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“Just got home from a fun and wonderfully relaxing stay at Aventura Spa Palace!” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Just got home from a fun and wonderfully relaxing stay at Aventura Spa Palace!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

My husband and I just spent an amazing week at ASP from Nov 12th to the 17th-- we loved it even more than our honeymoon at the Cancun Palace! The $1500 in resort credits really go far if you're smart and *make sure to book your spa appointments upon arrival, BEFORE you do anything else!*

I'll break down my review into sections as best I can, and try to be thorough and include the good and the bad. There were many things we were curious about before going, so I'm trying to be mindful of those things in the information I share.

We used our credits to get a couples' holistic massage, a romantic rooftop lobster & steak dinner for two, a wine tasting, and a wine list upgrade to Moet & Chandon for our last dinner at the resort. After all that we still had over $600 in credits left!

We could have used them on excursions, tequila & cigars at the gift shop, a room upgrade, etc., but there were quite a few groups traveling last week, so there were no upgrades available; we didn't want to check our bags on the way back-- so no bringing liquor home; and we didn't feel like leaving the resort this time around so we opted out of excursions. There was also a tequila tasting, a beauty salon, a spa skincare package for $300 in points, and two jewelry stores at which the credits could be used with some limits (note: the store called Mathia was more interested in selling us specific pieces than in allowing us to browse, and when we mentioned the credits they began really pushing their silver jewelry, on which the credits don't apply, so we wound up leaving the store altogether rather than be stressed out by a salesperson trying to steer us toward a particular product when all we wanted was to spend our "free" money in the first place).

I said all that to say, don't let our leftover $600 points deceive you-- there's really a lot you can do with those credits depending on what you want out of your trip. And again, if the resort hadn't been full, we'd have used ours for a room upgrade as well. Also, it's worth noting that the credits count like real money (i.e. you don't pay $300 in points for a $150 room upgrade or anything like that; a $350 couples' massage costs $350 in credits). One thing to remember, though, is that an 11% tax applies to any credits you spend, and that cost can't be paid in credits. It'll be on your bill at check-out. At first we thought the new tax was odd, but then we though: if you could pay $165 up front to get a few days' worth of spa treatments, several excursions, etc., would it seem like such a big deal then?

If we hadn't waited until the 14th we'd have been able to book more spa appointments, but you can't expect a spa resort running at full capacity to have many openings for treatments-- especially when they're offering every guest $1500 in free services! haha

Lety and Lidia were so sweet and gave wonderful massages, and didn't seem the least bit fazed when we realized at the end that we'd forgotten to bring money to tip them (we went back the next morning). Since I brought it up, it's worth noting that tips are not required or expected anywhere at the resort. The staff were very professional and made sure we felt relaxed and pampered no matter what.

Before going we were slightly nervous about the lack of a conventional beach, but honestly the lagoon and its beach left us wanting for nothing! Many people spent their time playing games or doing water aerobics and drinking at the swim-up bar in the pool (where drinks undoubtedly came faster). Because of that, there were always lounge chairs available down by the lagoon. And there were more by the volleyball court just a few feet away, which we had no problem dragging a few feet so we could lay out by the water.

The sand on the "beach" is a little rocky, or actually more like "pebble-y," but not sharp or uncomfortable enough to make you want to put your shoes back on. The sand IN the lagoon is much nicer-- very fine and soft. Take care when walking as opposed to swimming, though, as it gets shifted around into areas of mounds and hollows when people move through it, and it can be difficult to judge depth even when the water is crystal clear. The water is gorgeous, though, and calm. It doesn't have the rough surf that's characteristic of Cancun beaches.

The lagoon was by far our favorite part of the trip. My husband noted that drink service was considerably slower at the beach than at the pools or anywhere else, but then again there were two or three servers handling the entire beach, so that was to be expected. And honestly the margarita bar was just a few steps away, and it was never crowded, so if we had really wanted our cocktails faster we could've gotten them ourselves. But it was definitely nice to lay out and have someone approach every half hour or so to ask whether you wanted anything.

Each area has its own "beach" at the lagoon: VIP, Spa, and Cove. The Cove beach was almost always empty whenever we visited, and it was extremely quiet. It was also where the water flowed out into the ocean behind the rock wall's curve (it flowed in at the VIP area). We liked the Spa's beach, right in the middle, the best because it had a good amount of seaweed-free space to walk around in, and a nice gradually increasing depth from a foot or so at the shore to 9-11 feet by the rock wall/coral.

