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“Another great vacation with Palace!” 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 #9 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Summerfield, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Another great vacation with Palace!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

We just got back from another wonderful stay at Aventura Spa Palace. We have been there 4 times before but this was our first time since they split the club between the Spa and Cove. We have been members since 2001 and are totally sold on the Palace experience. The resort was VERY QUITE but all restaurants were open and we never lacked for anything. We asked some of the staff to confirm the rumor that it is becoming a Hard Rock like Punta Cana and it is true. The change should take place around December, we are anxious to see how it will affect the resort.

Here are our tips:

Rooms: Try to avoid the hallway rooms; you hear everything from doors slamming to blow-dryers. We stayed in Oboe 3455. These rooms are located in the outer wings. We had a nice view of the ocean and our room was very quite. If look on a map and you can see the sections that are not in the hallways.

Service: As always topnotch…we like to send a special thanks to the bar staff of Javier, Aldo, Jose and Eduardo…these guys were entertaining and know how to make a drink.

During our stay we were asked a lot about the service, how they could make improvements. It seems like every time we go back there are new improvements. Palace seems to listen and is willing to implement suggestions from their guests.

1500 Credit: This is our second time using the credit and we used all but 70.00. They are offering more ways to use the credit such as purchasing bottles of tequila, spa products or 300.00 toward jewelry. We still wish we could use more than 300.00 toward the spa…hint hint Palace….

Activities: We golfed Playacar and Moon Palace. Both courses are in great shape. The wildlife on the Playacar course is amazing…check out our photo. We participated in the “monkey tour” which consisted of walking to the front of the resort and looking for spider monkeys. We saw several and were told about 60 live on site.

As usual, your trip is what you make of it. We go with the flow, if we eat something we do not like, we get something else, if our drink is weak we ask for a floater. If you need something special just ask a Palace staff member… they go out of their way to make your vacation pleasurable. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email us.

Room Tip: Try the rooms in the outer wings, avoid the hallway rooms.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,996 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 (587)
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Muskegon Michigan
Level Contributor
274 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2011

We stayed at the Asp in September and what a wonderful experience. The resort is truly a 5 star resort.
The $1500 resort credit is hard to use because so much is already included.

We used our resort credit to swim with the dolphins, a day at Chicheniza, spa treatments, a hair cut, special lobster dinner on the beach, and we left with $200 still available. It was so easy-we just asked "can we pay with our resort credit" and if they said yes then we signed up. The resort planners that are selling time share are a different group of people and we stayed away from them.

We did Palace Hopping - shuttle to playa del Carmen palace - ferry to Cozumel - taxi to Cozumel palace and did some fantasic snorkeling there and enjoying their swim up bar.

ASPalace was great for sleeping. If you have stayed in Mexico before you know the beds are hard. Not here. They were cruise ship soft.

The pools are extensive and the staff was always asking if they can get you anything.

I would say anyone that didn't like the ASP wouldn't like any place in Mexico.

If you go there a fun thing to do is walk down the street toward the main entrance about 5pm and look for the ring tail spider monkeys. There are a bunch of them. Wild

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2011

property is so clean. Food was wonderful. Service seemed a bit slow compared to other times we were there. It is VERY QUIET this time of year...shockingly slow! It seemd that way everywhere we went .

Room Tip: avoid the straight along the back in the middle /(volley ball)pool. That is where the busses drop o...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2011

My husband and I honeymooned at the Spa Palace. The service was wonderful. Friendly, helpful staff. Delicious food! Great value. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2011

First - ORDER THE MAYAN COFFEE after dinner!!!

Now that I got that out of the way...

We went there for a business conference, but stayed a few days longer to take a few days to relax. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the staff is amazing. They go out of their way to be helpful. The food is plentiful, but not overly exciting. We either had room service or a buffet for breakfast. Lunch was typically at one of the buffets, and dinner was a la carte. The dinners were much better than the buffets, but still nothing to write home about. Because of the other amenities and service at the resort, I can easily overlook this (besides, the drinks keep flowing).

My only true complaint were two of the tours we went on. One to Chichen-Itza and the other to Tulum. Both are fascinating Mayan archaeological sites to visit. Unfortunately, because the tour operators have to take you to the crappy overpriced gift shops owned by their relatives, there is very little time to explore the sites on your own. They give an hour of the guided tour, then we had less than an hour on our own. If I didn't use resort credits to pay for these tours, I would have been screaming for a refund. I recommend renting a car (there is an Avis rep onsite at Aventura) and going there on your own. They are both very easy to get to, with clearly marked highway signs.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same. We spent very little time there, so location made no difference.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2011

Horrible, Terrible, Do Not Stay at Aventura Spa Palace Playa Del Carmen Rivera Maya

My wife and I saw over two thousand reviews on Tripadvisor.com with 87% being very positive so we figured we would have a great experience and enjoy our New Year holiday at a wonderful place like Aventura Spa Palace. Unfortunately for my wife and me this one week stay at Aventura Spa Palace turned out to be the absolute opposite of positive. In fact this tops as our least enjoyed vacation together. We were planning on celebrating New Years in Mexico and never in our previous experience did we want to go back home as much as on this visit.

