Hyatt Resorts Jamaica
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva are two luxury all-inclusive resort brands under the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. These aren’t located only in Jamaica, but also other Caribbean and Latin American countries. Our experience is based on our visit to Hyatt Zilara, and by extension, Hyatt Ziva in Montego Bay Jamaica.
Like Iberostar, Jamaica’s Hyatt Resorts are tied to the history of the Rose Hall Greathouse built by John Palmer, the husband of the infamous Annie Palmer, known as the White Witch of Rose Hall. The resort is near the great house, as well as to the Montego Bay Jamaica (MBJ) airport – approximately 12 miles. After establishment, the Hyatt Hotels were rebranded to two different resorts – Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva. Many might be wondering what’s the difference, especially since both are basically on the same property. Even I did at some point.
Zilara vs Ziva
The difference is that Hyatt Zilara is an adults-only resort, while the Hyatt Ziva is a family-friendly resort. Zilara is more for couples or guests who want to relax and enjoy a romantic and peaceful vacation. Ziva is mostly for family and groups. These distinctions have never limited guests, for example, if you wish to visit Hyatt Zilara with your friends or family (preferably not children), you are free to. Hyatt Zilara is the one that we had booked, even though we had access to the Ziva property and amenities. Both resorts feature luxurious accommodations, multiple restaurants and bars, pools and a variety of activities and amenities. The resorts also offer access to the Rose Hall Country Club, which has a popular golf course and tennis courts. Like Iberostar, one can visit close-by attractions such as the Rose Hall estate, or the Martha Brae River. Be sure to read about our experience at Iberostar that we visited a week before this trip.
Hospitality and Customer Service
Hyatt Zilara is relaxed in nature, especially when it comes on to customer service and policy. An example is that we could freely use our digital cameras to take photos and videos and were told that persons have even done their own wedding photoshoots there without permission. This is not the case at any hotel in Kingston or most private properties in Jamaica.
Before entering, we realize they place great emphasis on identification and security. This makes sense because we didn’t receive armbands. Upon entering, we received an entry drink. This is not often done at resorts in Jamaica. Based on memory, the only other resorts that offered this were Royal Decameron and Royalton. Follow the links to read about our experiences at those resorts. Hyatt also has an efficient system where you can access your luggage while waiting to be checked in. We were given tickets, which made it easier to identify and access our luggage from a bag room. We could also go anywhere on the property before checking in.
While checking in, we were offered the opportunity to switch rooms from what was booked. When we saw the new room, we were dumbfounded! Read on to see why. The lady who checked us in was very friendly and helpful. We could see that she genuinely enjoys her job. Generally, it’s evident that the staff are regularly trained and evaluated in customer service. The service we’ve experienced at Hyatt Zilara is different from what we’ve experienced elsewhere. It reminds me of Ocean Coral Spring (you can read about our experience here). For example, staff members are always asking if we’re ok whenever they are passing, or for me, they’d ask if I needed anything.
Less Favourable Experiences
Nonetheless, one thing we’ve observed is that due to the ratio of local to foreign visitors, with there being more foreigners and predominantly whites, we didn’t particularly blend in at this resort. Us evidently being locals made us stand out, which attracted many stares, especially by the staff. It’s however ironic because the staff members are mostly Jamaicans like us. This caused us to think that it could be a rare phenomenon having locals at Hyatt Zilara and Ziva. This however didn’t take away from our experience, as we weren’t treated indifferently.
As aforementioned, both Hyatt Zilara and Ziva share some amenities. Once you book one resort, you also have access to the other property, except for private spaces such as the rooms and exclusive facilities. The dining areas for example are common areas. Most of the restaurants are on the Ziva building, the jerk hut is close to Ziva, while the outside dining area where buffet salads are served and the pizza and tortillas huts are between both buildings.
Though one stretch, the beach fronts are nonetheless separated. It shouldn’t be an issue to use any of the beaches, however, if you book Hyatt Ziva for a family occasion and have children visiting, it wouldn’t be wise to have them on the Hyatt Zilara beachfront, or in their pools. Since Hyatt Zilara is for couples or adults only, it’s an excellent choice to book for weddings, honeymoon and other special occasions. They have special services and features for couples, such as Ballrooms, restaurants and Gazebos.
Hyatt offers a variety of entertainment. You are also free to bring your own entertainment, especially if it’s a group vacation. There are both day time and night time entertainment. Day time entertainment is by the pool at Ziva, and nightly entertainment is at both. Just below our balcony outside, there we witnessed a silent headphone party, which is a unique feature. If you know how those are, you’ll know it’s pretty dope! You should try to experience this at least once if you have never.
Food and Drink
There is a wide variety of food options(some never seen before), from 18 restaurants and bars. However, due to this variety of select restaurants, options within the restaurants themselves are somewhat limiting. This however makes sense since each of the restaurants offer different cuisine options.
Thankfully, for once, many of the international restaurants didn’t require you to book them in advance. Those are mainly full-service restaurants. We have a buffet preference, as we rather to see what we are getting, so we ate at the ChoiceZ restaurant.
