Enjoy a glorious new beach vacation full of luxury and free of hassle in the Caribbean at the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana.
After a long Vermont winter, a beach trip was just what this family of skiers needed. A ski mom friend recommended a senior class trip somewhere and after some online research we settled on the new all-inclusive Hyatt resort in the Dominican Republic. We booked our beach vacation at the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana and it was a spectacular trip for the teens and the parents.
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This new Hyatt resort was ideal for our group. We had 13 families on property with two groups of teens, some were 15 and some 18. The resort provided incredible options to play in the sun and also be treated to great meals. It exceeded our expectations on all levels.
About the Location
The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean. The island of Hispaniola is split into two countries with Haiti to the west and the DR on the east. The DR is known for its beaches, resorts and golfing and is a wealthier and politically more stable. Its terrain comprises rainforest, savannah and highlands, including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain.
During our mid-April visit the weather was ideal. Highs were in the 80's with a steady ocean breeze and at night dipped into the 70's. I never needed a sweater, nor did I get too hot. I felt very safe and secure on my visit.
Hyatt Cap Cana
Hyatt opened this property in November of 2022, and the property is sparkling and new. It briefly opened in 2018, but a hurricane caused massive damage and a shut-down. The company plowed ahead with a complete overhaul and the results are stunning. The massive footprint encompasses two resorts: the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana which is family-friendly and the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana which is exclusively for 18+.
The two properties together have 350 rooms set on 40 acres on Juanillo Beach. Rates start at about $699 per night. I highly recommend booking the "club level" package. It'll get you a butler and access to some exclusive locations on the property, like restaurants and the club pool.
We were a group of three and I opted for a big space. Our King Suite had a jacuzzi tub on the deck (which we never used) and two rooms; the living area had a queen-sized pull-out couch where the girls slept and a full bath for them. My room had a king bed and an enormous bathroom. We had a ridiculous amount of space to spread out. The deck for our room had a table and four chairs, plus a sofa, we often had room service breakfast out here as we enjoyed the ocean views.
The decor throughout the resort is modern and tastefully Caribbean. There's local art dotted throughout the property, but the biggest design element is nature. The grounds are meticulously groomed and teaming with local plants and flowers which provide a stunning backdrop for the property.
Dining at the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana
There are so many options you'll never get bored here. The food quality is exceptional and the service is well above average. There are no gross buffet lines or congealed eggs, everything is fresh, appealing and tasty. There are too many great options to mention, so I'm going to give you my highlights.
Breakfast: Room service is included in your room and available 24/7. We often ordered breakfast to the room to enjoy our views. There's also an enormous breakfast buffet with indoor and outdoor seating or club-level guests can get table service at the beachfront Chinola restaurant. There are tons of fresh and healthy options at every meal and the buffets are all served to order, you'll never have to handle a utensil that another guest has touched.
Lunch: The Navigator is a nice poolside option that serves tacos, pizzas and salads. The Chinola has healthy salads and loads of gluten-free options or you can head back the buffet to get sushi, seafood or grilled items (the menu there changes daily).
Dinner: This is where the options really shine we had some fabulous meals at the Hyatt Ziva Resort Dominican Republic. My favorites include the Hibachi style meal at Tempest, the Indian dinner and our steak dinner. The service is exceptional. The staff is expertly trained and gracious.
In the DR, being 18 gives you access to clubs and adult beverages, so many in our group availed of the opportunity to go the the "adult" side (the Zilara) for dinners.
In addition to the restaurants for regular meals, there's a great coffee bar that also had ice cream and delicious ice pops. And for the grown-ups we loved the martini bar.
Hyatt Ziva Dominican Republic Beach
Most guests don't come to the DR for food, they come for the weather and the beach. The water is warm and inviting and the resort has set up a barrier to try to control the incoming kelp. Each morning the staff rakes the sand to keep it as clean as possible. I NEVER saw a piece of trash, but there is some kelp, the whole Atlantic is suffering from an influx of kelp, so this isn't specific to the DR.
The sand is light colored and soft and never got too hot. Each morning the Hyatt staff is out at 7am setting up beach chairs and umbrellas. There's a full staff to help situate guests (please, be sure to tip the staff who get you set up). We never lacked for chairs or towels on the beach.
There's a breeze all day and plenty to do near the water. We took out the kayaks and SUP in the shallow swimming area. There are also small sunfish style boats to play with. The waterfront at the resort is sheltered by a bulwark that keeps some of the kelp at bay. It's not great snorkeling because there's no coral, but the water is clear and clean and VERY shallow. It's great for little kids to frolic and swim.
The beach also has a small area for beach soccer and volleyball. Throughout the day there were pickup games organized by guests, and then the staff would organize games in the afternoon.
Waiters served the beach area offering cold drinks and cocktails (yes, it's free, but again please tip) and there was a beach-side fruit stand that we loved for healthy snacks.
More games were organized in the shade--like corn hole and ladder toss. Your kiddos or teens won't get bored.
What to Do at the Hyatt All-Inclusive Resport
The fitness center is modeled after a traditional rum distillery. The classes start at 8:30am and are run by expert instructors. I loved the TRX class (be sure to get there early for this one, it fills up!), but our favorite was Patrick's zumba class. The teens and parents all went and had a blast watching his choreography. The 30 minutes fly by! The 14,000 sq. ft. fitness center is open 24/7 with functional fitness and spinning rooms. In addition to the gym programming, there's also beach yoga and stretching.
The Larimar Spa has a cascading waterfall and a Himalayan salt lounge. I booked a hot stone massage for me and a facial for my daughter. The prices seemed very high (but we did get a 10% discount for being club members) -- our bill came to $450 for these two services. The spa rooms were lovely and the services were top notch.
The Hyatt Ziva features a water park and areas for kids and teens. This was one of our favorite things to do. The water park is incredibly clean and full of live plants. There's a long lazy river, steep slides and then a huge open water play area. This will provide hours of fun for your family.
The Hyatt has a room for teens to hang out unsupervised, and a larger area for supervised play for younger kids. Kids 13-17 can experience the latest virtual reality stimulators and Formula 1 racing at the Teen Club.
For younger kids, the KidZ club is a chance to make new friends and join in on fun and supervised games which include interactive digital tablets, and a Spider Zone, among other entertaining activities. Kids ages 4–12 can enjoy the club from 9am to 9pm without any limit on the number of hours they spend there (for free).
Entertainment at the Hyatt Ziva
Each day the entertainment changes at the resort. There's loads of daytime programming that includes arts and crafts and poolside workouts.
Some of our favorites were the karaoke, the magic show, and the homage to Disney.
Getting to The Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana
We flew from JFK directly to the Punta Cana airport (PUJ). Friends coming in from Boston also had direct flight options. Flights are available daily and the DR airport is efficient and easy to navigate.
We pre-booked a connection through the hotel . The ride was about 20 minutes from the airport.
The DR is a peaceful place that has been blessed with far fewer natural disasters than it's neighbor. It's known as a haven for golfers and sun-seekers. I admit to not picking this place for culture, but instead for reliable weather and enticing beaches. During my 6-day visit, I never set foot off the property or got into a car until it was time to go back to the airport to leave. I cannot wait to return.
Video Tour of the Resort
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