Wow: Hyatt offering free COVID tests in Latin America


In a great competitive move, Hyatt has announced today that they are offering widespread complimentary, on-site COVID-19 testing options for guests traveling to the U.S. at all Hyatt resorts across Latin America, including the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and South America, starting today. Wow! That took me by surprise and seems like a power move in terms of setting the bar almost out of reach for competitors. This could be a game-changer for those looking to travel to Latin America who are concerned about the testing requirements to re-enter the US.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
I certainly do miss this view at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. Free testing to meet US return requirements is a nice move on Hyatt’s part.

Color me impressed overall here (though there are some areas of uncertainty noted below). I know that many people had been traveling to various points in Latin America prior to the new testing requirements, though I imagine the possibility of getting held up waiting for results and/or general uncertainty about the testing infrastructure in foreign places has probably discouraged many people from planning trips abroad.

The fact that Hyatt resorts have arranged for two complimentary COVID-19 tests per guestroom per stay at participating resorts should take a lot of uncertainty out of the process. Participating properties include:

●      Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino
●      Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour
●      Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Bahamas
●      Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
●      Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
●      Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, Jamaica
●      Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Jamaica
●      Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo 
●      Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
●      Thompson Playa del Carmen Beach House, Mexico
●      Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House, Mexico
●      The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
●      Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico
●      Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Mexico
●      Thompson Zihuatanejo, a Beach Resort, Mexico
●      Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, Mexico
●      Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
●      Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Mexico
●      Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Mexico

However, it isn’t without at least a small catch: according to the press release, complimentary rapid antigen or RT-PCR testing options (both approved testing per CDC guidelines) and minimum length of stay vary per property.

For example the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, where I enjoyed an excellent stay a couple of years ago, is offering a free test with a minimum stay of 3 nights. The Hyatt Ziva website links to the Playa Hotels & Resorts (ownership group) policy, which notes a minimum 3 night stay in Mexico) for complimentary antigen testing.

Some properties don’t clarify a minimum stay requirement. For example, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar notes that it administers a complimentary rapid test on arrival (you wait in your room for results within ~1 hour) and then they will also offer a test to meet CDC requirements for your departure.

Furthermore, it isn’t clear what the fee will be for additional guests/tests. The terms indicate 2 complimentary tests per guest room, but if you’re traveling with a family, you will likely need to reach out to the property in advance to determine the cost of testing additional guests. And in fact some property websites still list a fee for tests despite the fact that Hyatt’s press release indicates that two tests per room are complimentary. For example, the Andaz Papagayo notes a fee of “about $156 per person” plus a $25 “administrative fee” that sounds like it’s just a money-grab by the hotel. I assume that the website likely just hasn’t been updated to reflect complimentary testing for two – but I also assume that you’ll be on the hook to the tune of $181 or more for each guest over 2 per room. That doesn’t add outlandish cost to a 5- or 6-night trip, but it’s not an insignificant amount (and likely varies widely by property).

Hyatt will additionally be offering a Travel Delay Rate for those whose travel back to the US is delayed by testing issues with savings of 50% off standard rates and 30% off food and beverage. That’s certainly nice for those whose trip gets delayed (and they do note that those nights will be eligible to earn points / elite credit), but on the flip side I wonder how positive test results are handled. I’m sure it varies by locality whether you need to then quarantine in a government facility or quarantine hotel or whether you can stay put on-property. That part of the homework and calculus still plays in to deciding whether or not travel makes sense regardless of these testing developments.

Still, I like the idea here (and that some hotels / areas are additionally testing guests on arrival). I likely won’t take advantage of this yet, but I can certainly see how measures like these would inspire more confidence in those who are considering travel. This is certainly a net positive for travelers and I would be surprised if we didn’t see other travel entities following suit as best they can.

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Evan Johnson

Staying at the Andaz Papagayo now and received confirmation that there is a 6 night minimum stay to get the perk.


Here’s my greatest concern–I’ve got a close family member–younger than I am– who ended up in Intensive Care on oxygen due to the virus. If I caught COVID-19 in Playa del Carmen (beautiful Hyatt there, by the way), would I really want to end up in a Mexican hospital to be treated for COVID-19? Reasonable minds can differ, but personally, no way!


Playa Resorts website only shows the min duration of stay requirement. Says nothing about max 2 per room.


Nick-you bring up some good questions re. what the testing cost will be for the extra people (e.g. children sharing the room with 2 parents) and the policy for testing positive as far as what you can and can’t do while at the resort. Two things:
a) Playa Resorts also owns and operates the Hilton All Inclusive hotels in Playa del Carmen, Montego Bay and La Romana (among 4 other brands) so it’s not just a Hyatt initiative. I don’t know who owns/operates the non Ziva properties listed in your post.
b) Related to that, will be curious to see how parent brands like Hyatt, Hilton, etc. handle and and drive this offering in other locations or countries in relation to the hotel groups (like Playa) that actually own and operate the property. Who’s going to be on the hook for covering the costs? Will they have to do it? Hilton could promote that they offer free tests in at those properties but the AI in Puerto Vallarta is owned/operated by someone else and doesn’t. On the flip side, AMResorts is offering a free test at all their locations within the portfolio, though they don’t necessarily own/operate each one. So those local property/management groups are doing it as well.


This seems (understandably) to be the upcoming standard in areas like Cancun, with some resorts even offering free quarantine-length stays for you and your companions if you should test positive.