Hyatt Ziva CUN Officially Opens In Spectacular Style

with Martha Chapman

Tourism and Hyatt/Playa execs cut the ribbon

The view from the Hyatt Ziva Cancun’s huge lobby

Hyatt Ziva boasts the best location in CUN with ocean views on 3 sides

Ooooh! The onsite sweet shop is as popular with the grown-ups as the kids

Not surprisingly, the most popular table at Chevy’s resto

Playa’s Kevin Froemming

Open Jaw’s Martha Chapman with two new friends. 

There were stilt walkers. Fireworks. Jugglers. Acrobats. And 1,000 or so local and visiting guests enjoying the spectacle and hospitality as the Hyatt Ziva officially opened in Cancun on Tuesday.

The resort has been operating for a few months but last night’s ribbon-cutting marked an important chapter in the 547 room property’s history.

“We like to think we are the only resort in Cancun,” Bruce Wardinski, Chairman of Playa Hotels and Resorts said, “Everything else is just a hotel on the beach.” 

This location is undeniably stunning:  set on the northeast corner of the “7” shaped Cancun peninsula, it’s the only property in CUN with ocean views on 3 sides.

While there’s no shortage of all-inclusive resorts here – not to mention the Riviera Maya, just 45 minutes south – there are a number of innovative facilities that set the Hyatt Ziva apart.

The new adults-only Premium Tower features its own check-in and pool (with plexiglass window on the bottom, looking into the main lobby). The resort will soon be bringing back five dolphins who were relocated as Ziva refurbished and  deepened their habitat. The 18 dolphin suites located immediately adjacent to their pool are expected to be hugely popular, and dolphin encounter programs will be available to all guests at extra charge.

The management has also upped its game when it comes to the food and beverage options. Tres Cervezas, the only on-site micro-brewery in Mexico, provides the 3 beers that are served throughout the resort and, as sales exec Hobal Torres told us on a site inspection, they can even make a customized beer for your wedding or corporate group. (Speaking of which, this would be a great resort for conferences, with its ballroom and many breakout rooms.)

A tequila tasting is a highlight of many guests’ stays. And, as we learned from expert Eduardo Urbana, it’s not just about those sticky swim-up-pool bar margaritas. “Aged tequila is a quality product and great for the cognac lover,” he told us. “Tequila makes friends:  after 2 tequilas in a bar that stranger is your brother!”

Fun and funky Chevy’s is like a soda shop with great burgers and light fare – a perfect spot to channel your inner Hank Williams or Patsy Cline. There are even roaming food carts throughout the beach and pool area delivering light fare. And, if sweets are more to your liking, Pasteles is a calorie-crammed delight, featuring streaming chocolate fountains and staff clad in wacky wigs. It’s located beside the resort’s pleasant coffee bar where a host of specialty coffees are available, all, of course, on the house. In all there are 10 restaurants and 6 bars. There’s also an elaborate room service menu from 7 am to 11 pm, all included.

As far as activities go, there are the standard Spanish lessons, tennis and dance classes as well as scuba demos, as promoted on the resort’s own TV channel. But there are also pilates classes and something I’ve not seen before and like the sound of:  group walking on the beach – at  8 pm. Now that’s a great way to work off the damage caused at Pasteles - as is the 24 hr. gym.

There are 5 on-site shops and lots of shopping within walking distance of the hotel, though it’s mainly of the sombrero-and-shot-glass variety. Cancun is also home to several large shopping centres for all budgets.

Clearly the partnership between Playa (all-inclusive specialists, whose execs have extensive experience with Barcelo and Sandals) and Hyatt (known for their city hotels targeting the business traveller) is paying off. “It’s only been a couple of years but agents really are getting it,” Freddie Marsh, Playa’s BDM for Western Canada told me. And Executive Vice President & CMO Kevin Froemming encourages agents to register for their commission booster program to add $50 to $200 in revenue to each booking, including those made through tour operators.

(will not be published)