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“The Good, The Bad... and some Ugly...” 3 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 #12 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Good, The Bad... and some Ugly...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a week at Adventura Spa Palace. We stayed on the spa side. It only rained 1 day (in case you're wondering about November weather), and overall, the resort is beautiful, service is just OK and the selection of food is good but average in taste. Here's the breakdown...

THE BAD:

- It took nearly three hours to check in, so you can probably expect the same - but no worries, a "personal consierege" will aim to distract you from this fact with a timeshare pitch and excursion bookings. This isn't altogether a "bad thing" though since you'll need to book the important stuff (like spa treatments) right away. In our case, the spa was so booked that we did not get to do a spa day! I had read other reviews where people expressed how overbooked the spa is - and it's TRUE. Very frustrating, considering it's supposed to be a "spa palace" (Right?). By the way, when we did finally get our room, we discovered it had double beds when we requested a king. We were told it was because we booked through RCI. (As RCI members, we felt like 2nd class citizens, so beware RCI peeps.)

- The next day we were moved to a room with a King size bed, and soon realized that the ceiling was leaking water. We reported it, but it was never resolved while we were there, so I feel sorry for whoever gets that room going forward. (Cross your fingers it's not you, should you book here)

- The service was hit or miss. Some of the staff were friendly - others didn't even acknowledge you when you walked by. Overall. it was sort of like going through a fast food drive-thru. Yes, everyone eventually does "get a turn" and "you get what you pay for", but when you finally reach the window, you're disapointed to find that there's just NO CARE put into the service. Shoutout to Rosa though (one of the servers who was fun and kept us happy and drinking on one of the rainy days there - and Josue, who was very charming and remembered our names.

- The resort is not within walking distance of anything, so you'll have to cab it to Playa del Carmen - which is a MUST to go and experience. Eat at "The Glass Bar" - food is amazing and the staff delivered world-class service! (Service we were hoping to get at the resort)

- The resort is transitioning into a Hard Rock - which for now, means hearing heavy metal music in random places throughout the resort... like, even at the lobby. Some of it was fine but just feels out of place because the resort is so beautiful and has an authentic Mexican feel. Just felt out of place.

- No ocean view. With the way the rooms/buildings are ANGLED it's nearly impossible to get a dead-on ocean view. If you have any hopes of getting an ocean view (or want to avoid any of the above problems), save yourself the stress and book elsewhere.

THE UGLY:

- We witnessed a bartender cut his finger on a broken champagne flute behind the bar. He was bleeding pretty heavily! We watched in disbelief as he doused it with tequila, smiled at us, and continued pouring drinks for the other patrons. We exited the bar, stage left.

- Room service delivered a hamburger that was 70% RAW. Order the shrimp cocktail - don't order the hamburgers.

THE GOOD:

- The Italian restaurant at the resort was great from start to finish! Service there was WONDERFUL. Again, we wished we had recieved similar service everywhere else on the resort.

- Weather was surprisingly good. A little overcast on some days - but it only rained once.

- The disco is fun. We wandered in and ended up staying, met some great people and killed it on the dance floor! :)

- The cove is nice and full of fish, although there's no "beach", you can still snorkel (my husband did and loved it).

- Definitely book a day at Xcaret and float down their underground river. The scenery is beautiful and it'll be a nice break from the resort.

- Finally, it IS a beautiful resort with lots to discover. The jacuzzis in the room are a nice touch, the bed is comfy and in the end, a vacation is what you make it. Despite some of the (horrible and frustrating) things about this resort, you pull through and have fun through the memories and new friends that you make along the way! We have no "regrets" booking here - but will never book here again. Like...ever.

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the lobby to avoid having to walk (the staff does not readily offer you ride...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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 29, 2012
Dear C M, we appreciate the detailed review. These reviews allow us to know how we are doing in terms of service and facilities. We are glad to know you appreciate the beauty of our authentic Mexican style resort and gardens. We do however regret to hear that you encountered some difficulties during check in; it is always a priority at Aventura Spa Palace to provide our valued guests with the desired room as soon as possible once check-in is completed. We are very disappointed that you did not feel that we provided you with the service you deserve. We are glad to hear some of our staff was able to shine a light onto your vacation. Here at Aventura Spa Palace we train all of our staff members in all departments to make customer service a top priority. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your stay.
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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 (571)
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English first
Batesville, Indiana
Level Contributor
45 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

The Aventura Spa and Cove have been purchased and are not, and have not been, part of the Palace Resorts since January. According to people we spoke with, since then the hotel has shipped away the best staff and the quality has gone down. It is being made into a Hard Rock.

