turn down service. During the daily housekeeping service on two of the days, the housekeeper left towel art which was cute.
The bed was soft and the linens were clean and comfortable.
We utilized the whirlpool bath tub once during the stay. The water was very slow to fill and it appeared that it had not been used in a while as there was a ring around the tub while we used it, which took away from the experience and led us to not use the bath again.
The shower was excellent with the spa jets and the water temperature and pressure was excellent.
The bath amenities had a pleasant scent and they included body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion. In addition, a shave kit, toothbrush kit, sewing kit, and other items were provided by the sink. The bath linens were clean and the shower towels were oversized and comfortable.
Shortly after we arrived in the room, we received a delivery from the hotel of a slice of red velvet cake with a bottle of Champagne. The hotel wrote happy anniversary on the plate with the cake. That was a nice surprise. We received the same amenity a few days later.
The resort featured a large pool that winded around the entire space of the resort facing the ocean. The pools were clean and they were decorated neatly and provided chairs in and out of the water. A variety of cabanas were located in front of the pool as well as regular pool chairs. A swim-up bar was available. There were also two mini soaking tubs as well as an outdoor restaurant.
On the beach, there were a number of private cabanas that were assigned to the suite and above but not the junior suite category which we were assigned. There were also a lot of regular chairs and non-reserved cabanas on the beach. A bar was available on the beach.
The hotel offered beach butlers and pool attendants that circulated the area offering drinks, cold towels, sun screen and books for reading.
All of the attendants we interacted with were friendly and polite and they seemed to go out of their way to make sure we had a drink in hand or whatever we needed.
Surprisingly the hotel did not offer beachside or poolside food service; however, I imagine based on the way at that the pool attendants were happy to assist us, they may have been able to bring food out but it was not proactively offered.
The bars were all stocked with top shelf options with several selections for each category of alcohol. For example you could select Grey Goose, Kettle One, Ciroc as well as a speciality Russian one. There were about six or seven tequila offers and a variety of whisky and scotch choices. The bartenders were happy to make any drink for you using the alcohol of choice. If you did not specify, they appeared to still use the top shelf items. The hotel offered about six different craft Mexican Beers as well as Dos Equis on tap and Coors Light.
Like most beach resorts, all of the cabanas by the pool were taken early morning. I was able to secure one by the pool each morning as long as I arrived before 7:00 AM. The beachside cabanas and chairs were available throughout the stay.
The hotel offered several speciality restaurants as well as a buffet with a menu that changed each night. The food options included Asian with table service as well as Teppanyaki style cooking at the table, Mexican, Spanish Tapas, seafood as well as a Gourmet restaurant that required reservations. In addition a coffee shop were you could get Latte’s, Espresso, blended coffee drinks as well as ice cream and light snacks throughout the day. The hotel offered a 24-hour food room with a small buffet featuring some hot and cold items as well as drinks and a limited self service bar.
My wife and I sampled food from all the restaurants except for the gourmet one as we were never able to secure a reservation. The food was excellent at all the restaurants and the service was outstanding. The servers went out of there way to assist us.
The restaurants all offered bottles of wine for purchase as well as add-on options for Crab, Lobster, Scallops and Shrimp; however, the regular menu featured outstanding options that were included. We bought the seafood two of the meals and a very generous portion was provided. All the food was fresh and it had an excellent flavor.
The hotel was good at offering a variety of food options for all tastes.
We ate breakfast at the buffet most mornings and were able to have made to order smoothies and eggs as well as a very large selection of hot and cold food options. Everything was of excellent quality and we found no complaints about the buffet. We had dinner one night at the buffet for the seafood buffet. The buffet offered a large assortment of fish prepared in multiple ways. There were two made-to-order stations offering seafood pasta as well as grilled seafood options.
We did not utilize in room dining during the stay but was told by multiple other guests that the food was excellent and that it offered the best ribeye steak at the hotel.
The hotel offered daily activities including yoga classes, beach and pool volleyball, tequila tasting, guacamole making among others. In addition, each evening, the staff put on a dance show that featured different themes. The shows were entertaining and the staff was excellent.
We stayed at the resort the entire time and did not make use of any tours or other options; however, there were agents at the pool as well as in the lobby offering those services.
The resort was maintained well and we always saw staff members cleaning and keeping up with the area. The building itself was maintained better than a lot of the other resorts that I saw while going for walks along the beach.
The hotel was located on the Caribbean side of Cancun about a mile from the point in the hotel zone and it is in walking distance of the entertainment area at that location. The beach was a large area of sand. The hotel staff groomed the sand each day and it was comfortable to walk on and was cleaner than other areas.
A portion of the hotel is a timeshare/vacation club type of program; however, we were never approached about attending a presentation and we only heard about it from other guests. When I inquired about it specifically, I was invited to breakfast; however, no premiums were offered such as Hyatt Points, tour or other items so I saw no compelling reason to sit through a long presentation.
When it was time to leave we discovered that standard checkout time was a generous 12:00 PM so we were able to stay in our room until about the time we had to go to the airport.
We returned to the Romance Concierge to check out. The process was efficient and the agent was very friendly and she quickly processed the check out. The agent removed our wristbands but she provided a voucher that we could show at the bars and restaurants so we could continue to use the hotel services until it was time to depart.
We waited near the front desk for a few minutes and a bellman offered to store our luggage until the driver came. We declined as it was only a few minutes. When the car arrived, the door man took our luggage and he loaded it into the car. The bellman thanked us sincerely and he invited us to return.
Tips were not required at the hotel; however, they were greatly appreciated by the staff. At the swim up bars, tips were not expected; however, when I gave them the bartenders seemed surprised and they thanked me sincerely. The service at the restaurants was excellent so I was happy to leave something on the table before departing.
My wife and I had a very positive experience at the hotel. We felt that all the colleagues went out of there way to make sure we were enjoying our vacation. The food was excellent and the drinks were all top notch. The only thing we were disappointed with was the fact that we could not get in at the gourmet Chef’s Plate restaurant. We learned that you can contact the hotel months in advance to reserve it so we would recommend doing that as soon as you make a reservation.
We departed the hotel wishing our stay could be longer and we would be happy to return to the hotel in the future or to visit the location in Jamaica.