Ziva Puerto Vallarta REVIEW MASTER THREAD

Old Feb 29, 16, 10:46 pm
  #241  
 
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Originally Posted by jkjetsetters View Post
Glad to hear a good review! We are arriving next Friday the 4th and can't wait. The reviews on TripAdvisor have been really good lately so we're pretty excited. We're currently booked in a swim-up room but I would really love to stay in a plunge pool suite. Did you ask for the upgrade or did the hotel upgrade you on their own? Right now the hotel shows availability for all room types so I can't imagine they're close to full during our stay. I have a DSU available so I'm tempted to re-book a base room & apply a DSU & hope for an upgrade. Thanks!
I did not ask for it. Really did not expect it since when it was 1-2 weeks before our trip, I checked and appeared all of the rooms were all booked. The weekend we arrived, hotel told us they were like at 98% capacity. It did not feel crowded on Sat and Sun, but then Monday came, and we noticed how empty the resort got. Prob too late to use an old DSU now, but I would recommend to use a DSU at this place if possible. I walked by the swim-ups and they did not look that great. Doesnt look like the sun ever hits it, water might be really cold as a result. The higher floor you are, the better. It has some great views.
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Old Feb 29, 16, 10:55 pm
  #242  
 
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Originally Posted by Rock72 View Post
I just got back from a 1 week stay. This was the second time I stayed here (last year was the last week of Jan). Last year was a short 2 night stay and it rained. This week the weather was beautiful.

Our group had 2 rooms. My wife and I had a room in the club tower (19th floor) with a hot tub in the balcony. The others had a room in the other tower.

A few notes / observations:

1) The club tower is nice because the rooms are a little bigger (couch + sitting area) and there is a concierge and lounge with food and drinks on the ground floor. In reality, we never got food or drinks from the lounge and we didn't use the concierge (we did check out here though to save time).

2) We had a hot tub in the balcony but never used it. I always told myself that I'd try using it "later tonight" but never did.

3) There were some kind of bugs / mosquitos that bit my legs (ankles, feet, calves) as well as my arms (near elbows). I didn't get any bites anywhere else. Whatever bit me...it's really itchy.

4) The activities staff is cool. They are always trying to get people to play beach volleyball, ping pong tournament, water aerobics, etc. It's nice to participate a little bit because you then get to know them.

5) Nightly entertainment was mostly pretty good. The fire show was similar to the fire portion of the show at a luau in Hawaii. The water circus was good. The regular circus was also good (juggling, gymnastics, etc.). The star wars dance was interesting. The mime was a little boring but oh well. I don't remember them having nightly entertainment last year. Maybe I was just too busy to attend last year.

6) You need to get out early to reserve chairs. By around 9am, many chairs are taken. It is a bit annoying because many people show up really late or don't show up at all.

7) Drink service, etc. is all pretty prompt and good. Service was good all around. It does help if you tip them a little bit (otherwise they sometimes ignore you).

8) Restaurant service is very slow. You're on vacation so hopefully you're not pressed for time. It was common to sit in a restaurant and take 20 minutes to order, 20 min for food, etc. Meals typically took at least 1 hour but 2+ hour meals were not uncommon. Some guests were annoyed and would simply get up and leave and walk over to the buffet (or sneak food into the restaurant from the buffet or grill to eat while waiting).

9) One elevator was broken in the newer building. You had to use your hands to force open the door, etc. Later they just closed the elevator so it took forever to get an elevators sometimes.

10) Check in was nice as they give you a glass to drink and a nice cold towel. It was nice to see Beatris from last year (she's nice!)

11) Check in took about an hour or so. I guess we had a slightly complex reservation. Our group was 4 adults, 1 child (10) and 2 infants (2, 1). The website indicates that infants are free and we booked them when making reservations but sometimes they didn't show up in the reservation as a child. We made multiple reservations including:

1 - paid reservation for 6 nights / 7 days. straight up vanilla reservation made online. no problems with this one. 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant.
3 reservations each were 2 nights free sign up offer using hyatt visa credit card

The 3 reservations were made back to back to equal 6 nights. However, these have to be made via phone only and they are made as 6 separate 1 night reservations back to back. Some said 2 adults / 1 kid and some said 2 adults / 2 kids. Phone lady said it didn't matter if the extra kids are infants but it turned out that it did matter. Luckily my other reservation was 2 kids (1 kid / 1 infant) so these reservations were fine since I only needed a spot for 1 kid.

The desk agent had a lot of problems figuring out how to do these free night reservations that are all back to back and organize them in a way so that we don't have to change rooms every day. It was a lot of him going back and forth and him getting confused and him creating a spreadsheet to organize (with many mistakes) and in the end, he finally got it. He did say that I had 2 other 1 night reservations in the middle that I should cancel but I didn't get to the bottom of that one since he gave me 2 rooms for the week which is all I wanted.

