Mexico Vacation to All-Inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun for Free Using Points

Turquoise Water

Cancun has been a bucket-list destination for us because of the turquoise water and perfect weather around spring break. We decided to mark one thing off of the list and go to Cancun over spring break in the last week of March to an all-inclusive hotel.

As those of you who read this blog know, we try to travel as often as possible while spending as little as possible, and this trip ended up being one of the cheapest out-of-pocket trips we have taken.

Thanks to Southwest Companion Pass, which is the best deal in travel, we flew nonstop to Cancun from Nashville roundtrip using points, and we used Hyatt points to book our all-inclusive hotel stay. Look for a future article on our stay at the Aloft Cancun while there!

In this article we will explain how to get to Cancun for free, how to stay at the all-inclusive resort for free, and then we will provide a review of the resort with lots of pictures!

***As of April 6, 2018, Southwest and Chase will no longer allow you to get both the Southwest Plus and Premier cards.***

We have written several articles about how to get companion pass with Southwest, which is where one person flies for free with you for the rest of that year and the following year. The flights to Cancun are expensive, so we knew the only way we would get to Cancun is to get enough Southwest Rapid Rewards points and to get companion pass. This is how we were able to get to Cancun so cheaply.

The bad news is that this week, Southwest and Chase have disallowed anyone from getting BOTH the Plus and the Premier cards. However, if we were to be planning this trip again, we could still fly for free. I would get the Southwest Plus card and get the 50,000 point bonus. Then Elizabeth would get the Southwest Plus card and get the 50,000 point bonus. That would be more than enough to get us both there and back!

Southwest Plus Card

Southwest Premier Card

After getting Southwest cards and having enough money to get to Cancun, let’s talk about how to STAY AT THE RESORT FOR FREE!

Let’s begin with the obvious: the Hyatt Ziva is extremely expensive for anyone, and it is completely unattainable for travelers on a budget. The cheapest rooms were going for over $600 per night while we were there! That alone usually deters most, but we are both teachers on a limited budget, and we made it happen, so you can, too!

Although there are a couple of paths to get enough points to stay at the Ziva, there are two I recommend:

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

If you are a frequent traveler, you may already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you don’t and want to take a trip to Cancun, then getting this card is a no-brainer. It has a $450 fee that is offset by a generous $300 travel credit per year along with $100 toward getting Global Entry and therefore TSA Pre√. You also get Priority Pass Lounge access as long as you have the card. If you are interested in reading more about the card, then go here.

If you and a spouse get this card with the 50,000 point sign-up bonus (or the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the same sign-up bonus) then you will have 100,000 points which can be transferred to Hyatt. This is enough to stay 4 nights at the Hyatt Ziva!

2. Hyatt Credit Card through Chase

The Hyatt Credit Card is offered through Chase as well, and it has a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points. The annual fee is $75 but is easily offset by getting a free stay in a category 1-4 Hyatt each year. This stay can go for well over $200.

If you and a spouse get this card, you will have 80,000 Hyatt points, which equates to 3 nights at the Ziva.

3. Combine Both Options!

If you and your spouse both get the Sapphire Reserve or Preferred, you will have a total of 100,000 points. Add that to the 80,000 you will get if you both get the Hyatt cards and you have 180,000 points. That is enough for 7 nights at the Ziva!

***Sign up for the Hyatt credit cards last, as they do not count against the Chase 5/24 rule. Basically, Chase limits applicants for a new card to 5 applications over the last 24 months, but the Hyatt cards do not apply!***

View of the resort from the ocean

In case you haven’t been able to tell from the pictures so far, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is perfectly situated on a peninsula. The ocean surrounds the hotel on 3 sides, and because of two different jetties, the size of the waves, colors of the water, and amount of sand differs in the 3 ocean areas of the resort. Where else can you get that?

The Room

We stayed in a resort view room using points which also had a view of the ocean and the dolphins. Yes, I said dolphins. The resort has trained professionals that teach rescued dolphins on the property, and we could watch them from our balcony!

The room had a king bed, a stocked refrigerator with snacks and drinks, a couch, and a Smart TV. The bathroom had two sinks and a waterfall shower head that had more pressure than any I have seen.

Being a beach property, the floor was completely tiled and was mopped daily by housekeeping. We were pleased with the comfort of the bath towels and shower robes that were also refreshed daily by housekeeping if we wanted.

The Pools

North Pool

The resort has 3 main pools, one of them being an adults-only pool. The two pools that are child-friendly are actually split into smaller pool areas where you never seemed too packed. There were Inifinity pools that flowed into the lower pools, and all of the water was really warm. There were also places for you to put your chair in the water so your feet and/or arms could cool off!

