I just came back from a wonderful week in the sun and wanted to share my experience staying at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun in November 2023. I’ve been on a bit of an all inclusive kick recently but as this trip was to celebrate my dad’s 60th, I wanted an easy option for my parents. If you want to see other all inclusive reviews, check out my post of the Excellence El Carmen in Dominican Republic and Sanctuary in Grand Memories Varadero in Cuba.
Since this trip was with my parents, I didn’t spend too much time taking photos and “working”. All these photos are from my phone so I apologize that the quality is not as good as usual. But I wanted to share my thoughts anyways and hopefully this gives you a realistic look at the stay!
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Rooms
Since we were three people staying in one room, I made sure to choose a resort with a large and spacious room! The Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun rooms have a ton of functional space The bathroom includes a large jetted tub (which I did not use), and a really nice walk in shower with a bench, separate toilet stall and double sinks.
The closet space felt a little old and tired but it did the trick. There was a living area with a sofa, coffee table and a small dining table with chairs. I loved being able to spread out. We booked the Tropical View room but there was ocean view in our sight (see the view from my balcony in the photo below). I’m not sure if it’s an upgrade or if some of these rooms had partial views of the ocean. Overall this met my expectations although it was not a luxurious experience compared to Excellence El Carmen. Based on the price, I’d still give the room a 5/5.
Food at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun
I usually have low expectations for food at an all inclusive and this resort knocked it out of the park. There were a number of dishes that tasted too salty to me but overall, I thought the quality and variety were amazing!
Breakfast: The only option available in the morning is the buffet but I thought the quality and variety was good especially with the live omelette station. I ate most of my breakfast at Roots though which is the grab and go spot. I had so many delicious drinks including this iced caramel macchiato. This is better coffee than Starbucks for sure! You can also get smoothies and acai bowls which were excellent and a great way to eat healthy.
Lunch: There are three options for lunch, Habaneros (for tacos), Corner (for snack food), or Balik (for a sit down meal). My favorites are the baja fish tacos from Habaneros and the grilled octopus from Balik. The chili nachos were surprisingly delicious as well and I had it on my last day! I had the grilled octpus three times it was that good!
Dinner: There are a variety of restaurants available in the evenings. I found that there were at least 3 open each night but every restaurant is closed at least twice a week. My favorites are the grill and the Mexican restaurant. I was so pleasantly surprised that the mains are cooked so well! I had a chicken breast that was moist and tender and a filet mignon that was perfectly medium. There are no reservations required, it is first come first serve. We tended to eat dinner earlier around 6pm so there was no issues with wait time.
I thought the food was excellent at the resort but I’m going to ding a tiny point because every restaurant had a “paid” section for extras. We didn’t order any but I don’t love the upsell! I want to feel like I’m eating the best! 4.5/5
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Activities
One area that this resort really exceled at were the activities. The schedule was packed all day and we were so impressed that the activities all started on time as planned! Our experience with all inclusives are that the scheduled activities don’t really happen unless enough people joined.
Each day had several workout classes available in the morning time. Aquafit was such a highlight because basically the whole pool joined in. Look how fun this vibe is! There were also unique events like bracelet making.
The evening shows really blew me away! The quality of performers were exceptional and each night brought a new excitement. I’ve been to all inclusive where the staff are part of the performance or they have simple shows with crowd participation. But the shows at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun were all professionals and doing stunts that were incredibly difficult! If you like to stay busy and participate in activities, this is definitely the resort for you! The activities get a 5/5 for me!
What is the activity schedule at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun?
See below for some screenshots I took of the daily programming! There’s something happening all the time between 9-5pm.
How is the Beach at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun?
If you read the online reviews, many people are complaining of the lack of beach. They are not wrong! There are still a few beach chairs available on the beach but the main issue is that the water looks brown and murky. I think there’s a lot of seaweed and the floor is rocky. I never go in the ocean that much anyways so I thought it wasn’t an issue. But I picked to travel to the east side of Mexico instead of the west side in the hopes of seeing the famous turquoise waters. So unfortunately that was a disappointment. This will have to get a 1/5.
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Pools
Lastly, I want to review the pools at the resort! There was no shortage of pools and I spent every day at a different spot. I did have to wake up around 8am to put out towels on beach chairs in order to reserve spots. However, there is one pool that is hidden where there was never any issues with snagging a beach chair (see pool by E in map below).
The main pool is where all the activities are held and where the swim up bar is. I really like the scenery of the adults-only pool and the hammocks nearby. There was an area with an infinity-esque pool but since the pool is more shallow, more of the kids tended to hang out there so it wasn’t that relaxing. Lastly, there is a water slide area and I would highly suggest you to try it out as it’s so much fun! Even if you’re an adult 😉 The pools get a 5/5 from me for the variety and it never felt crowded.
Is Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Worth It?
I think this really depends on the price you’re paying! I feel like I got a deal and it exceeded my expectations with the amazing food and entertainment. However, if you’re paying $3,000 a person, there are probably other amazing options with a beach that is picture perfect. If you’re seeing this resort on sale for less than $2,000 a week including flights, I’d say you’ll be very happy with your choice! We were able to book for $1,665 per person for the week including flights from Vancouver.
Please be careful when you’re booking as there are two Hyatt Zivas in Cancun and I actually confused the two when I was originally booking. The other Hyatt Ziva is in the Cancun Hotel Strip and is a newer hotel that is much more expensive!