12) The coffee shop is nice and it's great that it's open 24/7.

13) Restaurants were all decent. Blaze was good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (but service is slow). Asian restaurant was more like South Asian but was good as well. Casa Grande is always good. The buffet is best for breakfast. Italian is good for lunch but pizza was broken one afternoon (and service is really slow).

14) We took a taxi into old town one afternoon to walk malecon and get some dinner. It's close to the hotel and the taxi is cheap (like 60 or 80 pesos).

15) Rodrigo is a nice bell hop but we asked for a van to take us (+ our friend's family) to the airport on check out day. I booked it with him the day before but on the day of, there was no van. He said that the van service failed him. We ended up taking 3 cabs when no van showed up after waiting around 20 minutes.

16) Beach vendors are all fine. They aren't pushy. I felt bad for one older guy that we bought some stuff from and offered him some water but he said no...seemed to indicate that it was against policy and that security would kick him out if he drank water from a guest.
I think we stayed during the same time! I mostly agree with you on everything, especially the bug bites! The bottom of my foot got bit and i am still scratching it and its still super itchy!!! The chairs definitely get taken but I am assuming you are referring to the pool area. For the beach area, it gets taken as well, but is easily resolved since you can get someone to set it up anywhere since the beach is so HUGE. Coffee shop is THE BEST!!!!! We never encountered any problems with the service. Everything was really fast. It seems like we had somehow always manage to beat the crowd when dining. We would get seated with no wait, then turn around and see a crowd of people waiting by the hostess.

When we left (just us 2), bellman got us a taxi instantly. Cheaper leaving the resort to airport (200 pesos) vs the 300 pesos for Zone 2 Authorized Taxi getting to resort.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:48 am
  #243  
 
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Originally Posted by zzrayzz View Post
I did not ask for it. Really did not expect it since when it was 1-2 weeks before our trip, I checked and appeared all of the rooms were all booked. The weekend we arrived, hotel told us they were like at 98% capacity. It did not feel crowded on Sat and Sun, but then Monday came, and we noticed how empty the resort got. Prob too late to use an old DSU now, but I would recommend to use a DSU at this place if possible. I walked by the swim-ups and they did not look that great. Doesn't look like the sun ever hits it, water might be really cold as a result. The higher floor you are, the better. It has some great views.
Thanks for the reply! Since we had an extra DSU expiring today we did end up re-booking a base room & applying an upgrade for the Club Ocean Front Hot Tub room. The hotel is still showing almost every room type available four days out, so we're really hoping to get an upgrade to the one-bedroom plunge pool suite. Either way though, we'll have a good time
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Old Mar 3, 16, 12:01 pm
  #244  
 
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Originally Posted by zzrayzz View Post
I think we stayed during the same time! I mostly agree with you on everything, especially the bug bites! The bottom of my foot got bit and i am still scratching it and its still super itchy!!! The chairs definitely get taken but I am assuming you are referring to the pool area. For the beach area, it gets taken as well, but is easily resolved since you can get someone to set it up anywhere since the beach is so HUGE. Coffee shop is THE BEST!!!!! We never encountered any problems with the service. Everything was really fast. It seems like we had somehow always manage to beat the crowd when dining. We would get seated with no wait, then turn around and see a crowd of people waiting by the hostess.

When we left (just us 2), bellman got us a taxi instantly. Cheaper leaving the resort to airport (200 pesos) vs the 300 pesos for Zone 2 Authorized Taxi getting to resort.
any idea what kind of bugs these are? i'm mostly healed now but still have some small scars (hoping they'll go away in the next few weeks). it's been 2 weeks so it doesn't itch anymore but wow, it was pretty crazy.

i think i got bit at night during dinner when they had the buffets set up at the beach. i'm not sure why i got bit on my elbows because i never was lying down on the sand.

my kids did not get bit and they were walking around the sand during the day but did not walk in the sand at night (high chairs, etc.).

i don't think it was bed bugs because it's just on my ankles and elbows and my kid who slept in the same bed as me didn't get bit.

weird...

stupid me though as i had deet cream but didn't use it.
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Old Mar 3, 16, 12:09 pm
  #245  
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Check to make sure they're not yellow fly bites (deer flies). They would have swolen up and looked like they blistered. If they broke, they will itch for a long, long time. They have a tendency to bite below the knees. And they do scar if you don't take care of them.

I have a terrible reaction to the bites and have learned that when traveling to areas where they are in season, to have my "bite kit" ready. Which includes alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, anti-bacterial spray, anti itch spray, and lots of bandaids. With that arsenal, if one of them get to me I can stop the itch, and hence, the breaking of the blister, and it will heal relatively quickly (about a week or so). I was biten so badly once that my legs looked diseased.

