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“Not totally perfect, but a great place for a holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Barra de Navidad S/N Km. 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ontario
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Not totally perfect, but a great place for a holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We chose Puerto Vallarta for this year's holiday on the recommendation of our son and his wife who has been there many times. We picked Dreams as a place to stay on the basis of TripAdvisor reviews.
We were not disappointed in either of our choices. Puerto Vallarta is a great destination if you want more than a sunny beach, and Dreams provides a great all-inclusive experience.
The main positives were the secluded, yet close to town, setting, our rooms, and the excellent food. We had originally booked a room with balcony in the older tower, but upgraded to the Preferred Tower on arrival (by using our package credits, it cost us a bit less than if we had chosen it originally). We were on the second floor and didn't have a jacuzzi, but the room and balcony were very large. It was a very nice place to be, and the view (including whales and dolphins in the bay) was excellent. We ate at all the restaurants and thought Portofino and the Seaside Grill were the best for dinner. The buffet style World Cafe became our favourite for breakfast and lunch because of the wide selection of food and the opportunity to choose exactly what you wanted.
The negatives we experienced were a very spotty wifi (that they say they are in the process of upgrading) and a lax enforcement of the stated non-smoking rules. In addition, our room was very close to the adult pool, which was occupied by loud, well-lubricated guests a couple of late evenings.
As other reviewers have said, the staff are all very friendly and helpful and, although there were time-share VIP desks in evidence, there was very little pressure. Perhaps the strongest recommendation for the resort was the number of people we met who had been coming back regularly for years. One such couple told us they liked both the older and the preferred towers, so we are not quite sure our upgrade was worth the money.

Room Tip: If you are staying in the Preferred Tower, try to get on a higher floor or in a higher numbered room...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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calgary
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

First off, we stayed at a resort in the Mayan, in the premium villas for our honeymoon and thought that place was great... until we went here. This place is seriously amazing, I'm not even sure where to start. Firstly, I always have said never go to the same place twice as there are so many places to go... but we are all ready planning our vacation back here next summer. This may be a long review..

What we Loved:

The location: Puerto Vallarta has been rumoured to be not as safe as other places in mexico, and well, that is simply untrue. We absalutely LOVE puerto vallarta. Since this resort doesn't have wrist bands and there are alot of snow birds down there, the locals couldn't tell if you lived there or not so they didn't harass you as much. We went into town 2 nights for dinner and it was awesome. Only a $5 cab ride made it very accomodating to get back and forth.

The Food: Seroiusly, the best food that we've had at an all inclusive... keeping i mind that you're in mexico. So the steak won't taste like AAA alberta beer... but the Seafood is to DIE for. So fresh. I had mahi mahi pretty much every night cooked all different ways at the different a la carte restaurants. We also loved that there are no reservations at the restaurants, and only a dress code at portofino. We also loved all the different options for breakfast and lunch. One a la carte is open so you can sit down for a meal (breakfast at oceana and lunch at seaside are great), but you can also eat at the buffet, the snack bar, room service (which is included), and you can even take a plate from the buffet TO GO! you can eat your buffet meal right on your lounger.

The Beach: We loved the ocean and the beach. The waves are big which makes the ocean so much fun to boogy board in and play in. The beach was beautiful, and it is very easy to get loungers and palapadas by the beach. Butler service on the beach was awesome.

The pools: Granted there are only 3 pools (one of which no one uses), they are just enough. We didn't hang out by the pool much as it was more of the party place with music playing all day. Games at 3 pm every day tended to be fun. The Infinity pool at sunset it amazing.

Activities: Kayaking, Yoga, boogy boarding, snorkel gear, beach volleyball. We didn't go on any excursions as there was so much to do just at the resort. The best was running on the beach in the morning, every morning there would be a bunch of us our there while it was cool and the beach was shaded by the mountains. As hikers we thought the jungle trek was weak but I can see why most people would enjoy it.

Employees: They were amazing. The entertainment crew were personable and got to know you if you participated in stuff. As soon as you arrive you someone brings a glass of champagne right to your taxi.

