I just got back from one glorious week at the brand new Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. And when I say new, I mean it: this all-inclusive adults only resort opened in November 2019.
It was a real treat to be among the first to experience the hotel. It was my first time at an all-inclusive Hyatt (I've stayed at many other all-inclusive hotels in the past) and my second time in the Punta Cana area.
The Hyatt Zilara is located right next door to the Hyatt Ziva, which is a family-friendly resort. And while guests of the Zilara can visit Ziva, kids are not allowed on the Zilara side.
One of my favourite features of this Hyatt Zilara was the interior design. The decor was modern and fresh, with quite a few pieces throughout the hotel that I would have wanted in my own home. Check out the leather chairs and foot stools below. Perfect for a library or TV room.
The hotel rooms and bathrooms are very spacious. All face the inner courtyard, the pool, and the beach, though some have a better view of the water than others.
The hotel is located on Cap Cana beach, an area of Punta Cana. There were a few other resorts on the beach (Secrets is next door, and Sanctuary a bit further down the way) but even in high season, it didn't seem overly busy.
The beach itself isn't very long: For a good walk expected to go from one end to the other at least twice. A security guard at one end discouraged me from walking any further. He didn't speak English so I wasn't clear if that was due to a safety issue or some other reason.
The pool (below) at Hyatt Zilara is beautiful, with plenty of chairs to go around. Unlike other resorts, you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to nab a seat. The pool water is quite chilly though, the sea was much warmer!
As an all-inclusive, all the meals and drinks are included in the base price. However, there are wine and beer lists if you're interested in more premium selections.
The Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva have a total of 12 restaurants and 8 bars and lounges. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a wide selection of salads, mains, desserts, meats, cheese, and fruits - enough options for every palate. (Gluten-free and vegan options as well.)
The New Year's Eve spread was quite impressive, with mountains of crab, lobster, prawns, and other festive specialities.
The a la carte restaurants were also quite good: Journeys, an Indian restaurant housed in a space to look like a train, and Tempest Table, a Mongolian grill style restaurant, were among my favourites. The pizza at Presto's was excellent. Brandos, which served French Polynesia cuisine, was a bit lackluster.
If you haven't been to an all-inclusive resort a word of warning: The food is good, not amazing. They may not be the best fit for die-hard foodies.
As for drinks, cocktails at the main pool bar were not very good and watered down. However, drinks from the Waves bar and the One Eyed Cat, the resort's martini bar, were excellent.
Feel free to nab a drink from one of those places and take it to go.
The Daily Grind, the coffee bar in the lobby, has excellent coffee and become a part of my morning ritual. It also serves snacks, sweets, sandwiches, and ice cream all day.
One of the most impressive things about the Hyatt Zilara is the gym. I kid you not! It's one of the nicest one I've ever seen, bar none. So much cardio equipment. There is also a spinning room and a yoga room, with almost daily classes, a weights room, and a large open area for floor work, kettlebells, TRXs, etc.
It's such an inviting space, there's no way you won't want to work out. (And interestingly, the crowd was also among the fittest that I've ever seen at an all-inclusive. Double incentive.)
The resort has a waterslide which I didn't test out, but reviews from other guests were good.
As for water sports, there are paddle boards, kayaks and sailboats to use. However, the beach was always windy and the water, while not rough, can be a bit choppy for some of the activities.
There is a show every evening and some of it was very good. The Il Divo type band was excellent. All in all, I'd say there isn't a ton to do here, unless you sign up for excursions off the property. So if you're a "what are we doing next" type of traveller, it may not be the right fit for you.
There were some glitches with service (rooms not getting made up until 5 pm, slow service in some places at some times) but I believe most of that was due to opening pains and the fact that the hotel was not even two months old.
Almost all the staff at Hotel Zilara was exceedingly nice and polite. And a special shout out to resort manager Hilario who helped us get a room with a better view.
Aside from beach walks, I didn't leave the property and spent most of my time reading under an umbrella by the pool or on the beach. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.
I definitely recommend the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana to anyone who is looking for a relaxing, sun-drenched luxury all-inclusive vacation in the beautiful Dominican Republic.
If you have any additional questions or comments, please leave me a comment below!