There are snorkeling tours and you can also snorkel by yourself if you want. The fish living in the lagoon are very used to people and will swim right up to you, especially if you stand up and put your hands in the water. Some people feed them bits of sandwich and whatnot, so I expect that's the reason they approach humans so willingly. The lagoon has a few different varieties of fish that are very pretty to look at, and since the ocean flows through it at either end, every day or two there are new types of fish that make their way in. One day we saw hundreds and hundreds of tiny silvery ones that looked like minnows, and on one of our last days there, a few baby barracudas made an appearance! They were about the size of my hand and easily scared away, but really cool to watch if you could get close enough.

Our favorite water activity at the ASP was couples' kayaking. I'm a scaredy-cat in the water, so snorkeling didn't work out for me despite several attempts. But in the kayak I was able to enjoy a view from above of all the ocean life the snorkelers were swimming through, and hubby and I had tons of fun floating and rowing along from one end of the resort to the other, watching the fish below and the crabs on the rocks beside us.

The pools were nice, but crowded, and honestly with the lagoon so close by, we didn't really see the point of staying at the pool. We could still faintly hear the music down by the lagoon after 11am, which was nice but not overpowering. The atmosphere by the pool was like a party, whereas the atmosphere by the lagoon was more laid back.

The staff were fantastic! Everyone was happy and jocular and seemed to truly enjoy their jobs (apart from the women in the gift shop, who were very polite but seemed less cheerful than their coworkers). Servers always pulled out chairs for me, and they made mealtimes more lively-- by the way, if you enjoy coffee and kahlua, don't pass up a Mayan coffee demonstration! Everyone gave us a warm welcome and was very obliging with any special requests. No one ever lingered waiting for a tip, and whenever we did tip anyone they put on a good show of surprise (haha).

They were extremely patient with my limited Spanish, and there wasn't a single person there who didn't let me know right away that they could speak English if it was easier for me. The manager at El Greco even joked, "I'm sorry miss, I don't speak Spanish," when I asked him a question about the availability of a certain food item. Some of the servers' eyes lit up when I responded in Spanish to their initial how are you's, and they'd begin asking me questions about how long I'd studied the language and where, and would encourage me to try to place the order in Spanish like we were playing a memory game. They would always oblige if I switched to English, but they really made me feel at ease with my attempts to recall Spanish from years ago.

Restaurants/Room Service:
Speaking of food, I have somewhat unique dietary restrictions so I'll only talk about things that are likely to be useful to most people.

My husband raved about the guacamole and insisted on having it every day, and he loved the seafood as well. He couldn't stop talking about the steak with goat cheese at La Hacienda, either. One thing we both noticed, though, was that there were very few items that weren't cooked in large amounts of butter or some other type of heavy fat. Taste-wise everything was great, but if you're sensitive to that type of ingredient you may want to be aware that most things are prepared that way. I ordered grilled chicken at the lunch buffet and realized it had gotten a good serving of the grease from the hamburgers that were being cooked just next to it on the same griddle. The taste was fantastic, but as someone with a sensitive stomach I found that I needed to be a little more observant than usual.

Servings at Mo Mo No Ha Na were pretty small especially when it came to sushi, but it is all-inclusive, so you can order as much as you want. Everywhere else servings were huge. One constant across all restaurants, including the lunch buffets, was that anything labeled "with vegetables" more often than not came with a side of half a carrot, or a mix of onions and peppers, or very small bits of peppers and corn. There was a salad station at both lunch buffets and there were carrots (cooked in butter) and raw sliced cucumbers as well. As far as fruit there were melons and pineapples available every day. And while we're on the topic of sweet treats, my favorite desserts were the coconut ice cream at the lunch buffet, and the tempura fried vanilla ice cream at Mo Mo No Ha Na! The Pastel de Tres Leches at La Hacienda was delicious as well!

For breakfast, we preferred waking up to room service, so we never visited the breakfast buffet. The room service menu is pretty big, and the portions don't disappoint, either. I particularly liked the french toast even though it was different from what I'm used to. It was a few pieces of egg batter pan-fried bread sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and served with a choice of butter and jam or butter and maple syrup. Milk arrived already at room temperature a couple times but then again we couldn't tell from the taste whether or not it was synthetic boxed milk, which can safely be left out. Bacon was delicious and served in large amounts (a.k.a. a dinner plate full)! Time between ordering and arrival was typically 30-45 minutes, but the staff were always up front about the amount of time it would take, and they were never late.

