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Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

San Jose, California
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Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

I thought I should start my own thread instead of butting in on someone else's =). I have obsessively been researching AI AO resorts in Cancun for weeks now and I am so overwhelmed with information. My husband and I are planning a couple's getaway next year (not sure of month - July-Nov) and I just can't decide where to stay. He is a pretty laid back guy so his list of wants is nothing like mine (isn't that has it usually is ladies?!?!). I have been going back and forth between Hyatt Zilara, Liva Aqua or Secrets the Vine. I AM SO TORN!!! When speaking to my hubby, the one thing he really likes having in the room is a liquor dispenser. We think it is fun to mix up some beverages in the room. Mind you, this is not a deal breaker but it would be nice. Here is what I am looking for . . .

* All inclusive

* Adult only

* Nice balcony (not teeny like the balcony we had at Moon which was a total joke)

* Ocean view (not partial ocean and a view of the rooftops of the other resorts O-o)

* Jacuzzi in room if possible

* Liquor dispenser in room

* Shows in the evenings

* A place where there is some action in the evening (even if it is just one happening bar with some hip music playing) BUT not opposed to going out to bars/clubs close by

* Great pools and an infinity pool would be a plus

* Good spa for hubby and I to get a massage (BTW, are the AO spas coed, as in we can do the steam room, etc. together before our massages?)

* And since our trip is an attempt to escape reality for a while, I'd really like to be treated like a Princess =o).

* Hubby and I don't really eat during the day. We like a good breakfast buffet and then a nice dinner. This is going to sound so silly but a breakfast buffet with yummy french toast and Nutella to spread on it is evil but desired. I had never had Nutella until we went to Moon. I saw people spreading it on their pancakes, toast and french toast so I decided to try it. OMG! BEST THING EVER! I even put maple syrup on it. No wonder I gained 10 pounds on vacation!!

We would also like a resort that is not too "stuffy" and there are lots of couples to mingle with. I'm 43 and my hubby is 44. We are young at heart! To me, there are nice elegant places that are still homey and friendly and then there are those places that are just too stuffy and I don't feel like I fit in.

Thanks for reading my book!! I look forward to everyone's suggestions!!

Edited: 18 August 2014, 19:25
Kansas City...
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1. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

I have stayed at the Royal in Cancun, now the HZ, numerous times ( not since the change to HZ )..Large in room Jacuzzi, but it took up a lot of room space..

Lower floors have noise issues, floors 2 thru 4 in the center portion of the resort..Somewhat crowded pool seating..I know many of the servers at the resort, and I would expect excellent service..

As far as LA, we stayed there this year in early March of this year..We were spoiled as we stayed in an Aqua Suite, huge and a double type room with a double sized terrace..Service was excellent and the food was very good..

If it means anything, we are returning to LA in March 2015 and staying in a Aqua suite...

LaSalle, Canada
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2. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

Of course my vote is for Live Aqua...we have not stayed at the other 2 simply because LA has everything we are looking for. Our last stay was May (2014) and we will be back again before the end of the year for trip #6!!

In an effort to keep it simple I will post a 'yes/no' next to each of your must haves and then explain a bit at the end of this post.

* All inclusive -- YES

* Adult only -- YES

* Nice balcony (not teeny like the balcony we had at Moon which was a total joke) -- YES

* Ocean view (not partial ocean and a view of the rooftops of the other resorts O-o) -- YES

* Jacuzzi in room if possible --YES

* Liquor dispenser in room -- NO

* Shows in the evenings -- YES & NO

* ...some action in the evening (even if it is just one happening bar with some hip music playing) -- YES

* Great pools and an infinity pool would be a plus -- YES

* Good spa for hubby and I to get a massage (BTW, are the AO spas coed, as in we can do the steam room, etc. together before our massages?) -- YES & NO

* ...like to be treated like a Princess =o). --YES

* ...A good breakfast buffet and then a nice dinner -- YES

*... places that are just too stuffy -- NO

Here is a link to some great info on the room options at Live Aqua....

www.arminastravel.com/index.php…

Based on your list of must haves I would suggest that you look into booking an Aqua Suite. As the Aqua Suite has an in-room Jacuzzi, a huge double terrace, and has a full ocean view. Also if you book a suite you will be entitled to private check-in and check-out in the Aqua Club (princess treatment indeed!!) use of the Aqua Club for your entire stay AND a beach/pool cabana with 20-min foot massage daily. No 'resort credit' hassle to deal with...it is yours for the duration of your stay.

Although there is not a liquor dispenser in the room, access to the Aqua Club is a convenient way to enjoy your fave beverage. The Aqua Club is a great place to mingle with other guests as well. Room service is available 24/7 if you would prefer something delivered. There is a bar fridge (stocked daily) that has soda, juice, beer etc.

