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For Spring Break this year we ditched our original far-flung and complex itinerary and instead embraced where we are in life right now with two young kids and flew two hours from Houston to Cancun to the new all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun. In the linked posts below I outline the process of booking and getting to the resort, a detailed look at our massive two-story suite, and the on-site pools and beaches.
Probably like many of you I have had some reservations in the past about the quality of food and drinks offered at all-inclusive properties. I mean who cares if it is “free/included” if it isn’t something you enjoy?
Well, let me assure you that those concerns are pretty much unfounded for this property, as the only problem we had was narrowing down what food and drinks we wanted! There were tons of options and everything we ate and drank ranged from pretty good to pretty awesome!
In this post I want to share with you details on the 17 restaurants and bars the property has to offer, as well as a look at some of our favorites.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun bars and restaurants include:
- French fare at the adults-only Bastille’s
- Asian cuisine at Moongate
- Italian at Lorenzo’s
- American diner classics at Chevy’s
- Grilled steaks at the beachfront Tradewinds
- Drink and gorgeous sea views at our rooftop bar, Punta Vista
- Artisan beer and appetizers at Tres Cerveza’s
- Dessert parlor at Pasteles
- Fish tacos and fresh ceviches at our oceanside Mexican shack, Habaneros
- For a private family meal, enjoy chef-inspired dining in the comfort of your suite.
- Huge buffet at Mercado
- Pastries and coffee at Casa Cafe
- Bar dedicate to margaritas at Juana Margarita
- Swim-up bar Dips and Sips
- 24 hour options at 24 Horas
On our three night trip we didn’t have time to sample every single restaurant and bar, but we did pretty well making the rounds. You are welcome, that was very hard research. Here are some pictures and thoughts from our hard work of eating and drinking…
Moongate – Asian Cuisine
This restaurant offers both hibachi style dining similar to what you would experience at Benihana, as well as table service. It is important to know that the menus for both are different. I imagine this is one of the busier restaurants, and indeed it was the only time we had a very slight wait for a table.
We opted for the first-available table which happened to be hibachi, and that was a great choice since the chefs were very entertaining to both of our girls!
The “show” they put on includes many of the same type of throwing shrimp, catching eggs, lighting fires, etc. that you may see at similar restaurants, but they were even better at most of the tricks than others I have seen!
Most importantly, I thought the food was very good, and even my daughter ate more fried dumplings and fried rice than I have ever seen her eat before! Do be aware that if you eat at the hibachi seats then you are limited to the typical grilled meats, fried rice, and veggies. If you want a more varied menu option then select a dining table…but then your kids will miss out on the show! Better yet, just eat here twice to get both experiences.
Lorenzo’s Italian Cuisine
We ate at Lorenzo’s the first night as it was easy to spot right next to the pool area and we knew everyone could find something they liked at an Italian joint. Since this was our first meal here we weren’t quite yet accustomed to the all-inclusive concept, but quickly caught on with a visit to the antipasti bar, an appetizer of calamari, some house wine, and a main course of spaghetti and shrimp that wasn’t exactly on the menu but they were willing to put together for me!
Our six year old was also introduced to the world of “Shirley Temples” and she quickly became a fan of the “yes to everything” concept!
I loved the wood burning stove and could have eaten them out of bread and baked items if given the chance.
My favorite meals at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun may have been the two lunches we had beachside at the Habaneros Shack. I loved the open-air concept, the flip-flops welcome attire, and I really loved the food.
My favorites here were the chips and guacamole and the tuna tartare tostada shown above. The fish was truly amazing and fresh. I wasn’t as big a fan of the tacos I got here, but the fresh fish dishes were the star of the show. Since it is all-inclusive, don’t waste your stomach space on something you don’t love. Do what I did and ditch your original plan and just order more of the tuna tartare…and a frozen margarita.
Chevy’s American Diner
Right next to Lorenzo’s on the pool level is Chevy’s Diner and this place looked super cool, so we had to try it even if diner food at a Mexican resort sounds like a stretch. The reason this place looked awesome is that it has an actual retro Chevy as the focal point of the restaurant that you can sit in and eat your meal. As you can see, our six year old thought that was amazing!
It was a bit hard sitting there with our squirmy 8 month old with no high chair and limited lap space, but for older kids it was the best seat in the house by far. The food itself here was pretty kid-friendly with things like hot dogs, fries, milkshakes, and hamburgers. It wasn’t my favorite meal at the resort, but it is an easy crowd pleaser near the pool – just try to go in when the Chevy is open!