Even with the amount of guests present, we were almost always seated right away at restaurants. Mo Mo No Ha Na had an hour-long wait the first night we ate there, but had no wait at all later in the week when we revisited at the same time of the evening. La Hacienda on the Cove side had an hour as well on Thursday night, although we noticed there was a large party dining together that night, possibly a rehearsal dinner. We waited an hour to eat at La Trattoria, too, and we did notice that particular restaurant seemed to have people lining up to put their names on the list every night.

It was worth the wait, though. Our dinner at La Trattoria was very romantic. We didn't notice the server nearby, but somehow he appeared out of nowhere to refill our champagne glasses every time we emptied them more than halfway.

As I said before, we originally planned to upgrade our room upon arrival with Resort Credits. On our honeymoon a couple years ago the upgrade was so easy that my husband was convinced it would be just as simple this time, and so he booked us in the cheapest room offered. Go figure, this time around we happened to be traveling in a busy week even though it was the off season, and there were no rooms to upgrade into. The staff were very helpful, though, and put our names on a list so we could check back each day to see whether or not there were any upgrades and whether it was our turn.

After two days in the room we became accustomed to it and no longer wanted to switch. We were on the ground level when we'd prefer a balcony, and our patio faced the other buildings in the resort instead of the ocean. But apart from not being able to sleep with the curtains open or enjoy the jacuzzi while watching the sunset, we didn't feel deprived with our room.

In fact, there were plus sides depending on how you look at it. Our room in the 1400 block was equidistant to the restaurants and the main lobbies of both sides of the resort. It was also close to the obstacle course/nature trail, where the resort's spider monkeys spend a lot of time in the trees. From time to time we were treated to a glimpse of those adorable little guys sneaking into the halls to take scraps from the room service trays guests had left outside their doors, and that was fun to watch. I'm not entirely sure that we'd have seen monkeys in the halls on the second or third floors of the building and though we didn't expect it, it was really cool! One night we awoke to a bang, then heard a young monkey's high-pitched call, which sounded a lot like a squeak toy. It was quickly followed by several more clanks and bangs as the monkey and its companions cleared the room service trays in our hall and quickly scuttled off to the trees again. It was SO funny and we were actually a bit disappointed that it never happened again, since we'd love to have had photos or video of that.

The bed felt a bit stiff when we first sat down on it, but we were surprised to find that we fell asleep quickly and slept better than we have in years-- and both hubby and I have permanent back and neck injuries, so a comfortable bed is no small matter! Ours was perfect.

Staff cleaned our room and stocked our mini bar both morning and afternoon, and almost always again at night we'd come back to find our bed made and our shower and jacuzzi freshened up and stocked with new, dry bathmats. They almost always gave us extra toiletries each day, and one night the maid even gave us chocolates when she stopped by! Little things like that occur throughout your visit and make you feel like you're in a place where everyone is friendly and you haven't a care in the world.

We had concerns about construction going on because of the transfer from Palace to Hard Rock. There was work being done, but honestly we never once heard it, even during the day, and it really didn't affect our experience apart from the rock climbing wall being out of commission.

There are golf carts circulating every 3 minutes to take you anywhere you want to go on the property, but we rarely used them because the walks from one place to the next were really short and pleasant. It took less than 5 minutes at a comfortably slow pace to walk from the Spa lobby to the Cove lobby.

We also saw reviews with complaints about loud music and noise from the pool games, but honestly wound up scratching our heads about that one. The pools close at 7pm, and the music and games don't start until 11am, so unless you plan on sleeping between lunch time and dinner, there really is no noise problem. If you do want to avoid noise during those times, however, don't ask for an ocean view room as those are almost exclusively by the pool on the Spa side.

Fitness Center:
There are yoga classes, zumba, and several other offerings in the gym that I'm sorry to say I can't recall. I believe each class was offered one day on, one day off. The gym has a lot of machines and the dance studio with yoga mats and free weights has plenty of space to work out, even with a zumba class going on at the same time.

Bottom line: We are so happy that we chose to visit the Aventura Spa Palace! Hopefully Hard Rock doesn't change it too much!

