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There are lots of beautiful resorts lining the aquamarine shores of Cancun, Mexico. Whether you are there with your family, on a romantic couple’s retreat or looking for some solo downtime, there is an option for every taste and budget. Even better, you can earn and redeem points while you’re there. One of the more notable options is World of Hyatt’s pair of all-inclusive resorts: Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara. But which should you choose?
The main difference between Hyatt Ziva and Zilara is guest age eligibility. Hyatt Zilara Cancun is adults only — no one 18 and under is welcome on the property. Meanwhile, Hyatt Ziva Cancun hosts guests of all ages. Guests of Hyatt Zilara Cancun can enjoy amenities at Hyatt Ziva, though the reverse is not true.
In this Hyatt Ziva vs. Zilara showdown, we unpack what you can explore at either property and which one is best suited for your trip.
» Learn more: World of Hyatt: The complete guide
Defining the brands
Among the many World of Hyatt brands, Ziva and Zilara are two all-inclusive resort options found in warm-weather locales. There is one primary difference that sets them apart though.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun is family-friendly; Hyatt Zilara Cancun is for adults only (18 and older). This means that guests at Hyatt Zilara are welcome to use both properties’ amenities (from dining to recreation). The reverse, however, isn't true to help preserve the quieter, kid-free environment at Hyatt Zilara.
To get between them (the properties are 2.25 miles apart), Zilara guests can take a five-minute taxi ride to reach Ziva. All other Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties, which normally enjoy the same reciprocal privileges, are adjacent to each other and within walking distance. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these reciprocal benefits have been paused until further notice.
This may have already narrowed down your choices by default, but couples may end up being surprised by the lively activities at Ziva, too. Here’s what you can experience at either property.
What can you expect at Hyatt Ziva Cancun?
This is a family resort situated along Punta Cancun. It benefits from stunning views and is divided into three separate buildings, each with a balcony or outdoor terrace.
The Turquoize Suites are reserved for adults-only since Ziva is for both families and adults traveling solo. These suites come with plenty of pampering, too, including a whirlpool on the terrace and a private elevator to the spa where guests can use the relaxation facilities.
In the tower building, visitors will find the club category rooms. These come with special perks, including upgrades for World of Hyatt top elite status members like private check-in and refreshments in a lounge. While all food and drinks are free at the resorts, this is a more secluded space for guests to enjoy.
Many rooms in this resort have sofa beds since families are the target customer, and all rooms have complimentary minibars. Some of the rooms have swim-up pools with guests having the opportunity to go directly from their terrace into a plunge pool.
Dining options include a varied buffet with theme nights, a 1950s American-style diner, Italian, Mexican and a teppanyaki grill. There is also an adults-only French restaurant, and for an extra charge, a chef’s table experience. Tipplers have a lobby bar, tequila bar, microbrewery and swim-up options.
In between meals, food carts roam around the pools with snacks like tacos and fresh fruit.
Enjoying the sun is the primary diversion here and you’ll have plenty of options, including:
Three infinity pools.
Two large whirlpools.
A complimentary array of nonmotorized water sports.
Musicians, dancers and acrobats entertain by the pool, and a host of daily activities keeps everyone busy rain or shine. These include things like Spanish lessons, dance classes and virtual reality golf sessions. When it’s time to give the parents a break, a kids club offers supervised activities, and a teen lounge has virtual reality simulators and table games. There’s a Mayan-inspired spa with 13 treatment rooms and six beachfront palapas.
Ziva guests aren't allowed to use the facilities at Hyatt Zilara since the latter is reserved for adults.
What can you expect at Hyatt Zilara Cancun?
Along the widest section of beach on the “zona hotelera,” or hotel zone, Hyatt Zilara Cancun is an adults-only resort. Rooms are all in one building, each of which comes with an ocean view.
The rooms benefit from perks like whirlpool tubs, hammocks and complimentary minibars (even though all food and drinks here are included). Swim-up rooms are also available here.
Dining abounds with numerous options including French-Tahitian, Caribbean, Mexican and a teppanyaki grill. Guests can also swim up for drinks in the pool or head to a lobby bar, coffee bar or tequila bar among others.
Activities by the pool and around the resort include:
Nonmotorized water sports.
Daily activities like pool classes and trivia.
Entertainment abounds, too, including acrobatic shows, live entertainment and mariachi bands. The spa offers a range of treatments and a hydrotherapy circuit. Of course, if you want to lounge in a pool cabana or on the beach doing nothing, that’s always an option.
Food carts roam the pool at Zilara, too, including a seafood cart and grilled food on select days in addition to other refreshments.
This is a great choice for honeymooners and those who don’t want kids roaming the resort grounds.
Earning and redeeming points at Hyatt all-inclusive resorts
Like other World of Hyatt properties, members earn five points per dollar spent on eligible charges plus bonus points based on their elite status level.
There is a separate redemption chart as these all-inclusive properties don't fall into World of Hyatt’s standard hotel categories. For an off-peak, standard night at either property, the cost is 21,000 points per night for two people. A peak night would cost 29,000 points. A third and fourth guest would cost an additional 10,500-14,500 points per night depending on if it's an off-peak, standard or peak redemption.
» Learn more: The complete guide to earning Hyatt points
If you’re short on points, consider World of Hyatt Credit Card, which can accelerate your points earning when staying at World of Hyatt properties or when spending in certain bonus categories. You will earn 2x points on dining, flights purchased directly with airlines, commuting via local transit and gym memberships.
If you have transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you can also move those points directly into World of Hyatt to top off your account.
Hyatt Zilara is better for adults traveling without kids
Depending on who you’re traveling with, the decision might just be made for you, but couples or solo adult visitors enjoy greater flexibility since they can stay at either resort. Adults are usually free to move between both resorts and enjoy the various facilities although COVID-19 restrictions have this offering paused. Given that the redemption rate is the same for either property, adults may prefer Zilara’s quieter atmosphere leaving kids and families to a tropical paradise of their own at Ziva.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card