Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta lies on a secluded cove ringed with jungle cliffs and a terrific beach. This resort enjoys a beautiful semiprivate beach with clear ocean waters.

It is a self-contained resort made up of an 11-story white arc. It is functional and superbly situated for maximum ocean views. The professional reception staff welcomes guests in an open-air lobby with champagne and chilled towels. The meandering common areas open to blue-water views filtered through a sea of palms.

Its all inclusive features include six restaurants offering not only variety, but beautifully prepared and served Mexican, Italian, international and seafood specialties. The dinner-only options are surprisingly small and inviting, especially the cliff-hugging Seaside restaurant, which offers dramatic views and cocktails to go with the fresh seafood. El Patio serves up Mexican food off the menu, and has three areas themed to Oaxaca (the outdoor terrace), Michoacan (the indoor room) and Jalisco (the tequila bar). A mariachi band often serenades diners feasting on the Mexican Pacific cuisine. The Portofino Italian restaurant maintains decorum through its adults-only policy. The World Cafe buffet room is international in offering, while the Barefoot Grill is a hamburger and hot dog outlet appealing to kids. A poolside bar pours sodas and libations until the evening, when entertainment, theme nights and local cultural events are staged.

Key-cards open heavy carved wooden doors, revealing rooms with a distinctly latin flavor with tiled floors, aquarium colors and swagged fabric crowning the king or paired double beds. The bright white walls with periwinkle blue accents backdrop the plain white wooden furniture, louvered white closets, natural wood armoires containing flat-screen TVs and sofa beds.

Rooms amenities include electronic safes, coffeemakers, minibars stocked with beer and soda (included as part of the all inclusive plan) irons and ironing boards, and roomy combination baths with scales, robes and slippers. Desks provide a nice spot for penning postcards. In most rooms, sliding-glass doors open to ocean-view railings.