I also enjoyed the details at this restaurant – in fact, the entire resort, and certainly the restaurants, were beautiful and well decorated.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun doesn’t just do sit-down restaurants well, but they excel in quick-service, too. In fact, Casa Cafe was one of my three or four favorite spots at the resort because the service was quick, the coffee was strong, they had coconut creamer, and the baked goods looked amazing!
This cafe opens at 6AM, which was great since so does our baby. It was easy to run over there grab some coffees and treats and retreat back to the room before most of the rest of the resort was awake. This would often serve as “first breakfast” before we would get our act together enough a few hours later to enjoy “second breakfast” via room service or at the buffet.
I also have to mention that the cafe is so well decorated that you may end up Instagraming the floor with your coffee, or maybe that’s just me.
One rainy afternoon while our kids were both being watched we grabbed our “kid emergency pager” the Kid’s Club hands out and headed into Tres Cerveza’s where they actually brew a few beers on site!
The bar had a pool table, lots of TVs, and a relaxed adult vibe. You can order some food such as wings, quesadillas, chips, etc. to go along with your beer or mixed drink.
I thought this joint made for a great rainy afternoon activity, or I bet it gets more lively at night. Personally I like enjoying the outdoors and margaritas in Mexico more than an indoor pub-type atmosphere, but it is nice to have that option. I think Josh really dug this joint!
The last morning of our trip we finally made it to the Mercado buffet for breakfast, and I am glad we did. The stations seemed to go on and on and had everything from fresh juice to smoothies, to made to order items, tacos, Asian options, bakery items, and more. It was seriously insane how varied the selections were.
Obviously there is no wait time for your order at a buffet, so that makes it a winner for those with kids. They have seats in the buffet with great ocean views as well as outdoor seating options. Even if you aren’t normally a buffet person, I recommend heading here for at least one of your meals at the resort.
This bar is only open in the evenings, but it is worth the wait as margaritas are their speciality, along with several tequila options!
Had we not had our kids with us, I could have seen us sitting at this bar for a good amount of time chatting and sampling our way around the menu. It was a lively area and we were sad we didn’t have more time to hang out there on this trip. As it stands, we each had one margarita and loved every drop!
Room Service, 24 Hour Service, and More
It is also worth mentioning that room service is also included, so there is no reason to leave your room until you want to. We had breakfast one morning via room service, and while I think some of the restaurants were a little better, you can’t beat the convenience and the food was still plenty good.
I also was pleasantly surprised by the 24 hour cafe that is near the candy shop and coffee joint as its offerings on their small buffet tasted much better than I thought. Again this won’t be the highlight of your visit, but it is very convenient for a quick drop-in if someone is hungry (or thirsty).
Pasteles Dessert Shop
Last, but absolutely not least for the kid crew, is the Pasteles Dessert Shop. Remember, this resort is all-inclusive, so it is very easy to say yes to pretty much everything including evening visits to the dessert store after dinner. My six-year-old, not surprisingly, thought this was the best place ever.
In addition to the chocolate fountains, marshmallows, strawberries, gummies, and candy there is also ice cream and some small baked items. If that isn’t your thing, this shop is connected to the coffee cafe so you can easily grab your evening caffeine at the same time, if needed. I honestly wasn’t as blown-away by marshmallows on a stick as my daughter, but who cares, this one is for the little kids…or the big kids with a sweet tooth!
Obviously we didn’t make it to every single restaurant on our visit, but I think we did a pretty good job making the rounds…for research purposes, obviously. Seriously though, the stand-outs we visited were Moongate for sit-down Asian, Habaneros for beachside fresh seafood, Juana Margarita for evening drinks, and Casa Cafe for morning coffee and baked goods the size of your face.
I also have to give a shout-out to the bartenders at the roof-top Punta Vista bar as they were cranking out some delicious drinks even in some less-than-stellar weather.
I love to eat and drink, especially on vacation, and one of the reasons I want to return here so badly is that I loved their offerings. They were even as sensitive as they could be to food sensitivities and allergies. Not having to worry about cost and instead just ordering what really sounds good was so refreshing, and I can’t wait to go back and try some of my memorable favorites and sample some items and spots we didn’t make it to our first time around.
Have you visited the Hyatt Ziva Cancun? What did you think of the food and drinks? What were your favorite spots and menu items?
Featured image courtesy of Summer Hull
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