Learn about our Hyatt Zilara Cancun gluten free dining experience as well as our details of our vacation over our one-week stay. Learn the dos and don’ts to keeping gluten free during your all-inclusive vacation and more. This was my favorite all-inclusive gluten free Mexico experience thus far! The food at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun beat Hyatt Ziva Cabo and Hyatt Ziva Peurto Vallarta by a landslide. You’ll pay more, but it’s worth it to me.
In February 2018, my husband and I spent 7 beautiful nights at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Hyatt Zilara properties are adult only all-inclusive resorts. If you have children, Hyatt Ziva Cancun would be best instead. You can also read my gluten dining reviews of Hyatt Ziva Cabo and Hyatt Ziva Peurto Vallarta.
Our Reservation vs. Our Actual Room:
I had originally booked the room that we wanted, club level with an ocean front, which was going to cost us 45,000 points per night. Then, World of Hyatt’s points rewards program changed, which enabled us to book a room using points in conjunction with the use of a suite upgrade. So, I changed our reservation to a regular room with a suite upgrade. World of Hyatt contacted the hotel on two occasions to check on this possibility. I was told on both occasions from World of Hyatt that the room they reserved for us was a King Luxury Ocean Front Suite, a corner room (windows on two walls) with more square footage and included a reserved cabana on the beach every day of our stay. I was so excited! This upgrade was incredible and beyond what we ever expected. We originally reserved an Ocean Front Junior Suite.
We arrived Saturday, February 8, 2017. I was extremely disappointing, not regarding the food, but about our room. The room I had been promised was not available. I even provided two emails stating which room we were to receive. Having it in writing did not help matters at all.
The room we were promised also included one night at the Chef’s Table (small group dinner only for Club room level rooms where each night a different meal is prepared) as well as a reserved cabana throughout our stay. The manager stated that the dinner reservations would not be a problem but that he could not provide us with a cabana because the reserved cabanas are matched with Oceanfront Luxury Suites and above. I left him with one thought, “Tomorrow, let me know what you will do to make up for this.” He agreed.
We were escorted to our room by a bellman. I asked him where the alcohol was that comes with club rooms. He explained that they upgraded the quality of alcohol throughout their resort and that now, only larger rooms, like the corner room we were supposed to have, is furnished with alcohol. I told him of the mistake that occurred. The manager called us immediately and sent us a full bottle of merlot (hubby’s favorite wine) and a bottle of rum for me. (Rum is gluten free as it is not made with any grains.) We were allowed to order again and again if desired. Our entire stay, I consumed one shot of rum and husband had one other bottle of wine. We mainly had drinks downstairs in several areas.
The manager contacted us the following afternoon with a reserved cabana, but I would need to check in daily with the cabana managers. During the rest of our stay, I asked him for a couple of additional things and he was extremely accommodating. He was even willing to give us a second night at the Chef’s Table, but we ended up passing on the offer (more about that later).
Meanwhile, we were given the original room that I had booked using 45,000 points, but we only had to use 25,000 points per night and use a suit upgrade. The manager was willing to give us the suite upgrade back but I told him to keep it since it was soon to expire and we had plenty of them.
Now, for our first night’s meal…After unpacking and touring the downstairs area, we headed over to Pelicano’s. The manager and maitre d greeted us and looked up our room number. He was aware of my food allergies and had a couple of questions. He sat us close to the railing near the beach with a lovely view. I ended up ordering the chicken Caesar dinner size salad with gluten free pesto with chicken for my entree. I’m allergic to citrus and tomatoes. So, it limits my choices. Since they didn’t know if the Caesar salad dressing contained lemon juice (the previous chef had made it), they made me a pesto dressing for my salad instead. It was so delicious that I now make them at home. Check out my recipe for Basil Pesto Caesar Salad (below). We went there once or twice for lunch and I ordered a lettuce wrapped burger and fries. Our second time there for dinner I ordered the same salad (make sure you say pesto and not basil; our waiter was confused) and a mixture of meat (beef, pork, and chicken). (See the below photo).
