Must Read Review of Hyatt All-Inclusive Properties in Jamaica

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Two of the newest Hyatt resorts are the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Rose in Jamaica. They are both all-inclusive resorts, which I think is a pretty cool way to spend Hyatt Gold Passport points and then not have to worry about additional expenses. The resorts were scheduled to open in November, didn’t actually open until December, and have been getting spotty reviews since opening due to not really being 100% ready for prime-time.  We have reservations coming up there this winter, so I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on reports from the resorts that pop up online.

Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

The complaints I’ve seen range from broken/not totally updated appliances and furnishings in rooms, long check-in times, long waits for dinner, cold pools, seaweed on the beach, no info on daily activity schedules, ongoing landscaping and construction, poor quality or very slow room service, kids on the “adult” side of the resort, etc.  That all sounds kinda bad, but there are actually lots of positives I have been reading, too.

I have read that the food is outstanding, the service is exceptional given the limitations, the staff is beyond friendly, good bartenders and drinks, and that the hotel has been giving out three night stays for guests to return again when the resort is 100% up and running in the future.  Most importantly, many guests seem to have had a good time despite the obvious glitches along the way.

Over the weekend I read the most comprehensive review of the resort yet on Flyertalk, complete with lots of great pictures.  If you are considering a trip to one of these resorts in the near future, I highly recommend reading that review as it gives a pretty complete overview of the current highs and lows of the resorts.  The review is even from the perspective of a family, so it’s perfect if you are considering bringing your young kids along for the adventure.

Likely due to the still-in-progress opening, cash rates at the resort are 40% – 50% off the normal rates, though points rates are still the same as usual at 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night for up to double occupancy.  Each kid you add to the family friendly Ziva property that is three years old or over adds 12,500 points to the nightly bill.  I will say that Hyatt told me you could use the free nights that come with the Hyatt credit card sign-up bonus for up to four people in the room for the Los Cabos property, so I would assume that is the same for the Ziva Rose Hall, though I haven’t tried personally.  Unfortunately, points reservations still have to be made over the phone for these all-inclusive properties.

Have you stayed at one of the Hyatt all-inclusive properties in Jamaica, or do you have an upcoming reservation like we do?

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for linking to my trip report. I actually got into the travel hacking game through blogs like yours. I really appreciate your hard work writing this blog, and wrote the trip report as a way to give back to the travel community. I’m glad you saw my report.

    BTW, I saw you speak at the FTU in DC a couple years ago. Great stuff. I strongly recommend anyone interested in points and family travel to attend your seminar at the next FTU.

  2. Stayed at the newly open Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, and the problems seem similar at both resorts. However, the pros were also similar, and I would highly recommend staying there (at least the Puerto Vallarta resort). My friend returned from the Jamaica Ziva, and agreed that for the money, it couldn’t be beat. And within a month or two, my friend said it will be a fantastic resort. Go with a good (half-full as opposed to half-empty) attitude and enjoy yourself. And if something is broken, unpainted or otherwise not working because it “isn’t ready for primetime”, please don’t yell or berate the workers. The workers there are truly gems; and not to blame for the issues.

  3. We had reservations in November (for a trip without the kids) & because it didn’t open on time they put us up at another hotel. They did give us a 3 night return certificate. I am trying to book using that certificate for a trip in March. We are bringing the kids this time, but have to pay for them (trying to figure out how much…waiting on an answer). We also wanted to add some nights using points. The points cost is 25,000 for 2 people and 12,500 for each additional (not 10,000). So it makes more sense to get 2 rooms for 4 people because it is 50K points either way.

  4. Trev, thanks for taking the time to write the report and include all the great photos and thanks for your nice words. Your family is adorable!
    Larry, I 100% agree and that is certainly how we will go into our trip.
    Kirsten, thanks for catching that and you are right – it does make more sense to get two rooms if your kids are big enough to be in a connecting room (or the adults split). Hope your March trip is great!

  5. Just completed a 4 day stay there ending on the 11th and agree with the review with a few added comments —

    #1. We stayed in building 2 (one room king suite, one room double queens) and noticed that there was a lot of dirt everywhere. The rooms weren’t cleaned that well (so much that there was a layer of dust in the closets when we arrived like it hasn’t been cleaned in years) + there were always dust balls that i’ve noticed in the hallways. Even our tub had a layer of hair. I’m hoping that during their down season, they will close a building down and perform renovations. I constantly see them painting and repair jobs around the building, but it’s done very poorly (I think we could get a 4 year old to paint better than how they are painting over things).

    #2. The seaweed piles up fairly quickly. By the time they clean one side of the beach, it starts piling up like nothing you’ve ever seen! From the pictures, it looks like they just cleaned it.

    #3. Check-in people were nice but it was a disaster — we didn’t get anything we booked and had to wait a few hours so they can sort the mess.

    #4. Gym was okay — has modern weight lifting equipment but some-what older cardio. It gets quite busy during the day too.

    It was quite disappointing after staying at the Ziva in Cabo. We did get a free 3 day certificate for both rooms so we might take advantage of that later in the year to see if anything has changed.

  6. Thanks for the post and the link to Trev’s review. The wife and I will be flying to Jamaica in 3.5 weeks for a babymoon. Staying at the Zilara Rose Hall. It would be funny if we crossed paths again. This time maybe I’ll put 2+2 together a bit quicker and say hi

  7. “Spotty reviews”?:)
    This place is a trainwreck at 25,000 points or $500/night.
    I agree that in time both Jamaica properties will likely be very good, but it is blatantly obvious that Hyatt opened them far too early.
    We canceled our trip for late Jan and rebooked at Andaz Papagayo since we enjoyed it so much last year.
    15,000 points/night plus food is a decent deal.
    Recommend targeting the new Jamaica AI’s for 2016.

    • Geoff, I say spotty because many people seem to still be having a fantastic trip there, so it can’t be all bad. Papagayo is very much on my list, too!

  8. I agree with Geoff that the Andaz Papagayo is an awesome hotel. I stayed there with my family for four nights back in August and had a great time.

  9. @Larry D: We are staying at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta this month for an extended weekend. Do you mind advising on what was good and bad?

    I’d like to prepare us in advance.

  10. That is wonderful news about the Hyatt card free nights counting for up to 4 people (at least in theory!) at the Los Cabos property. My husband & I want to time getting the Hyatt card when we could make good use of the free nights. I will double check before we pull the trigger but that could be awesome for us & our son. Thank you so much!

  11. So 50,000 points per night for a family of four? If Hyatt points are valued at $.018 that translates to $900/night. No thanks.

    • projectx, I agree that stings. Two rooms makes it sound better than one, but it’s still a ton of points for a family of four. On the other hand, if you have the points to spend….

  12. We were scheduled to stay at the Zilara Rose Hall in November. We were reassigned to another hotel, but had to pay cash out of pocket and be reimbursed by Hyatt, even though we were using our free nights. (They have reinstated our free nights and extended the expiration date until September when they were supposed to expire this June.) We still haven’t been reimbursed the $1900 we’re out. We also do have a free 3 day return certificate. We’ll see what we do with that–it’s so cheap and easy to get to Montego Bay from Orlando, but it might be worth going to another resort that’s been open longer.

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