Review Hyatt Zilara Cancun All-Inclusive Resort : Hotel Review



I spent 3 nights at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun with two of my best friends. You can read here about how we paid for it using points and certificates, with no out-of-pocket hotel expenses (except for massages and the ride to the airport). All tax and gratuity are included in the rate (which was paid using points/certs). Not that we didn’t throw around some cash for tips to the person cleaning the room, for example, but there was no expectation of tips at restaurants, bars, etc. I think this was the most inexpensive vacation I have ever taken!

Where: Hyatt Zilara Cancun, an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico

When: August 2014 for 3 nights

Who: 3 adults

Arrival & Check-In

We arrived at the Cancun airport from a direct Southwest flight from Baltimore. We were immediately accosted by people trying to “sell” us a taxi ride, and we picked one and paid inside. We took the shuttle/taxi and arrived at the hotel within 25 minutes. The hotel can provide car services to and from the airport, but we did not book it in time to use it for the ride from the airport (it was already booked up). The rate quoted to me by the hotel for roundtrip was $108, and we paid $54 for one way.

We were greeted warmly and asked to sit at one of the many check in desks to check into our rooms. We were given towels to wipe our hands and drinks of cucumber water. The check-in process was smooth. I have Diamond status with Hyatt, and was told I would get a 1,000 point bonus Diamond amenity. I asked about the possibility of a room upgrade, and I was told that we were booked into a room with an upgraded view. I am not sure if this is true or not, as all rooms seemed to have a nice ocean view. We were on the 4th floor. I asked for, but was not given, adjoining rooms & our rooms were 2 doors down from each other. We were given our keys and wrist bands that we had to wear for the duration of our stay to prove that we were hotel guests.

The Service

Everyone was extremely friendly, and there seemed to be many people working and always available to help in any way. The servers at the restaurants always had smiles on their faces (and constantly asked if we wanted tequila shots). The pool server came around many times asking if we needed anything. We never had to wait for anyone to help us or serve us, which was appreciated. Everyone we passed while walking by offered an “hola” and we felt very welcomed.

The Rooms

We had booked 2 Zilara Junior Suite Double rooms, which is considered to be a standard room. Like I said above, I was told that we were given an upgrade to a better view, which was in the center of the hotel on the 4th floor. The view was wonderful, but it looked like most rooms had a good view (with the exception of the first-floor swim-up rooms). These are the features of the room (same room with king beds also available, and I was told the double bed rooms are much less numerous).

The room felt very large, and we felt that there was plenty of space. I shared a room with one friend, and our other friend had her own room. The beds were comfortable, and we were given a “pillow menu” at check-in so we could choose which kind of pillows we wanted (allergy free for us, aromatherapy for our other friend).

View of the room when walking through the door – beds straight ahead, bathroom to the left

The bathroom had the toilet, a sink, and a large shower with multiple shower heads. Right outside the bathroom there was also another vanity area with a sink. Next to that is the large closet. The water pressure was great, and they provide plenty of toiletries. In addition to the usual shampoo, conditioner, soap, and body wash, they also provide a loofah body scrubber, mouthwash, toothbrush/toothpaste, sewing kit, and more.

The sink area inside the bathroom

The closet and sink area outside of bathroom

There was also a large, 2 seater jacuzzi in the room. Each night during turn down service, the candles would be lit, music would be turned on, and lights would be dimmed. Too bad I was there with my friends, and not my husband! And no, none of us used the jacuzzi.

Another feature of the room was the bar area, with dresser drawers beneath. The bar had a mini fridge with drinks like beer, water, soda, and juices. There was a cool pull out dispenser stocked with liquor. I had never seen one of these before, so had trouble figuring out how to use it. Hint: push the glass up on the thing that looks like it should spin (and don’t just keep spinning it like I did).

The room also had a table with 2 chairs, a chair and ottoman, a desk, and a TV. The balcony was a favorite feature because of the gorgeous view. There were 2 chairs and a hammock that could be extended across the balcony.