The north pool had a swim-up bar where you can order alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. The south pool had a bar right outside of the pool.

The Food

This might be the most important aspect of an all-inclusive hotel, and it did not disappoint. To get full information on all of the restaurants, please look at the hotel link above.

Le Bastille

This is the fanciest restaurant with French cuisine, and we were impressed with the lamb as the main course. I also thoroughly enjoyed by steak tartar! The restaurant is pretty small, and a wait started forming about 45 minutes after opening.El Mercado

El Mercado

This restaurant is the buffet typical of a cruise where there are multiple stations to get many different types of food. We were impressed by the array of meat selections, even one night having a whole roasted pig. Breakfast here was really good as well, and it did a great job of keeping us full until lunch time.


For breakfast, Tradewinds was a more formal option where you could order off of the menu. The egg-white  omelet and the eggs Benedict were tasty and had a local flair.

For dinner, the restaurant turns into a very fancy steakhouse. I absolutely could not believe the size of my T-bone steak, and it was grilled perfectly.


This was my favorite meal, but I am heavily biased toward nice Italian food. They have a gigantic wood-fired pizza oven as soon as you enter the restaurant, so I knew I had to try the shrimp and chorizo sausage pizza. The mussels appetizer and pesto risotto were incredible, and Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed her bone-in pork with fig sauce. When we go to this resort again, Lorenzo’s will be my number one option!Lorenzo’s

Food Trucks

Each pool had a food truck serving out some basic menu options like hot dogs or nachos along with a rotating daily menu. We ended up eating at these trucks three separate times because of the quickness and ease of getting food back to the beach area. When we go to the beach, we try to maximize our time in the sand and water, and the food trucks helped us do that!

Other options

I have not listed all of the restaurants on here, but they can be found on the dining portion of the hotel website. However, I do want to mention a few other places where you can get food or drinks quickly.

1. 24 hours-this place is comparable to a hotel lounge where there are hot items as well as fruit out 24 hours a day. Combine that with air hockey and TV’s and it became a nice place for kids to chill out after getting sunburned.

2. Casa Cafe-this small restaurant is similar to Starbucks in that they had all types of coffee and croissants. It was really busy in the mornings!

3. Pasteles-This is the dessert bar serving ice cream, chocolates of all kinds, and a bunch of fruit to dip in the chocolate fountain. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.

The Amenities

In addition to having the usual amenities of a nice resort, like a nice gym and spa, this resort took amenities to the next level. Without having a resort fee, they offered paddleboards, beach cabanas and chairs under tiki huts, kayaks, and snorkeling gear.

When we call this hotel “all-inclusive” we really mean it! The only things that would cost you extra that we found were wine, lobster tails, spa treatments, and buying things at the gift shop. We spent a total of $54 dollars at the resort, and that was because of tipping and buying an ornament at the gift shop.

The Beach

The water is perfect and relatively calm on the north end, while on the east side, the water has huge waves. The south end has a mixture of both and has a long, sandy beach. We relished our time in each of the beach areas, and we don’t think any other hotel had even close to as awesome of a location.

While in your lounge chair under the tiki hut with your feet in the sand, the hotel will send waiters around to take drink orders. This was the part that made me feel spoiled the most as I did not even have to get up from reading my book to get a drink. That’s the life!

The Dolphins

The dolphins are constantly playing all day, and there is a bridge where you can see them really well. While they are being trained or putting on a show for guests, they do all sorts of tricks that can even be seen from room balconies. If we took kids here, we definitely would request a room with a balcony facing dolphins like we had. However, when we go again we are going to try to get a room facing the east ocean because it is much quieter and the waves are gorgeous!

The Staff

The staff at the hotel is second to none. They attended to every need/want and they even brought us things we didn’t know we wanted, like chocolate at night just because! The hotel manager was very friendly and polite, and every waiter let us know it was their greatest pleasure to be serving us. We can’t say enough about our server at the beach named Jorge, as he could predict what we wanted when we wanted it!

Going to Cancun for free is something that most people won’t believe. Actually, some co-workers laughed and said “yeah, right” before I explained it to them. However, this is completely attainable if you follow the directions with the Southwest cards and the Hyatt/Chase Sapphire cards. Taking a trip like this takes planning, but it could be a once-in-a-lifetime type of trip!

If this article has created interest in traveling to Cancun, please let us know if we can help with your travel plans at or by contacting us through Facebook or Twitter. Please share this article so that everyone can benefit!East Side view

We decided to post some pictures below so that you could get as much information as possible before you decided to go to this resort. All of them have captions telling about them! Enjoy!Pool at sunset Lorenzo’s Beach Pastele’s Swim-up Barstool Short dock Tradewinds Breakfast Le Bastille Lorenzo’s Entrance Fireplace