This was our first all inclusive trip and our first visit to Mexico after a recent one week trip to Maui Hawaii. Having already experienced first class service needless to say majority of Aventura Spa Palace staff left us with a very bitter experience. So our intent is to inform you, the reader, to consider other resorts and our experience when planning your trip to Mexico Rivera Maya and Playa Del Carmen area.

We arrived on the 29th of December and considering that the resort was at approximate 30% occupancy (if not less) we were checked into the farthest room in the resort, not too far from where they keep horses for wedding celebrations. As we entered the room we immediately sensed the unmistakable smell of mold in combination with manure and other indescribable stench. The ceiling was stained with large ugly yellow spots throughout the living room and the bathroom area, but I guess placing visitors in rooms like these helps guests quickly make up their mind that they should be upgrading their rooms thus having to spend additional money. An up-sell attempt perhaps, maybe? Well since we had a $1,500 credit to go along with our package we spent $980 to upgrade our room to Aventura Spa Palace’s highest room level available – “The Concierge Level” room.
The perks of this top level room included an upgraded coffee maker which we did not use, a hair dryer which my wife really did not need since she brings her own and aroma oil. Additional “extras” included snacks that were brought to our room every night, but by the time we would get back to our room these sweets were completely infested with ants. These sweets looked good, but unfortunately we did not get a chance to try them out.  One evening we found a tiny black bug on our bed of unknown species, which I killed. That was my Mexican hunting experience. You can find bed bugs practically everywhere, but the ants were very annoying.

On the third day of our stay we have learned purely by accident that as part of our Concierge Level upgrade we could actually request a “special” dinner at two of their restaurants (two restaurants, same “special” menu though).
My wife and I found this out when we strolled into the “Family” side of the resort looking for something to eat. Very helpful Aventura Palace employee explained to us some other small extras that were included with our upgrade to Concierge Level. When we were discussing the upgrade with Aventura Palace service members in the “Adult” side of the resort this wasn’t mentioned. Many guest service members and other staff on the “Adult” side of this resort were not helpful at all and sometimes even rude. Certainly this information would have helped when we got to resort instead of half way through our vacation.

The overall food selection was sad considering the expectations and other reviews. At times we felt that we came to mid-to-low level all you can eat dinner. We ordered room service which offered decent selection, but this wasn’t what we were expecting by far. Food was very disappointing.
The upgraded mini bar in our room was a joke. Having seen the bar in our previous room and then in our upgraded room we saw that nothing was different and even the bottle of Vodka in our new room was completely empty when we got there. Our room service staff went to another room to bring new bottle after we realized our fridge needed to be restocked upon our first arrival. The room did not look like it was prepared to accept guests.

From the moment we entered the Aventura Spa Palace hotel lobby we have been chased by a hotel activity planner who wanted to ensure we plan our stay and utilize our credit as much as we could. When we saw him the next day he was making rounds and fulfilling other duties (making rotations) so he could not answer a single question and sent us off. This was very awkward.
Initially we thought vacation planning by guest services was done with good intentions until we later realized that the only focus of that representative was for us to book the tour of the hotel where they pitched us on purchasing their “memberships” insisting it is not timeshare. Call it what you want, but a timeshare is a timeshare no matter what you package it as especially if you are using the same pitch and the same sales tactics. By the way the price of this “non-timeshare” membership started at $42,000 which then quickly dropped to $26,000, then to $18,000 and then finally to $5,000 after speaking with 4 sales representatives.

Every available tour that was offered, like a trip to Chechen Itza or Tulum, etc. includes an additional stop at a nearby resort where they also pitch you on a “non-timeshare” packages sponsored by Aventura Palace. This extra stop adds an additional two hours to these trips, as we learned later from other guests. Gust services planners intentionally forget to mention this detail during the booking of a tour. The tour schedule was also not very accommodating and we unfortunately did not make it to any of these amazing historic places. We encourage you to find more pleasant ways to explore them.

I planned a day of diving on the 31st, but the waves were too high so it got rescheduled to 2nd. Nobody at guest services bothered to let me know about this change and if I haven’t spoken to a person at diving facility where I called at 7am, I never would have known of the switch in schedule. Unfortunately I still had to cancel the diving trip, because I was congested on the 2nd so I called the diving facility to inform them that I won’t be coming. They canceled my reservation without any additional questions letting me know that they wish to see me next time. When we were checking-out of Aventura Spa Palace I still had to pay $98 dollars for this diving trip, because I failed to notify hotel Guest Services that I won’t be coming. So it’s okay for them not to let me know that the dive won’t happen, but if I make my own arrangements I have to let them know about the changes. I don’t like to argue so I just pay. How that justifies a fee for service that wasn’t provided is something I can’t understand. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

Even if you receive a $1,500 credit with your package, you can only allocate a limited amount towards the most common perks of this resort. For instance you can only use up to $300 on spa treatments and considering that an aroma therapy treatment is $189, if you decide to enjoy this with your wife or husband that leaves you with $80 out of pocket after your allowed credit. Every other perk has a limit too so don’t think of this $1,500 as cash, because it isn’t. My wife and I enjoyed their spa treatment services. Facility there and service was nice. Chances are you’ll end up spending more than you planned once it’s all said and done. For instance diving was a completely out of pocket expense so was all the shopping in the resort.