Get my recipe available to everyone for Egg-Free Pesto Caesar Salad:
Check out the menus for Pelicano’s:
Maria Marie Restaurant:
Maria Marie is an upper scale Mexican restaurant. The first evening I had the filet mignon (see photo below) with a fancy dessert at the end (see below photo). The artistic talent for plating in that restaurant is just incredible. The salad was even a masterpiece (see below). The servings are small, but you don’t walk away hungry at all. It was all delicious. So much so that we went back a second night. However, the restaurant is quite dark. We had to use the flashlight on our phones to read the menu.
Gluten Free Dessert:
Check out the dinner menu for Maria Marie’s:
Cantina la Adelita:
Cantina la Adelita is the tequila bar that adjoins Maria Marie. It’s usually packed. You can eat there as well, more casual things like finger food and a couple of desserts.
Because of my citrus allergies, I couldn’t have any of their specialty drinks, but the bartender served me something special instead. He was supposed to stick to the menu. Their signature drinks sound heavenly though!
Check out the menus at Cantina la Adelita:
Twenty-four hours a day room service is available. For breakfast, every morning we ordered room service. The language barrier (I speak very little Spanish) can be challenging sometimes, but it really depends upon who answers the phone. I ventured outside my comfort zone one morning and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered an egg and cream cheese omelet with peaches. It was amazing!
Since our five-night vacation in Peurto Vallarta in 2017 resulted in me gaining seven pounds, I ate light for most breakfast meals with only a couple of orders of bacon/sausage, eggs, and hash brown potatoes. One morning they said that they would send me a basket of gluten-free bread. How funny, they really meant quick bread, as in pound cake-like bread. They were all delicious, per my gluten-eating husband. The remaining mornings I stuck with fresh fruit (incredible) and yogurt. The result? Only a three-pound weight gain, which is great since I lost six pounds prior to our trip knowing I would gain weight.
One night I became concerned that I wouldn’t have any lunch prior to leaving the following morning for an all-day tour to see the pyramids, Chichen Itza. I spoke with the hotel manager and he spoke to their chef. They were not allowed to prepare a gluten free meal to go for me. However, they did send us room service breakfast prior to the start of their breakfast hour. It was horrible! They fried a scrambled egg added some vegetables to it and wrapped it up. There was no sauce of any type, the vegetables were dry. I just went downstairs and grabbed a ton of my favorite apple crumb cake and had them for breakfast and snacks all day long. We were literally gone from 7 am to 7 pm and includes lunch. The lunch stop was at large Mexican buffet, where the tour guide went out of their way to make sure I had a gluten-free meal without any of my many allergens.
We ate lunch at Spice every day except the two days we were on tours or activities. Why? Because they offer a buffet you can eat light. I had a salad topped with chicken breast every day I was there. As you can see in the above photo, they have gluten free treats as well, sweet/quick bread.
Keep in mind that the food served at buffets often contain crumbs from gluten-containing food. The pound cake on the top shelf looks the safest since there is less chance of crumbs dropping on them, but it’s best to ask for an uncut loaf to be cut up for you. I suggest that you ask one of the chefs to prepare you something, even if it is salad and explain your allergens or intolerance(s). The chefs are available as well as many waiters/bus staff as you can see the chefs working the grill.
Tuesday was our first day using the cabana. It gets super hot in the afternoon. So, you want to get on the beach first thing after breakfast. It was wonderful! Two young men cleaned our sunglasses, fetched us additional towels (which they do not like do due to the shortage of towels.) They even offered to get us drinks. We just had non-alcoholic beverages that day as it was too early. While having a cabana is wonderful, keep in mind that you’re in the shade most of the day unless you’re out there in the morning. We really wish we had some lounge chairs near our cabana to lay in the sun when we desired. The lounge chairs were far away from our cabana. We did, however, have a quiet area, away from the loud pool music that played on Fridays. We only used the cabana three days. We would have used it four if we had it earlier. So, if a cabana is on your bucket list, just rent one for a day. You’ll want to go on tours, shopping, etc. some of the other days.