Room Tip: Rooms in the 1400's are about equidistant between the Cove and Spa sides of the resort, but they...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
ElleB 13, Thank you for your kind and detailed review; we are sure that many travelers will find it helpful.
We are so glad to hear that you and your husband had an amazing vacation week here at Aventura Palace.
It is wonderful that you have found the lagoon so enjoyable and that you had fun kayaking.
We are happy to know that our staff provided you with the excellent service that you deserve and that you were able to practice your Spanish.
We strive to provide you with the best possible service that is why we thank you for pointing out what you consider both our strong and weak points; you can be sure that we have shared your comments with the areas involved.
We are looking forward to welcome you back in the near future.
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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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English first
Braidwood, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We recently visited Aventura Spa. Last time there was just prior to the split between adults/families. There were 10 of us travelling together and we all had a great time. Check in was smooth and had no glitches except for one couple that did not like their view. Try not to get a room ending in 04 or 05 since most of your view will be the back side of the presidential suite. They were able to get a different room.

We used the spa for many different treatments. The chocolate wrap was wonderful. I would recommend that to anyone. Thanks to Felipe in the spa. It was a wonderful marine scrub and bath. Wasn't sure what to expect, but it was very nice and he is very professional. I am sorry I do not remember the other staff names, but they are all terrific.

You can already feel the Hard Rock vibe especially in the salon. The staff is dressed in black (unlike the usual beige that Palace had) and it was a nice change. It made us not feel as rowdy since there were several of us in there at the same time getting our nails done. They were more than accommodating if you needed a drink. Thanks to Carlos, Rubi and Carmen for the great service.

I thought the food was very good. We ate at La Hacienda one night and had guacamole made tableside. They underestimated how much our group ate and we had them come back again for more. It was very good and made to order. If you did not want something in it, just let them know.

We did snorkel and kayak in the lagoon. It was nice that equipment was there to borrow, but you can tell some of it needs to be replaced. Many of the clasps on the life vests were broken. The water was not that deep that I was worried. We did not hang out by the pool that much to enjoy the recreation staff, but they did come by the lagoon to let us know what was happening. We enjoyed the quiet by the lagoon.

I cannot complain about housekeeping. Everything was done to my expectations. Even when the batteries for the tv remote died, we called and someone came right away. I cannot expect more than that.

The one complaint I have is the length of time it takes to schedule appointments. That department is understaffed. They are very thorough and I do not want to blame them, but I know we had some of our group in there for over an hour. There needs to be a better way to do this. I was glad I had scheduled some of my services ahead of time. I would have scheduled them all, but I did not know exactly what I wanted to do.

For the 4 couples we were with, it was their first visit. I know that 2 couples are already trying to plan a visit back to Aventura Spa. I know we will be visiting again.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Jres222, We are thrilled to know that you and your friends had wonderful stay at our resort.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience; it is great to learn that you enjoyed our facilities and services.
We have taken notes on your observations about our Vacation Planners department, you can be sure that your comments have been shared with our General Management.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon for another great vacation.
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Valley Station, Kentucky, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This was my first time ever leaving the USA, much less traveling to Mexico. My fiance and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We visited from October 12-19, 2012. Customer service was awesome, especially Jessica (our guest rep), David (in the VIP area), Manuel & Sergio (the guys out front), EVERYONE was super nice and friendly. Nice rooms, beautiful location, good food, good drinks. They are in the process of updating but it was still beautiful, nice and clean. YOU CAN DRINK THE WATER AND ICE! They have a filtered and purified water system. Will definitely come back. Also visited Chichen-Itza, Tulum & Excarat while there...AWESOME! Definitely visit the spa area, the couples massage package was perfect.

Room Tip: You definitely want ocean front on at least the 2nd floor.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Erica B, We are honored and we thank you for choosing Aventura Palace for your first trip to Mexico. Thank you for taking the time to share your sweet review; we are happy to hear that our staff provided you with the warm and special service that characterizes us.
It is great to hear that you enjoyed the beautiful tours and the Spa treatments.
We are looking forward to welcome you back.
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Hammond, la
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We just returned from our 4th trip to Aventura. Big things are being prepared for the conversion to the Hard Rock, but it's still the wonderful resort with caring employees that we have enjoyed before. Service had dropped off some on our 3rd trip, but Rene, Carlos and their staff are working hard to address those issues and you can tell they are working hard to make your stay enjoyable.

