We are so very fortunate that my husband stays at the Hyatt near his work so often. It results in him racking up a lot of Hyatt points for free stays. In this article, I’m sharing my review of food allergy and gluten free dining at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta resort, the good, the bad, the ugly, and so good, I wanted to cry.
First off, you can visit the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta website to take a peek at their rooms from standard to a jacuzzi tub on your balcony when staying in the Club Tower.
They have five restaurants, a deli, and five bars. We hung out at Bar Tortugas after a swim or suntanning on the beach or at the pool. It’s very close to the adult pool that is nearest the Club Tower. We loved it there because you can look at the ocean, plus Jesus Fernandez, our bartender was awesome! He really made our stay special. My husband wants to back there, but unfortunately, by the time we do, he will move onto a new resort in Cancun. (He’s a traveling bartender!) See the below photo of a sunset near our favorite bar.
We stayed at the Hyatt Ziva Cabo last year and we were given a colored wristband which indicated the level of room we had purchased or our level in the Hyatt Gold Passport Club. We were Diamond members so it was no big deal to us, but we were with another couple who had a lower level color, despite their more expensive room. Thank goodness the Puerto Vallarta Hyatt Ziva doesn’t have any color wristbands! It made it more relaxing for me. However, it was evident that the hostess would look up our status and seat us at one of the best tables in the house (near the ocean).
Meanwhile, allow me to tell you about their gluten free dining. Once you book your trip, and shortly before your arrival, contact the concierge to explain your food allergies. She will ensure they make up a special allergy card for you to hand to the hostess at any restaurant.
I’m not sure what information the allergy card provides if any because each hostess asked me for a list of the foods to which I was allergic. Then I would mention that I had food allergies to the waiter and he’d ask me for them all again. Then, due to a language barrier, sometimes the chef would come out to talk to me to clarify some things. If you just tell your waiter that are gluten free, there is no problem. However, I have food allergies including citrus, tomatoes, tapioca, pumpkin, coconut, and watermelon.
Steak & Seafood
On my first visit to the restaurant BlaZe (the best and busiest restaurant there that they’ll soon be expanding), I didn’t have any difficulty ordering. I stuck to basics such as steak, potatoes, a salad without tomatoes or croutons, and vegetables without lemon or lime. I was thrilled that they had ice cream, a treat I rarely have and it’s gluten free! However, I did have a difficult time ordering lunch there once. I asked for a cheeseburger with no bun or tomato. They brought it out on gluten free bread. Not knowing if the bread contained tapioca, I sent it back.
They have more than steak and seafood. You name it, they have it, the pork chops were great!
See BlaZe’ breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus here.
See the below pics of our favorite tables at BlaZe.
The ZivaZ Buffet is good because I was able to see everything I could or could not have. However, if you need something free of cross-contamination, beware. Buffet dishes are notorious for being cross-contaminated with crumbs from other dishes. They have incredible flan! It contains ricotta cheese.
I was able to go there without having to go to my room and change my clothes after suntanning on the beach. The below photo is me raising gluten free dining awareness with one of their chefs.
My most frustrating meal was at the Casa Grande. I ordered corn tortillas for my entree. My order arrived with flour tortillas. All of the apologies did not make me feel better. While I hadn’t eaten them, I knew from my earlier orders elsewhere in the resort that the tortillas they brought me looked different and better. Then, I asked for some chicken and cheese in a corn tortilla without tomatoes or citrus. They brought me corn tortillas with melted cheese. By this time, my husband was done with his meal. Again, it went back and they brought me corn tortillas with only chicken. It was dry and lacked flavor. I asked for sour cream to add to the top. This was the worse meal during our stay. My husband, however, enjoyed his food, just not the experience with all of my frustration. It really ruined the night.
Again, the ricotta cheese flan is incredible!
See the Casa Grande Dinner Menu.
We never made it to PureZa, that serves Souteastern Asian cuisine. One couple didn’t enjoy it. They said the sushi was good/okay but that they didn’t enjoy anything else. However, that is only one couple’s opinion.
If you’re curious, you can check out PureZa’ Dinner Menu.
Saving the best for last, (who knew), our last dinner was at MelanZane, an amazing Italian restaurant. What made it amazing was not just the food but the service. If you’re gluten free, you have to eat here, more than once, during your stay!
Our waiter was very accommodating, spoke fluent English, and was extremely attentive without being overly attentive. Nothing on the menu that was tomato-free and citrus-free sounded good. So, I asked him if the chef could make me a cream-based sauce over gluten free pasta with pieces of chicken breast. They did! The sauce was amazing and the pasta was cooked perfectly to my liking! It wasn’t chewy but wasn’t soft. I asked for the brand and they brought out a box of Barilla Gluten Free Fettuccine. Shortly after I received my entree, our waiter informed me that they had some gluten free bread baking for me. Wow! I reminded him of my tapioca allergies. He checked and ensured me that there was tapioca in the bread. He soon brought me a basket of freshly-baked gluten free bread. I was so impressed! I was stuffed but had a slice to be polite. It was really good. (I then began to wonder if the bread at BlaZe was free of tapioca as well.) By the way, my husband enjoyed his entree very much!
I was so overwhelmed by being so well taken care of my eyes became a little watery for a few moments. It was just an incredible experience.
The following day, we had lunch at MelanZane prior to leaving the hotel. I ordered a salad and they made me up some special chicken with sauce over polenta. The salad that was big enough to feed three people. Because they usually serve it with tomatoes, they instead added cucumbers. During the ordering, I asked if they could add some avocado. Because they were an Italian restaurant, they didn’t have on hand but went to a nearby restaurant to get one for me. Wow! Again, very impressed. However, the sauce on the chicken was so salty, I couldn’t eat any of it. Luckily, I was full.
Check out MelanZane’s Fine Dining Menu.
Check oiut MelanZane’s Trattoria/Tavern Menu.
For the most part, we both enjoyed most of our meals and the experience so much we definitely want to go back to Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta again. However, I’m on a Mission to visit more Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara locations. We’re thinking about Cancun next. Maybe you can come with?
Do you have a favorite gluten free place to eat on one of your getaways? If so, tell everyone about it in the below comment section.