Until this trip I had never really ever thought about going to an “all inclusive” resort on a beach. But Kirk sold me on it. We flew into San Jose del Cabo a couple days before we were to leave on a boating trip into the Sea of Cortez and he wooed me with “you can do nothing all day long and we live it up kid free”. That won me over right there. Doing nothing sounded great.
Still I wondered how it’d be. Some of the places I had seen promised a lot, and fail to deliver. However, it came highly recommended by our travel agent, Anna, (who we met on an adventure last year). At worst, it’d be a couple days.
Leaving Seattle on a cold and bitter early Spring morning. But the window art was amazing in this section of Sea-Tac.
We used miles Kirk got from all his work travel to really live it up…start that vaca in full bougie version where we flew first class to Mexico.
And Delta finally put back all the things that made First Class worth it….You don’t normally think airplane food is good but I am going to go with that Delta has guilt over how crappy their service has been the last 2 years and is trying overly hard to win people. The breakfast was actually really good. Or I was just starving.
The endless drought of California.
I believe it was Pyramid Lake, on the California/Nevada border.
Going over the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California. And almost there, flying down Baja.
Now then…the airport at San Jose del Cabo is interesting. As in drive you batty. Once off the plane, you go thru immigration in a well cared for line where it goes smoothly. Easy. Too easy!
Then you pick up your luggage, and head for customs. Where there is no line, just a herd of cattle. You can almost hear the bleating of the cattle. It was 3 planes worth of humans. Finally we reached the end of that mess and found actual lines and 3 employees. Then wound thru that line to just be waved through. Then, girdle yourself….it’s time to run and evade all the time share sales/tours/god knows what else peddlers that work in the “information” area. Just run. And escape outside to find the transportation area.
We had a private driver lined up, and the private drivers mostly have brand new vehicles that are comfort all the way. The one we got, Anna our agent had arranged it, as she has used him before. A smooth ride to the Hyatt Ziva Resort.
Once checked in (we were early, but they got us in within minutes), we dumped our winter PNW clothing and went out to check out the resort. They had given us club access (it’s always a good thing to sign up for the loyalty membership/card for hotel chains offer for free. The biggest is they often let you check in far earlier than normal – and sometimes you get perks like club access!)
The hotel has gates at the entrance and a highly attentive staff there. It is a full resort, not a hotel, and they let you know it by how it is run. Take up the offer for the men employed at the front to haul luggage. They will show you where everything is as you walk. It is well worth the tip to them.
Then it was off to sit on the beach and watch the sun set. And find dinner. The resort is huge, but easily walked. Unlike some of the other resorts, there were options at every hour to find something to eat. And some were quite nice. We had dinner at the beach side grill (steakhouse) and watched the light settle.
The restaurants are spread around the property. The main pools are in the center. The hugest one is not heated, but midday is great. The infinity pool is in front of it, and is heated. There is a swim up bar in it. To the right, near the main pool is a smoothie bar run during the morning (and of which made some of the best smoothies I have every had….made with fresh ingredients – no mixes used. Just fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, oats and more).
The resort has two of these private pools. For swim up rooms. This was in the main area. There was also one along the adult only pool (which we swam in daily). There is also a kid pool, on the far side of the property, away from everything else, with a water park in it. We had a Ziva suite which our balcony overlooked the kids pool, but honestly it wasn’t bad – the sounds are muffled by the sound of the sea waves. The pool was quiet by 5 pm. Our suite was massive. It had an entire bedroom, with door, and 2 full bathrooms, with a huge living room. It could easily sleep 4 people, it was the size of an actual 1 bedroom apartment. The staff comes by daily and cleans, along with refilling the complimentary snacks/beer/pop/water.
We were on one of the wings, which was easy to access the pools from, or to go down 2 flights, and then walk covered into the main part of the hotel from. The reflection pond which has couches all over it was tranquil in the early morning. The club level is in the upper floors in the main building.
It has a huge room with couches and seating inside, or on the shaded outside areas. It was a calming place and was glad we had it. For breakfast and lunch, the options for eating were buffets or the Italian place (which was good) but for us we could eat in the club level.
Where we had fresh options all day long and no crowds. We ate many of our meals here.
And they even served martini glasses of guacamole….which I might say is worth going there for. Hehehehe!
The food was really good and I was able to eat nearly all veggies and fruit. Club level also got you all premium booze. However, I don’t drink, so that was wasted on me.
On the main floor was a 24 hour coffeehouse, styled like a Starbucks. A latte every morning, and an easy way to grab a snack, treat or a light meal easily any hour.
I rise early, often up by 5 am. So I got a latte and stretched out on the couches over the water and watched the sun rise.
Were just so pretty.
A massive road runner recently installed. It’s really neat in person – and it is huge.
If one looked hard enough under the flowers, one could find lizards and even a black cat that slinked around, especially at night.
Near the Italian restaurant is a Greek revival style gazebo, where they do wedding photos.
The main pool at night. The resort was quiet at night, as long as you avoided the bars. Even with it being spring break time, the resort wasn’t loud or unruly. No drunk shenanigans. No puke. It was I found so cute to watch the spring break couples trying to be adults so earnestly here. Dressed up for dinner and working hard to look like they were adults and not college kids. So old me smiled about it.
On our last day we packed up, left our bags at the front with the bell hops and went and had lunch. Then we had to get moving to meet the boat. We were meeting at a hotel 4 properties down to take a private shuttle to La Paz, 3 hours away, so we opted to walk (as the hotel staff was “it’s so bright out!”…..nice try there 😉 ) The walk was pleasant, although the sidewalks are not disabled accessible at all, and you have to gently hop your suitcase up and down. And that is something I noted: handicap accessibility is not easy in town. While they have elevators in the hotels, that is about it. Even for normal walking in stairwells hand rails were apparently not required by code either. Crossing roads was “run fast!” so be aware of that.
It was row after row.
So many flowers to see!
This is where I realized how much better the Hyatt Ziva was – and well worth the extra cost. We were meeting at the Barcelo Gran Faro Los Cabos. We were given day privileges so could wander the property and eat if wanted. As we walked up to the hotel, it wasn’t gated. It was oddly set up with the restaurants and a store set in front, instead of the hotel itself. Then you walked “inside” (well it was a covered area, but not sealed up) and it was just very dark in there. It was mostly a sitting area in the shade, with their “club” level bar the only thing there. The check in area was set off wonky in a sealed room. To find a bathroom, it was a far walk and the restrooms were very old inside, and partially broken. Not a good welcome when locks are broken and stalls not working. The staff wasn’t friendly either. They had far fewer staff and and it just felt….off. There was no excitement like at the Ziva, which had a portable bar up front offering you a cold one as soon as you walked in and local singers with dancers getting you excited. The pools were small, overrun and full of people lobster red (eek!) with loud, braying spring breakers yelling for more booze. Had we stayed here….I’d have written off all inclusive resorts as being tacky and worn out looking.
It was a much smaller property and felt over run by humans. I walked the resort in under 10 minutes, around the pools in the center, saw they had a snack bar at the pool full of beige American food, and a restaurant doing a buffet at the beach. That seemed to be the only lunch options. I asked if they had ice cream and the front staff looked at me and said “No”. I mean..it’s hot and you don’t have ANY ice cream or anything cold? Yes, living my whiny bougie life right there…hahahaha. Thankfully our chartered coach left soon after to La Paz, a 3 hour drive away to reach the dock to sail out for our week long boating trip.
It was a great couple of days to simply relax and not think too hard. I would highly recommend the Hyatt property. It was well run, clean and enjoyable.