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Throughout the month of May, we’re exploring Mexico at The Points Guy, so check back regularly for flight and hotel reviews, features and deals from our neighbor to the south.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun is one of the best family vacation destinations. Traveling with two young kids, my family finds all-inclusive resorts to be a perfect way to truly relax and not worry about additional expenses once we arrive since all of your food, drinks and most activities are included. Of course, not every all-inclusive is the same, but at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, the kids club is fabulous, food is always available, the property is less than 30 minutes from the airport and, best of all, you can book with points.
The Hyatt Ziva Cancun costs 25,000 World of Hyatt points for single or double occupancy and then another 12,500 points per additional child or adult. (Children 2 and under are free.) Points can be transferred to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
If you have Globalist Suite Upgrades to use, the standard suites are great for families. The two standard suites include the Pyramid Suite, which is a two-story hotel room and the Club Ocean Front Corner Suite that offers more than 1,000 square feet of living space plus a hot tub on the balcony. Note: When booking with points, you can make the reservation online for two guests and then call Hyatt to add on your children to the booking.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card: 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening and 25,000 more bonus points after spending $6,000 total in the first six months of account opening.
Once you get to the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, here are the top activities for your family to enjoy.
Swim in the Pools
There are two completely different family pool areas — one at the back of the hotel and one to the side. Both welcome kids, although one is slightly more lively with a swim-up bar. Both pools areas have floats to use or you can bring your own.
Throughout the day there are pool-side activities for families, including water aerobics, basketball shooting contests, water volleyball and much more. The staff is fun and engaging and really works hard to show everyone a good time.
One thing I love about the pools is that there is a completely shallow area covered by a trellis, which is great for little kids. On hot and sunny days you can even move your lounge chair right into the water and escape the direct sun.
There are plenty of pool chairs — and even many cabanas — available around both pool deck areas. The cabanas are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and during peak times you’ll want to get there early to have a chance at grabbing one.
Play at the Beach
Since the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is the last resort on the hotel strip peninsula, there is water on three sides of the property. This also allows the hotel to have two totally separate beach areas — each right next to its own pool. This makes it easy to run back and forth between beach and pool. There is also a nice walking path along the cliff next to the water to get between the two beaches. This is great if you are trying to get a little one to nap in the stroller. You’ll also pass a lighthouse — a family favorite.
The hotel’s private beach area is narrow with huts along the water for lounging. All are first-come, first-served — no need to reserve in advance or pay a premium. The water is typically calm, which makes it perfect for swimming. There are waves for older kids to jump over but they are not enough to make it scary for the little ones. Besides the typical beach activities of building sandcastles or playing paddleball, there is a massive trampoline in the water.
The second beach area is around the end of the peninsula. This is much wider and larger and is public. It stretches in front of many other resort properties, so you could take a long sandy walk. There are no beach chairs right at the water. The cool thing about this area, though, is that there is a long man-made break that creates many little pools right in the sand.
Go Kayaking, Paddleboarding and Snorkeling
The hotel offers many nonmotorized water activities for no extra cost. On the private beach area, you can take out stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) and kayaks or use their snorkeling gear. These are great activities for kids, but there are times when the seas are so rough that they do not allow guests to take them out. Since the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is at the end of the peninsula, the wind can sometimes pick up.
Free Kids Club
The KidZ Club at Hyatt Ziva Cancun is phenomenal. Kids ages 4–12 can enjoy the club from 9am to 9pm without any limit on the number of hours they spend there (for free). For families with younger kids, they offer Family Time with one-hour time slots three times a day (just one three-hour slot in the morning on Sundays). I’ve been to many kids clubs where younger children simply are not allowed and parents are definitely not welcome. I love the absence of such restrictions at the Hyatt Ziva.
There is a daily schedule for the kids with planned activities such as beach time, pool time, arts and crafts, board games and video games. During the evening, there are activities that include dinner and fun with their friends instead of sitting through dinner with parents.
There is also an awesome kid pool solely for the use of the kids club. The pool has multiple play structures, waterfalls and slides. There is also one larger waterslide that allows four kids to race against each other at the same time. This was definitely a hit with the older kids. The pool is only about a foot deep, making it safe for kids of all ages. Next to the pool area there is a small grassy area that is perfect for running around or playing soccer.
All the staff members we interacted with were excellent. They are caring, engaged and energetic and make every attempt to show your children a fun time. The kids club was also a great place for my kids to make friends. I felt very comfortable leaving them at the club and knew they were safe and having fun.
Watch the Nightly Shows
Hyatt Ziva Cancun offers 30-minute shows seven nights a week at 8:30pm on a stage next to the pool deck. They range from dancers to magicians, and although they are not the most polished shows I’ve seen, the kids were easily entertained.
Friday evening is Mexican fiesta night, with a show about twice as long as the others. Guests attend a huge party, with a piñata and other activities for kids, before the show. The show features traditional Mexican dancing and is one of the better performances.
Indulge in Candy
One of my kids’ favorite “restaurants” at the Hyatt Ziva is the candy store, Pasteles. This is pure heaven for a child (adults too!). You can indulge in ice cream, chocolate-covered marshmallows, cookies, candy and much more. Since the resort is all-inclusive, so is the candy shop. You can truly eat your heart out seven days a week.
If you want a little “real food” to go along with your candy, kids are almost guaranteed to love dining in the Chevy at the appropriately name Chevy’s restaurant, located near the pool area closest to the main lobby.
If your kids want to run, the hotel has you covered. There are lighted roof-top tennis courts located in Turquoize Tower and you don’t have to lug your rackets and tennis balls with you on the airplane; the hotel provides them. There is a tennis pro available five mornings a week.
There is also a volleyball net set up on the larger public beach.
Paint Some Pottery
Near the pool area is a kiosk where your family can paint plaster figurines. This was the only extra activity that we paid for during our trip, although it was still inexpensive. My daughter absolutely loved the experience and still has her figurine sitting on her mantle at home, the perfect souvenir from the trip.
The cost varies with the piece of plaster you are painting. After you finish, the man who runs the kiosk will glaze your piece and bring it to you the next day. Keep in mind that it’s closed on Sundays.
There is no shortage of family-friendly activities at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. From swimming to sports to nightly shows, your family can stay busy throughout your vacation. Or you can always relax on a lounge chair and just enjoy the sun.
Everything you need to know about the World of Hyatt program and vacationing in Cancun:
- Redeem Points at These 9 Family-Friendly Resorts in Cancun
- 14 Mistakes Most Tourists Make in Mexico
- The Best Time to Take Your Dream Mexico Vacation Is Now
- Hyatt Grand Baha Mar or Hyatt Ziva Cancun: Which Is Better for Families?
- These Are the Best Times to Visit Mexico
- Why the World of Hyatt Credit Card Is Great for Family Travelers
- Best Ways to Earn Points With the World of Hyatt Program
- How to Redeem Points With the World of Hyatt Program
Featured photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy.
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