I’m at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, one of the newest additions to the Playa Hotel and Resorts all-inclusive portfolio in partnership with Hyatt, which is celebrating its official grand opening on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
As such, the resort is a whirlwind of activity, but despite how busy the staff seems to be in the final stages of preparation, they all stop when guests pass by to give a smile and a “buenos dias.”
I’ll be here for the next few days meeting with people behind Playa’s evolutionary endeavour.
Prior to my arrival, I was curious to know what the company's concept of ‘the evolution of the all-inclusive’ really means, and so far, it’s been an enlightening experience.
Although I’m still just settling in (there is lots planned for the days to come), I’ve seen the entirety of the newly-renovated property (formerly Dreams Puerto Vallarta), including its secluded garden pool and jaw-dropping presidential suite (more on that later this week); chased crabs along its spotless private beach; and squeezed in a game of air hockey at the Tequila Bar. As a family resort, Hyatt Ziva is a great balance of energy and rest and of luxury and familiarity where the first thing you’re told upon arrival is, "Welcome home."
More than anything though, Hyatt Ziva is a feast for the eyes.
The resort decor, consisting of rich, wooden accents, and bright, energetic Mexican artwork is a playful, modern combination of culture and chic laid out against the clean white backdrop of the main building, which was rebuilt from the ground up since the renovations on the hotel started earlier this year. The gardens seem to spill over from the neighbouring jungle, pops of yellow, red and fuschia flora dotting the property pathways.
I’ve visited three of the Hyatt Ziva’s restaurants so far (not including my in-suite breakfast), and am starting to wonder whether every dish is meant to look like a Matisse painting or if the food in Mexico is naturally just more vibrant than anywhere else.
However, it wasn’t until my massage at the resort’s Vita Mar Oceanfront Spa that I really saw colour. My masseuse Olivia was skillful and gracious, lulling me into a state of bliss wherein I swore to never return to Canada, deciding instead to live off the lush and cozy stretch of mountainside sand and surf of the Hyatt Ziva property.
Given that the resort does not use wristbands and has very few restrictions for its guests, I figure I could likely continue on unnoticed, feasting on a la carte and sleeping under the stars, for quite some time.
Then again, the staff has an uncanny way of getting to know their guests by name, so maybe not.