At times when I read trip advisor reviews I find myself thinking is this a real person providing an honest opinion. I promise that I am a real person, I have written several reviews one of which was for the Aventura Palace. The experience we had with the Palace was devastating. As a result we approached this trip with a fair amount of concern.
This is going to be another detailed review and while everyone will have different opinions on matters I will share mine.
We arrived at the Hard Rock in a taxi, opting against transfers as it is generally very easy to obtain a ride from the airport to virtually any hotel in the Mayan Riviera. The Hard Rock although new is easily recognized by every taxi driver we encountered, there was no confusion or concern or need for directions. It was 100 USD for the four of us with 5 large pieces of luggage to go to the hotel. We were offered a return taxi prepaid but fortunately declined as the ride from the hotel to the airport was only 60 USD.
The entrance to the resort is gated as is the norm in the area, it seemed fairly efficient each time we went through it, my only concern is that the gate is so close to the main road, if there is a hold up with a vehicle at the gate, you will find yourself stopped in speeding traffic, it simply doesn’t feel comfortable, but for the most part all of the drivers seem to anticipate the issue and simply go around.
As you drive up to the resort it is very impressive, fountains with lyrics and quotes, many bellmen and in general just an awe inspiring entrance. The doors are opened for you and there was not one person not smiling as we arrived. Over the door it proclaims welcome to the jungle and behind you on a fountain a quote from Bad company “Its all part of my rock and roll fantasy. The age I am the lyrics meant something, but the entire atmosphere bread excitement in my children as well, something it’s hard to find in a 16 and a 13 year old.
Our bags were whisked away by a smiling bell man a tag was handed to me and we went inside. That first step inside the building can take your breath away. I have read other reviews and some people have said its too much going on, I can on the one hand understand that, on the other if you want to get lost in music history this entrance is the place to do it. I just stopped and stared, my husband, a musician and rock fan was smitten. Drinks were offered along with a nice cool towel which after 9 hours to get there was very nice and we approached check in.
The check in desk is very small, only two people working, the upside of it is that check in and check - out are two different locations. We arrived at 3 in the afternoon to a fully booked hotel, typically a very difficult time to check in but found that the efficiency could not be better, within ten minutes we had pina colodas room keys happy kids and were on our way to the 6th floor family suite.
The lobby of the hotel is fully handicapped accessible, which for our family is a necessity, my only concern for my children is that while they were walking to the elevator to get to our rooms they were so busy looking at everything they had a really hard time watching where they walked. Some people may prefer a resort that is very spread out, we don’t. For us the way this resort was self contained was wonderful, the rock shop, jewelry shops and gift shop all located around the elevators and the restaurant being so close was perfect. The décor was eclectic retro and stunning, and once again the staff all smiling, but I took note, the guests were all smiling as well.
We stayed in a family suite, two rooms attached one with 2, I have to say either very small queens or in my opinion double beds, which was perfect for our two children, and the other a king bed. Both had two seat Jacuzzi’s in them and lovely large bathroom areas. Having the toilette /shower and sinks separate was wonderful when dealing with the kids. The beds were incredibly hard, so if you like a firm bed this is the place for you, my preference runs to a pillow top but overall a small concern as we have come to expect a harder bed staying in Mexico. The only disappointment at this point for us was the view, while overall you could see the amazing entry shaped like a guitar and the beautiful sunsets over the lagoon, our room was directly over two rooftops, that said, it is a small thing and we didn’t spend much time in the rooms anyway, but if you are more inclined to a great view I would suggest a higher room or an ocean view.
We had only just walked through the rooms and looked on the balcony and the phone rang I answered and was told our luggage was on the way. Within a half hour of arriving we had checked in had a drink been to our rooms gotten our luggage and the kids were on the way to the pool.
Going to the pool was a bit more difficult than the rest of the hotel, there are many stairs to the pool and then more to the beach, if you are unable to walk stairs this will be a very difficult experience for you. We navigated them very slowly and were able to but if you are unable to walk the beach and pool area are not available. This for me would be a concern to some travelers.
