Playa Resorts brings Caribbean sunshine to The Holiday Place
A representative from Playa Resorts recently made his way to The Holiday Place in order to enlighten and update or team of travel experts and advisors on their latest property developments. We got a more in-depth insight into the hotel chain's different sub-brands like Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva, THE Royal and Gran, all of which include a variety of properties located mostly in Mexico but also in Jamaica.
Last Friday, The Holiday Place was happy to welcome Sales and Marketing Representative for Playa Hotels & Resorts, Peter Grace, who put on an slide presentation taking us through taking us through some of their newest, most recently refurbished, updated or rebranded resorts. With an overview of each, we looked more closely at four properties: the recently opened Hyatt Ziva Cancun, the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and THE Royal Playa del Carmen.
One of the most recent developments we were updated on is the fact that Playa Resorts had recently been working hand in glove with Hyatt to develop a new concept of hotels, which would be promoted as part of their umbrella of sub-brands.
Revealing that Hyatt actually owns 25 per cent of Playa Hotels and Resorts, according to Mr Grace:
“...they have a vested interested and they are working together on pioneering a new concept in all-inclusive. Total luxury, very customer-focused, delivering what the customer of tomorrow wants.”
He went on to elaborate;
"The Hyatt company have evolved these Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brands to create what we think is the best quality all-inclusive proposition in the whole of the Caribbean region.
"Everybody knows Hyatt as lovely luxury hotels with very well-known and very different brands like Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency, but through them all, their hallmark is: quality, great service delivery and a great experience overall. They wanted to bring that to the all-inclusive environment and that’s why they created the Hyatt Zilara and the Hyatt Ziva."
The main differences between these two brands is that one is adults-only (Hyatt Zilara) and the other is family-friendly (Hyatt Ziva).
But what they both have in common is their shared, revolutionary all-inclusive concept, moving away from the mass-market offering to redefine what premium luxury all-inclusive service should be all about – which they believe must be based in genuine hospitality from the heart.
Peter later described this new, no-cookie cutter approach by Hyatt as:
"...a new benchmark for quality all-inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbean region"
What do these twin Hyatt brands have in common across all the hotels they represent? According to Peter, they all offer amazing dining options with most of the hotels boasting several great restaurants within them, including a very popular Rodizio Brazillian in some of them.
They also offer premium unlimited drinks and cocktails as part of the luxury all-inclusive package across a selection of chic lounges and bars. But there’s so much more on offer beyond quality food and top-shelf drinks on tap, and it varies according to the individual property as each has its own character and unique identity, giving it a personality and charm that no other can match.
When it comes to where guests will be resting their heads at the end of a long activity-fuelled day or long basking hours under the sun, Peter added:
"In terms of accommodation we think we have some of the best rooms across the Caribbean."
Ranked number 2 in TripAdvisor and with some of the best aggregate scores all around, is the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, which some may have formerly known as THE Royal Cancun, and which has been completely converted and modernised. It boasts an outstanding location on the "Hotel Zone" and thanks to the property’s layout being long and narrow, every single room faces the ocean. There are four panoramic swimming pools, spectacular sunsets to be taken in right from your room’s balcony It’s all Junior Suite accommodation throughout with very spacious, modern and contemporary rooms but with a bit of a Mexican rustic charm to them.
Further detailing what these new brands stood for, we were given a brief overview into some of the highlights of the resorts operating under the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brand. At the moment there are two in Jamaica, the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall and the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, which are both part of one big complex and thus sit next to each other as sister properties. They are both only 15 minutes transfer time from the international airport and all guests get complimentary transfers to and from the hotel with their own dedicated lounge at the Montego Bay airport.
Having taking over the recently refurbished and completely transformed former Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall, which was a magnificent build to begin with anyway; two resorts certainly have inherited the lavish touch. Their location on the Rose Hall estate also means they sit right next to the White Witch Golf Course, arguably one of the finest (if not the finest) in the Caribbean, so they are ideal for keen golfers.
Guests here also get the privilege of receiving a complimentary round of golf at either the White Witch Golf Course or Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, which is also close by. As of 2016, the use of buggies will also be included to transport guests to the golf courses and at the moment they are looking into expanding the complimentary golf allowance to include more complimentary rounds of golf per stay.
Beautiful scenic weddings are also a specialty here and they are complimentary at most of the properties provided that the bride and groom-to-be fit a certain eligibility criteria regarding the minimum number of nights or minimum room type booked. Various free wedding packages are on offer across the whole group.
Regardless of which side you’re staying on, the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall or the adults-only Hyatt, these two both boast newly built rooms, very modern, very spacious and very chic. There are eight restaurants on the Hyatt Ziva side of the resort offering every type of cuisine including a jerk specialty restaurant, a lobby lounge and a 24-hour coffee shop.