There are other dining options within non-scheduled eating hours, which is unique to Hyatt. You don’t need to wait until lunch or dinner time to eat. There are food huts all around the resort where you can eat seafood, jerk chicken and pork, pastry, tea, coffee, shakes and pizza. The pizza is really good! It has authentic Italian flavour.
There are also bars. If it’s beer or alcohol that you want, you probably will not have a problem, but the drinks weren’t the best. The Pina colada, which is my go-to drink was fresh and tasted “off”. I had to taste it a second time later down in the day, to see if it was just something else that I ate that affected my taste buds. Lo and behold, it was not. I told the bartender that it was fresh and he added pineapple syrup to it, which enhanced the flavour. Hoping that was just a bad drink day on their end.
I was fascinated by the outdoors! It’s edgy and sophisticated. Hyatt Zilara’s aesthetics are sublime, from the lighting to the architecture. They have many places where couples or guests can sit privately, and most of these have fireplaces, which adds to the beauty and nightly aesthetics and can also be a source of warmth if it gets cold. Yes, Jamaica gets cold occasionally especially since we are on a beach front or the north coast in general. There were also sculptures depicting cultural artefacts around both properties, such a large guitar and a Rastaman. There was also this gigantic chair, elevated on Ziva’s property.
The Living Space
We stayed in fine style! The grand suite was smart, luxurious and sophisticated. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t the one originally booked. We’re so happy we’ve gotten that experience, and by just that experience, the question of revisiting the resort in the future was a definite yes! Trust me, we highly recommend it! Just try out any of the suites whenever you’re booking. They’re all beautiful and spacious. You however have the option of getting a regular room.
This time, it was not just a bedroom. It was a whole living quarter. I give it a 10/10. Five stars!!! I felt rich for a day. It didn’t even feel like a resort. It felt like a modern house. You could even get caught up in the indoor life, that you forget to go outdoors and explore the beauty of Hyatt and the activities. For all the introverts who would rather to do things from inside and would want to only occasionally engage in outdoor activities, like going to the beach, we high recommend this living quarter! You will have everything to your comfort. No need to worry about food because there is a 24 hour room service. There is also a dining room area/kitchen, which is ideal for an extended stay.
A disadvantage of this is that through the fridge was well stacked with drinks and beer, it was the standard small hotel-sized refrigerator, which wouldn’t be ideal for an extended stay. This would be a detriment if you take your own beverage, or if you want to store food or dessert. E.g. I had to store pastry items I took from the restaurant to snack on in the drawer, because there was no space in the fridge. Apart from that, I think the only thing that’s probably missing from the kitchen is a microwave oven.
Another detractor is finding the room. It’s not very straightforward and can be a bit confusing, especially since there are different elevators that you can take to end up where you’re going. Depending on the one you take, the directions back to the room will be different.
Other features of the living space
Number of rooms
There were five rooms – living room, dining room, two bathrooms – a guest restroom and a main bathroom inclusive of a toilet and shower unit and a bedroom. I sort of took over the guest restroom. It makes sense since women have a lot of products that they use and having enough space to have everything out, while not impeding on the space of others is a big plus. This was one of the advantages of the section.
The main bathroom was big and had two different walk-in closets equipped with towels, a robe, hangers, safe and somewhere to sit. There were also two complementary bed slippers each, which are personal items, so you’re free to take them. The bathroom was neatly stacked with designer essentials such as dental kit, sewing kit, soaps, lotions…etc. For bath, you have the option of using the tub, or the rain shower.
Bedroom and Balcony
The bedroom was spacious! One of the largest and most luxurious we’ve encountered. There was also a balcony outside with very comfortable couches. It’s one of the most spacious balconies we’ve ever encountered on our trips. From the balcony, you will see everything happening in the “yard” of the resort, such as the pools, and even people partying outdoors.
Passport and pass
We thought it was cool and commendable that each person received their own pass. We also received a “passport”, which has all the information we needed about the resort, and where and how to find what. It was more creative than just issuing a brochure with the information.
Energy Conservation Policy
This one got me. After the other team members exited the room, while I was in the front bathroom doing my makeup, all the lights went out and I couldn’t even see to turn them on, I didn’t know where the switches were, and I had to be feeling the wall to find one. The switches that I found weren’t the main switch, so I had to feel until I found the main one. I then saw something about an energy conservation policy, where if it’s detected that no one is in the house, due to no motion, after some minutes, all the lights will go off. That’s good from an economic standpoint, but I wasn’t prepared for that, so I want to ensure that you know in advance.
If you’re visiting Jamaica with your entire family and perhaps want privacy with your partner, you could book your vacation at Hyatt and have the rest of your family at Ziva, while you stay at Zilara, or you could always book Hyatt Ziva, while enjoying the private and romantic features at Hyatt Zilara. The beauty about this is that both resorts are located at the same place, but just different buildings and purpose, so it’s totally up to you how you spend your vacation. So far in terms of aesthetics, food accessibility and features, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall adult only all- inclusive resort would be one of our preferred resorts, so we highly recommend it. If you’ve visited it or plan to, let us know in the comments. Follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube.
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