Small resort: We loved this. You met people who you would see throughout the whole week.

The Not so great:
Nightly entertainment: it was fairly week and kid friendly. But Puerto Vallarta is only a 5 dollar cab ride away if you want action. They also go into town from the resort every night at 10 pm for 35 bucks a person which includes all your alcohol. Also, the hypnotist show was a blast.
Gym: super super hot. no windows so it doesn't cool off in the mornings, and no air conditioning.

Bottom line. Go here. You will not regret it.

Room Tip: We thought the "Old" dreams tower was fine. But we met some people staying in the preferre...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
smithers , bc
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

As this was our first time (newbies) staying at an all inclusive and we were not disappointed. I never thought i would stay at such a resort but i have to eat my words. and i would definitely come back...and bring the kids with us (all seven adult children and their other halves).
The resort was small (nice) and has a private beach (book ended by rock bluffs). Some beach vendors did visit but no pressure to buy as it is in the city market.
It was comforting to see a set of gates at the road entrance and the always present security staff. We felt the the resort was secure, our rooms were secure and we were secure within the resort. The sand was beautiful and the water nice. The breaking surf was music to our ears (except it did get loud at night...even with the patio doors closed). The room was very comfortable and no balcony but lots of of sitting room inside. All rooms are ocean view shielded from any street noise. The complimentary bottle of champagne and the stocked bar fridge was nice. The small coronas were also a nice touch. Unfortunately only a limited number of glasses of wine were allowed through room service and no bottles of wine available unless we charge them to the room. The bed was comfortable.
Eating was paradise. Four a la carte dining areas and a large buffet were pretty well open all day everyday. No limits on which one you could go to...we were tempted to limit our evening dining to Porto Fina every night but could not resist trying out the other dining areas that are open to the outside...enjoy the evening breeze and beautiful sunsets. The buffet was always well stocked and if you disciplined yourself you could have something different every meal. It was weird eating, leaving a tip and just leaving without paying!!!!
The beach times were not crowded and well served by constantly present staff. Every evening and early morning beach staff were busy cleaning up after us and readying and raking the beach for another day. The main pool was always busy. It was something that i always wanted to do was to swim up to a pool bar and have some drinks. But after observing the same guys or gals at the bar that never seemed to leave we had other thoughts. The other pool (adult pool) was quiet but the hot tub was at times rowdy.
We stayed in the `old` tower and were quite satisfied there even after visiting a room in the luxury tower (thanks joe!!). The òld`tower is quieter from reports of people who stayed at the luxury tower.
The staff were incredible...Juan and Jezuz and the rest! Always smiling or a warm `ola!`
We kayaked with an incredible and entertaining guide. When you think how quiet the resort is and how long the shuttle bus ride from the airport was it was surprisingly close to the Malecon. You could walk but a 50 pesos taxi ride one way was well worth it, never mind the excitement of traffic. We would suggest that the flea market is not something you want to do...all the same stuff and high pressure to buy. We ended up walked through there as we did with the time-share people at the airport.

We enjoyed ourselves at Dreams and will do it again in a heart beat...this time to do some more day trips and tours. We did the city tour ending with the tequila factory tour...another story for another time!
We did not pay for wifi as it was expensive but it did keep us off the computers and i-phones for a whole week...and we survived.!!!
Kudos to all the staff at Dream PV...muchos gracios!!!

Room Tip: The old tower high floor and mid section...don`t bother with a balcony!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband and I traveled here for our wedding anniversary. It was everything I expected and more. I will preface this that we both love Mexico, and we are realistic of our expectations. I took the advice of many of the previous reviews and upgraded to the preferred tower. It was well worth the money. In the lobby area, there were different snack through out the day, as well as waters, sodas, and some hard alcohol to make mixed drinks. Our check in was a bit slow, but there was some delicious snacks and drinks provided while we waited. Additionally, in our room we had a mini fridge stocked with mini coronas, Mexican coke, water, and a few other beverages. We stayed on the 8th floor. We had a great view and we had a hot tub on our balcony!

