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One of the attractions of an all-inclusive resort is that the food and drinks are included, but one of the drawbacks of many all-inclusive resorts is that the included food and drinks aren’t always necessarily as good as you would hope them to be. I’m not a true “foodie”, but I also don’t like “Golden Corral” buffet quality food, so I haven’t always been thrilled with concept of all-you-can-eat food for a multi-day vacation.
However, I had heard repeatedly that the quality of food at the Hyatt all-inclusive resorts was much better than at most all-inclusive resorts, so I was looking forward to trying this out for myself. We only had two nights during our time in Jamaica at the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay, so I certainly didn’t get a chance to try all of the restaurants, but I’m happy to report back with what I did have a chance to try.
First, here are some other posts from our trip to Jamaica.
All-Inclusive Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Junior Suite Review
Pools and Beach at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
Getting to Negril in One Piece
Catcha Falling Star Resort in Negril, Jamaica
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Restaurants:
The Hyatt Zilara and adjacent Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall have many different sit-down restaurants as well as casual grab-and-go food options to choose from. Some are only open for dinner while others are open throughout the day. Room service is available 24 hours a day, and remember there is no extra charge for meals or room service!
You can book your stay and eat and drink as much as you wish using 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for double occupancy rooms! We did just that using Hyatt Gold Passport points and points transferred in 1:1 to Hyatt from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This resort would also be a good use of the two award nights that come with the Hyatt Visa sign-up bonus!
Most of the restaurants are located on the Ziva (family) side of the property, but there are a couple that are located on the Zilara (adults) side. Zilara guests can eat at any of the restaurants, but Ziva guests cannot eat at the “exclusive” Zilara restaurants including: Flavorz, Horizons, and Petit Pariz. Oddly enough, Petit Pariz is located on the Ziva side of the resort, but is just for Zilara guests. It doesn’t make sense to me either…
Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Restaurants:
Horizons: Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This open-air restaurant is located on the beach on the Zilara side of the resort and for Zilara guests only. We ate there for lunch on the first day of our trip.
Since this was our first meal at the all-inclusive where price didn’t matter, we were actually kind of excited. You mean I can get an appetizer and an entree and not have to worry about the bill?! A drink, too?!
I remember wishing there were more shrimp in the shrimp cocktail, and I wasn’t overly thrilled with my vegetarian entree selection, but I was quickly a big fan of not having to worry about the bill. I also really liked the beach-front location of this restaurant! We only ate here once, but if we had a longer trip I bet we would have returned here a couple of times.
Fuzion: This restaurant is located on the Ziva side of the property and is only open for dinner. There are two sections to this Asian restaurant, one section where they make the food in front of you on a hibachi grill like at Benihana’s, and one side that is a yakitori grill. There are also some tables that aren’t actually at the grill. We ate at the yakitori grill side, and were immediately greeted with a very strong mai tai type drink, miso soup, and then some sushi rolls.
I had high hopes for this restaurants since I really like Asian food of pretty much all shapes and sizes, but it was by far the worst food (and service) we experienced at the resort. I don’t know if the food would have been better away from the yakitori grill or not, but everyone I have talked to that ate there agreed that they are way off the mark with even decent Asian food. Unless they totally overhaul this experience, I would advise spending this meal elsewhere. While the pictures of the meat actually don’t look half bad, Asian food from a food court in your local mall is probably better.
Brazil: After our less than stellar meal at Fuzion, we very much wanted to do better with our other dinner at the resort. We asked almost everyone we encountered at the resort where they enjoyed eating, and Brazil was universally at the top of the list, so we went there on our second night. This restaurant is located on the Ziva side of the property and is only open for dinner.
If you have been to a Brazilian steakhouse like Fogo de Chao or similar, this is the same type of concept. They start you off with a make-your-own salad bar and then bring our some bread and fried treats like plantains. The trick is to not get too full during this part of the meal if you really want to take advantage of the meats that are to come.
Once the meats start coming they don’t stop until you tell them to. They start with less expensive meats like chicken and then work their way up to the more delicious and expensive types and cuts of meat. By the time they got to the last type of meat or two I literally had no room left, and they were basically begging me to at least try them…and they were indeed delicious. You really need to pace yourself here and not eat much of the things you aren’t in love with, because they save the best for last!
The service and food here were fantastic, and I highly recommend eating at Brazil for at least one of your dinners.
