Best tips for booking Hyatt all-inclusive resorts.

Have you ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort? One of our best vacations last year was a few days at Dreams in Puerto Vallarta. It was more relaxing and more fun than I expected…and we couldn’t wait to go back again this year. It just felt so carefree and easy.

As if planning our return stay wasn’t enough excitement, I was thrilled to learn that Dreams was being refreshed and rebranded this year as the Hyatt all-inclusive Ziva Puerto Vallarta.  The resort will be open for business and welcoming guests starting in December, and is accepting reservations for January 5, 2015 and beyond.

There are up to four different ways to book stays at this property. The best option for you will depend on the number of people in your party, the level of status that you have with Hyatt, and the amount of Hyatt Gold Passport points that you have available.

Keep in mind that at all-inclusives, rates include all meals, drinks, and activities. What this means is that the resort will be very strict about the number of people staying in your room. In other words, you need to pay an additional amount for each guest in your party. Because of the way Hyatt has structured their rate options, it’s not always the best choice for a family of four to share one room. Again, it will depend on a variety of factors, but you should definitely be informed about what options exist before you make a decision.

Here are your choices:

1. Pay with cash.

Currently, the Ziva Puerto Vallarta is having a grand opening sale for 60% off. If there are two people in your party, the normal rate for an entry-level room is $820/night. During this sale, the rate is $328/night.

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If there are three people in your party, this rate increases to $984/night (normal price), or $394/night (sale price) for an entry-level room.

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If you’ve got four people in your party, the rate is $1184/night (normal price), or $460/night (sale price).

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So Hyatt is charging a normal rate of $164 more per person, per night ($66 more during the sale).

2. Use points for your stay.

The points chart on the Hyatt site has not yet been updated to reflect this new Ziva resort in Puerto Vallarta, but the cost is the same as the Ziva Los Cabos.

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You will pay 20,000 points for two people in one room, plus 10,000 additional points per person in the same room.

In other words, if you have more than three people in your family, it probably makes more sense to just get two separate rooms. Even if your kids are still little and you all end up sleeping in the same room anyway, if you’re paying the same points cost (40,000 points) for two rooms that you would for one…you could always use one of the rooms for hanging out/napping/luggage and the other room for sleeping. Just saying.

Notice that you can also book a Suite Night for 32,000 points/night. I haven’t been to the updated Ziva yet, but I did stay in a Suite at the old property (Dreams). Unless they have radically changed the architecture of the Suites, they are not very large, and not (in my opinion) worth 32,000 points/night. Might as well pay an extra 8,000 points and get a second room!

If you want to see a video of the Dreams Suite, watch this:

3. Use Cash + Points…Maybe?

I got conflicting information from every agent that I spoke to (seven, at last count).

The verdict: Cash + Points is not currently available, but it might become available in the future. In fact, one of the seven agents I spoke to offered to book me into a Cash + Points room. She quoted me a price of 10,000 points/night for two people, then an additional $82/night per person – half the cost of everything. I didn’t book the rate, and when I called back again, the agent I got said that it wasn’t available…yet. Other agents had different answers, but the main takeaway is that you cannot book a Cash + Points room at this time.

4. Pay With Cash, Then Use a Diamond Suite Upgrade.

This is only an option if you are a Hyatt Diamond member.

Diamond members get four complimentary Suite upgrades per year, and you are able to apply these Suite upgrades to paid stays at this resort. The  way it works is that you book an entry-level room, then apply the Suite upgrade. The room level you these book into is a Club Tower Ocean View, which is the room in the video above. This would get you a little more space, and if you’ve got the upgrade burning a hole in your pocket, this resort might be a nice place to use it.

This option also pairs nicely with the current Grand Opening sale.

And one last tip.

If you want to lock in some nights at this fantastic introductory rate, consider booking individual nights instead of a multi-night stay. That way, you will have more flexibility with adding or subtracting nights if your plans change.

 

Are you interested in staying at a Hyatt all-inclusive? What booking option makes the most sense for you?

Comments

  1. Do you know what they mean by opening mid-December but accepting bookings beginning Jan 5? I want to stay there over Christmas but my conversation with the Hyatt reservations team indicates that I can’t stay there until Jan 5. But why are they opening in mid-December? To whom? Is it a soft opening where only friends/family/special invitees can stay? As they get closer to the date, assuming they know for sure that they will open in mid-December, do you think booking will open up then? If anyone knows, please advise. I’m currently booked at the Ziva Los Cabos, and they took a pretty hard hit from the hurricane earlier in December, and I strongly suspect that the property simply won’t be up to par by December. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions about my comment, please help/advise/comment.

  2. Which brand is adults-only, and which is for families? The names are too similar, and I always get confused. Also, do you recommend these for a single person?

    • Ziva is family (montego bay, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta)
      Zilara is adults only (16 and over) (Cancun, Montego Bay)
      Yes, I agree – too confusing

  3. The Chase Hyatt Visa Card’s current offer is 2 free nights at any Hyatt property after meeting the spending requirement. Do you know if these nights can be used at the Hyatt all-inclusives? If so, how many people will that cover at the all inclusive resorts?

  4. I picked some random spring dates and found that the extra person cost varied by the number of extra people and the type of room. For example – basic ocean view – add 2nd person $46, add 3rd person $69 pp, add a 4th $77 pp. The swim up suite ranged from $57 pp for 1 extra, to $96 pp for 3 extras

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