The perks, which keep it from being a 1 star, are the beautiful architecture and landscaping. These were truly marvelous. The rooms were small, but nicely laid out.

Everything else is bad to terrible.

These are some of the problems in the two rooms that my family booked:
We were locked out of our rooms. TWICE.
The safe in the room didn't work.
LIVE wires were hanging down, uncapped, in the closet.
The light in the closet wouldn't go out.
Half of the towels were good quality, but half of them were rags.
The staff kept forgetting to replace the right number of towels, so we had half as many as we should have had.
Booking anything, from a massage to a trip, took at least two hours. That is valuable time on a vacation. They don't have enough staff.
The "personal concierge" was only concerned about when it was time for her to leave, not about her guests.
Staff of the spa were unevenly trained - some were great, but others were terrible and could have easily injured the person they were massaging if one wasn't careful.
Speaking of the spa, if you wanted anything other than a standard massage, and there was a long list of things supposedly available, make sure you book them two weeks before hand or you aren't going to get them.
The fancier the included restaurant, the longer the wait - we literally went to the gourmet restaurant and were told that it was a 40 minute wait for them to prepare a table for us - even though we could see only a quarter of the restaurant was in use and other tables were free and ready. They didn't want people eating there, as far as we could tell.
The resort credits could only be used for a very few things; there are four tours to choose from - so I hope you like golf or fine wines or spa treatments, because those are about the only decent things you can use your credits on.
If you tell them you have a problem, expect a 1-2 hour wait before anyone shows up, even though they will "be right there".
Make sure you ask for a bellboy 2 hours before you need to go - it will take about that long for them to get to your room.
Expect to walk a long way to most things.
When we first arrived in the dark, a bellboy took some of us to our room, then we called for a lift back, as they had not given us maps (they ran out and were re-printing them), and they said they were too busy to send a golf cart around. Which would have been fine if we had a map or had been there or had any idea how to get back, but was completely inappropriate in this case.
One of us was stung by a jellyfish in their lagoon - which is fine, and happens, because it is connected to the ocean, but the place at the beach to get snorkle equipment isn't stocked with vinegar or anything else to help ease the pain of a sting.
If there wasn't money in it for them, the trip advisors there weren't interested in lifting one finger to help you. At all.
When trying to speak to a manager, he would speak to others, who hadn't been waiting as long, before speaking to us.

I will NEVER book another vacation here nor to any other Hard Rock anywhere at any time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 28, 2012
Dear SMF-Collegeville, we deeply regret to hear that you did not feel the Palace service that all out valued guest deserve. We are terribly sorry to hear that the services were not up to your expectations. We train all the staff in all the departments to provide the best service and also have any requests done in a timely matter. We also regret very much that you were not able to fully enjoy all the service we have to offer, this being the Spa, Restaurants, Resort Credits and tours. We are saddened by the perception that you have received on this vacation and hope in some way we can change this. We would like to inform you that we will be taking this matter seriously and passing this information to key staff to ensure proper alterations are made in order to ensure better customer satisfaction. I have sent you a private matter to follow up with your case.
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Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Beware of the bellmen at the spa palace. Upon arrival they took our bags as our room was not yet ready. By the time we got to our room-many hours later-I discovered my iPhone had been stolen from my luggage. Foolish me left my iPhone in a zippered compartment of my luggage as it did not work within the country. We notified the front desk as soon as it was discovered and they assured us they would do an investigation. Their investigation resulted in nothing. As they said, the bags were in a public location and could have been breached. My advice is keep your valuables with you at all times or locked in a safe or don't bring them to this place. The overall quality of the place was average at best and because this location does not have access to a beach it's not a location I'll ever return to.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 28, 2012
Dear David A, we would like stress our most sincere apologies that your vacation may not have been everything you would have hoped for. It saddens us that a valuable item was lost upon your arrival and we regret that this has affected your perception of Aventura Spa Palace. We cannot stress to our guests enough to keep all valuable with them at all times. We did conduct a full investigation and we would like to mention that our Resort operates under strict property lockdown procedures, by which all staff members, including management, go through an extensive screening process daily upon exit. Please be informed, we are in no way, taking your dissatisfaction lightly we regret to know about your perception; we have sent you a private message so we can discuss the matter further.
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Toronto
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We were at Aventura Spa with another couple the week of Nov. 17th to 24th. I loved the Palapas where we could relax in the shade and watch the ocean. We were always able to get a place to sit, but I did see many towels on chairs that were not being used. Our friends enjoyed snorkelling in the lagoons and the layout of the `beach`area is very restful. Food was excellent from the seafood at El Greco to the Mexican at La Hacienda, not to mention the Sashimi at Mo Mo No Hanna. We also went to the Chefs Dinner which was very entertaining. Be sure to get in to the Vacation Planners on your first day,that is really the only downside to the resort. Booking Spa, golf or trips seems to be the most difficult thing to do. We enjoyed walking from the Spa to the Cove, especially after our meals! We took the Shuttle into Play Del Carmen and spent time there shopping and had lunch at Playacar Palace. Palace staff go the extra mile to make sure you have a great vacation. Special mention to Salvador and Paulina!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 28, 2012
Dear Jonmarcon, Thank you for the review. It’s great to receive reviews that mention the restaurants and popular locations as well as important tips! This provides key information to future guests before travelling as well as let us knows what our strengths and weaknesses may be. As a result, customer satisfaction is greater. We are so glad you enjoyed our inlets and beach layout. It also great to hear that our staff provided you with the customer service we are known for, its gives us great pride when our staff is personally mentioned in reviews. We will let Paulina and Salvador know you took the time to mention them. It is very important to all the staff at Aventura Spa Palace that our valued customers return home with the best vacation memories.
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Denton, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My wife and I just got back from a week long stay at Aventura Spa Palace. It was incredible. Our room was beautiful and had an ocean view. The food was really good and everyone there was there to serve you. I literally have nothing negative to say at all. There was always somebody there to answer questions or help you have the best experience you possibly can.