Flavorz: This restaurant is in the Zilara lobby and only available to Zilara guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had meals or snacks here a couple of times and found the service pretty hit or miss. The service was always very nice, but sometimes it was much quicker than others…not that you should ever be in a hurry at a resort in Jamaica. Still, we like this laid back spot that had both inside and outside tables.
Here are there dinner and breakfast menus, as well as a look at the breakfast buffet.
Barefoot Jerkz: Perhaps my favorite food option at the resort was Barefoot Jerkz, a jerk chicken shack right on the ocean on the Ziva side that is open midday. The food here is “takeaway” style and very good. I’m sure there is better jerk chicken in Jamaica, but for us “outsiders” this is still fantastic and served with a big smile.
There are some self-service sides and sauces, and then you are served meat fresh off the grill!
There are picnic tables next to the shack you can sit down and and servers came by to get your drink orders, if needed. I would probably eat lunch here just about everyday even on a longer trip.
Calypzo: Calypzo is located on the Hyatt Ziva side of the resort right on the beach. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers some really great views of the water. We had breakfast here one morning and they have both an entree menu as well as a buffet.
On the Zilara side right near the lobby was a crepe stand that was open midday serving various freshly made crepes. We enjoyed a couple of crepes from here between meals. They aren’t outstanding, but they weren’t half-bad either.
Grindz and Bitez:
On the Ziva side is Bitez and Grindz that serves coffee, drinks, and snacks. We didn’t actually end up eating anything from here, but I did peek in and have a look around. It is very cool (to me) that you can pop in for a coffee or snack again without worrying about the cost!
The Choicez Buffet is located on the far end of the Hyatt Ziva side of the resort and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We didn’t actually eat here on our trip, but I did go in and have a look around. It was pretty large and had a ton of food ranging from chocolate fountains to seafood!
While I may not be the world’s biggest buffet fan, this one looked like one of the nicer ones (think nice Vegas buffet, but a bit smaller). If you had little ones and didn’t want to want for your food to be served at a restaurant, I could see how this option could be very useful.
Also on the Hyatt Ziva side is Union Jack’z that is open from lunch until 2AM. This British Pub themed restaurant serves food, but it also has bar type entertainment such as pool, darts, and TV available. It was a very relaxed and comfortable joint. We didn’t eat here on our trip (just played a bit of pool), but a casual lunch or dinner of British food would have probably been on our agenda for a longer trip.
This Italian restaurant is on the Ziva side and is open for dinner only. We didn’t get a chance to visit the restaurant on this trip other than to snap a photo of the menu.
One of the restaurants that we heard great things about was Petit Pariz, a Parisian themed restaurant that is open to Zilara guests only. I don’t have any photos or first-hand reports from this restaurant other than to say if we had one more night at the resort we certainly would have given it a try.
Hyatt Zilara and Ziva Restaurant and Drink Tips:
Since this is an all-inclusive property and you never see the bill, you can always go have a snack or dessert at a different restaurant if you didn’t find something you loved at your first try. We actually did head to Flavorz one night for a late dessert after having had dinner elsewhere.
In terms of tipping I am sure people do all sorts of different things. We certainly saw tables that didn’t appear to tip anything to their servers while we, and others we observed, did tip at every meal. It’s not really possible to tip exactly 15 – 20% since there aren’t prices on anything, but we tipped at least a modest amount at meals and a dollar or two for drinks or snack service. Speaking of drinks, I was about 5 months pregnant during the trip so didn’t partake in the alcohol, but here is a shot of what was available at the pool bar.
Rumor also has it that the bar in the lobby of the Ziva side has more top shelf options available than the other bars.
Overall Impressions of the Restaurants at the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall:
Overall I was impressed with the variety and quality of the food we had while at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. It wasn’t all amazing, but much of it was pretty good. We didn’t have any problem getting into the restaurants with the help of our butler, but since we ate pretty early at 6PM it wouldn’t have been an issue anyway as most of the restaurants were still pretty empty. That could change during peak seasons when the resort is at max capacity.
It was very relaxing to not worry about the prices and instead just enjoy the experience…even more so since our whole stay was covered with points! I think there are plenty of options to keep you and your taste buds from being bored for at least a 4-5 day stay without even having to really repeat your dinner selections. I do hope that they improve the food at the Fuzion restaurant, but otherwise we didn’t have anything that we wouldn’t have again on a second visit.
If you have been to the Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall I’d love to hear about your restaurant tips and experiences!
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