The pool area is incredible, the first view from the revolving doors as you exit the building is breath taking, the amazing Caribbean ocean the infinity pool and a beautiful tropical oasis built around it. There is plenty of seating, but all lounge chairs that are very low to the ground, a few regular chairs around the pool area would have been nice. There was recorded music around the pool, more rap than rock with some regaeton and Spanish mixes thrown in for good measure.
Two full service bars leading into the pool with excellent bar staff and a cheerful mix of waiters and waitresses. As a general rule we tip our wait staff having put ourselves through school working in various similar positions we tend to be fairly generous but I did see a lot of people not tipping anything at all, and I did not see any change in the attitude of the wait staff towards any patron regardless of tip. We are English speaking patrons trying to learn Spanish but found ourselves easily understood throughout the resort and in many cases our kids were being taught Spanish around the resort something they enjoyed and we appreciated.
As early evening approached a band set up and started playing around the pool, the music was lively and fun and my family really enjoyed it. Overall the atmosphere at the pool was wonderful, friendly pleasant and clean. I will take the time to talk about some of the services offered at the pool. There is a snack bar serving up amazing burgers, fries, nachos etc alongside one of the pool bars, all made fresh to order and wonderful. I would like to highlight the pizza oven alongside the pool. This is wood smoked handmade pizza to order, under a blazing sun in heat we don’t often work with and the nicest woman I have ever met was cooking pizza. She would make special pizzas for the kids and put extra toppings on my husbands as he seemed to enjoy them. She was exceptionally hard working and wonderful to meet and in general be around. Our first day at the hotel was a success and we went to our rooms to find the beds turned down and little chocolates in the room a lovely way to end the night in Cancun. My husband and I grabbed a drink from the mini bar and watched the sunset into the lagoon and wondered about some of the things that were being constructed on the roof below us and on the beach.
The next morning right on time our breakfast arrived in the room exactly as we had ordered it, and to be fair we were adding things not listed on the menu, so to have it arrive so perfectly was a real treat. We were up and out very quickly as we were spending a good portion of our vacation diving the amazing ocean. Returning back to the hotel again the bellmen were there to greet us helping me from the taxi as I was very tired and moving slow.
A quick visit to the rock shop introduced us to Jesus. This man is a most amazing sales man. He made my daughter feel beautiful my son was the coolest guy in town and in general he knows exactly how to make his customers happy. The level of customer service during our stay from Jesus was incredible. My son purchased headphones from the rock shop and sad to say the quality was less than spectacular, they did not play music on his ipod clearly at all, Jesus opened several other packages trying to find a good pair and was unable, the shop doesn’t process returns but no matter, my son was allowed to simply choose another item from the shop. This service led us to purchase many other items for gifts back home at the store, and in general I think he is a very wonderful staff member to have in the store.
Entering the gift shop I too noticed the pricing to be high, but to be fair, I have never been in a hotel where convenience items were priced the same as at wal-mart, at times you pay for convenience and the prices in the Mercado for sunscreen were close to the same as the hotel, the gifts and trinkets however were better bargained for in Mercado 28.
Jewelry was high end and not to my taste and I found myself more inclined to shop at the Mercado but I know that some people were very excited with the shopping at the hotel.
Regarding the resort credits, the way they work is well laid out prior to travel they have many disclaimers and in all honestly they are a promo to get you to stay there if you read the fine print you can make them work well for you, prebook your spa trips, pre plan all of your tours with the credits in mind and book them the moment you arrive as space is limited and you will be very happy with them, for our purposes we did not bother, we are not tequila drinkers, have participated in most of the land tours and were focused on relaxing and diving, something we prepared in advance.
The lobby bar was wonderful, so much memorabilia to see and so many interesting things to read, games music both recorded and live and a wonderful bar staff with cookies and tea laid out along the side, a family favorite just alongside the bar were little gnome tables the kids loved them.
