This is not going to be a normal trip report, but this hasn’t exactly been a normal year.

Those of you that follow me know that generally I don’t post pictures of myself or my family, but this particular vacation is really best expressed in the family photos – it was a celebration of life, of my parents being thankfully both vaccinated and healthy, of our being able to fly again, of the bad dreams we’ve been walking through slowly starting to recede as we collectively awake and begin anew.

And it felt that way, from the moment we landed – greeted at the door of the plane by a golf cart and whisked through customs in air conditioned comfort; our time from touchdown to enjoying a tropical cocktail on our balcony was less than an hour – for real.

The Hyatt Ziva in Cap Cana was built in late 2019, and it’s decor is completely on trend – reclaimed wood, super funky coffee outlets and rum bars, and shimmering through the open air lobby is the long white stretch of Cap Cana’s white sand beach and glittering turquoise water.

After being welcomed into the air conditioned club lounge with a cold drink, we were checked in, current Covid protocols were reviewed, and we were shown to our rooms.  Our suites on the club level were oversized and super well appointed – the one bedroom has two bathrooms so nobody has to wait or share.  Our double balcony over looked the pool with the ocean in the distance.

Highlights of our trip included luxurious breakfasts in the Club-exclusive cafe, ocean water that was clear as glass and warm enough that strolling in required no encouragement, family time in the lazy river at their all new water park with loop de loop slides, and a vivid pool scene with bumping music and chaise-side cocktail service.

As with all the Ziva resorts, while there is one “buffet” (now fully staff-served from behind plexiglass barriers), the majority of dining outlets are a la carte – we found the Italian spot, Noodles and Thread, to be particularly exceptional.  Note that reservations are not taken and all dining is first come first serve.  Nightly shows included pop music cover acts, a magician and an acrobatics troupe.

The question I know you’re asking is, what did it feel like – and that’s an easy answer.  We felt extremely safe and protected in all circumstances. The resort requires masks in all common areas, including walking to and from the restaurant tables.  Seating for the nightly entertainment was studiously placed six feet apart.  All staff wore masks, and the testing process prior to leaving the resort was handled in a completely professional and organized fashion.  

All in all we couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to emerge from our yearlong cocoon together.  You can tell, I think, from the smiles on our faces that we were eager and enraptured with our time together in the sun as a family.