Cancun – November 2019

This trip came about because I had expiring frequent flyer miles (Singapore Airlines if I remember correctly) that I just noticed the night they were set to expire – I get an email notice…when it’s working.  Not wanting to let that happen, I searched for something in North America to book with the miles that was appropriate for November.  Mexico was one of the few options with availability for 3.  Also, there is a really nice all-inclusive Hyatt there.  Mexican all-inclusives are not usually our style, but this one sounded good.   Worst case, it is way better than nothing.

For this wrap up, I’m going to give a general overview.  Not much use in doing the day to day.  If interested, I can sum it up in a sentence: get up, eat, James goes to the kids club, we hang out and drink margaritas by the beach, get James for a little bit, snorkel, maybe pool, sometimes James went to dinner at the kids club, sometimes he’d eat with us….and if he was at the club, we’d make our way to the tequila bar.  Mix in some evening shows and multiple stops at the café, and you have it.  We did not leave the property, and that was fine.

Hyatt Ziva Cancun – the hotel grounds were very impressive.  You could tell it was on the newer edge of things and was meticulously maintained.  It is on a point, so there is a beach on either side.  The hotel had two gigantic pools (and I believe a third adults only pool we did not see).

Our room was a standard room.  I did not have any extra special perks at this time (though I did after the stay, as it gave me double night credit and Globalist status).  It was fine, though a little on the tight side for spending a week together. 

Dining – I had read good things about the dining heading into the trip – better than I would have expected.  This may have had our expectations slightly high, and I don’t know that the dining quite lived up to it.  That said, most of it was fine and occasionally good.  There were a couple disappointments, but those were few and far between.

The beachside Mexican restaurant (Habaneros) was probably our favorite – and moreso for lunch.

The main breakfast spot was fine, if not occasionally crowded. I don’t think we ate dinner there.

The Italian place (Lorenzo’s) and the Asian place (Moongate) were some of the other better dinners.

Tradewinds was fine, but some of our food was overcooked pretty badly (steak).  We didn’t eat at 50’s style café or the fancy restaurant.

James also hit up the food truck by the pool for a couple snacks over the trip.

Last, the dessert shop was definitely impressive.  You could easily get carried away in there.

Bars/Beverages – While the food was fine, I was pleasantly surprised by the bars and beverages.  It exceeded our expectations.

The café was great.  They could have easily mailed this in with a automatic machine or two, but they had some real deal equipment and multiple baristas dishing out coffee all day.  I don’t want to know how many espressos, cappuccinos, ice coffees, etc. we had between the two of us.  But, no matter that number, it was probably a good bit less than the number of margaritas. 

Staff was always around the beach and pools.  They were friendly and generally prompt.  Tips are included in the hotel rate, but a couple bucks to the server will make sure you drink never gets close to being empty.  We spent most of our beach time at the smaller beach because it had more chairs, was easier to get to, and got its drinks from Habeneros. 


We spent the most time at the bar Juana Margarita – the tequila bar.  The standard included tequilas were good, and there looked to be some super high-end options if you wanted to buy it.  They made fresh drinks and usually had some sort of drink of the day.  The margaritas were fresh and highly enjoyable.  One night, we even did a tequila tasting with the manager, who was really into tequila.

We visited some of the other bars and enjoyed those as well.  They seemed to have more of a chill atmosphere compared to the lively vibe at the tequila bar. 

Wine, as you might expect, was nothing to write home about.  There were premium options, but we never bothered.

Entertainment and Kids Club – The big draw here is obviously the beach and pools.  The two beaches are both worth spending some time at.  As stated, we spent most of our time at the beach on the north side of the resort.  The other beach was wide open to other resorts and huge.  We spent a day or two at it and walked it for at least a mile.

Snorkeling was decent at both beaches.  Fun and there are some things to see, but no one will confuse it with a snorkeling destination.

There were activities/classes everyday.  Neither of us participated, but that would be an option for something to do.

Each night had a performance in the main amphitheater area.  They were actually pretty good overall.  There was a Michael Jackson performer, some Cirque du Solei type performances, break dancing, and several other things.  We went pretty much every night because James really got a kick out of it.  But, some of them were worth the time of just adults as well.

Last, but definitely not least, the kids club was great.  It was open from the morning until after dinner.  You (the kid) could come and go or stay all day.  It had a little water park and a calendar jammed pack full of activities James loved.  He also made some friends there over the week.  James loved, and it made our lives way easier not to have to entertain him all day for a week.  If anything, his mom was a little jealous of all the time he was spending there.

Concluding Thoughts – I think that about sums it up.  Flights were through Houston in each direction and were very easy.  We pre-booked a ride in each direction through a third party that went off without any sort of problem.  Immigrations and customs were a non-event.

The Hyatt overall exceeded expectations.  The food was about what I would have expected for a mid-upper range all inclusive.  Drinks were better.  They got a whole lot more right than they did not.  It wasn’t Peter Island, but that’s obviously a different league of all-inclusive.

We paid cash one day for the hotel and used points for the rest.  The points redemption was something like 2.5 to 3 cents per point after it was all said and done.  You can do better, but that’s pretty good.

I don’t know that Cancun will ever be #1 on the list when I start planning vacations for a year, but I wouldn’t hesitate to return if we were looking to go to a beach destination for 5-7 days that is relatively easy to get to and not overly expensive.

Yet again, another great trip.

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