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“An Absolute Awesome Time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 72, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Spa Palace)   |  
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Ranked #14 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“An Absolute Awesome Time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2011

OK, I am sure many of you are like me. We read the reviews and get all nervous. I read almost all the reviews and after visiting this place, either I am rock star or there are many troubled people out there. I do not, cannot, understand all the negative reviews.
The beach....there is none (per se) How can this be such a revelation for some of the reviews. Did you look at any information before you scheduled? I asked myself, how many times have I gone into the ocean or gulf? Very few. They have a very rocky coastline with large waves. What they created, are man-made lagoons. They connect to the Caribbean. They do have fish in them. They created a sand (or actually crushed shells) area around them. To me, this is perfect. You see and hear the waves but are not bothered by them.
The grounds, unbelievable. They are perfect. Well taken care. The pools are great too. They have a staff that helps entertain. Nothing obnoxious, just fun. Hugo was great at keeping the party going. We did not have to play the 5 A.M. drill to get up and reserve a beach or pool chair. There were always some available.
The rooms, very nice. Never a problem with housekeeping. I ordered room service only once and it was prompt, warm and tasty.
The food. Now this is an area dear to me and gave me the most concern with some of the reviews. I felt that food was close to cruise ship quality and in some cases better. We ate twice at the Mexican restaurant-La Hacienda. Both meals were wonderful. The best meal was had at the steakhouse Mundaca. We were invited by the manager and lead chef for a special meal. Jorge Pech who was the manager did an amazing job serving us along with his waiter in training-Onan. Lucio the chef created a masterpiece of a meal.
We also ate at Momo No Hana which is the Oriental cusine. It was great as well. We had sushi which was prepared very well.
As mentioned earlier, the food is a huge part of my vacation. I went on a kitchen tour that they offer and saw behind the scenes. They take preparation and hygiene very seriously. We even watched how they would prepare sushi and served some to us.
The service--the best I have ever experienced. They staff is helpful in all areas. Two staff in particular, Eduardo (lobby bar-Cove) and Josinto (pool area) chased down special request beverages for me. They really helped make us feel special.
The Spa, it is awesome. I have never seen such a facility. I had my first massage in my life and it was great. The $1500 credit is used for real things and helps enhance the stay. I brought $100 in ones and fives. I know you think tips are included but if someone is treating you great-reward them, it goes along way. I saw one couple request a special Mayan coffee. This is a five minute production for one waiter. It is like a show. The couple finished and then just left. My philosophy is reward when you are treated great. If the service was great (which is always was) I tipped.
We did do the "timeshare" talk which is actually a pitch for a vacation club-not timeshare. It was harmless and we declined the offer. We were rewarded with enough money to cover Xel-Ha for two people. This is not covered by the resort credit.
They have a show every night at the Cove side of the resort. They are just plain fun. If you are expecting Vegas, you won't find it. This is a great quiet resort so you can enjoy your spouse and friends. it is truly the most relaxing time I have ever had.
I had some specific requests for housekeeping. Everyone speaks very good English. The housekeepers were less English-speaking so I used Google translate to leave hand written notes for them. My special requests were followed precisely. No problems with lap top internet which was continuous.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,810 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (546)
Date | Rating
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English first
Redlands, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

We stayed at the aventura spa we loved it..... we tried all the resturants there but the best we thought was Mundaca it is a steak house the service was one of the best..... the manager jorge was so personal and kind and our waiter Onan was one of the best service we have ever had just truly enjoyed the whole experience

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2011

If a spa environment and reconnection with your partner is what you had in mind, then you have found it. The Adventura Spa Palace tries to anticipate your needs and what services they can provide to keep a relaxed look and smile on your face. It is also a great place to meet up and vacation with your friends or attend a wedding. Adventura Spa Palace provided exceptional service in every area of the hotel. Arturo trains all of the employees in the restaurants. Each one greeted us with a smile and can do attitude. Everywhere we had a meal the wait staff was well trained and did their best to meet our requests. They even started to teach us simple Mayan words and phrases.