The restaurants were all pretty good. We liked the seafood one the best. A little tip, they present a priced wine list at all the restaurants, but there is always house wine included in the all-inclusive, its just not listed. Room service was great as well.

Its only about 10 minutes from the town and my husband and I felt very safe taking a cab and shopping and eating downtown.

Overall its a great place for any age. We saw everyone from honeymooners, to families with young children to retired couples. They provide great opportunities to do all sorts of activities (we went on a kayaking trip), or do nothing but sit on the beach with a pina coloda! We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Stay in the Preferred Tower. Its worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilton Beach
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a fabulous resort, our stay was wonderful. We were there for a family wedding in a large group of about 50 people. Our hotel room was on one of the higher floors of the old tower and we upgraded to a balcony room and so glad we did. It was lovely to sit there with a coffee and a book, or take pictures. The sound of the waves crashing every night lulled us both to sleep. The bed was so comfortable I wanted to bring it home! There is We had a view of the water and the whole resort, could see whales and fishing boats, and cliffs on either side of the beach. Surf is very strong and one of our party was actually injured on the last day so be careful in the water.

The catamaran ride to the wedding on Las Caletas was fun, and the wedding so beautiful and very moving. Great dinner and lots of dancing afterwards. And before heading back to the resort we released lit paper lanterns over the water and into the night, so beautiful. Everything was perfect.

The staff of this resort were great, the restaurants were excellent, food was great. The 24 hour room service (all inclusive) was also great. The first night we arrived we had room service as we arrived a bit late and it was very good and speedy. We had breakfast in our room one morning, but usually went to the buffet for breakfast and to meet other members of our party. The last night of our stay the buffet restaurant put on a "international buffet", a bit disappointing, we should have gone to one of the other restaurants again instead. But that is a very minor complaint.
Pools were nice and clean and lots of palapas in the shade for those who don't sun, It seemed the resort was not full so there were always chairs and palapas available. Highly recommend this resort!

Room Tip: No need to go to the newer tower, the old tower is just great, upgrade to a balcony room on a higher...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hope
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

A very nice resort. No wrist bands,no towel cards,and no reservations at the restaurants. The buffet was also very good.We would return to this one if the price was right.The beach and grounds where also very clean and nice.The resort is older but it only makes it more comfortable.

Room Tip: If you are in the old tower and you like to sit on the balcony in the evening get a room on the nort...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Sorry folks, this is going to be a long one.

We were not actually even supposed to stay at Dreams, but Signature Vacations decided to relocate us due to the huge outbreak of food poisoning at the Barcelo. More likely the Barcelo was overbooked, but we will not go into that. We were really ticked to arrive in Mexico and find out, with absolutely no warning, that we were being moved. Then we arrived at Dreams and had the grouchy valet tell us to leave our bags so he could take care of them. Next we checked in with a glass of champagne to welcome us. Starting to look better until the front desk staff sent us off with some doofus (who we thought was showing us to our room) trying to get us to come to a meeting for time shares the next morning. We arrived at our room and found that the balcony was all of six inches wide and the tower we were in was very very old compared to what we were expecting at the Barcelo. At this point we were feeling thoroughly scammed!

Thank goodness it got better. We went to the buffet for dinner, not even realizing that the ala cartes would still be open. We have been to all inclusives before, and we were expecting food that ranged from poor to good. I have to say, there is very little being served at the buffet that was not edible. The food was a pleasant surprise.

The staff at Dreams is AMAZING! Bartenders, cleaning staff, waiters, hostesses, even the guy pushing us out to sea on our kayaks... all amazing. If you like being looked after Dreams is the place.

A note on the beach. The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are not private. The result is that you are under a constant barrage by vendors, and the beaches in town are extremely crowded. Dreams is nestled between two mountains, meaning the beach is less accessable. There are still vendors harrassing you as they are not allowed to deny them acces, but the beach is very relaxing in comparison to Los Muertos Beach. This is a HUGE plus for Dreams.