The balcony with beautiful ocean views

For those who are curious about the swim-up suites, the swim-up part was way different than I imagined it to be. We didn’t see the inside of any of the rooms, but they are on the ground floor facing the pool area (so no real view of the ocean). The swim-up pool area is shared by a number of rooms (pictured below):

The Pools

From the hotel website:

Our resort features two large freeform pools with dual temperature whirlpool tubs. One pool is a beachfront infinity activity pool with swim-up bar, volleyball and “in-pool” lounges. A second gigantic pool is separated by a bridge from the activities pool and features an official Olympic-size 50-meter lap lane with starter block.

The hotel’s description is pretty accurate. One difference that I noted is that the temperature of everything was the same (very, very warm), probably because it was August and HOT. Another small thing that isn’t a big deal is that the pool doesn’t really look or feel like an “infinity” pool the way some others that I have seen are. We spent a lot of time lounging by the pool, and figured out by the second day that the one with the swim-up bar (which is to the right as you are walking out of the hotel) is the place to be. If you grab a lounge chair at the other (left) pool, you cannot get to the pool bar from there without climbing over a wall and making a fool out of yourself (yes, I did it).

The other thing to note is that almost every chair had a towel on it & was being “saved” by the time we got outside. It is a common complaint here, and of many similar resorts. We decided to have one of us just get to the pool early, and it worked out for us to get the chairs of our choice. There are also lots of cabanas that can be rented (we did not do this). The pool could use a renovation as it is showing some wear, but that wasn’t a deal breaker or anything.

This side is the “infinity” pool with the swim-up bar

This is the side of the pool to avoid if you want to access the swim-up bar. They also have pool service so it’s not really a big deal, but we preferred the other side

The Beach

The beach and the water were just beautiful. Soft, white sand & bright turquoise water. The water was the perfect temperature. On our final day, there was an undertow & they had the red flags up for a while. We saw lifeguards at times, but not always. There are plenty of beach chairs, and we never had trouble getting one, the way that it could be difficult at the pool. There is a bar and restrooms right at the beach, and there is also service (they don’t come around very often though). One guy came around and cleaned our sunglasses, which was a nice touch. There are tons and tons of hotels along the stretch of beach that we saw as we took a nice long walk along the beach.

The Food

There is no shortage of food at this all-inclusive. There are a few different restaurants to choose from for each meal, and there is room service available at all times. We had some really good food, and some just OK food. It reminded me of a cruise (a decent one). There were buffets, but also sit-down meals that were a bit nicer. We did not eat at all of the restaurants, and we also didn’t eat anything that cost an extra surcharge.

These are the restaurants, the hotel’s description, and my review of each:

Coffee House
Premium espresso drinks and a wide variety of pastries, desserts and ice cream in a European-style café. Open from early morning until late night.

We ate something in the Coffee House each day, whether it was coffee, fruit salad, desserts, ice cream or a snack. They had many different items to choose from, including sandwiches and a table with cheese, vegetables, salsa and more set up every time we went in there. Nothing was amazingly delicious, but everything was fine. I liked the fruit salad cups because they were easy to bring to the pool or beach as a snack (no food service at the pool or beach).

The Coffee House at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Tapas & Pintxos Restaurant (we did not try this place)
Tapas from Northern Spain and the Basque region in a relaxing atmosphere. Open for dinner nightly.

Asiana Restaurant
Contemporary, gourmet Asian cuisine with a Teppanyaki cooking show in a romantic setting with sunset views. Open for lunch and dinner.

We had made a reservation for dinner at the hibachi table. They also have a complete restaurant with a full menu as well. The hibachi chef was friendly and entertaining. He did lots of the typical tricks that you’d expect from a hibachi restaurant. We each ordered our choice of meat/fish & sushi to start (the sushi was never delivered & we just let it go without complaining). The meal came with vegetables and rice (let them know if you want plain, non-fried rice). The food was fine, not great, not bad. Pretty much the same as every other hibachi place I have ever been to.

Asiana hibachi restaurant at Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Maria Marie
Gourmet Mexican cuisine in a fine-dining experience. Open for dinner nightly.

This was our best meal of the trip. We all enjoyed what we ordered, and there were lots of choices on the menu. The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere as well. We were told that we needed to make a reservation, but we were able to walk in and make a same-day reservation without a problem.