They're almost in season in Florida, where I get bitten, so it's not a stretch that they would already be in season now where it's warmer

Oh, and those nastly little bugs bite you in stealth mode. You don't see them coming or feel the bite. You'll only know if you see a little blood on your skin and/or if you get that severe itch that won't go away.

Some people do not get that reaction, and some get a milder form. I guess I'm just lucky and get a bad reaction.
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Old Mar 3, 16, 1:09 pm
  #246  
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They are called " no-see-ums". ( sand gnats) Tiny little bugs that bite ( usually on your extremities) and itch for a week or two. ( Hot water makes it worse) The bites can sometimes turn a little nasty. And they often itch much longer then the vacation from where you got them.

Google no see-ums for more info.
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Old Mar 3, 16, 1:50 pm
  #247  
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I will. It sounds just like the yellow (deer) fly bite. I guess I'm lucky I haven't run into no see-ums, since I would probably swell up from that bite too
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Old Mar 5, 16, 11:01 am
  #248  
 
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We arrived yesterday, here until the 10th. It's a gorgeous property as everyone has said! We used a DSU to get the Club ocean front hot tub suite. It's actually a very nice room. However, we asked if there was any availability for a plunge pool suite, and there wasn't last night but luckily there is for the other 5 nights of our stay, so we are moving later today!

If anyone has any questions about the resort, or anything they would like us to find out while we are here, let me know!
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Old Mar 5, 16, 4:27 pm
  #249  
 
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Originally Posted by jkjetsetters View Post
We arrived yesterday, here until the 10th. It's a gorgeous property as everyone has said! We used a DSU to get the Club ocean front hot tub suite. It's actually a very nice room. However, we asked if there was any availability for a plunge pool suite, and there wasn't last night but luckily there is for the other 5 nights of our stay, so we are moving later today!

If anyone has any questions about the resort, or anything they would like us to find out while we are here, let me know!
Enjoy!
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Old Mar 26, 16, 6:57 am
  #250  
 
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Infant Booking

I was just trying to add an infant (5mo old) to a reservation at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and was informed by the agent that it would require an additional 10,000 points to add them to the reservation, essentially the same cost as an additional adult.

Can someone please confirm that infants are charged for award stays but NOT for paid stays?

Needless to stay I was taken back by this policy.

Is this the same across all Hyatt all-inclusive properties?
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Old Mar 26, 16, 9:19 am
  #251  
 
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I am 99% sure you don't have to pay the points co-pay until age 3. Check cash prices. Sometimes the run kids stay free promos.
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Old Mar 26, 16, 3:37 pm
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by hpfiend View Post
I was just trying to add an infant (5mo old) to a reservation at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and was informed by the agent that it would require an additional 10,000 points to add them to the reservation, essentially the same cost as an additional adult.

Can someone please confirm that infants are charged for award stays but NOT for paid stays?

Needless to stay I was taken back by this policy.

Is this the same across all Hyatt all-inclusive properties?
We did not have to pay extra (cash rate) for our 2 year old at neither the Ziva Rose Hall nor Ziva Los Cabos. Like the previous poster I am 99% certain this is the case for points rates as well...until the child turns 3.
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Old Mar 26, 16, 10:53 pm
  #253  
 
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Just completed a 4 night stay using hyatt cc certs. Had an infant and a 4 year toddler. No extra points.
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Old Apr 5, 16, 11:05 pm
  #254  
 
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Originally Posted by SQNfan View Post
We did not have to pay extra (cash rate) for our 2 year old at neither the Ziva Rose Hall nor Ziva Los Cabos.
SQNfan - So you have stayed at Ziva Rose Hall, Los Cabos, and PV? Any thorough review/feedback comparing the different Ziva resorts, especially as it also relates to having young children? It looks like you may have also done Ziva Cancun, and possibly the new Grand Hyatt PV - awesome!

We stayed at Ziva Los Cabos last year with a 1 and 2 year old and loved it. We are returning later this year, but always considering Ziva PV for another trip.

Perhaps Rose Hall or Cancun in a few years when kids are older and can enjoy the local excursions more.

Much appreciated!

Last edited by dprocuk; Apr 6, 16 at 11:21 am
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Old Apr 17, 16, 8:16 am
  #255  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Just booked our stay for June and have a couple of questions:

1. We are using a DSU for Ocean Front Hot Tub Room. Is it worth staying at these rooms over the newer-renovated rooms on the other tower? The Plunge rooms sound amazing, so I may ask about upgrade cost.

2. For those that have stayed at both, how does this compare to Ziva Los Cabos? Our brief review of Los Cabos would be: Grounds - excellent, Room - good, Food - Average, Service - Excellent.

3. What's the best transportation to and from the airport for a family of 4 (2 small children)?
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