There are a lot more things we could say about this vacation experience and our stay at Aventura Spa Palace, but most of them won’t be good. Certainly there were pleasant people in the resort like the great bell boy service and all the guys there especially “Jay Leno” who is a king of all bell boys.

We were leaving Aventura Spa Palace on the 4th and on that day we were absolutely shocked of the contrast we saw in service and food. Every empty service desk that we saw for seven days of our stay was occupied by a service representative who was ready to answer any questions you might have. It felt like the buzz in the resort was that some big shot is coming or there is a huge inspection going on. The place where we went for breakfast that day had more staff than we’ve ever seen. Cooks were standing around their areas ready to take any order and prepare the freshest food available. Surveys were given out where you could fill out comments and feedback about your stay. We were stunned! What happed that all of a sudden on last day of our stay service changed so much and food was fresh and enjoyable? Is it because New Year’s period was expensive and fewer people were there and business starts to pick up after the holidays so let’s not bother with lesser crowd? Is it because people were actually switching hotels in the middle of their stay going to other resorts and this got to the top management so they decided to fix the problem? Is it because many couples said that they have never experienced anything as awful as Aventura Palace and that got to top management? Whatever it was, the last day of our stay was a lot better than six previous days. That however will not make us come back there ever again.

We hope you’ll find our feedback helpful in making your decision about your trip to Mexican Rivera. If you do decide to stay at Aventura Spa Palace we hope you’ll have a much better experience than we did so that you’ll never have to say to yourself “We read about this and we should’ve listened”. Consider other places that’s what we suggest.

Los Angeles

Room Tip: if you want a good room find a different hotel to stay at. don't stay here. it's not worth i...
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2011

We arrived at 10:00pm and were still able to go to a restaurant for dinner. We ate at the Oriental and it was okay. We were on the third floor and the room was a little smaller than expected especially with the big tub in there by the patio door. I would have liked two vanities and the door to the bathroom opened up where you would stand in front of the vanity so you had to make sure you didn't kill your spouse...unless you wanted to.
I enjoyed the Italian Restaurant the best. I am a fussy eater and the food was okay but Secrets definitely had better food. I don't like wearing wristbands and they require you to wear them there. I had them make it looser and I just slid it off most of the time and very few people asked me about it.
We knew there was no real beach and I did get to see some cool things in the lagoons. Sea cucumbers, sea urchins, starfish and so on. We went on the Monkey tour and saw monkeys swinging in the trees but they didn't come real close. We did see a boa constrictor and it was over 6ft in length...very cool....the guide didn't seem so excited especially when some people went quite close to it to take pictures.
I enjoyed the Circus show. Contortionist and a few other acts were better than I expected.
They give you credits of $1500.00 right now and they make you listen to someone explain the perks of it and than try to make you go to a timeshare blurb...or they call it something else can't remember what they called it because all I heard was blah blah blah after that and said no twice to going and he left it at that. Be firm and just say no and give them the evil eye.
I enjoyed the manicure and pedicure. I tried a body scrub but not a good idea if you are burnt. Tried the seaweed wrap and felt I was in an episode of Dexter. They make you wear some disposable underwear and put you on a plastic sheet. She puts on these gloves that feel like brillo pads and rubs you down first. When she put the seaweed crap on my back she sat me up and instead of me laying on my stomach and being somewhat uncomfortable. Then you are wrapped up in plastic and you rinse it off after and she made me keep the disposable underwear on in the shower....they fill up with water and I would guess this would feel similar to wearing depends.

Bucket list checked off:
Body scrub
Seaweed Wrap - one time and last time.
Aromatherapy Massage - not my thing.
Introduction to Scuba Diving with Max...will do scuba again.
Rode a Mechanical Bull...Awesome
Saw a boa constrictor not in a cage
Swim with the dophins...they charge for lockers, walked to it instead of paying for cab, pictures are stupid expensive and they won't let you take pictures of yourself or family with the dolphins.

Our flight wasn't until 9:00pm but they want you to check out by noon...they should change it and I know they have to clean etc.
Another couple did have some items taken from their room. One of the items did show back up after a few days probably because they were prescription glasses and couldn't be of benefit or that's the conclusion we all came to. The items were not in the safe so the hotel wouldn't do anything but if they are in the safe that would have been another issue. Make sure if anything goes missing it was in the safe.
I did enjoy all the amenities and tried Yoga, the spin class and weight room....the best weight room we have seen so far.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Romantic 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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