Between the $1500 resort credit and the incentives they are offering members to come now so they can inform them about the new concept and what it will mean to memberships, the resorts are busier than usual. Keeping up with the demand is difficult to say the least, but there was never a time that issues weren't taken care of as quickly as possible. We just had to tell them there was an issue.

La Trattoria, the Italian Restaurant was excellent as usual, La Huerta had the coconut shrimp and steak that melted in your mouth and El Greco has tasty lunch every day.. The lobster dinner was great, better than the one we had at Leblanc.
Elias with public relations was constantly helpful setting up reservations dealing with the 12 people we brought down this time. We surprised one of the couples with a beach side renewal of their vows wedding and Rebeca in wedding planning did everything just right.

Just go, relax and enjoy.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
GregD70401, We really appreciate you taking the time to write and share this kind review.
Thank you for your loyalty and support, it is great to hear that you had an amazing time in this fourth trip to Aventura Palace.
We regret to hear that you noticed our service dropped off; you can be sure that we will share your comments with our Management team. Feedback is very important for us as it helps us to improve our quality and service.
However we are glad to know that our Staff and Management went above and beyond to make your stay memorable.
We are happy to learn that you loved the food at our restaurants and that your overall stay was wonderful.
We are looking forward for your 5th visit in the near future.
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Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

I waited for a few months to write this review because I could not put it into words. So here I go. First the staff was great!!! I will start with what I call the “dream team” or as they call themselves public relations. I wanted this trip to be special so I e-mailed the resort and somehow I was connected to the sweetest PR person ever. Her name is Martha, She is the best, I love you Martha! I told her that I was celebrating my anniversary and she went to work making things perfect for us. When we arrived after a long day of travel, our room had a whirlpool filled with bubbles and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were sitting on the side. The best word to describe this trip is divine! Martha even made a special anniversary dinner reservation for me and my husband at El Greco restaurant which was facing the ocean, and the chef prepared a lobster and steak dinner for my husband and a delicious vegan meal for me. Yes, they even accommodate vegans!!! Marcela, is a kind yet gentle “women in charge” and Luis was a handsome “ball of energy” those two are a part of Martha’s” dream team” and they jumped right in with Martha and made our entire trip wonderful. I had an opportunity to meet their manager Rosy, and she was just as accommodating, and attentive. If I told you about all of my wonderful experiences it would be about two pages long, and I don’t think I am allowed anyway. So I will list some others that made this trip such a blessing
Vacation Planners: Grace “the best”, I love you Grace. I have to tell you one story about Grace; She put together my itinerary and worked magic, after I changed my mind about 10 times. She literally came out of her office and found me getting a pedicure so that she could place my new spa itinerary in my hand. I never saw anything like it. Also I met Angelica who was a sweetheart. The waiters, maids, front desk, hostesses, and bartenders were all there to say “My Pleasure”, and I think they meant it.
My visit to Aventura Spa Palace was simply 7 days of pure fun and relaxation
I recommend that you have the “Romantic” which is under the golden package
If you are a stressed out couple, then this package will relax you and rekindle the fire in your marriage. My husband and I got our own huge private suite, with our own therapist who pampered us. We sipped on champagne while we sat in a relaxing whirl pool. Also we had private steam and sauna rooms, topping it off with an aroma therapeutic massage. Simply blissful. Because of the $1,500 dollars in free spa bucks we had spa treatments every day, including manicure, hot stone pedicure, “Inhibit Facial”, deep tissue massage
I have included some my massages favorites: Deep tissues back massage aroma therapeutic, Zen shiatsu, and the Samunprai herbal. Also my favorite facial was the “Inhibit”
This is my last story, I promise! As you know I was there for my anniversary, and what the resort did to help us celebrate is why I call my trip to Aventura Spa Palace “too good to be true. Martha and her dream team put together a party so that my husband and I could celebrate our anniversary. The party included a casino table, a buffet of food, and Jell-O shots!!! Martha and Luis even did all the decoration for the party. We met couples during our stay and they all came to the party. I have one word to say about my party… wow!!! Let me leave you with this, Aventura Spa Palace is a great place for couples to have fun, relax, and rekindle romance in your marriage. The secret to having a trip like my trip is to e-mail the hotel before you go and tell them what you want, and I promise that they will say my pleasure, and you will have a trip that is too good to be true.