Each day the Pool Staff kept us entertained. They enjoy their jobs and are exceptional individuals. Daniel, Vanilla, William, Mario, Eddy and Hugo all have a great sense of humor and took the time to say hello and/or explain the day and evening events. Water Aerobics were a hit and we looked forward to it each day at 12:00 PM. Water Polo, Volleyball, Pictionary, Bocci Ball, Kyacking, Snorkeling, the evening shows were only a party of the entertainment. Should I say more? You need to experience it yourself. Jose and Junior provided spinning and yoga classes and are in awesome shape.

A salt water inlet without waves and freshwater pools provided us with refreshing dips to cool ourselves and provided us endless swimming time. It is the best of both our worlds since one likes the salt water and one likes the pool. Cocktails were brought to you poolside or by the salt water and since it is an all inclusive resort you don't have to sign for anything or bring money unless you want to tip the servers (we did).

The Spa and its services complimented our stay and we look forward to another visit in the near future. The $1500 Spa Credits allowed us to try treatments we normally wouldn't have experienced.

I was embarassed a couple of times by the way my fellow Americans treated some of the staff. They try their best to assist you so there is no reason to be rude. It eventually all works out with patience. If you don't have a wonderful time in this beautiful resort then it has to be your own fault. Visit and experience it for yourself.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2011

Have Eduard make you a Mayan Coffee - he works at the Trattoria restaurant. You won't be disappointed.

The restaurants could have a better set of desserts though. But on the whole we had a great time.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cleveland, OH
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Aventura Spa Palace February 28-March 5, 2011 and can say without hesitation that we got tremendous bang for our buck. The resort is beautiful, the service is impeccable, and the current $1500 promotion is an extremely generous and lets you enjoy the little “extras” you may never splurge on otherwise. And please don't let the over-hyped news reports discourage you from visiting this wonderful area. Everyone in the Cancun/Mayan Riveria region are taking great pains to ensure the safety of the tourists; after all, tourism is their livelihood and without it, the region would basically crumble. They are wonderful people and will truly make you feel at home.

Getting There

As other reviews have stated, the Aventura Spa is about an hour and half from the airport. We booked through Apple Vacations and easily found the their reps with the brightly colored floral shirts right outside of the airport. They were managing quite a few guests, but they were pretty organized. We only waited about 15 minutes before we boarded a shuttle for the resort. Unfortunately, it was a rather boring trip because all we saw was highways and billboards. (Our trip from the Montego Bay Airport to Negril, Jamaica was MUCH for interesting and enlightening.) We made it there safe and sound though and that's the most important thing.

Check In and Using $1500 Promotion

Check in was a breeze; we only waited a few minutes before we were helped and were handed a drink almost immediately upon entering the beautiful lobby. A concierge explained the ins and outs of the resort and talked about the $1500 credit. Because we arrived before 3 p.m., our room was not ready yet, but we were told where we could have lunch.

After eating, we walked over to the spa area to make reservations using our credit. I was afraid this was going to be logistical nightmare, but I was pleasantly surprised at how they have the booking process running like a well-oiled machine. As I stated above, it is really a generous offer. You can use up to $300 at the spa, which we used for back massages. (Would recommend!) We also booked the Isla Muejeres and Tulum tours (more on these below) and the romantic lobster dinner. Even with all of these reservations, we still had about $900 left! If you were staying longer, you could really go nuts with this offer! I really saw how they take their service to a whole new level during the reservation process. You are supposed to have room number before you can reserve anything. Well, we were early, so didn't have one yet. However, after one phone call, the gentleman helping us got our room number and we were good-to-go. The whole process only took about 10 minutes.

