Hola! When are your planning on going? We have a week planned late January - early February. If you haven't heard, they may be closing it down mid-August into November to complete the change over to the Hard Rock-brand hotel. Haven't heard when the "grand opening" will be yet, but it appears to be in December or January.
On the trips that we have taken to the Playa del Carmen area we don't bring travelers checks. Bring US $ and, if possible through your bank depending on the exchange rate, some pesos. If you don't convert US to pesos through your bank before leaving, seek one of the recommended ATM machines to get some pesos for use. Others will have recommendations for tipping, but we bring about $100 US one dollar bills for tipping. Bring a credit card, too, and make sure you notify them before you leave of your travel dates and destination.
We haven't been to ASP (soon to be Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya), so we will be learning a few things about the area. Heard many excellent comments about the resort, and we hope the change will be an upgrade to what others think is an fun place to stay. We have been to the Tulum ruins and would recommend that. Even though we haven't been to nearby Akumal yet for the snorkeling,we are planning to do that. Others will have some great ideas, too.
Do your research and welcome the advice from many knowledgeable TA travelers!
Any other questions, toss them out here. Have fun!!!!