Room Tip: Email or call public relations before you arrive. Doing a little bit of planning before you arrive w...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Dear Lisa A, thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful experience at our resort. We are thrilled to know that our Public Relations Team and the rest of our staff helped making your stay unforgettable. Martha, Marcela, Luis and Grace will be very happy when they read your kind review.
Thank you for choosing Aventura Palace for this joyous occasion as is your Anniversary.
We are delighted to know that you enjoyed our services and facilities and that you had a great time at the Spa.
We would love to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.
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Calabash, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Folks the resort is nice and the people who work there are great but there are some issues to address, none that should keep you away though. For this review I’m going to put my observations and comments into a few buckets – Transportation, Food, Entertainment, Facilities and Personnel.

Transportation: As a Palace member transportation from the airport to the resort and back again is complementary. I like this function very much especially for transportation to a resort that is over an hour each way. But this trip we were forced to wait excessively long at the airport before leaving for the resort and the transportation people at the hotel required us to leave five hours before our scheduled departure causing us to have to sit in the airport for over three hours. This was a real dissatisfier but to the resorts credit I have already been contacted, apologized to and assured they will put improvements in place.

Food: Better than most resorts but not as good as Moon Palace or Hard Rock Punta Cana. Breakfast on the adult (Spa) side was pretty normal with a couple of exceptions. The lady that made the eggs and omelets was a perfect example of grace and efficiency. No matter how many people were in line she would just crack, mix, pour, spread, add fixins and fold without missing a beat. Over easy – no problem – just crack, flick away and stray shell, gently flip and serve. I never saw her break a yolk or mess up an omelet. What a great show to start the day. The rest of the breakfast offerings were fair – chorizo was very tasty – but missing was the old buffet staple, bacon. Some mornings a platter would be out and other times you had to ask the egg lady for some – just weird. Good assortment of fruit, cereals, etc. I never went to the family (Cove) side for breakfast but my wife grazed through one morning and said it was basically the same with one glaring difference – they have smoked salmon near their bagel station and adult doesn’t - odd.

Lunch is buffet and pretty similar on both sides – only the Cove side has a pasta station though. Cove side also cooks burgers, steaks, etc. on a grill unlike a griddle at Spa. Fresh grouper is very good and seasoned with a nice little kick. The rest is blah-ish cooked dishes and sometimes good veggies. Guacamole is excellent wherever you find it.

Dinner is buffet at Ventanas only and the rest are ala carte. We were disappointed with the Mexican, especially being in Mexico. For example, the tamales were stuffed with a bland masa that contained nothing that resembled pork or chicken – just mush warmed inside a corn husk. Fish and alfresco dining overlooking the sea is wonderful at El Greco – try the tuna or grouper as entrees and calamari app was very tasty. Italian was tasty but had very odd portioning. The lasagna entrée was large and yet the caesar salad was literally one forkful of greens – huh? Momo, the asian themed restaurant was fair at best. Sushi was base and few options available. The rest of the menu could be surpassed by any Chinese take-out in the US. Mundaca is OK but the steaks are thin – hopefully once the conversion to Hard Rock is complete the steaks will measure up to the ones served at Toro in Punta Cana. Room service food is surprisingly good and efficient.

Entertainment: There really is something to do for anyone if you want to. The trip to the Tulum ruins is run by a couple of Mexican sociologists who are very knowledgeable, friendly and have excellent communication skills – it’s near to the resort and a great way to spend a half day. Walking the grounds you can see some native species of animals like coati’s, agouti’s and monkeys – no need for a zoo trip. Then there is the tireless entertainment staff – led by two pretty young ladies named Ana Giselle and Carolina, they offer something to do all day and night – but never pressure you!! They had a beach party one night with a local band playing 60/70’s music, a buffet and bar – what a great time. Previously mentioned spa is wonderful. Golf is offered at a different Palace property in Playacar, a short 20 minute drive that is included in the package. The Nicklaus designed course is long and difficult but very enjoyable – unless you stress over your score. After golf there is a snack bar with sandwiches and during the round a fully stocked refreshment cart circles the course frequently and all is included in the 200 resort credit cost – a very good deal. There is more to do and less if so inclined – well balanced offerings.

