I just got back from my first solo vacation in quite some time (6 years to be exact). I had 2 free nights at Hyatt that were going to expire soon and was in desperate need of some me time (preferably at some nice beach location!).
As I scoured the Hyatt Gold Passport site for worthy destinations I had a few requirements:
- I was on a budget. I didn’t want to spend much since we’re trying to do a vacation in December
- I preferred warmer weather
- I had to be able to get to the location with points (again, trying to limit my out of pocket expenses)
- I wasn’t in the mood to take make a long haul flight
My pick: Hyatt Zilara in Cancun Mexico!
Hyatt Zilara is a fairly new (Dec 2013) Hyatt property that used to be the Royal Cancun. It’s an all-inclusive (Yay!), adult only (double yay!),located in the hotel zone of Cancun.The beautiful thing is that you are able to use free night awards and/or points to stay at the Hyatt Zilara which is fabulous for budget focused trips.
I used my 2 free nights from the Hyatt card as well as 20,000 points for a third night. With food, alcohol, etc included already this was a fabulous option for me.
To get to Cancun I was able to use some United points for a direct flight from SFO to Cancun. On the way back I opted for a Southwest flight (also using points). The flight there was a redeye and I arrived at the hotel around 6am. Even with the early arrival they were able to find a room for me which I was surprised by. I had every intention of hanging out on the beach for a few hours so this news was fabulous!
Since it was just me, there was no need for a suite or swim up room so I opted for the “Standard” room. You can see that it is quite roomy and was perfect for one person.
Hyatt Zilara has at least 4 restaurants with various themes and several bars located within the lobby and around the pools and beach.
There were plenty of beach level cabanas although i did notice that a lot of them needed to be wiped down. But there were a lot of open places to layout and read a book which was fantastic. If you wanted pool lounges there were also a lot to choose from and there didn’t seem to be a shortage.
As a newbie I had no idea where to get the towels and other items for the beach cabanas so I walked around for a bit and found where they were. It would be nice for there to be a sign indicating where towels were located (if there was I totally missed it).
All in all, it was a great experience. You definitely have the rowdy folks that are on their 3rd beer at 10am but there were also mellow couples so it didn’t feel like a constant frat party.
Also, I understand that going by yourself to an adult all inclusive is a bit rare but I was asked CONSTANTLY if it was just me, and if I was the only person in the room. It got to the point to where I was wondering if guests pick up folks off the street and bring them to their rooms. I know the free food and alcohol cost money per person but the questions were a little excessive.
The main area that I found lacking was the food. I’ve been to other all inclusive before (Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta for instance) and the food was amazing. Here, not so much. It was basic and many times it came out warm, or not as it was described in the menu. I ordered a ribeye cooked medium for dinner the first night and it came out well done and tough. For sides it was accompanied by one quarter slice of carrot, one quarter slice of zucchini, a tiny cauliflower floret and 3 slices of a small potato (not three small potatoes, three slices of a potato). If I was paying out of pocket I would have been more irritated by it. I’m not a foodie but I was expecting a higher level of food.
(If you’re a foodie and staying in Cancun, I recommend treating yourself to the best restaurant in Cancun, Tempo!)
The service overall was amazing though and I’d definitely recommend going if you’re looking to relax on a beach and chillout.
Have you been to the Hyatt Zilara in Cancun? What were your thoughts?