I was concerned because I was planning this vacation on a budget, but I didn't want it to feel like I was on a budget. My travel agent, Mitch at tripguy.com really reassured me that this property would be a wonderful experience without the cost of some of the pricier resorts. When we landed in Cancun, there was a Lincoln Navigator limo waiting for us, a gift from the travel agent. What a great way to start a Honeymoon.

I would highly recommend this resort and definitely want to plug tripguy.com for their great service in helping me plan the best vacation possible without being too incredibly expensive.

Room Tip: The third floor is the place to be. Awesome views of the Caribbean.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 28, 2012
Jaye H, thank you for the great review. We are so glad we were able to make such a special occasion so wonderful for you. It is a great pleasure to know that all the details of your honeymoon were perfect. Our staff is always happy to serve our valuable clients for any occasion whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary or a well deserved vacation. It will be our pleasure to host you and your family once more for your next vacation. We look forward to seeing you again.
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Huntington Beach, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We were at the spa and had difficulties from the beginning, Weren't allowed to upgrade to concierge level even though we were assured we could we when checked in. Told it was full, then told only a number of rooms available but being saved for people who paid full price. Because we booked on the half price promo we were put in the farthest building possible from all activities (tuba). Roach in our room, hubby killed it, I called the desk they said it was probably some other kind of bug and to keep the slider closed. Went to the sales presentation, after we told the 4th person we weren't interested and the problems we encountered the last guy said "you only paid half price and should expect mediocre at best" they won't be up to speed until they are Hard Rock but need to collect 40 million dollars from those of us paying half price and were offended when we said no.
This was our first trip to an all inclusive and probably our last. The food was really bad and the spa doesn't have enough people to accommodate the guest.
Use your hard earned vacation money on a resort that isn't in transition. A lot of construction

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We are so excited to return to Aventura Spa Palace again next week for our sixth time. This time we are bringing family and friends with us. For the past few years we have been tellling them what a wonderful place this is - the service, entertainment crew, food, spa etc.- so we hope they feel the same and llove it as much as we do!!! Of all the Palace Resorts - it has been our favorite! It is the perfect size resort - not too big - not too small. And it has a nice variety of restaurants so you never get tired of the cuisine. We hope that the change over to Hard Rock hasn't changed the excellent service that gets us to go back year after year! Can't wait!! - Don and Cathy Harrington

Room Tip: Rooms on the southern part of the spa side are more centrally located. The most northern rooms are q...
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  • Stayed February 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 28, 2012
Dear Cat112chl, thank you so much for your wonderful review, we can’t wait to be the host for you and your friends on your upcoming vacation. We are so grateful to all our loyal guests and we will make sure that you experience the luxury and service you deserve. Service is our top priority whether it is Palace or Hard Rock; we are here to make sure you go home with the greatest vacation memories! See you soon.
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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
Amenities:
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 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family 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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