Facilities: The resort is made up of two sides, one is adults only and the other allows children with adults. It’s fairly large but easily covered by foot or by shuttle between resorts – and that is the perspective of a person with a severe respiratory limitation. Rooms are very clean and comfortable albeit a bit dated. They are on the small size and some have a bit of a musty odor (the odor can be masked by getting the aromatherapy option). The spa is very good and well run like other Palace/Legendary spas. The exercise facility is a bit dated but very functional – you can get a decent work out. Several pool options with different environments. For example, the pool bar on the adult side is noisy and gets a lot of attention from the activity folks – but it also has frequent waitress service. Other pools a bit quieter and less crowded. Important to note is that people rise early to use towels they got the day before to “reserve” their loungers and the good ones go early – it’s a rat race out there. There is no beach but there is a wonderful shallow lagoon that you can snorkel, swim or kayak in. It’s full of tropical fish and a delight to experience.

Personnel: Some of the best there is! One serious reason I joined Palace and subsequently Legendary/Hard Rock is that they command the best personnel in the area. No hiding brand liquor for tips like some other high end resorts – these folks just want to do their best at making your stay enjoyable. The lady who cleaned our room was Elizabeth – she was thorough and responsible. The people who do the turn-down in the evening (never saw them because we were out) are equally excellent – changing towels, remaking the bed, putting new scent in the aromatherapy pot, etc. The waiters and waitresses are all pleasant, efficient and enjoyable to be around. And at the top is a group of managers that train, lead, improve and above all make sure guests are taken care of. The only criticism of management I have is that they need to spice up the menu a bit but I bet that will happen with Hard Rock.

Conclusion: So, would I go back? Yes I would and once the new airport is built in Tulum it will be even easier to do. Recommend to others? Yes but let’s talk because you need reasonable expectations – there are better Palace and Hard Rock properties available but this one is very good and will get better. Last word is a thank you to Palace and Legendary Hard Rock for having such great opportunities.

Room Tip: If the room has a musty odor ask for the aromatherapy upgrade and within a few hours you will never...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xavier V, Customer Service Manager at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, November 18, 2012
Dear aging_nicely

On behalf of every member of the Aventura Palace, I would like to take a minute to express our gratitude for this wonderful review posted by you in tripadvisor.com

We would like to apologize for the inconveniences you may have experienced with our complementary transportation. We would like you to know that we have shared your comments in this matter, and suggestions about the variety of food, with our Management and all of the involved departments, in order to take the corresponding corrective measures to ensure the total satisfaction of our valued guests.

However, we are very glad to know that these inconveniences did not affect your overall stay. Our goal is to always provide the best stay possible and we are really glad to know that you had a wonderful experience here at our beautiful resort.

I will pass on a copy of your review to our staff, particularly Ana Giselle, Carolina and Elizabeth, whom went out of their way to provide you with a unique vacation experience, they will be very happy and feel just as we do very proud of the impressions they left in you.

We would be delighted to have the opportunity to host you again in Aventura Palace.

Best Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

We have $1500 of "spa credits" to use but the spa is completely booked. You can't get anything when you want it. PLUS, we left our room at 6am today and put the "please clean" sign on the door... just got back her eat 4pm and it's STILL not cleaned. We left a couple of dollars on the ice bucket, hoping the housekeeper would give us ice. Someone stocked our fridge during the day, and the tip is gone but guess what? No ice. This place SUCKS. When I called the front desk they said, "We're really busy". I will NEVER come here again. Do not waste your money or time. Plus, honestly, the food is terrible. Anyone who says it's good has never been out of their little village in South Carolina. (No offense to South Carolinians.)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillermo G, Agent Customer Service at Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear lisa,

Thank you for posting your opinion in Tripadvisor. We are sorry about the issue that you had with respect to the service at the hotel and yes we recognize that we had a tough month of November since we were in a transition period to the new brand and we are taking steps to fix any delays in the front desk. Just to let you know the room service staff does not change the ice in the room because they do not know what time you get back and that’s why we have ice stations on every floor. And with respect to the spa we understand that this is a very popular service at the hotel because we are the only hotel that allows you to use all 1500 points in the spa. And I am sorry that you did not like the food but with more than 7 restaurants and room service in the hotel for sure you found something that you liked. I hope you give us another chance and let me know if there is anything that we could do to change the opinion that you have of the Aventura Palace.

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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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 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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