Impressions and Characteristics of the Resort

The resort is truly breath-taking. Almost every place in the resort has an ocean view, with the view from some of the bars and restaurants being quite spectacular. Be sure to check out the little bar in the hut right on the water – It is truly enchanting! Even our room (and I always get the cheapest option) had a view of the water – what a nice surprise! The pools go on for miles and the lagoons are crystal clear with fresh seawater and lots of cool fish to see. I know some people complain that it doesn't have an actual beach, but the lagoons were more than sufficient. There are at least five or six of them and they are plenty large enough for wading and snorkeling We have been to resorts that have the actual beach and they rope off the swimming area not very far out, so they no larger than any of the Aventura lagoons. I'm not really sure what people are complaining about here, as they make the very best of their location on a rough stretch of ocean. The grounds are immaculately manicured and nothing appears to be in disrepair.


As alluded to above, service is what really makes the Aventura stand out. Everyone at all areas of the resort were friendly and attentive. Unlike other resorts we have visited, they always had prompt beach service. Regardless of where we were though, we never had to wait for anything and were always served with a smile. In fact, they offer to take your plate to the table for you at the buffets! They really know how to make their guests feel welcome and special. Also, the resort offers free English lessons to all of their staff so communicating with anyone was NEVER a problem.

Activities and Tours

The Aventura caters to both types of beach travelers – those who want to lay out and chill and those who want to party and stay active all day. The main pool with the beach bar was hopping all day with games and contests and people really seemed to be having a good time. And it wasn't over-the-top
shenanigans like at some of the Cancun resorts. We did the snorkeling tour in the lagoon and that was really interesting. We saw starfish, conch shells, barracudas, sergeant majors, sea urchins and a variety of other aquatic creatures. We also did the spider monkey and kitchen tours and both were interesting and enjoyable.

As I said earlier, we did the Isla Muejeres and Tulum off-site tours. The Isla Muejeres ended up being a bit of a disappointment because while its billed as a snorkeling tour on the Palace website, snorkeling is actually $35 pp extra. Well, I stupidly left our credit card in the room and only brought $45 cash. We still had fun, but it wasn't worth being gone from 8:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. The island is actually past the Cancun airport, so plan to be in the bus for awhile. The tour involved being dropped off at beach club in Cancun and taking a ferry over to the island. The animation team on the ferry was VERY funny and entertaining. They drop you off at a beach club there where you can eat and drink for free and those that signed up for optional activities break off and do their thing. You can swim with the dolphins, snorkel or go on an island tour. Because of our cash flow situation, we ended up just chilling at the beach club for a couple of hours, which ended up being fun, but we could have done that at the resort. You then hop back on the boat where they take you to a shopping area for about an hour. I'm not a shopper and hate haggling, but we actually had fun. My husband got really good cigars for cheap. You then get back on the ferry for the ride back to the Cancun beach club and your bus is waiting to take you back to the resort. They put a movie on in the bus on the way home, so it passed the time.

We had a much better experience with the Tulum tour. The drive was only about 20 minutes and our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. We toured the ruins for about 1.5 hours and swam at the beach for about 40 minutes. The water is gorgeous, something like six different shades of turquoise and the waves made for some wicked body surfing! We then got back on the bus and stopped at a Mayan Co-op to shop. I got a beautiful necklace with a purple semi-precious stone for $40... after some haggling by my husband! They then took us to Xpu Ha Palace for lunch and some play. It's a super cool eco resort with alligators, wild cats, and spider monkeys on display as you make your way to the restaurants. I also thought it was neat that they allow guests to bring their animals. (My husband just looked at me and said, “NO, We are not bringing the dogs!” LOL!) Their lagoon is in a jungle setting and the water is crystal clear and about 30' deep, which made for some great snorkeling. This resort is only about five or 10 minutes from the Aventura Spa, so we were back a little after 4 p.m.

Food and Drink

The food was decent at Aventura Spa. The lunch and breakfast buffets were okay, but didn't offer huge selections. We are vegetarian and the salad fixings were kind of sad, with one or two dressing options and few veggie choices. The dinners, however, were MUCH better. As other reviews have stated, the Mexican restaurant was delicious; I had a veggie stuffed pepper with cheese and it was GREAT! We also liked the California Light restaurant, having had a unique and tasty pumpkin soup that my husband is trying to replicate. As part of our $1500 credit, we did the lobster dinner and that was AWESOME. The lobster tail was very tender and I had the best mashed potatoes I've ever had in my life.