Chef’s Plate (we did not eat here)
International haute cuisine carefully selected and artfully prepared by our Chef for a unique and memorable gourmet-dining event. Open for dinner only and required reservation, this private venue is only accessible by guests booked in the following room categories: Premium Ocean Front Junior Suite King/Double and upper categories.

Nouvelle cuisine in a casual atmosphere alongside ocean views served at a sumptuous buffet plus show-cooking stations. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We ate at Spice one night for a Vegetarian buffet (they had non-veg items too) for dinner. All of the other restaurants were closed & the hotel was having a big Mexican buffet & it wasn’t appealing to us. We decided to try Spice & noted that they have a different themed buffet each night. The veg items were really good, but the others weren’t. We ate there for breakfast one morning as well & that was fine.

À la carte, International cuisine in an oceanfront setting by the infinity pool. Open for breakfast, gourmet Caribbean for lunch and Mediterranean specialties for dinner.

We ate at Pelicanos for lunch each day because it is right next to the pool & it’s easy to just throw on a cover up and eat at this outdoor restaurant. I thought that the food was good and the choices were many. My friends ate breakfast here twice as well (I got room service).


Room Service

I ordered room service for breakfast 2 days because I like to have coffee right when I wake up & I am not a huge breakfast eater. I also thought the room service delivery was really neat. They put it in a little compartment

The “secret” door for room service…the light goes on when something is in the compartment

Coffee & fruit room service delivery

Eating on the beach

Each night we saw tables and lights set up on the beach. There were only a handful of them, and I think that they are arranged by the “romance” concierge. Obviously we did not do this, but I wanted to make note of it for this review.

The Drinks

I know, this is the part you’ve been waiting for! Obviously being an all-inclusive, there are drinks included. If you are a wine lover, you may be disappointed (so hopefully you enjoy other drinks as well). The white wines, especially, were not very good. Tasted like something you’d get at a super cheap wedding. I was OK with it as sangria (red wine). They do have bottles of wine available for purchase at the restaurants, but it is VERY expensive. Along the lines of $70+ for a Kendall Jackson Sauvignon Blanc. So hopefully you can find other things to drink.

At the bars, you can request a specific kind of alcohol if they have it (the better quality ones are right on the shelf next to the no-name ones; no extra charge). When I would order a specific drink, I would ask for the brand that I wanted. We were also able to get creative with some of the slushy drinks at the pool bar, and lots of people were asking each other “what is that, it looks good?” They had beer as well, obviously, but I didn’t notice the brands. One of my friends noted that the drink quality was about equal to a Spring Break hotel.

A note on another type of drink….water. There is water (in bottles) available everywhere, so need to get dehydrated.

Common Areas & Entertainment

The hotel itself is beautiful. The lobby and main spaces have gorgeous architecture, and there are tons of places to sit. There is also nightly entertainment in the main bar area, including bands and shows. The big con was the weather. It was just too humid to enjoy any of it during our August trip because those areas are open-air and not air conditioned. The restaurants and lounges off of the main area have doors and are air conditioned, but not the place where any of the entertainment takes place.

The entertainment ends by 11:00pm, which made for quiet rooms (we could hear it from our 4th floor rooms) after that time of night. There are also activities that happen throughout the day (like yoga, art classes, etc) that are posted on a screen in the main area near the lobby.

The Gym & Spa

I used the gym for running on the treadmill & the free weights. It was clean and cold (a good thing) with plenty of equipment. The spa was beyond my expectations. My friends had booked massages (my one friend said it may have been the best massage she ever had) & I asked if I could use the spa facilities. I was told it was open to everyone to use, although I was the only person in there while I was using it. There was a steam room, sauna, polar plunge pool (I LOVE those!), and 2 huge hot tubs. There were loungers both indoors and outdoors. So relaxing!

Check-out & Leaving

The check-out process was easy with no issues. We had booked the hotel’s transportation to get us back to the Cancun airport. It was $54 in a super nice car. Easy and convenient.

Overall we had a fabulous time. I would definitely go back, especially using points or free nights. I enjoyed it enough to book 3 nights (using points) for the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica for my upcoming 15 year anniversary.

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I am not a robot
This is an excellent and thorough review! Thank you. I've been wondering about the all inclusive Hyatt resorts.

You mentioned vegetarian options at the buffet, any chance you noticed which menus had good vegetarian options?