We (me, my wife, 3 year old daughter and 9 month old son) stayed seven nights at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in early February 2013. We had a fantastic time and definitely would come back. Last year we stayed at Beach Palace, which is a top 10 tripadvisor-rated resort in Cancun, so our expectations were definitely high! Hard Rock ended up coming in a close second to Beach Palace.
In summary, the food was above-average, the entertainment was the best we've seen at any resort, the rooms were average and staff were slightly above-average. The $1500 resort credits are a gimmick as you end up paying more with the 11% "service fee" that they charge you. The only exception is the spa allowance that equates to excellent value.
We had an Oceanview room in the middle of hotel on the 9th floor on our first day. We were about four rooms from the elevator. Our first night was a disaster because the noise was absolutely unbearable and our kids had trouble sleeping. The traffic in the hallway did not let up until about 1am in the morning and it was probably one of the noisiest hotel rooms we've ever stayed in. We requested to be moved the next morning and the Manager on Duty Yakimoto (who was excellent) moved us to a different oceanview room at the end of the wing (away from the elevators) on the 7th floor. We were literally at the end of the hallway and the silence was bliss.
In terms of the size of rooms, we found them to be small for the price you pay. Also, there is a jacuzzi in every room, and the positioning near the entrance of the room tends to get in the way making it tight to navigate between the beds and bathroom. Also, most of the balconies were tiny and there was only enough room to just step out and sit. For a five-star hotel, you would expect bigger balconies. In the new room we had on the 7th floor in the wing, the balconies were larger and much more suitable.
Our advice is to request a room near the end of the wings, which are quieter and have larger balconies.
There are four a la carte restaurants at the resort, the Market Buffet and other dining around the pool area:
Zen (Asian): We ate here on our first night in the a la carte menu area. It was a HUGE disappointment. The sushi was dry, pasty and tasted like it was just defrosted after being frozen for days. We also tried a couple of other dishes like pad thai and teriyaki and again they were disappointing and very far from tasting anything like authentic Asian.
On another evening we tried the Teppanyaki grills. They were fantastic! The food was fresh and tasty and the chef's show was always enjoyable. If they aren't too busy, ask them to make Mayan coffee at dessert time. It tastes amazing and the show is excellent as well. The Teppanyaki was so good that we ended up eating there another two nights.
Ciao (Italian): We ate here on our second night. Again another disappointment for the a la carte menu. The food was no good and one of our waiters actually admitted that people never finish their pasta dishes because of the poor quality. They definitely have to work on their menu at this restaurant. We did not revisit again during our stay. If you are looking for good pasta, go to the Market Buffet and ask them to make it on the grill for you. It was very tasty and actually better than some Italian restaurants we have visited.
Ipanema (Brazilian): This restaurant was Brazilian-style with the various cuts of meat brought around to your table. In general, this was better than Ciao and better than a la carte at Zen, however, the food options at Ipanema were much more limited. We did not revisit again during our stay.
Frida (Mexican): Frida was excellent. The food was great and our waiter was excellent. However, our food took forever to be delivered to our table. Mexican food is generally not on our favourites list so we only visited one night.
Market Buffett: The market buffet was very good compared to other resorts. The food was always hot and the variety was above-average. The grill is an excellent area for having them make eggs, pasta, fish, steak, fresh to order. Our breakfast and lunch waiter Carlos was excellent. He always put a smile on our faces and surprised our daughter with a Minnie Mouse-shaped pancake one morning for breakfast.
We had the best entertainment experience of any resort we have ever visited! During the day, the DJ was playing top 40 hits. While some people complain that it is noisy for the oceanview rooms, we loved listening to the music in our room and sometimes taking a nice afternoon nap listening to the ocean waves and music. On some nights, there was a band playing around the pool. They played 70s, 80s, 90s rock and they were AMAZING.
For our kids, their kids club was awesome! They had Angelina Ballerina and Barney theme rooms, as well as Bob the Builder and Thomas activities. Every Thursday night they have a huge show at the Theatre, which has all four character appearances. Also there is a very cool splash area for kids at the kids center and they also have various crafts and character visits throughout the week (including character breakfasts).
On other nights, we saw the Fire Show. Make sure you sit further back as one of the flame throwers accidentally let go of his baton while it was still on fire and it landed near the feet of the people sitting in the front row!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hard Rock Hotel Cancun- Where Stage Front meets Beach Front At our unique Cancun beach resort, we've created the ultimate beachfront celebrity playground and transformed the typical All Inclusive vacation into a rock star paradise, which reflects our Mexican setting and cosmopolitan flair. Located in the heart of Cancun's hotel zone, Hard Rock Hotel Cancun boasts unmatched, all-inclusive luxury accommodations including in-room hydro spa tub, fine dining at, 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. There are no limits at our All Inclusive Cancun resort. Go on a world tour with the internationally inspired restaurants of the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. Give meetings the rock star treatment. Plan the ultimate celebrity-style wedding. Rock out at the beach or the luxurious pool area with swim up bars. Indulge in a glorious spa day. The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun truly has something for everyone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cancun Palace Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Palace Resort
- Palace Hotel Cancun
- Cancun Palace Cancun