It’s official–I like going to all-inclusive resorts more than taking a cruise, especially after staying at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. I know, how flippant of me to rank such fun options. But, it’s true. Hands down, an all-inclusive resort is infinitely better to me than cruising. I almost wrote cursing, which, as we know, is my all-time favorite thing to do.
Why We Chose The Hyatt Zilara Cancun
It’s an adults-only resort. ’nuff said. Jokes. Our pals that we went with, who have an adorable son, wanted a nice break from kiddo watching. They found this place and I saw I could use my Hyatt points. So, I was sold quicker than you could say, “One margarita on the rocks with salt, please!”
How To Get There
We used British Airways Avios miles to book our American Airlines flight from Miami to Cancun. I transferred 18,000 points from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account to British Airways. British Airways is an American Airlines partner, and since Miami is an American hub, it was perfect. I only paid for our taxes for these flights, as you’ll see at the end of this post.
Prior to arriving in Cancun, I booked a reservation with the local transportation company USA Transfers. I highly recommend them; they were on time, professional and friendly. You pay in USD when you get there, so come with $55 (plus tips) if you’re booking roundtrip.
Which Rooms To Choose
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with any of the rooms in this resort. They all face the ocean. That said, I would take rooms on the 4th level and above because that means you won’t be in any rooms that are connected to the huge open lobby. It can get quite loud. We were on the 4th floor and didn’t hear much once the door was shut. Plus, I always travel with ear plugs.
They may try to sell you on preferred rooms, but if you’re a Hyatt member you’ll most likely get upgraded. As a Hyatt Platinum, we got upgraded to a high level room without having to ask. Even so, these rooms all have ocean views and balconies. It only matters if you want a walk-out room with your own private pool that you’ll pay beaucoup bucks for. Plus, I don’t think I’d like being on the first floor for that. I feel it’s not as private and you can’t walk around your room neeeeekid singing to the Spice Girls.
Additionally, if you’re a Hyatt Platinum or Diamond you get special wristbands for premium service and liquor. As Platinums, I didn’t necessarily notice a difference in the service because everyone was always friendly and quick. Plus, you can just ask for the premium liquor if you don’t have a special wrist band and get it for free.
Each room comes with a “magic box,” which means you’ll then be singing Fifty Cent’s “Magic Stick” each time you pass it because you’re really 13 years old. Anywho, the magic box is a small cabinet that has a door on both the inside and outside of your room. If you want more pillows, tequila, chicken fingers, soda, etc., it will most likely be put in there for you to enjoy. We ordered more beer once and it was delivered on a cart because we were in the room, but when we were out, the magic box was used for our request for more pillows.
What To Do There
Sleep. Eat. Drink. Repeat.
We didn’t do any excursions because we were only there for 4 days and 3 nights. We did go to the central market where we haggled for things we didn’t need. That’s quite an experience. Be prepared to be heckled at each store to come in and see what they have. I even got told, “Nice boobies.” as I walked by one store. Which promptly made me turn around and give him the middle finger salute. I mean, they are nice. But you don’t need to shout it, man.
We also took the complimentary bike tour offered by the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. It was a nice little morning jaunt through town. I’d recommend it to do one of the first days you’re there to give you a idea of the lay of the land.
The hubster and my gal pal went parasailing too and said it was worth it. They have great photos and GoPro footage.
Basically, just relax. Enjoy a good book, some Latin tunes and the laughter from your significant other and friends. Perfection.
Where To Eat
The point of an all-inclusive is to eat at the resort. There is a great selection of restaurants at the Hyatt Zilara. Truly, you can’t go wrong. Our friends didn’t enjoy the Mexican restaurant called Maria Marie prior to us arriving. We didn’t get a chance to try it out, so I can’t personally say it’s good or bad.
We enjoyed Spice, which is the buffet restaurant. It’s not a buffet like you’re thinking–it’s incredible. I’m pretty picky with warmed-over food at buffets and this was great! In the mornings, they had an omelette and taco station that they would make for you. Lots of fresh fruit, cheese, bread, seafood, etc. In the evenings there was typically a theme they would promote like American BBQ, Latin, etc. We didn’t have a thing that we didn’t like.
Pelicano’s, which is the outdoor restaurant by the pool has great lunches. I highly recommend the shrimp tacos.
Asiana, the Asian fusion restaurant, offers both a hibachi-style dinner and regular lunches and dinners in the restaurant. We did both and really recommend the hibachi-style dinner. You’ll need to make a reservation for it when you get there.
What to Drink
- The Electric Lemonade with Grey Goose. Thank me later.
- The Julisco. If you like tequila, try it.
- Any tequila each bartender recommends, they all have their favorites.
How Much We Spent
- 18,000 British Airways Avios + $150.10 in fuel surcharges and taxes
- $55 Roundtrip Airport transportation
- 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points (2 nights) + $489.24 (1 night)
Total: $694.34 (total for 2 people, 4 days/3 nights)
This obviously excludes tips and that random beaded wallet I had to have after a few margaritas. Since those costs depend on each person, I didn’t include it in total costs here.
Tips for staying at The Hyatt Zilara Cancun
- All rooms have a view of the ocean. Junior Suites are on lower levels (2-3), Premium Ocean View (4-7) and Oceanfront Junior Suites (2-8, ends of the resorts) are on higher levels.
- Tip in US Dollars or Pesos. And yes, tip. It’s not required, but they work really hard! We spent about $20/day in tips.
- Take the complimentary bike tour offered in the mornings and afternoons on certain days at the resort. It gives you a good idea of what’s around Cancun.
- You’ll need to play the “reserved chairs” game if you want chairs or a cabana poolside. We tended to get up early enough to throw some of our personal items on some chairs. Some beachside cabanas are already reserved based on room type. But we never had a problem getting one and didn’t mind being on the beach. The poolside ones are tougher to get because the swim up bar is there. Ole! Oh and don’t be the douche who leaves your stuff there and then takes a full-day excursion tour. Use your chair if you’re going to reserve it.
- Bring your own sunscreen (if you’re checking a bag) because it costs about triple the price there.
- They have shows each night at 8pm in the lobby. Grab a drink at the lobby bar and enjoy. They are a fun treat.
- If you’re up too early for breakfast or going to bed too late for dinner, there’s 24-hour room service and a lounge downstairs that will satisfy your munchies.
- Dinner reservations are required for Chef’s Plate (we didn’t do this) and Asiana’s Teppanyaki table (we did do this – it was great!)
- Make your dinner reservations when you arrive as they fill up quickly. You can always rearrange a time or cancel if need-be.
- Mini-bars in each room are stocked with alcohol. And food. But free alcohol!
- If you want to upgrade your suite, and there’s availability, it’s often a better deal to do it once you’re there.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort, so you can post as many obnoxious pictures of your relaxed-self as you want.
Have you ever stayed at an All-Inclusive? What was your experience like? We had so much fun at The Hyatt Zilara Cancun, we’re going back…very soon! Stay tuned!