Is Hyatt Ziva Cancun Safe
I realize the headline seems sensational but after my recent experience (outlined here) and after doing some post trip research and finding story after story of security failures and occurrences of crime at Ziva and sister property Hyatt Zilara, I find myself truly wondering exactly that- is Hyatt Ziva Cancun safe? To be clear, I'm not suggesting that my experience is evidence of a lack of safety but I can certainly say that it speaks to the quality and inadequacy of the security staff. As you'll see the security staff spent very little time focusing on actual safety issues during my experience at Ziva.
Originally this was going to be a review of the property with lots of photos, tips and tricks but I absolutely cannot in good conscience tell anyone who reads my site to visit this property. This is a detailed account of my recent experience.
I booked the Hyatt Ziva Cancun for 4 nights for two people. After booking was complete, I found out a few of my friends were in Cancun on the same dates so I wanted to see what our options were to hang out since I know All-Inclusives don't allow non-paying guests to visit. So I called Hyatt reservations and they told me that the only way to ensure my guests would be able to spend the day with us was by adding them to our room reservation since guest passes are subject to availability. I decided to wait until we checked in to see if there were any passes available and if not I confirmed that my room was a 4 person capacity room.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun Check-In
At check in a very nice person (Marisol) at the World of Hyatt check in desk told me we could do guest day passes but that they were only for half of the day, so we'd have to buy 2 for each of my friends so she offered to see if there was a discounted rate they could offer to add them both to the reservation for the whole night. She said she had to make a phone call to get the info and she would call me as soon as she found out how much it would cost. I went back in a short while later to use the bathroom and she let me know she had give me incorrect info about the day passes because they were not offering them. I didn't care much because I figured we might as well just add them so they could stay the night if they wanted to.
Later, she left me the following voicemail- word for word ” Unknown Depositing new message “Hi, Miss Walsh. This is Marisol speaking from Hyatt Ziva. It's gonna yesterday. I made your checking and you told me that you would like to bring, uh, two extra persons for today. Uh, I just called the reservation's team, and they told me that you booked with points. So, um, if you want to add the two extra adults, uh, you need to use more points for this. Uh, I suggest you to contact directly world of Hyatt or the other option is pay directly here. $220 per extra person per day that I think it's a little bit expensive. So if you have more points, I suggest to use them for the two extra persons for today. Uh, if you need just, uh, more information or if it's something else that I can do for you Just, uh, contact me. I will be here at the main desk. Okay. Thank you”.. Click here: 14699825011 to listen to full voice message. Sent from my iPhone
OUCH $220 per person, so $440 total. But with the Bonus Journeys Promotion and all those extra points, it stung a lot less.
First Thing in the Morning
I went to the desk and asked if I could add them prior to them arriving because I didn't want hem to know how much it cost since it was pretty pricey and I didn't want them to feel bad or try to give me money. The desk agent said I had to wait until they got there because they needed Identification but that I could authorize the charges ahead of time so that no prices were discussed. At the same time, my friend arrived and I walked him over to our spot on the beach and took his id from him so I could finish the process.
Encounter 1 (Hyatt Ziva Cancun Front Desk)
At the desk was a different person so I let her know I was adding my friend to the reservation and handed her the id, she seemed really confused by this. She said, I'm sorry but I don't think we're selling day passes today. I let her knew I wasn't doing a pass- instead I was adding two additional people to the room and she said she wasn't sure if that could be done. So I told her that Marisol told me I could and that she had just left me a voicemail- the agent went to confirm this with Marisol and that cleared up her confusion. She then added my friends name and had me sign a form. I explained that I didn't want anyone to know the price so we also filled out the form for my second friend who was arriving a few hours later, but again, I would have to bring her id. (makes perfect sense.)
Here's where things get a little weird. I walked back down to the beach and I could feel several hotel employees looking at us (but ignored it since people always look at me since I'm so beautiful). We ordered some drinks and chatted a bit before I started noticing more and more male hotel employees looking at us and sort of congregating around us. This continued for 15 minutes or so until a man ( approached us and politely asked how our stay was going and informed us that our reservation was only for 2 people… so I stopped him and said I just added my friend to the reservation a little while ago- you can call up to the desk to confirm. I also let him know he should have done that prior to making us uncomfortable for the past 40 minutes and insinuating that a guest was doing something like that without first checking with the front desk. He stood there as he radioed to the desk and about 3-4 minutes (felt like 20) later he apologized and went on his way. Wish the story ended here but it definitely didn't.
Encounter 3 (Hyatt Ziva Cancun Front Desk)
The situation seemed to be cleared up, so we resumed our day for about 20 minutes before I started noticing security looking at us again. We tried to ignore it and asked our waiter if we could order a round of drinks and lunch to which he replied “We just have one problem, you're not a hotel guest” to my friend. (Are you kidding me?) I asked him who told him that and he said the security guard! So I pointed at the group of guys staring at us and asked the waiter if it was one of them and he answered affirmatively. At this point I jumped up and went back to the front desk- which isn't exactly convenient from the far end of the beach.
I walked over to the front desk and waited a few minutes for someone since (of course) there was no one sitting at the World of Hyatt desk. I explained the situation and my resulting frustration with multiple encounters after paying $440 EXTRA. For that much money in addition to my precious 25K Hyatt points, things should be done properly. Mistakes happen and I can understand once, but twice in 25 minutes seems like they don't have their stuff together. The woman (Elizabeth) at the desk apologized profusely and I told her it wasn't her fault and to please just do what she needs to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Seemed like we were good to go at this point. I also reiterated that it was very important the rest of the day run smoothly because my pregnant friend was on her way and I didn't want to have any issues when she got there as this was already embarrassing me in front of my first guest. She assured me all I needed to do when my friend arrived was bring her license to finish the form.