The booze. I will put this in perspective. My wife is very much a lightweight when it comes to drinking. She guzzled drinks all week at Dreams and never felt a buzz. We stopped at Senor Frogs one afternoon and after a yard sized marguerita she said she felt bombed. Is there any alcohol in the drinks at Dreams??? I don't know. The bartenders are very skilled (even made me a half ways decent caesar), but there just doesn't seem to be any punch in their punch.

The Ala Cartes. We had dinner once at the seafood restaurant. I had escargot to start, which was very good, clam chowder (also very good), some sort of beef medallion with shrimp (the beef was disappointing, but the shrimp was fantastic), and cheesecake for dessert (so terrible!). The presentation of our meals was very nice, and you could tell the chef is very talented. We had dinner at the Seaside Restaurant twice. The first time I had crab cakes (just ok), french onion soup (fantastic!), Mexican flank steak (this is a piece of meat that looks like it should have been thrown in the grinder to make more hamburger. Except they marinade it and it cooks to a flavorful tender bit of perfection!), and home made ice cream for dessert (nothing special). The second time I have the calamari (very good), the french onion soup again, the sirloin steam (This was so bad I only ate six bites. It was a huge cut of meat but was only about a 1/4" thick. It was not marbled and did not taste good as it is nearly impossible to cook such a thin steak to medium rare). We skipped desert that night. We also had one meal at the Mexican restaurant. This was a fun night. We asked the waiter what his favorite dish was and he recomended the chicken mole (molay), then looked kind of worried and recommended two other dishes as well. We both ordered the mole. While it was not terrible, it is essensially chicken cooked in a chocolate sauce. Not very pleasing to our Canadian taste buds. I don't remember what our starters where there, but the desert was Creme Brule and it was so good we went back another night just to have dessert.

Taxis. Nobody ever seems to include this in their reviews. If you go to the Malecon from Dreams it will cost you 50 pesos one way. If you take an excusion from Vallarta Adventures you will have to get to the harbor and that will cost you 120 pesos each way. Not a huge expense, but it is nice to know going in.

Wifi. The hotel wanted to charge us $7 for 15 minutes of wifi. Seriously! Once we had stopped laughing and realized they were serious we hopped in a taxi to Starbucks and had a nice Caramel Flan Cappucino while we Facetimed our kids for free. There is also free wifi on the board walk. Please don't pay Dreams for wifi. They need to know that they cannot get away with this robbery.

The pools. There are three pools. There is a smaller pool by the old tower that has some nice shade. The two times we swam were both in this pool. We also spent parts of two days sunning and reading here. It was nice, but there was no bar service close by, and nobody was clearing empty glasses and plates. The main pool was ridiculously crowded. We avoided that area most of the time. The lounge chairs were 3-4 layers deep and most of them had towels staking out the territory, but nobody ocupying them. The adults only pool area was very small, and always crowded. This pool would be nice, but it is elevated, not very well sheltered for those that don't want to fry like bacon. There is a bar dedicated to this area.

Odds and ends. The front desk staff was always great about giving us change for taxis and tipping as the bank machine only spits out 200 pesos bills. Beware the bank machine. It will charge you an extra $9 per transaction. We were dumb and thought we were withdrawing US$ (what country did we think we were in???) and ended up with all of about $40 on our first transaction. The fridge in the room is stocked every day. They give you these 200 ml Coronas which I refered to as two sip beers. They also give you coke, diet coke, water, orange pop, soda water, and sprite.

That's about all I can think of for now. If I were to go back to Vallarta, I would probably go back to Dreams. The food is outstanding, the service is fantastic, the beach is quiet and secluded. We could see baby humpback whales splashing in the bay, and at one point a manta ray jumped out of the water near the swimming area. The room was a little bit disappointing, but we did not spend a great deal of time in it.

Room Tip: I would suggest that you find a room in the newer tower which was built about 30 years after the old...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Address: Carretera Barra de Navidad S/N Km. 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa)
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#115 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta 4*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Tingo, Otel, Hotels.com and Agoda so you can book your Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dreams Resort Puerto Vallarta
Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort Spa
Dreams Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Dreams Puerto Vallarta Hotel
Dreams Puerta Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Dreams Hotel

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