"Every Hyatt property under the Ziva or Zilara brand has a restaurant that’s indigenous to the country that it’s in. Jerk cuisine is indigenous to Jamaica, it’s something they do really, really well and this one is a really popular restaurant."
They even have something quite unique that others don’t, and that’s an onsite rum sommelier, where they elevate the rum-drinking experience to new levels, exploring each rum’s different personality and flavour, an activity designed to give the customer a journey and understanding of the national drinks, and one that’s exclusive to this hotel and resort.
"We also throw some curved balls in sometimes…you wouldn’t expect to have a Moroccan sky lounge on the top of the roof of one of the properties of Hyatt Ziva. A slice of Morocco gets thrown in Jamaica basically, so it’s a bit of a side ball twist to create something that’s very unique and different."
With regards to the architectural style, the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall differentiates itself from its sister property thanks to its slightly more sleek, chic and modern design, comparable to that of Secrets Orchids resort. The rooms here have been newly built and launched in April 2015, they are the epitome of romance for honeymoon couples and the whole of the property itself is ideal for romantically linked couples in search of quality time alone together.
Speaking of its romantic appeal, Peter said:
"We like to compare ourselves in Jamaica to the Secrets Wild Orchid St James. We think we have a superior product to most Sandals resorts. This is a couples resort, sparkling new, very, very sexy and very service-driven. Lovely pool areas and the she spa on the Zilara side is four individually thatched cottages with some amazing spa facilities and great treatments."
When asked if guests staying at either properties could dine around between the two, Peter Grace clarified that those that stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall were able to dine at the Hyatt Ziva side’s restaurants, but the process wasn’t as straightforward the other way around, mainly because the Hyatt Zilara was an adults-only property and no families were allowed on that section. So if you’re an adult staying on the Hyatt Ziva side you’re welcome to dine at the Hyatt Zilara restaurants, but only subject to availability and upon prior request on the day. Dining-wise priority gets given to Hyatt Zilara guests when eating around.
Previously known as the Dreams Cancun, the newly converted Hyatt Ziva Cancun is the oldest property on the strip at over 40-years-old. It has been completely transformed, updated and renovated and enjoys one of the area’s most privileged locations. Right out on the peninsula it sits surrounded by the ocean on three sides. A completely new adults-only tower has been built complete club-level tower suites as well as new swim-up rooms, a main central swimming pool and dolphins have been relocated to a dedicated facility.
It’s a totally new hotel despite the fact that it’s the oldest in Cancun. The Mayan temple style has been maintained with slight modernising touches. All rooms have received a full refurbishment with a Mexican feel to them. The new swimming pool area is a total transformation from before and the setting is ideal for guests that like to be out and about and explore Cancun’s lively downtown as the resort sits within walking distance to bars, nightlife and entertainment, while being perfectly tucked away from all the noise. To top it all off there are two beaches, one on each side to choose from, both ideal for swimming and all manner of water sports. It’s split into adults-only and family-friendly sections.
In Los Cabos, we were briefly introduced to the new Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos opened just two months ago but they had the grand opening just two weeks ago. It was affected by a hurricane last year but since it has received a massive refurbishment and the nearly 600 suites all look spanking brand new, very modern and very contemporary. It’s a very family-oriented resort with a fantastic kids club on the beach and something for the parents as well so they get a well-deserved break and pampering. Right on the tip of Baja California, the climate in Los Cabos is desert-like and its location makes it ideal as a twin-centre destination that can be easily combined with Mexico City but also Los Angeles and Las Vegas due to the great flight connections.
The last brand we were introduced to was THE Royal Playa del Carmen, which already is a very popular, very well-established adults-only property in Playa del Carmen. The whole layout and style is more traditionally Mexican and accommodation-wise guests get a choice of swim-up rooms, garden-view rooms and oceanfront rooms. Great choice of beverage and food options include two restaurants that look out onto Fifth Avenue, meaning that entertainment in Playa del Carmen is right at your doorstep.
Next door to THE Royal Playa del Carmen is the Gran Porto resort, a family-friendly resort that has been recently fully refurbished with again a more traditional Mexican style of architecture. The Gran brand is a more value for money option and comprises a collection of quality four-star properties, the one just mentioned in Playa del Carmen and another in Cancun; the Gran Caribe Resort – another family-friendly retreat with a great location on the Cancun strip (close to the Hyatt Zilara Cancun) and famous for its lively atmosphere and the fantastic entertainment on offer. It’s also famous for having the only catholic wedding chapel in Cancun, available for religious Catholic ceremonies exclusively.
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