If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana are great options. These resorts feature luxurious accommodations, top-notch service, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. We recently had the opportunity to stay at this property and here’s our review.
The Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana are two all-inclusive resorts that are part of the same property. The Ziva side is geared towards families, while the Zilara side is adults-only. Both sides offer luxurious accommodations, plenty of activities, and top-notch service.
We stayed on the Ziva side with our three kids. What I loved about this resort was how easy it was to visit both Ziva and Zilara during your stay. When the kids asked to go to the kids club, my husband and I would typically head over to Zilara for some adults-only quiet time by the pool or a nice dinner for the two of us.
We booked our stay using Hyatt points that we transferred over from our Chase Ultimate Rewards. Both my husband and I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, as well as all of the Chase Freedom cards. With the signup bonuses from each, we had more than enough points to book.
I should note that when we booked our trip, there was a glitch in the Hyatt system so we actually only paid (in points) for two people, but had five total in our party with our three kids.
I tried to look for the option to book 5 people in a room, but it doesn’t look like the hotel is offering that very often. I spoke to a representative from Hyatt and they said the best option would be to book a room on points for two people and add three kids on cash. The lady I spoke to at the time said the daily cash rate for three kids would be $250 per day in total.
If you are booking in the off-season, you can get your room for as low as 21,000 points per night for double occupancy.
We arrived at the resort around 5:00pm. The hotel is located about 30 minutes from the Punta Cana Airport and we used Dominican Plus as our transportation. Upon arrival to the resort were greeted by friendly staff members in their beautiful open air lobby.
During check in they asked if we wanted to upgrade to the Club level for $85 per day. This comes with premium liquors, access to the club pool, access to additional restaurants and a private butler. We decided against the club upgrade, but they ended up upgrading us to an Ocean View room on the top floor instead for no additional cost. We also could have added club level to our reservation at any time during our stay.
Once we finished checking in, someone helped us with our luggage and gave a quick tour of the resort.
Our room was spacious and well-appointed, with two queen beds, a sofa bed, a large bathroom and a balcony. The balcony was easily our favorite part. The kids and I loved hanging out on the oversized chair each morning and afternoon.
The bathroom was large and spacious. It offered a separate room for the toilet, double vanity, and large shower with a rain head. Inside the bathroom, you were given plenty of amenities in case you left anything at home. Including shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, bar soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, razor, shower cap, and sewing kit.
Since we booked our stay on points I wasn’t sure what kind of room view we would get. However, I was excited to learn that there are really no rooms with a bad view. All rooms face in toward the resort, so the standard rooms are the ones on the lower floor.
The resort has 12 restaurants and 14 bars. We were able to try out all of the restaurants during our stay except for the club-level only restaurants. We also had our fair share of the 24-hours room service that is included as part of your stay.
A few things to keep in mind while you are there with kids. All of the sit-down restaurants offer a kid’s menu except the buffet. For some reason, we were not offered a kids menu at several of the restaurants and I learned later that it is something you need to request.
We ate most of our meals at the buffet which offered a wide variety of food. The kids loved the made-to-order pasta station, while my husband and I enjoyed the fresh seafood. The buffet also had a carving station, pizzas made to order and a dessert station that will make your sweet tooth very happy.
I’m a coffee lover, so I was thrilled to see that the resort had its own coffee shop on site. Coffee Republic opens at 6:30 am and has a variety of coffee drinks. I went every morning for my iced coffee. They also have a small selection of sandwiches & pastries that I would bring back for breakfast. In the afternoon we would head here for some ice cream and popsicles.
This was the buffet on the Ziva side and offered plenty of options to choose from. As a family of five with all different pallets we had a lot of meals here and it didn’t disappoint. There was always something for everyone and options that changed each day. Our kids loved the pasta station. You could get your pasta made to order with any sauce you wanted.
Noodle and Thread was an Italian restaurant. We came here on our first night. They start you off with a charcuterie board as an appetizer that my husband and I enjoyed. The kids all ordered plain pasta with butter and cheese. I had the short ribs which were just okay, the meat was a little tough. My husband ordered the mushroom risotto which he enjoyed.
This was an Asian restaurant with the option to sit at a standard table or hibachi. We enjoyed the hibachi table. They do your typical hibachi show and serve chicken, steak, and shrimp to everyone.
This beachside restaurant was one of our favorites. They are open for both lunch and dinner, we only went to dinner there and the menus differed slightly. My husband got the tuna appetizer which was so good, highly recommended!
This was a poolside restaurant serving mostly pizzas. The pizzas were good but small so don’t be afraid to order several to try out. We loved getting these for lunch by the pool so that we didn’t have to leave!
Another tip we found is that they also serve burgers and fries. This isn’t advertised anywhere on the menu and you have to ask for it specifically- not sure why that is!
This was a food truck located near the water park. It was the only option for food unless you wanted to head back to the main building. We only tried the nachos and french fries from here as a snack.
We found ourselves ordering room service quite frequently. We found it hard to get the kids to eat while we were out and about enjoying the day. We typically headed back to the room for a break and nap around 3pm and would order the kids some chicken fingers and snacks.
We did breakfast here a few times which was good as well. The smoked salmon sandwich and avocado toast were delicious.
This was the club-only restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Since we were not staying club level we didn’t get a chance to try this option.
This was the buffet option on the Zilara side of the resort. We stopped here one morning after the kids opted to go to the kids club. It offered similar options to El Mercado on the Ziva side, we both had some eggs Benedict and fruit.
