This year, possibly more than ever before, people are feeling the itch of the travel bug. Being at home for months on end last year absolutely had me begging for a good vacation. One with unlimited food and drinks and blue water and NO CHILDREN.
Luckily, I wasn’t alone and some friends of ours invited us along on a trip with them.
We started planning this trip almost a year ago, so we were beyond ready when it was time to go. We used Under the Sun Travel Agency to help plan our trip and I don’t think I will ever travel internationally without a travel agent. The travel agent asked what we wanted, gave us some resort options (with pricing). Then, when we decided where to go, they booked our resort, our flights, our hotel transportation.. all of it. We paid them a deposit to secure our spots and then we just made payments until it was paid in full.
I am so glad that we decided on the Hyatt Zilara in Cancun! Here’s a recap:
We flew out from Tulsa and then to Houston. In Houston, we were delayed due to weather so when we got to Cancun, so did the rest of the planet. We were in line for customs for nothing short of 58394895789 hours. Pro tip: The bathroom sinks had no water. Bring hand sanitizer.
Once we got through customs we were on our way. Mostly. Once we got past the vendors, we got out to the parking lot where we found that we had no shuttle driver because we were like 3 hours late. Whoops. We gave them our name and waited in line for our turn. And if we didn’t have that wait we would not have been able to enjoy a drink from the margarita cart. It was $19 and worth every penny.
Pro Tips: Wear shorts, not leggings. It was hot AF. Have sunglasses and a pony tail holder handy because again, hot AF.
The ride to the resort was typical. Fast and furious. Also, Cancun stinks. Be prepared to think someone else in the shuttle crapped their pants. Seriously.
But, once we got the resort, all was great. The lobby itself is gorgeous and airy and marble, swoon. It felt very upscale and made the traveling experience merely a memory. Or maybe it was the margarita.
We got into our room rather quickly. The rooms are beautiful. All of the rooms have an ocean view, we had a Jr. Suite King, which is the most basic room. I will happily take basic any day because we still had a giant jacuzzi tub, and a hammock on our balcony. One of our friend couples upgraded to the seventh floor (we were on 2) and their room was exactly the same as ours, but obviously a better ocean view due to the height. The other couple we went with was the third floor, and they also had the same room we did. Moral of the story: Only pay to upgrade if you just really want a better view.
We spent our entire trip basically eating, drinking, floating the pool and relaxing. The food was great. Here are the on site restaurants:
Spice– The buffet. We had to wear a mask to enter and to move around. You tell the employees what you want, and they put it on your plate for you. The menu varied nightly. We were lucky and got Mexican food on the night we arrived. My friends weren’t as lucky and had Italian the second night. They didn’t love it. We never had anything at Spice that we didn’t enjoy, but we didn’t go on Italian night. I will say the waiter came and tried to sell me a baby lobster on our first night, and it kind of soured my mood. I was afraid they were going to spend the entire time we were there trying to upsell us. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. This is a restaurant where you need to wear resort wear to eat, so left the pool and changed clothes to eat lunch there.
Pelicano’s was our favorite place to eat. We had breakfast there daily, and lunch almost every day. The one day we had Spice for lunch, it was because it was raining outside. Pelicano’s is poolside and you can show up in a coverup over a dry swimming suit. Highly recommend the Egg’s Benedict and the Avocado Toast as breakfast meals. I’m not usually a breakfast girl but I become a different person on vacation. Fish tacos, and Shrimp tacos were amazing for lunch. I also tried an appetizer that I can only describe as seafood stew. I wish I could remember the name but it was like a Bloody Mary in a bowl and it was octopus, shrimp and crab. It wasn’t my favorite but now I can say I’ve eaten octopus. The beauty in an all inclusive is that you can order things you normally wouldn’t try.
Asiana – we got reservations for the Hibachi and it was worth the wait. Even if it was 9:00 on Friday night. The show was fun and the food was delicious. We each ordered our own desert the waiter looked at us like we were fat (maybe it was meant to share with your spouse??) and he was right. It was a lot for one person to eat but then we were determined to finish our fruit and coconut ice cream because we had a point to prove. Make the reservation for sure!
Maria Marie- Good enough that we went twice! Elote was delicious, whatever I got was not called fajitas, but it was definitely fajitas (sorry, didn’t get the name, again! But read the menu description and you’ll find it) Deserts were amazing. Regret not getting a soufflé.
Casa del Cafe- This is the coffee shop. Vanilla Latte was good, Caramel Macchiato was better. Their ice cream was delicious ( I got coffee, Husband got chocolate chip, it was yellow, don’t let it scare it.) We got stopped by four people on the way back to our room asking where we got ice cream. Plan to visit the coffee shop every morning because the in room coffee is awful.
Time Out Sports Bar– Was supposed to have bar food and drinks. They had an awkward quote on the wall, no snacks and my mojito was seltzer water with mint. Fail. We wanted cheese fries, real bad. No luck.
Room Service- Was good! Justin got a burger and didn’t love it, but we did get a huge plate of fries delivered to our room, and there is really nothing like laying in a jacuzzi tub watching TV and eating fries. #Paradise
Besides eating and drinking, we really just hung out in the pool and played in the ocean. There was a lot of seaweed, which can’t really be avoided but the clear water and the white sand made up for that for sure. The hotel does a great job of coming through with a tractor (I’m sure there is a technical name for what they use and I don’t care what it is) and cleaning up seaweed in the mornings.
The most magical part of the beach was seeing TWO Mama Sea Turtles coming onto the beach to nest. We stayed back, didn’t use flash, were quiet and watched as one got nice and cozy next to the tents on the beach.
The next morning at breakfast I noticed that the nest wasn’t roped off and apparently I’m a sea turtle advocate because I immediately asked about it. They told me they moved it and that didn’t sit well with me at all. So, I looked it up at and found that there is actually an organization that relocates the sea turtle nests and takes them to a hatchery. Info here. Whew.
Covid protocol called for us to have a negative Covid Test before coming back to the states. They did offer a Covid Insurance for $29 per person to ensure we had a place to stay in the event of a positive result. We happily paid for that. We had the covid test done on the second floor of the hotel (the hotel pays for it) and had our results via email within about 6 hours. Then, we just uploaded the results to our flight check in and we were on the way! The only place that required us to wear a mask was Spice.
All in all, if you are thinking of Hyatt Zilara Cancun, do it. If you are looking for an adults only all inclusive, do it. I looked at prices of the resort itself and I encourage you to use a travel agent. I’m sure we got a great price because we booked during covid, but our travel agent is always posting great deals.
Have you ever stayed in Cancun? Or do you have an all inclusive that you recommend?