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After spending a couple of nights at an independent property in Negril that had its upsides, but wasn’t really the perfect fit for me, I was excited to start the trek back down to Montego Bay to enjoy a couple of nights at the newly opened all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. The Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is an all-inclusive property that is open for adults 18 and up while the adjacent Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is an all-inclusive property for families of all ages. The resorts are on the same property and share many of the same facilities.
I was excited to get to the Hyatt Zilara for many reasons, but a big one was that this trip happened to fall when my husband was between jobs and money was tight. Knowing that we were going to an all-inclusive property that we had booked on Hyatt Gold Passport points (that can be transferred in 1:1 from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) was such a relief because it meant we did not need to worry about what every meal or activity cost, and just enjoy being on vacation for a couple of days.
Even if money hadn’t been quite as tight right then, the feeling of having pretty much everything included at your resort that you booked with points and no out-of-pocket cash is amazing and very freeing. This property goes for 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night for double occupancy (12,500 points for additional occupants), so it is also a great use of the two award nights that come with the Hyatt Visa! You have to call Hyatt to book all-inclusives with points or award nights at 1-800-228-3360.
Upon arrival we walked straight in and were encouraged to sit down in the check-in lounge while our check-in process was completed. Within a couple of minutes some (strong) drinks were brought out as part of the welcome. For most people the check-in process is likely started at the lounge in the Montego Bay airport, but since we were coming from another part of Jamaica that did not apply to us.
We arrived to the resort around lunchtime, which is several hours before standard check-in time of 3PM, and as a result our room was not yet ready. We were told to go have lunch and our room should be ready within a couple of hours. I’ll post more about the restaurants at the resort in a subsequent post, but we did enjoy lunch on the beach and some exploring while our room was being finished. It was not ready exactly at 3PM, but it was ready by 4PM and our butler (yes, butler) then brought us and our bags up to the room.
It turns out we lucked into an upgrade to a Junior Suite (presumably Diamond status and a relatively empty resort helped), and also had butler service as part of that room. According to this Flyertalk thread, there is some confusion going on as to which rooms have butler service and which ones do not, so do not assume that all junior suites have butler service, because I do not believe that is the case.
Our Junior Suite was in a newly constructed building that looked very fresh and clean.
There was a champagne amenity in the room on ice, and the butler oriented us to the mini bar and other features in the room. Since this is an all-inclusive, the mini bar items were available to us at no charge, which was pretty fun!
The junior suite had a small couch, chair, and coffee table sitting area in addition to the bed portion of the room.
On the coffee table was the room service menu and information. Again, since this is an all-inclusive resort, you can order room service for free! Since the resort was still pretty new when we visited, the room service menu may have not been the permanent menu. We enjoyed the restaurants instead of room service so I can’t comment on the quality, but I loved knowing we could order-in if we wanted to.
Right off from the sitting area, an outdoor patio overlooked the pool complex and out toward the ocean.
The bathroom had a free standing large tub as well as a separate shower. We did not have any issues with water pressure or temperature.
There was also a separate toilet with its own door, which obviously helps when traveling with others – especially since the bathroom has a relatively open concept.
We found the room itself very comfortable, but there were a couple of issues that I think were primarily related to the newness of the resort. First, an emergency alarm went off for some time in the middle of the night with no explanation or apology. Based on reading other reviews I don’t believe this is the first time that happened. Second, one night there was very loud construction going on until close to 11PM. The noise continued until we called to complain, so I’m not sure how long they would have kept going otherwise, but I am grateful they stopped shortly after we called with our concerns.
With the butler service came a cell phone where we could directly reach our butler and they could reach us. The only thing we used the butler service for was to help make dinner reservations. The process for dinner reservations seemed to be that the butler would meet us at our restaurant of choice at the appointed time to ask the host or hostess to seat us. Since we ate pretty early each night (around 6PM) I don’t think we would have had much trouble getting a table on our own, but it was nice to not have to worry about waiting for dinner.
We asked if the butler could help with securing a cabana by the pool or beach in the morning, but we were told that they are no longer able to help with saving seats by the pool or beach. While it was nice to have a butler, I don’t think it was at all necessary in our case, and I certainly would not advise paying extra just for that service unless perhaps you are traveling at a very peak time and really want assistance with restaurant reservations.
I want to mention that some rooms have a swim-out option, which could be very nice depending on exactly where your room or suite is located.
Also note that some of the buildings at the Rose Hall Zilara and Ziva are newly constructed, and some are not. For example, here is a hallway we walked through on the Ziva side of the property. That property had some very nice qualities, but do not expect all of the buildings to have the exact same look as the one that we stayed in.
In subsequent posts I will share details about the pools, activities, beach, and restaurants at the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Rose Hall so stay tuned! If you have stayed at either of these resorts I would love to hear about your experiences!
Know before you go.
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