This was a French Polynesian-inspired restaurant. To be honest we were extremely underwhelmed with the food here. We both ordered the onion soup appetizer which was very good. However, for dinner, I ordered the mahi-mahi and my husband ordered the chicken. He said the sauce on his chicken pretty much tasted like the butter sauce from Journeys. My mahi-mahi was very dry and not good, I wasn’t able to finish it and ended up just grabbing something at the buffet later.
This is an Indian-inspired restaurant. We didn’t get a chance to sit down here but did order takeout one day. This restaurant was very good, we ordered a few options since I had heard the portions can be small for takeout. Everything was so good and definitely get extra naan to try!
Waves was a beachside steakhouse on the Zilara side. We came here one night for appetizers and ordered all of them off the menu! I would probably say this was one of my favorite meals. We had the tacos and the spinach and artichoke dip and they were all absolutely delicious!
This was the poolside pizza option (similar to Prontoz in Ziva). We didn’t try this place, but assume it was similar to the Ziva option! I am not sure though if they also serve burgers and fries!
Shutters is the club only restaurant in Zilara. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We didn’t try this restaurant but heard great things about it.
Both the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana resorts have plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. At the beach, you could rent kayaks, sailboats, paddle boats, or stand-up paddle boards. We tried to reserve a sailboat one day but it ended up being too windy that day.
Additionally, there are large poolside games available such as shuffleboard, chess, ping pong, etc. Each day there is an itinerary of organized activities done by the hotel. With little kids, we didn’t get a chance to try any of these out, but we saw water bikes, virtual snorkeling, trivia games, and more.
When I asked the kids their favorite part of the vacation, they unanimously said the water park. The water park at Hyatt Ziva is so much fun. There is a small kiddie pool with sprinklers and a few small water slides – we loved hanging out here and even our older son had a blast.
The oldest son was big enough to go on the larger slides and we had fun taking turns bringing him up. There were 4 slides in total, one tube slide, one “daredevil” slide, and two other slides. There is also a 4 lane wavy slide that the entire family was able to go on. My younger two kids climbed those stairs probably 100 times to go down those slides!
Around the outskirts of the water park is the lazy river. We loved floating along this as a family a few times. The kids enjoyed going under the waterfalls, while I tried my best to avoid that part!
We were lucky enough to experience the pools at both resorts during our stay. We loved the pool at Ziva for the zero entry portion. This was a great option for our younger kids and also gave mom and dad a chance to relax on our beach chairs while watching them.
The pool is large and spreads out closer to the ocean. There are plenty of chairs available if you want to do a mix of beach and pool for the day.
The pool on the Zilara side was much quieter. We loved coming over here while the kids were enjoying the kids club a couple of mornings.
There are cabanas to rent at both resorts. Had we not been mixing up most of our time between the water park and the pool I would have considered renting one for the day. The only thing that I didn’t like was the lack of cabanas near the zero-entry pool where we spent most of our time. I did notice, however, that next to many of the cabanas was a shallow ledge that kids could play on.
This was our first time at a resort with a Kid’s Club and we knew we didn’t want to force our kids to go if they didn’t want to. We stopped by the first day since we were a bit early to the water park (it’s located right next to the water park). They gave us a tour and the kids were so excited to go back.
After that initial visit, they requested to go pretty frequently. We would usually spend an entire day together as a family at the water park and pool and the next day they needed a break and would request to go to the Kid’s Club. It was nice getting to sneak over to the adults-only Zilara pool a few times while the kids enjoyed the kids club.
At night they offered movies and would then take the kids to the evening shows. We would typically do room service for the kids for dinner while we all relaxed. We would then drop them off in time for the movie and head to dinner together for the two of us. After dinner, we met them at the evening show so we could enjoy it together as a family.
The entertainment at Hyatt Ziva was good. Certainly not your high-level Broadway show, but something we all enjoyed attending each night. There are two sets of shows each night, the family-catered show and a later show for adults.
We only attended the earlier family show, so, unfortunately, cannot speak to the later show. The kids had a blast watching the shows. In addition to the show each night, they had face painting, a dance party, and games for the kids to play.
We met some honeymooners while there and I made it a point to ask about the nightlife since we were in bed too early for any of that! What I gathered was, that if you are looking for a resort that offers a vibrant nightlife and dancing, this is not your place.
They offered a silent disco one night, which they raved about. However, other than that they said there was not much to offer as far as dancing goes.
We were disappointed we didn’t book any spa appointments, because it really looked amazing and that is something we always try to do on vacation. Since we never wanted to force the kids to go to the kids club, we just weren’t sure of a good day or time to book an appointment.
The water was beautiful, but we, unfortunately, went in a heavy seaweed month. The resort did a great job of cleaning it up (they were out there every day trying to rake it up!), but it was still not the best experience. I would recommend checking the seaweed situation before booking your trip. Months with higher seaweed levels will be March through July.
The service at the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana resorts was outstanding. Everyone we came in contact with was friendly and helpful. The housekeepers did an amazing job taking care of our room each day. They went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed, including extra snacks for our kids.
All of the servers and bartenders were friendly and accommodating to our family. Even some of the groundskeepers would stop and ask if we needed anything.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay at this resort. With three kids we always found ourselves entertained with tons of activities. Everyone in our family agreed that the water park was our favorite part. The kid’s close second was definitely the kids club. My husband and I loved the fact that you could walk over to the adults-only side while the kids enjoyed the kids club.
It’s nice to have the best of both worlds with this resort. Even if your kids don’t want to do the kids club, we liked that you could still order takeout from many of the Zilara restaurants to still enjoy the food.
Thanks, Julie, for this great article about the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana! It’s already on our list to visit for 2023!
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