Picture this: You’re sitting on the beach with a drink in hand when you realize that you’re saving money by going on this vacation rather than sitting at home.
You can make it happen. And the easiest way to do it is with Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara all inclusive resorts, which are scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Use World of Hyatt points, and you can eat, drink, and stay for free. It’s one of the best deals in the world of points and miles.
Most top-notch all inclusive resorts are expensive and aren’t affiliated with hotel loyalty programs, making it impossible to use hotel points to book a stay. But Hyatt changed the game back in 2013 when they acquired a small chain of all inclusive properties.
We’re huge fans of these resorts, and not just because of the great facilities, solid food and tasty-top shelf drinks that are included with the cost of your room. They’re also outstanding because they are incredibly easy to book for free with points. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to book your own getaway for free.
Ziva & Zilara: What’s the Difference?
You might be asking. What’s the difference between the Ziva and Zilara brands? Simply put, the Hyatt Zilara properties are for adults only, which is defined as 18 and up. The Hyatt Ziva locations, on the other hand, are family-friendly.
We’ve stayed at both brands and would highly recommend either of them. I recently stayed at the location in Puerto Vallarta (pictured above) with our almost-two-year-old daughter and we had a great experience. But I’ve also stayed at Ziva locations without our daughter in tow and never found it was overrun with children, if that’s your concern – there are still adults-only pools and areas to enjoy. And Both experiences were fantastic. All the properties have several pools and plenty of chair space, making it easy to find a spot that will work for you.
If you are looking for a bit more of an upbeat scene that is less family-friendly, the Zilara should be your choice.
Where are The Hyatt Ziva & Zilara Resorts Located?
The Ziva & Zilara Hyatt all inclusive resorts are scattered throughout Mexico and the Carribean. See below for a breakdown of the locations.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Hyatt Ziva – Cancun: Cancun, Mexico
Hyatt Zilara Cancun: Cancun, Mexico (adults only)
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall: Montego Bay, Jamaica (adults only)
Hyatt will also be opening both a Ziva and Zilara location in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic on Nov. 1, 2019. The properties are located next to each other and will share many of the same amenities.
Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana: Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana: Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
How Much Does it Cost to Book?
Generally speaking, if you are paying cash, you can expect to pay between $250 and $500 a night to book a room at either a Ziva or Zilara property. This will ultimately depend on the exact location you are looking at, and the time of year.
But here is the beauty of these properties; all of them can be booked for either 20,000 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points each night!
Not only will the 20,000-25,000 points cover your lodging, but all of your drinks, meals at the restaurants on the resorts, and the mini bar in your room are included! Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees that other chains like Marriott and Hilton are currently getting sued for. That means just 20,000 or 25,000 points covers everything.
However, we always recommend tipping your servers as it’s the right thing to do and it will greatly improve your service when you are waiting for a drink at the beach or sitting poolside.
How to Earn World of Hyatt Points
You might be saying to yourself, “this sounds great, but I don’t have any Hyatt points.” Don’t worry.
You don’t need to be a road warrior who constantly stays at Hyatt hotels to earn enough points for a stay at any of the Ziva and Zilara properties. There are a few different credit cards that make earning Hyatt points relatively simple and straightforward.
The first is obvious: The World of Hyatt Credit Card. Just for opening the card and spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership, you will receive 25,000 World of Hyatt points.
If you spend another $3,000 in the first six months (for $6,000 total), you will receive another 25,000 points. That’s 50,000 points total and enough for two free nights at any of the Zilara and Ziva properties.
The card has an $95 annual fee which is not waived for the first year of card membership. However, starting in year two, it offers an annual free night certificate to be used at any Hyatt category 1-4 property. None of the Ziva and Zilara hotels are eligible for the free night certificate, but for me, it is reason enough to justify the annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card
In addition to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you can also earn Hyatt points by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Because Hyatt is one of the twelve airline and hotel transfer partners of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points into your World of Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio. This means one Chase point will equal one World of Hyatt point.
And if you don’t have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they can be earned from a number of personal and business credit cards. Most notably the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which is currently offering a welcome offer bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. That’s enough for up to three free nights at these Hyatt all inclusive resorts.
This card also has an annual fee of $95 which is not waived in the first year of card membership. However, the welcome offer bonus alone is worth at least $750, and often times much more. If you book three nights at one of these Hyatt properties, you could easily get $1,000 or more out of these points.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another option for earning Ultimate Rewards points, and you can think of it as the older brother of Chase Sapphire Preferred. While the Sapphire Reserve earns the same Ultimate Rewards points, it offers a number of premium benefits that push the card’s annual fee to $550 a year.
Just for holding the card, you’ll get an annual $300 credit that can be used for any travel expense. The credit happens automatically and makes it easy to trim down that annual fee to just $250 a year if you can use it.
It also offers a credit of up to $100 every four years to cover the cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, a Priority Pass lounge membership that will get you into thousands of airport lounges and restaurants across the world, and many other premium benefits.
The card earns 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending a total of $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
So hypothetically, you could open the World of Hyatt Credit card and one of the Chase Sapphire cards and earn up to 110,000 points. That’s enough to cover up to five free nights at Ziva and Zilara locations.
Do you have a spouse or a significant other? You can both earn points in your own World of Hyatt accounts and book back-to-back reservations for a longer stay, or just combine your World of Hyatt points.
You won’t find a better deal when it comes to all-inclusive resorts. Period.
If you can’t tell by now, we love these Hyatt all-inclusive resorts. I have stayed at many all-inclusive properties over the years, and Hyatt’s are far above average. The food isn’t the best you will ever eat but it puts most all-inclusive cuisine to shame.
During my last trip to the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, I had an epiphany. I realized that my wife and I were spending less money being on the beach in Mexico than we would have if we were at home. We used Delta SkyMiles to cover the cost of flights and transferred 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points into my Hyatt account to book four nights at the resort.
Since we were traveling with our daughter, we didn’t leave the resort, which of course kept costs down. We spent about $15 to $20 each day on tips for our servers and housekeepers. That money covered all of our meals, drinks for mom and dad, and plenty of entertainment for our daughter.
You simply can’t find that kind of value with other all-inclusive resorts and it’s a big reason we love these properties.
Thrifty Tip: Want help maximizing your travel rewards points? Start learning with our Thrifty Traveler University online lessons.
Give the Ziva or Zilara Hyatt all-inclusive resorts a shot when you are planning your next beach vacation. The properties are beautiful and well maintained, provide great food and drinks and you simply can’t beat the value of booking nights with World of Hyatt points.