At this point I get a text from my friend
“The security guard won't let me in the hotel, he says there are no guests registered in my name.”
Off to the front desk I went. Surprisingly I hadn't lost my cool at this point (which is amazing because I have very little patience in general.) I ran over to the first person I saw at the desk and said I have a guest coming and she's super preggo and stuck at the bottom of the driveway, can someone please call down to security immediately and let them know to let her up. Guess what the response was? I'm sorry- we're not allowing guests today. This AGAIN? Here's where I start to get a little excited as I demand to speak to a manager or Elizabeth (desk agent I spoke with twice) or Marisol, at this point I'll take anyone just to get my friend out of the heat and off of her feet. The agent disappears.
I feel it's important at this point to remind you that I have already completed the paperwork and authorized the charges.
Instead of someone calling security to let my friend up- I am approached by a fairly large man (head of security I'm told) and a very rude manager, Thelma. She asked me in an exhaustive way, “what exactly is the problem here?” Like as if she were the one being harassed and interrupted during a beach vacation. I start to explain to her what's going on, but interrupt myself to plead that she let my friend into the hotel lobby at least so she can sit down and then I'll explain everything.
This is where I start to get very uncomfortable, the man walks towards me and stands very close to me and he's essentially towering over me. He gestures to the couches off to the side and sternly tells me to sit down. At this point I was wishing my P2 was there because no one is going to try to intimidate that tall glass of water. But instead it's just me so I try to collect myself and I sit down and I explain as fast and as thoroughly as possible that my friend is already cleared, the paperwork is done etc.
This lady proceeds to explain to me that although the room sleeps 4- it's only one king bed, so I should have booked a separate room. I absolutely cannot say for certain but I really got the feeling (and this is completely subjective) that she was saying it wouldn't be okay if I was sharing a bed with them- like as if to judge what she perceived to be an alternative lifestyle. Of course it could also be that they thought I was like a drug dealer and adding a pregnant woman to my room would somehow help me with that or something but the tone was very judgmental. She then said you should have booked a separate room. Let's unpack this, I booked a room that sleeps four and cleared 2 extra guests for one night at every stage of the process, so why on earth would I need a second room? I very firmly reiterated this point and the man told me to please relax in the most aggressive way possible.
But I was still aight at this point- now where I lose it is when Thelma tells me my friend is not coming up and they've restricted guests for the day so she's not allowing it. At this point I'm definitely getting louder and very frustrated. I think they could see I meant business as I stood up and (lucky me for never deleting voicemails) began playing the voicemail Marisol left on speaker.
Oops! Don't they look stupid (?) since I have a voicemail from the same day contradicting everything they're saying.
Sure enough “security dude” stood up too but then Thelma said okay we'll honor the terms from the voicemail but next time book two rooms. She took her sweet ass time walking out of the lobby and then my friend was ESCORTED up BY security. I took her license to the desk and found the original woman, Elizabeth and I asked her why this was happening and I could tell she was as confused as I was. She assured me she would go to her manager and make sure that security and everyone at the desk understood that these were hotel guests. I also told her to please explain the situation to the manager and see if there was anything they could do on the price of the guests and she said they would be able to do a $100 credit (which was okay since the total was $440.)
If you're wondering whether the credit was ever added or if anyone ever called me as promised, the answer is unsurprisingly no.
This was not a direct interaction, just what appeared to be a concerted effort to make us uncomfortable. As I walked down from the lobby with my friend back to the beach at least 6 security guards stared at us and spoke into their radios. Then the head of security passed by our spot on the far end of the beach no less than 15 times over the course of the next hour. Obviously when I'm in a group I'm not intimidated any longer, but my day (if not my trip) was ruined at this point.
As you can see from the chat below there was no reason or basis to try to refuse the additional guests.
The next morning as I was walking down to the pool, one of the security guys from the day before spotted me and immediately radioed someone- maybe it was a coincidence and maybe it wasn't but I was extremely uncomfortable and despite the fact that I paid $600 for the last night of my stay and got an incredible deal on AA's 777 Lie flat product, I decided to leave early and forfeit the last night and paid $1200 to fly Jetblue premium economy home. Yes, That's how uncomfortable and miserable this encounter was. I've NEVER had a a hotel employee (or any man for that matter) accost me like that and have never been treated with so much disrespect for doing nothing but overpay for guests.
So, Is Hyatt Ziva Cancun Safe?
I think this situation is enough for me to have serious concerns about the safety of the Hyatt Ziva Cancun resort as a whole because the security staff is obviously very poorly trained and not at all focused on the safety of guests. I still can't understand how or why that happened but I can affirmatively say Hyatt should be ashamed of themselves and as much as I hate to say it, women should avoid dealing with the staff there by themselves. (Bear in mind I've been to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Macau, Chennai, Milan, Czech Republic and France ALL BY myself and only ever had one experience that was worry-some.) Here's that crazy story: Think Uber is Safe? Think Again! My Terrifying Story and How Uber Failed to Intervene in the Worst Way.
Attend this property at your own risk. It's very disheartening that security was more concerned with intimidating paying hotel guests than the safety and security of vacationing families. It's also a bit disturbing that the security team spent so much time on the private beach with us than keeping the resort secure by monitoring the front beach which is completely public and has no barrier to hotel entry but for security.