An all-inclusive resort perfect for a relaxing family getaway!
Staying at an all-inclusive resort is a commitment. Unlike more conventional hotels, one price allows you to indulge in unlimited food, drinks and activities without the concern of a huge bill at the end of your stay. But, while this type of vacation is a plus for relaxation, it may also discourage you from adventuring off the property.
My first all-inclusive stay was during the dreaded winter break NYC public schools impose during February, the bleakest time of the year. Because my husband was traveling for work, it fell to me to take my two boys out of the city—or suffer the consequences of the dreaded FortNite overdose. We decided on the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, which sits on the tip of the Baja peninsula. Perched on the Pacific Ocean and located in the twenty-mile Resort Corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, the Ziva is a short 20-minute ride from the San Jose Cabo airport—which was welcome after our two connecting flights from Laguardia (there’s no direct flight from New York City).
The resort is just four years old, rebuilt after the devastation of 2014’s Hurricane Odile, and the new design features a lavish open-architecture lobby, three pools and nearly 600 guestrooms—most of which have ocean views. Swim-up suites are also available, though sadly they are only for adults. Our room was generous, with two queen beds and a pull-out couch, which my older son swiftly appropriated. It also has a balcony, a giant soaking tub, a rainforest shower—and a free minibar, which is one of those small all-inclusive touches you and your family will be sure to appreciate.
I was initially nervous about the service. It occurred to me that if everything is included, it may not be the highest quality. Thankfully, my fears were put to rest immediately. One of the nicest surprises of the Hyatt Ziva was the elevated level of service, buoyed by happy, helpful employees.
After throwing on bathing suits, we briefly explored the resort and though my kids were too old to appreciate the I could understand what a gift it could be to parents with younger children. In addition to supervised daily activities, it also had a mini waterpark—and lived in its own space, away from the main area. A larger, meandering pool took center stage at the resort, surrounded by lounge chairs and couches. Here you could also find ping pong, corn hole and other smaller games to use throughout the day.
We decided to make the infinity pool next to the beach our home base. This was the social center, along with two hot tubs and a volleyball net, and my kids found friends their own age within the hour. But the piece de resistance was the swim-up bar, where adults and kids gathered for margaritas and virgin daiquiris throughout the day. An adults-only pool with a bar is tucked away on the other side of the resort for those who want some quiet time—or came without families.
It’s important to point out that, although you can lounge and play on the sand, you cannot swim in the ocean at the Ziva. Because the beach is so steep, the waves tend to rise and crash more violently—making even small surf dangerous. But like most resorts, service extends to the beach’s many lounge areas if you feel like hanging by the water.
Our days were easy to fill. The resort offers yoga and water-based exercise classes, like underwater spin class, volleyball and soccer games on the beach, contests in the infinity pool for the kids—my son won the flip-flop flinging contest hands (or feet) down—and even a foam pool party, which is a whole lot more fun than it sounds. In addition to the Kidz Club, there is also a Teen’s Club, which gives older children a place to hang out when they’re tired of the sun. I was especially happy that although it did house an Xbox, it was only turned on a few hours every week—so the kids spent more time playing pool and shooting baskets rather than vying for screen time.
The Ziva offers seven different dining options and we were pleased with all of them. Again, my expectations were muted considering the all-you-can-eat philosophy, but we were pleasantly surprised with the food. The breakfast buffet was our favorite meal, with daily stations for made-to-order eggs and omelets, quesadillas, and chilaquiles—in addition to the many other selections like local fruit and vegetables, pastries and breads, and the fresh, hot vat of cinnamon rolls, and custard served at the buffet’s entrance.
Though you could always sit down for lunch at the ocean front pizza place or hit the buffet again, we loved the leisure of Coco Loco—a poolside snack bar serving up tacos, fresh seafood, loaded bowls of chips and guacamole, and even burgers and fries. Don’t feel like getting up from your lounger? The staff is happy to bring food to the pool and beach. There is also a coffee shop for your caffeine fix, which also includes chocolates, pastries, small sandwiches, fresh fruit, a smoothie bar, and gelato.
Six different restaurants are available for dinner, one of which is an adults-only French bistro—and the only one I didn’t have a chance to try. The others are Japanese, where the kids were wowed at the hibachi table, Spanish, Mexican, Italian and a beachfront steakhouse. It may not be five-star cuisine, but it was on par or better than most traditional hotel meals. And more importantly, my kids loved eating at a different restaurant every night and being able to order whatever they want (sometimes even seconds).
After dinner, the Ziva offers family entertainment and we watched at least three different live stage shows with music and dancing—much of the cast we encountered at the daily activities by the pool which made it even more personable and fun. There is also a sports bar and fire pits scattered around the pool and the beach if you wanted to extend your party outside.
Of course, Baja is a stunning part of the world, and if you’re interested in getting out for a day, the resort staff will help you plan an excursion. We decided on a snorkeling trip out of Cabo San Lucas, but there’s also ziplining, whale watching, horseback riding, and even four wheeling in the desert of you so desire.
To learn more about Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, visit hyatt.com!