You can rent a cabana special:
Private Double Deck Cabanas are available for rent:
- $149-includes a bottle of Taittinger Prestige Rose, chef’s choice appetizers, strawberries, water, magic towels and personalized service
- $199-includes a bottle of Taittinger prelude, chef’s choice appetizers, strawberries, water, magic towels and personalized service
Asiana’s is where we were served our favorite meals! Tables of eight surrounding the chef are available for a meal and show. They were very smart. They seated us on the end where there is only two seats and me on the very end so that I didn’t disturb anyone when ordering. Gluten is not my only foe.
While you’re only allowed one dinner there per trip, we were able to eat there twice. The manager approved it in addition to a second reservation to the Chef’s Table (though again, we never made to the Chef’s Table).
Asiana’s in much like Benihana’s with the fancy knife juggling, chopping, etc. The show varies in quality depending on your chef. Our second dinner was nice as good as the first because we had a chef that just learning. He did pretty well for being new at his job.
You get seafood, chicken or beef, rice, soup, noodles or rice, vegetables of your choice, and dessert. Their sake was the best I’ve ever had! My hubby had red wine.
If memory serves me correctly, this is my dessert one night at Asiana’s…
While the show dinner at Asiana’s is limited to once per stay, you can try and see if they have openings for their appetizer and dessert menu, which available on a walk-in basis.
Check out Asiana’s menus:
Casa del Cafe:
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, check out Casa del Cafe. They are open from 6 am to 11 pm. They offer a few ice cream flavors as well as fresh-baked treats. They always have two gluten free treats on their counters. My favorite was their gluten free apple crumb cake. My husband enjoyed their gluten free chocolate cookies. They were just okay to me. I love their snacking cake so much, I came home and created my own recipe. It is just as amazing, maybe even better!
Get my Gluten Free Apple Crumb Cake Recipe:
Tequileria & Beach Lounge:
24 Hour Lounge:
One afternoon, we strolled into the 24-Hour Lounge to play a little pool after an afternoon dip in the ocean. We were surprised to discover that they also serve appetizers and have a single waiter for what is usually just two to six guests. We went there two to four times. I love playing pool, which I usually only do every ten years or so. Because of the waitor not being very busy, it is easy to ask him anything about gluten or gluten-free. They have salami, crackers, cheese, and raw veggies mostly.
Besides pool, they have board games and a few LED TVs.
Cuisine: hors d’oeuvres
Hours: 24 hours per day
Liquor: 9:00 am – 2:00 am
I live in California. We traveled to San Francisco to leave out of SFO so that we could fly direct without any layovers. With my MS/nerve pain and my age (going on 60), I really require comfort nowadays. We always book our flight at economy seating up to twelve months in advance. Then, shortly prior to our trip, we wait and see if United sends us a discount upgrade seat. In the past, we upgraded to business class on the way home, but this time, we upgraded to Economy Plus (more leg room) on the way there and business class returning home. If you have the means and opportunity, I highly recommend booking a business class airline seat for your flight home. It’s so disappointing to have to leave paradise. So, having a really cool seat and exceptional service during your trip home makes the perfect ending to a vacation.
Tours and Activities:
There is a travel guide who works on commission right in the hotel. He is very nice, a British guy or whoever fills in for him on his day off. I like to book all tours within the hotel so there is no problem. However, we met people on the tours who all paid different prices through different sources. Two young paid about half of what we paid.
Meanwhile, we went on one two day trips, one of which was to Chichen Itza and Mayan Ruins. You must go see it if you are there. Chichen Itza is the pyramids, one of the seven wonders of the world from the newly revised list,
You’ll find everything in Cancun from horseback riding to ziplining, which is what we did, in addition to the all day (7am to 7pm) Chichen Itza tour.
If swimming isn’t enough exercise for you, the hotel includes a gym as well as yoga classes.
There is some form of entertainment almost every night in the lobby. However, we have seen so many at other Hyatt all-inclusive Mexico stays that we only watched one this trip.
Book a Trip:
If you wish to book a trip to the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, do so via Hyatt Zilara Cancun website for a good price. I have no affiliation with Hyatt hotels.