They also offered MANY food choices at the snack bars all day long, including readily-available nachos, pizza, burgers, hotdogs, fries, as well as a whole menu of sandwiches and burgers made-to-order. Not as many options for vegetarians here, but we certainly didn't go hungry! :) Incidentally, we had the BEST veggie burger of our life at the C/O bar at Breezes Grand in Negril!

The drinks were all quite tasty and they carried almost all of the major brands of liquor. Ask your bartender to make their specialty; you'll probably discover something new that you really like.

Check Out

Check out was easy, but we first had to track down our Apple rep to coordinate our ride back to the airport. He wasn't very punctual and we had to wait awhile to finally catch up with him. It took two or three trips to finalize everything. At Breezes in Jamaica, we didn't have to do anything. The resort simply left us a note under our door telling us when we needed to be in the lobby for our shuttle. It wasn't that bad, but I guess we were spoiled by our experience at Breezes. The shuttle was on time and there were no issues getting to the airport on time.


The Mayan Riveria is a wonderful place to visit and you can find some awesome deals online right now. Please don't let the news reports scare you; you won't regret a trip to the Aventura Spa. You will be treated like a royalty, even if you are paupers like us!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vista, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

We recently stayed at Adventura Spa Palace for the 5th time and as usual we had a really nice stay. I do however wanttomention 3 people that made our stay special. First there was Maria Hermosillo Sandoval, our waitress 3 different times (twice in La Huerta). Not only is she a fantastic waitress but she goes above and beyond in her service. She is VERY friendly, speaks perfect english (although most of the staff speaks great english) and she makes you want to return time and time again to her and the resort. We can't wait to see her again.

Second is Jose (in the martini bar) WOW... can he make you feel welcome and make a fantastic tasting drink. You name it and he can make it. He had tons of people to wait on, but never once did anyone feel unattended to. Love ya Jose!!!

Then there is Luis (the manager in Mo Mo Na Hana) He is incredible at making every guest feel VERY special. He is always attentive to every need and even if you have a request fom another part of the resort he will help guide you in the right direction.

We highly recommend Adventura Spa Palace for the SPA!!! I have been to many "top" spa's and this one is by far the best!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

My husband and I ended up at this resort through Apple's Square Deal (6 Apple/Adult only).
*The resort is very nice, however there isn't any beach besides a man made beach/lagoon. If you like to walk the beach or swin in the sea do not go to this resort.
*Overall the food was good - breakfast and lunch were the best (Japanese and Mexican were our favorite restaurants for dinner).
*The entertainment was in the adjoining resort, and most times held in a small disco - - very disappointing.
*We received a $1,500 credit to use (we were not told about this at check-in and only found out about it by accident) which we could use for golf, spa treatments, excursions, etc. This was a nice perk.

If they continue to offer the $1,500 credit we may return. We did meet a great couple on the way to the resort and spent the week with them - - that made our vacation enjoyable despite the lack of beach.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 72, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly Aventura Spa Palace)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya 4.5*
Number of rooms: 577
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A blend of relaxation and adventure awaits you at this adults only retreat. Set in the Riviera Maya overlooking the aquamarine Caribbean Sea, enjoy 1,266 luxurious accommodations with double Jacuzzi, balcony (most with hammock), and 24 hr. room service. Among the facilities to highlight is the state-of-the-art spa offering a perfect day of pampering. Guests can also enjoy seven restaurants, several bars, a disco, outdoor/indoor pools, and unlimited tours as part of the all-inclusive package. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aventura Hotel Palace
Aventura Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Mayan Riviera Palace
Adventure Spa Palace
Hotel Mayan Palace
Adventura Spa Palace
Aventura Palace Spa
Aventura Spa Palace Riviera Maya
Aventura Spa Palace Resort
Aventura Spa Palace Mexico

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