Entertainment....there is a weekly fire show on the beach and live entertainment certain nights at the bars/restaurants but overall LA is fairly low key. They do offer a nightly shuttle to a night club in the area which is nice if you feel like a night out on the town. During check-in you will receive a weekly events calendar and all of this type of info will be listed.

The pools/beach area are simply the BEST in my opinion but a quick google search (images) will show you what LA has to offer. There is a swim-up bar, a swing bar (swings instead of bar stools) and a gorgeous infinity pool.

The Spa is great and my husband and I enjoy at least 2 couples massages each visit. The therapy room and relaxation area is co-ed but the other areas (i.e. steam room, sauna, pools etc.) are not.

IMO the food at LA is wonderful and the breakfast buffet is fantastic. There is an entire section devoted to 'breakfast treats' pancakes, waffles, and French toast are among the items to choose from and they have syrup, jam(s), fresh fruit, AND Nutella to put on top.

Lastly, IMO Live Aqua is far from 'stuffy' and there are always people willing to mingle and have great conversations with. Since reservations are not required (for dinner) it has a more laid back feel as everyone is free to come and go as they please. MB restaurant is the only area where a dress code is enforced (dress pants and closed toe shoes for men) other than that people are free to dress as they like.

Well I hope this helps with your decision making and if you need anything else feel free to send me a private message anytime.

Savannah,GA
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3. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

Hyatt Zilera ( when it was the Royal.)

* All inclusive -- YES

* Adult only -- YES

* Great balcony with hammock-- YES

* Full Ocean view (not partial ocean and a view of the rooftops of the other resorts O-o) -- YES

* Jacuzzi in room --YES

* Liquor dispenser in room -- yes, lower priced rooms start with JW Black a good Tequila & Rum.beer

* Shows in the evenings -- YES & live band after the shows

* ...some action in the evening (even if it is just one happening bar with some hip music playing) -- YES

* Great pools and an infinity pool -- YES

* Good spa for hubby and I to get a massage -- YES

* ...like to be treated like a Princess =o). --YES & the guy like they matter !!!

* ...A good breakfast buffet ( better then 98% of Vegas breakfast buffet) and then a nice dinner higher priced rooms get better liquor in room, Chefs Plate Restaurant & other benefits-- YES

*... places that are just too stuffy -- NO

Extra - great beach & bluest water in the area. Beach drink service

MariaMarie is very good, have him try the venison or lamb if he like either one. very good & different then American or New Zealand lamb, venison is very mild.

Review on VT

members.virtualtourist.com/m/16c43/ea4af/

Alberta, Canada
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768 posts
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4. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

I don't know about LA and STV but the Zilara balconies, I found to be quite small (maybe 3 feet deep and I found them to be very windy since all rooms are "ocean front". I was there in 2012 when it was the Royal. Everything else I agree with. The balcony is big enough for a small table and two chairs that are situated along the length of the balcony, but not enough room for a chair on the "depth" of the balcony. The balconies are long though.

West Chester, PA
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5. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

We just need someone to do STV now. :)

I would vote for Aqua Suite at LA if a big balcony is important to you. We love it there (as much as Cole4re if that is possible!)

LaSalle, Canada
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6. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

All of the rooms at LA have balconies at a minimum. I would not say that they are tiny but if large is a must a terrace room or suite is definitely the way to go. The majority of the rooms have at least partial oceanview but again for a guaranteed fab view a terrace room or suite is the best option.

PAMICHELLE... You are too funny! I say pretty soon we will have to coordinate a visit, perhaps April/May 2015 :-)

Kansas City...
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7. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

To clarify something, the LA offers a 1 person Jacuzzi tub in the Aqua suite and higher room designations..

The HZ has a 2 person Jacuzzi..Also the 5th floor rooms have a larger balcony..For the most part floors 6 thru 8 have a ( what I refer to as a Perch ) balcony ..Small concrete deck with rot iron spindles and railing..

West Chester, PA
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8. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

Cole4re, yes! Great idea. I was actually hoping you would end up there with us in Oct. Maybe next time around!

I wouldn't call the jacuzzi in the LA suite a 1-person. It's huge!

Kansas City...
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9. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

There is one headrest on the Jacuzzi tub, the jets that circulate for the back area of your body are under the headrest..Thus a one person tub..Check out this video, about 1 minute in..Draw your own conclusiuon..

https://www.youtube.com/watch…

West Chester, PA
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10. Re: Zilara, Live Aqua or STV

I stayed there multiple times so yes, it only has 1 headrest but it wasn't what I considered 1 person in size. I personally don't use them as I've read enough on how many germs are in the jets but I know for some it's a requirement.