Our second day at the resort we found out we were going to be part of opening weekend. So much excitement! My kids almost fell over to find out FloRida was playing on the beach, the structures being erected below our room were part of a Pinktober fashion show and I was really happy to hear that the Googoo Dolls were playing. Honestly how can you beat that!
In the room the first night of the opening weekend we had lovely guitar cookies and wine glasses laid out for both rooms, the second night was a cheese plate with crackers and they also left both kids amazing swag bags with t-shirts and guest passes and a commemorative pin, this is something they will be able to keep forever as a memento of the occasion. My biggest concern with the Concerts were they were rush and mostly standing with no handicapped access. My thirteen year old is going through a series of surgeries on her legs, and as such struggles to stand and walk long distances and certainly could not withstand a crowd of people pushing on her.
To be honest I am somewhat emotional when it comes to my daughter, we have had to say no to a lot of things for her given her health issues, she is a huge FloRida fan and I was very concerned, there were no handicapped facilities at all, and no one seemed to have any idea what to do to make sure she was safe. Near tears I found Andy.
Andy is a member of the entertainment team, but has no authority whatsoever regarding concert arrangements. That said as soon as I explained my issue to Andy off he went with a promise to return and he did, stood with us talking to us until one of the event Planners came over to us. Between the two of them they made arrangements for my daughter to view the concert from pool side, not in the tent but almost on top of the stage, absolutely safe and seated. Andy met us prior to the concert and escorted us to the area and made sure we were taken care of and brought drinks and snacks.
This kindness alone assures my undying devotion to this facility, but the truth is this is one of the amazing staff members in this hotel. The restaurant staff, at Zen - amazing meals, full tepanyaki grill and for a Birthday and extra special piece of cake with candles and singing. At Frida two servers and someone to make the guacamole amazing meals and incredible atmosphere. The market has a very generic buffet which some people have criticized but I met a woman in the restaurant with Crohns who was thrilled she was able to eat as most of the time when they travel she exists on fruit and goes home very ill. The staff at the market, from the hostess to the many wait staff, are wonderful, and I wrote down names but at this time can’t find the paper.
The only thing I would caution the resort about for restaurants is some of the wait staff can go fairly heavy on the perfumes, some guests were discussing not being able to be in the restaurant for this issue, and once again not handicapped accessible, stairs to get into the market and up to the buffet, In Zen the stairs are very slippery and I managed to fall badly injuring my leg, at home it turns out it was slightly fractured, at the time just seemed like the worst bruise that would not heal and hurt from hip to toe.
During the celebrations for the opening weekend management was plentiful, and I met the designer and the interior decorator for the resort while admiring the gong in the main lobby, the conversation was amazing and the attention to detail that I noticed while going through the facility was really brought home while discussing all of the small details that have been paid attention to while designing the area.
In all honestly in Mexico beautiful resorts with amazing pools are plentiful, they all have wonderful restaurants, and you can find yourself in paradise around every turn. This resort went the extra distance in my mind, the memorabilia is a stand out the atmosphere is incredible but the staff is what really sells this resort. I have travelled to many locations including staying at the hard rock universal in Florida, I felt welcomed pampered and very cared for in all aspects of this stay and that is a very hard thing for a sold out resort to accomplish, especially since I arrived prepared to be very critical. All in all, my family were so happy we have started planning another trip in July, so we can swim with the whale sharks and enjoy more Hard Rock Cancun hospitality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After a complete rockin’ renovation, Cancun Palace debuted as the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in October 2012. Featuring enhanced, new facilities and guestrooms and located in the heart of Cancun's hotel zone, Hard Rock Hotel Cancun boasts unmatched, all-inclusive luxury accommodations including in-room double Jacuzzis, fine dining, top-shelf drinks, 24-hour room service, live entertainment and more. The beachfront property also features Hard Rock's signature Rock Star Suite and showcases an extensive collection of authentic memorabilia from international and local music artists, while incorporating diverse music genres throughout. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cancun Palace Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Palace Resort
- Palace Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Palace Cancun