Are you familiar with Playa Hotels And Resorts? Probably not so much. Have you ever heard of Hyatt Hotels? With the possible exception of a few frost-bitten souls living on Deception Island, Antarctica, most would say, “Yes, indeed.” “And what does one have to do with the other?”, I hear you asking. I hope you were asking because if you were just clearing your throat, this is going to be a very short blog post!
*Playa Hotels And Resorts harbors the lofty goal of becoming “the leading international resort and leisure company in the all-inclusive resort segment .” If that were my personal goal (instead of trying to avoid homelessness and/or deportation), I would be looking around for some strong coattails to ride. You might say Playa hit the lotto! Just a little less than one year ago, a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced a considerable investment (considerable as in $325 million dollars) with the goal of acquiring and developing new all-inclusive resorts under the iconic Hyatt brand. You can read all about it here.
I was recently privileged to hear Kevin Froemming, Playa’s Executive Vice President and CMO, artfully present the concept that undergirds all their efforts. It is summed up in their tag line, “The Evolution of All-Inclusive”. After I unveil some of the pillars resting on this solid foundation, I will leave it to you to decide whether this is gradual evolution or more akin to radical revolution.
I will begin with my personal favorite. I don’t think any of you guys out there will have any trouble identifying with this. You are on vacation celebrating some special occasion: honeymoon, anniversary, joint release from state prison . . . something. You want this trip to be burned into her memory like a cattle brand on a yearling calf’s backside. (My personal lack of romance expertise shows up even in my crass analogies!)
The problem is, you don’t have the foggiest clue where to start. Here’s what you do. You tell her you are going down to the gym for a workout. Strike that. She will never buy that. Tell her you are going to a tequila swilling contest in the cigar lounge. That should do the trick. Now here’s the sneaky part. You are really going to the appointment you have set with the “romance concierge”. An hour later (two hours if you stop by the bar just to become convincingly tipsy) you will be swaggering back to your room, romance agenda tucked safely in the back pocket, hair flowing like Fabio on the cover of some trashy novel.
Speaking of Tequila, have you noticed that there are more varieties of tequila in Mexico than visible stars in Andromeda. Unless you want to share my humiliating experience of standing frozen in indecision before a wall of tequila for an embarrassing length of time, I suggest you avail yourself of this service. And should you find yourself in Jamaica (more about that momentarily), you will be offered the services of a rum sommelier. I once considered becoming a box wine sommelier but couldn’t find a hoity-toity French school for that.
I don’t know how many personal butlers you have at your beck and call but speaking for myself, it is a very low and and very round number. And, even if I did, it would probably not be a beach butler seeing as I don’t own any beach property either. (Life can be so very cruel, don’t you agree?) All the more reason to be excited by the prospect of having your whims catered to by, not just a Beach Butler, but a Pool Butler, a Luggage Butler, a Family Butler and a Suite Butler. I know what you are thinking. You figure I am delusional after being generously over-served by my Tequila Sommelier. Nope, I am stone cold sober and for once (circle your calendar) dead right about something! Hyatt all-inclusives have more butlers than Mickey Rooney had wives!
Unlimited Pillow Menu
OK, I’m running out of time and there is more I want to share so I will let this little item pass with the observation that I am obviously a Neanderthal slug devoid of any trace of refinement. I wouldn’t have a clue how to order a pillow. When you get beyond white, soft and rectangular, I am pretty much clueless. I will leave this item to the more cultivated and genteel among you.
Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
The Hyatt all-inclusives, for now at least, will fall into one of these two categories. The first Zilara, the Hyatt Zilara Cancun is to be found, not exactly shockingly, in Cancun and is the former THE ROYAL, Cancun. It made my top five list in my post Crème de Cancun: The Top Five Resorts. The first Ziva is the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. I will let you decipher where it is located. Here is the distinction between the two: The Hyatt Zilara resorts will be adults only and Hyatt Ziva resorts will be family properties.
ALERT: My next post will share details of my recent stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos!
I will conclude this post with an exciting announcement! The former Ritz-Carlton Golf And Spa Resort in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica was sold to Playa Hotels And Resorts in September, 2013. It will open after a multi-million dollar renovation in November, 2014 as the first combined Hyatt Zilara / Hyatt Ziva, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica. This development deserves a blog post all its own which, should I linger a little longer, it will have. Be watching for that post soon! (Also Hyatt Ziva Cancun and Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta are opening in late 2014.)
* Not to wander too far off into the weeds but Playa Hotels And Resorts, in addition to the Hyatt branded and Playa managed hotels we have been talking about, also has its own Playa branded and managed hotels and other branded and managed hotels as well. That will have to keep for another time but if you simply can’t wait, you can read about their entire portfolio here.